Learn how to fly a helicopter on this trial flight
“Take the handle gently and remember: small delicate movements. Treat her like a fine woman.” This is the advice from your instructor as you level out the helicopter thousands of feet above the ground.
Your instructor will then demonstrate some exhilarating low-level manoeuvres to round off the whole experience.
Your heart is in your throat and the gravity of what are you’re doing sinks in. It feels almost impossible as you shoot through the air, sitting in the small metal cockpit of your helicopter. But this is real, and it’s exactly what you’ll do on a trial introductory flight at V2 helicopters in Archerfield.
If you’re the type of person who wants to experience a rush like no other and truly test yourself, then flying a Robinson R22 Helicopter has to be on your bucket list.
You’ll start by meeting your instructor – someone like Ken Amess, who has had over 35 years experience and is more than happy to take you under his wing. He’ll give you a safety briefing and teach you about the phenomenal dynamics that keep you up in the air. From the history of the propulsion system to engine failure procedures, you’ll get an insightful and important snapshot of the workings of a helicopter.
It’s then straight to it, as you jump in and learn how to get the machine moving. The propellers whir into action and you grip the handle – it’s go time.
Your instructor works an adjacent handle and pedal and you start by mirroring his every move. As the helicopter gains altitude and levels out, you can start taking more control.
That is until a rogue wind hits the copter and sways it slightly, at which point the expert levels you out again. If you can break concentration for a moment, look out and drink in the truly unparalleled birds-eye view of the world below.
Now, if you’re ready, your instructor will demonstrate an engine failure – yes, you read that right. The engine is shut off and you can feel the machine begin to sink to the ground. The aim is to demonstrate that you’re still in control even without the engine, and can safely drop from the sky. This will definitely get your heart-rate up, but it’s a great lesson in how to remain calm under pressure.
At a lower level now, get ready for some more hands-on practice. Take full control and start hovering and moving the aircraft while getting tips and pointers from the pro. It’s all about small smooth adjustments and a high level of concentration, but like anything, practice makes perfect.
Your instructor will then demonstrate some exhilarating low-level manoeuvres to round off the whole experience. One of which is the thrilling agriculture turn. You propel forward and then perform a looping twist mid-air, pointing you towards the ground until you do a full 180.
Touching down after your first helicopter experience, what you’ve just experienced starts to sink in. You’ll be pumped full of enough adrenaline to last the year and will be already planning your next flight.
By Scott Bidmead
V2 Helicopters w: www.v2helicopters.com.au t: (07) 3274 6666 a: Hangar 219, Qantas Avenue, Archerfield, QLD