It’s like flying a bus that someone has strapped a jet engine to

So started this morning early with coffee and cereal. Then headed straight to Staverton. I was flying with Leigh today. I had Steve in the back, he’s a dentist and I think I’m going to end up doing a lot of flying with him in the future. So first time in the R44. It’s very spacious compared to the R22. Adjustable pedals, air conditioning, cup holders…. Startup procedure is slightly different, but had it going and then the pick up into the hover, strong wind today. It kind of handles like a large bus with a rocket attached. It’s sluggish. It has hydraulics. Started into the takeoff roll and lifted, by god does it climb quick. Almost two thousand feet a minute. We did some cloud surfing (basically you enter cloud and then spin it with the rotors and then turn around and see what pretty patters you made). I also did a confined area landing which was pretty much vertical. It used so much power that an R22 would have fallen out of the sky, the R44 didn’t miss a breath. Did a few auto’s, got is it sedate. Zero speed auto, pick a field, fall asleep, go back to sixty knots and then land it. Hover autos are just stupid, so much inertia, kill the throttle, there is a slight yaw to the left, balance with peddle and then slowly apply collective. You do the same in a 22 and you have to stamp on the peddle to stop it turning like a spinning top and yank the collective up so it hits your armpit. We then did an auto into the airfield, so used to doing progressive flares, this was just stupid, I had it pointing nose high for about five seconds. Trying to hover without the hydraulics is an interesting experience though, it’s like trying to learn to hover all over again.

After my flight I then sat in the bak while Steve did his IMC stuff. Leigh demonstrated some very very steep turns. Rollercoasters had nothing on these, we were pulling some serious G’s. Great fun.

Drove home. Let the dogs out and then drove to Bath. Parked up at Royal Victoria Park and had all my Cubones in a couple of hours. Came home and did the accounts. Missing my bath, can’t at the moment due to tattoo, but that is really healing nicely now. A great day. Really enjoyed it.

Yes I know I need to fit my mothers car battery and if the weather was better yesterday then I would have fitted it then. But today was all about me, and I really like ‘me’ days. I need more of them.

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