My 25th Birthday Helicopter Lesson.

Today (26th of September 2004) I took the controls of a Robinson R22 helicopter for a 30 min trial flight from Shoreham Airport (it was my 25 birthday present from my parents.) The weather was not too bad, no wind or rain but there was light cloud cover.

We left the airfield at 11am heading towards Arundel, during this journey I took the controls, I watched the horizon and flew towards Arundel Cathedral trying to keep the helicopter level and heading in a straight line by small movements on the "Cyclic Stick". I was surprised how sensitive this stick was, it really needed a gentle touch! We were flying at 2200 feet at about 75MPH!

<<< Click to see a detailed picture of the indicator panel.

The pilot turned the helicopter around and we headed back to Shoreham airfield to try hovering, this was also very hard to control, constant movement on the cyclic stick were needed to keep the helicopter hovering on the spot, however I corrected the movements of the helicopter too much causing it to rock left and right finally losing control, the pilot then took control and flew out of the hover to regain control from my mess!

The altitude of the helicopter is controlled by the "Collective Lever" down the side of my seat, this was the easiest control to use! (on this lever is also the twist grip throttle control.) During hover the foot pedals are sensitive, adjusting the tilt of the tail rotor blades therefore turning the helicopter left or right.

Although there was a lot to take in, it was very enjoyable and the views were great! The 30 minutes went really quick, at the end of the flight I was presented with a certificate!

I did this trial lesson with Fast Helicopters Ltd I hope to go up again soon! Who knows may be I will take helicopter lessons and become a pilot!

Click to see a bigger picture of my certificate >>>



There is a good article on helicopters on the website and strangely its based on the Robinson R22 Helicopter!
Click the link to see



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