For my birthday last year I got a helicopter trial flying lesson from my girlfriend, now fiance, (best birthday present ever!!), and yesterday was the day when I finally took it.
The lesson was provided by HJS Helicopters, you can find them here:
The format was pretty simple, watch a 15 minute presentation, jump in a two man helicopter, Robinson R22, fly up to 1200 feet, take control...
Wait, take control!! What!!
It wasn’t quite as terrifying as it sounds. The instructor was full control, and would correct anything that was required, but in general, you were controlling the helicopter, and the main aim of the trial lesson was to get a feel for keeping the helicopter level, and pointing in the right direction.
When we came back to the landing zone, the instructor said that he was going to demonstrate hovering, which he did with ease, and then he asked if I wanted to give it a try. Of course, I said yes, but my attempt was laughable. Within about 2 seconds he had to take control and correct it, but it was still really good fun, and just shows the skill of the helicopter pilots you see on tv rescuing people from rivers, and the like.
The whole experience was amazing though, and I would recommend it to anyone. Now the main question is, do I have enough money to take this up as a hobby!!
Here is a photo of the helicopter that I flew in:
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