I’ve finally reached the end of the “Helimover Journey” and I think it’s fair to say it’s been a long and winding road. Along the way, I’ve bought two heli-decks, which are still being stored in my hangar pending their sale. I’ve purchased an aircraft mover that I was reliably informed would work with the JetBox, but failed miserably, I’ve also had a quad bike delivered and returned in the same day and contacted a specialist material handling company who brought one of their machines to Barton only to be faced with the problem of how to connect it to the chopper. Read More→
G-GOES in the Lake District
Welcome to winter, the season of goodwill, over eating, Xmas parties, excess alcohol, corny festive records and superb snow-covered mountain flying. After a week or more of gale force winds, rain, hail, fog, low cloud and every other variant of the elements that contribute to IMC flight we were long overdue a glorious crisp, gin clear, winters day. And today was it. It started slightly murky, but the forecast was encouraging and by 10.30 the sun was shining and the clouds were clearing completely, with visibility in excess of 50nm. It was, however, bloody freezing!
I was desperate to get the JetBox in the air, but my good pal Mark had just passed his flight test and was similarly keen to remain airborne despite not being able to actually act as PIC. Mark had been keen to visit the Lake District throughout his training and today’s conditions were better than perfect for a trip north into the Cumbrian countryside. The best option therefore was to roll out his Robinson R44 and take it for a spin. Read More→
As well as flying the Robinson R66 last weekend, I also competed in the HCGB Air Games held at Sywell Aerodrome in Northampton. In the weeks leading up to the event I wasn’t even certain I would be able to compete as the JetBox s stiiiiiiiiiilllllllllllll in maintenance and the forecast completion date was due to be well after the date of the games, but I was contacted by the organisers to see if I would crew/navigate for a first time entrant. A short series of e-mail exchanges partnered me up with Howard Cramer a Robinson R44 pilot with 200 hours. Howard had never competed before and he was concerned that his flying ability might be well below my competitive nature, however I set him straight and assured him that I wasn’t concerned with where we might finish in the rankings, and that I was happy to fly with him. He needn’t have worried as his performance was excellent considering that he had never competed before or even practised. Howard put in a sterling performance and should be very proud of himself. Read More→
Owners and maintainers are definitely on different planets, neither one of which is populated by persons of sound mind. To begin, the owners of these glorious machines, definitely require deep therapy, a long and continuous programme of medical treatment. No other category of individual would (if of sound mind) enter into ownership of a product which is economically un-viable, financially crippling and where you submit your aircraft to a maintenance programme with no idea whatsoever of how much it will cost. At various stages of your ownership lifecycle, you will deliver you machine to a maintenance organisation who will receive it with open arms and wheel your ship into its hangar whilst simultaneously raping and pillaging your children’s, children’s, children’s inheritance. Read More→