So started with coffee and cereal. Read the paper for a bit and headed to Staverton. We then did a bit of general handling. All was good until I did the auto to a hover, where one attempt I ballsed it up completely, unloaded the disc and sent it into a zero G situation, which meant we were due to fall out of the sky like a brick, thankfully James was on the case, flared like fuck and dumped the collective, I even managed to finish the attempt. The last one was pretty good though. It’s a really difficult procedure, and dear reader, it is something that you would only ever do in an emergency. You would not normally steam into an airfield at 75MPH at 1,600 feet a minute decent rate and then 40ft from hitting the ground flare the fuck out of the aircraft to kill the airspeed and then gently raise the collective to recover to a hover. In an R22, to get it right, you need about 1,000 hours. I have about 60, but still need to put on a bloody good show to the examiner. Also my quick stops were still a bit slow and I tended to veer a bit. So out of about 80 manoeuvres I need to perform on the day, two worry me. To be honest the whole thing scares the absolute shit out of me and I’m terrified about the whole ordeal, I’ve paid over twenty grand for this experience, why did I put myself through it?
After the flight, Ben very kindly took me round to another Helicopter company to do an ‘A’ check on an R22 while James was out with Sid (another early PPL student). Everyone is very friendly in the industry, he just randomly called them up and asked if we could come and do a check on their aircraft. We then went back and Ben gave me a crash course on helicopter aerodynamics. I then did the test and scored 100%. To be honest I already knew about 90% of it, so it was nice just to clear up the last 10%. So that’s nine ground exams, a cross country and a practical telephony test. Oh and that bloody skills test I need to do…..
Oh, and I have my test date.