The WX was beautiful that day as it has been for the past 2 weekends, so during our visit that day I had day dreamed with Ray about landing in this nice little valley in our respective helicopters However, as I said, mine was in and apart for PM (preventative maintenance) and Ray's is still a virgin (hasn't flown yet). Later that week, I realized, not to worry about missing this years' flight, I could whirl my way out the following weekend if the WX was OK.....
But we already got out tree, why would I go? Than it his me, two years ago I had asked my wife to make me a Santa Suit. She is a great seamstress, so me being the Kid I am n always will be, it would be fun to have a red n white furry suit to enjoy OTHERs children. Any way, I made sure I finished up on Nina's PM (I do not enjoy wrenching n often get frustrated when I do, so I need plan a few days to spread out my wrenching in order to keep my cool during the project) last week n had her already to go just in case the WX would be good.
Well, the WX was about 80% today, so I dug out my red suit, wound up Nina n whirled my way westward. Below is a few fotos of my day with Santa n my faithful Helicopter Miss Nina.
Here I am on the left just before wind up. It was a little breezy, about 42 degrees f/5 degrees C. and as my wife took this foto, she did not want me to go. I tried to explain how a little wind is a friend of almost 1oo% of all aviators. I also tried to use an aircraft carrier an an example explaining how they steamed full speed into the wind for both landing n take off operations. Well, aside from us not sharing the same native tong, she actually thinks I am quite stupid and possibly could not figure my way out of a wet paper bag...... So, naturally she didn't believe me and still did not want me to go. If she only knew that in any helicopter there are so many more things to worry about i.e. many spinning parts that a little breeze was the last thing to be concerned with. Any way, don't I look stupid?? I felt stupid let me assure you.
As you C, I got her up. I always split the needles after doing the mag check but perhaps for the last year or so, I have gotten in the habit of doing a hover auto just before departure to give the sprag clutch a real life check..... And, I must ambit, I liked to do it n it keeps me a tad bit sharper on my piloting skills. So, here I am steadying her up just prior to rolling off the throttle. The Angel does a nice hover auto. I have done one from 5 or so feet w/no problem. I am self insured, so 5 feet is financially high enough. I had my initial hover auto training in Concord California by a cutie named Deborah S. I hated hover autos, so much so, once I bent the component of the frame that has the step designed into it on the left side of the R22 I was training in......... I had such a difficult time keeping her in the same spot much less than, roll off, left cyclic, right peddle and than add collective slowly as you hold your heading. But, I have always said, the most delightful challenge I have ever had was learning to tame the whirling wing.
There was quite the head wind, so it took 15 to 25 min to arrive at my tree farm. Also, IFOF, that is, I Fly Over Fields or with in gliding distanced of one...... My 582 has never skipped a beat and except for needing to replace the rotary valve seal, never had a lick of reason to not trust my 2 cycle power plant. Nonetheless, I want a clear LZ under my skids or in front of them when I whirl. This being the case, I never fly as the crow, but, I fly for fun, so I don't care. Also the extra time in the air wiggling around the large patches of woods is no big deal.
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