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Last week for the Christmas Holidays Suzie and I went to her sister Linda's in Pt. St. Lucie. On friday Linda's husband Ray invited us down to West Palm airport to check out what he does for a living, which is teaching people how to fly the Sykorsky S76 helicopter. He does it, however, without ever leaving the ground. After taking us all on a spin around New York, the girls had to exit so we could go to full motion sim, and I buckled in to the left seat. The feel is so real you forget you're in a sim in seconds. Flying a chopper is really quite easy, but taking off and landing is another story. I got it into JFK right on the center line, but before I could get her whoad down I took out numerous signs and rolled it on it's side. 3 tries later I had her in the air again and we did night, snow, and other kinds of flying. After a half hour the girls got their try at it. We all had a blast and agreed that it was one of the coolest things we ever did. Here's a pic of the $20 million machine.
79 Barth Classic
Very cool! Those sims are so realistic... (They can make me airsick in no time if they try doing aerobatics!)
Like you said, flying is the easy part. Just like small airplanes it's the landing that gets tricky. Hovering, esp. in any wind is really tough. One pilot said it was like trying to stand on a 3 foot beach ball and stay balanced.
I can't imagine how the rescue guys can hover over a spot AND pick up hundreds of pounds in the basket without changing altitude... nerves of steel.
One of my friends flew helicopters in Nam... he doesn't talk about it much but said when people are shooting at you, you will try things the helicopter was never meant to do... if you're lucky and very skilled you get to fly again... craziness. He was 20 at the time, flew several thousand hours in all, shot down twice but made it back both times. He hasn't flown since he came home...
A helicopter ride up the Hudson and around NYC is on my bucket list. Pre 911 you could get really close, but flight paths are more strict now.
"98" Monarch 37
Spartan MM, 6 spd Allison
Cummins 8.3 300 hp
What a great experience... would love to do something like that in a Sim. ! And... I have great respect for the Vietnam chopper pilots. They were fearless flying us around the boonies... 1/7 Cav, Gary Owen!!
Fred & Cindy Cook
1990 32' Regency, Cummins
1990 32' Regency, Wide Body
Spartan Chassis, 8.3 CTA Cummins
4 Speed Allison Trans
South Central Missouri
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