A Record of important things…

Training Restart

It’s been about 2 years since my last stint of helicopter training.  When I stopped I had about 10 hours logged, but my schedule at the time only allowed for maybe one lesson a week.  With weather delays and the like, those ten hours took over three months to acquire.  The first half of every lesson was spent relearning the last with the long delays between sessions.

I decided to restart the training, but this time I would take a week off of work and schedule two sessions a day to make as rapid advancement as possible.  I started last Sunday (the 17th), and finished my week today.  I logged about another 11 hours, doubling my total time in the span of a week.  A couple of days were washed out due to New England springtime weather.

To my surprise, the basics came back quickly.  I felt like an idiot during the first pre-flight as I had forgotten where everything is - a bad sign.  But, the muscle memory was still fundamentally intact.   The first 30 seconds were hairy, but I could still almost hover.

By the end of the week, I feel pretty OK about hovering, and there is some level of confidence that if my instructor Corey were to drop dead in the left seat, that I could continue the lesson and return the ship to C&R, insuring that his family got paid for the full lesson, without any bent metal on the ramp.

Autos are still not mastered.  I can do one acceptably, but on the next one lose track of airspeed or RPM, or heading.  It is not reflex yet, but still an intellectual process.  Until the responses and control are semi-automatic, and the big three (RPM, airspeed, and position) are more in hand I would question my ability to complete one without balling up the machine.  I am still having to THINK - RPM low, lower collective, OK, too high-raise it.  Ooops, too much, back down.  My responses are not fluid enough such that if I start chasing one parameter or the other, then we’re in for a roller-coaster ride.

Lee came out to watch one day.  She hid behind the trailer there when I started schwanging the mighty R22 all over the sky.

Still, comparing the start of the week to now is night and day.  Whereas a wind gust during hover at the start would take 20 seconds to restabilize from, now it’s almost immediate.  We’ve started to talk about the big solo.  Maybe another 3 or 4 hours and we’ll be there.  I want to feel much more confident about controlling the parameters in autos before we take that leap.

Here's a short video clip of a Platform Landing.  Crappy Video quality from a distance. Just take it real slow