20101023

Deccez- Number 69- Ride in a Helicopter

Why: Besides just to say I've done it also the desire to fly is like none other present in human society. As my dad is in the air force and I have flown a lot flying was no great deal to me (in a plane that is). Somehow a helicopter seemed different, more thrilling. This is what prompted this.

Problems: Finding a helicopter/pilot, cash required to take the flight, motivation.

What Happened:  In early September 2010 my father invited myself and a close friend of mine, Corey, to the RAAF Williamtown air-show. As Corey is interested in becoming a helicopter pilot he did his research on the air-show and much to his delight discovered the show offered helicopter “joy rides”.
Corey had been on a helicopter a few times but for me the opportunity to fly in a helicopter (as well as cross an item off my list) was irresistible.
Now, to two eager teenage guys, “joy ride” roughly translates to “free ride in a helicopter”. Of course, this was not the case.
After waiting in a line that took us a total of two hours to conquer (surprisingly less then it took us to line up to buy ice cream), we signed away our lives if by chance the helicopter (or giant eggbeater as my dad described it). Soon we were paying a ridiculous $55 fee each to take the slightly less then 10 minute ride.


Our helicopter

We then met the two other people who would be riding with us, a man in his early forties and his young son. Coincidently the man actually knew my dad well (it's a small world after all). 
As we approached the giant eggbeater I began to feel slightly nervous as a particularly large gust of wind shook our tiny copter. Corey decided to “assist” with my fears (you see I'm terribly afraid of heights) by informing me that a helicopter pilot he had flown with had once told him;  “helicopters are not like planes, this is because planes are designed to fly whereas we force helicopters to fly. They're just not right.”
I was now feeling a strange mix of fear and adrenaline as we strapped ourselves in and met our pilot, Neville, who was a pilot with over 35 years flying experience.
Adrenaline pumped through my veins as we took off and at first were shaken back and forth by the uncannily strong winds present that day.


Our pilot; Neville

It seemed like it only took a blink of the eye for our flight over the wide expanses of forests and marshes at Williamtown to be over. We landed and just like that our $55 was gone and so was our 7 minutes 24 seconds (yes I timed it) of “joy riding”

What I Learnt: Helicopters are NOT meant to fly; they are forced to. “Joy ride” does NOT mean free ride. Helicopters are expensive; we figured out that if each ride was approx. 7.5 minutes, charged $55 per person and each helicopter holds four people with three helicopters operating the total hourly income would be around $5280. Doesn't everyone wish they could make that in an hour? 


 Myself and Corey in the “giant eggbeater”

Northern Beaches Wedding Photography

Northern Beaches Wedding Photography
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