Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Another way to get airborne

I just found another way to get airborne. For the price of a tandem flight or two (about $250 to $350) you can get an instructor and a helicopter for an hour of introductory flight. I don't mean watch the instructor fly, he pretty much took off then let me run the controls.

Martin, the instructor, was there to correct me if I got out of control. Level flight was relatively straight forward after a few minutes. We followed the freeway out to Kalaeloa (Barbers Point) for some landing and hovering practice. Now hovering stable for any length of time was pretty taxing, and it was good to know Martin was there to give the right corrective input when things got a bit wobbly. I wonder if the guy in the tower thought that I was drunk driving. We flew the pattern one time for a touch and go, and I flew it back over Pearl harbor and the airport. He took over just before touchdown and parked next to the hanger.

It was an awesome experience, that I feel many of you PG pilots would really dig (unless your name is Chopper Dave or similar), and it is reasonably priced.

I am on or around helicopters all the time with my work, but I often think of what it would be like to fly one. My pilot at work, turned me on to the fact that you could just take one of these intro flights and get to cruise, hover and fly the pattern with minimal risk. It really is a blast.

If you feel the need to go, or would like to add it to your Christmas list, then call PJ at Mauna Loa Helicopters, cell 779-3305.


JeffMc said...

That sounds awesome, Dave - thanks!

Nick said...

Sounds like an awesome Christmas/B-Day present!

Anonymous said...

That pretty cool, Dave! I've done a similar intro flight in the Owens, albeit in a lowly Cessna 172. I was quite surprised when he had me do the whole flight from taxi out, takeoff, landing to taxi back, and like you said, he was just there to take over if I screwed up. It was the most intense thing I've ever done, and I was exhausted after 45 min. This helicopter seems like that ... x2, or maybe x3!

firedave said...

I wondering if they are doing intro flights on the F-22. The military is hard up for cash and I am sure it would be worth it. Maybe you would have to do it on a MIG or something.