Tuesday, October 13, 2009


I was an aircraft maintenance engineer for 10 years working on fixed wing aircraft and I had a bias against helicopters based on ignorance. To me they were a thousand cases of metal fatigue surrounding an oil leack.

A helicopter flight school opened at our airport and the instructor asked me if I wanted to go for a ride in his Bell 47 like the ones in MASH. Being a wee bit curious I said yes and it was an amazing experience. The take-off and transition to flight is almost instantaneous. Instead of a long take-off roll of a fixed wing aircraft the helicopter rose about 10 feet of the ground and then he transitioned to forward flight while climbing. Sitting in the big bubble canopy of the Bell 47 made for an interesting sensation to be sure. I was hooked!

Later on, when I went to college for aircraft maintenance I made friends with a fellow student who had his commercial helicopter pilots license. As he used to say: "Fixed wing aircraft are for people that are afraid to fly."

I don't totally agree with him but helicopters are cool.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts with Thumbnails