Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Helicopter Ride

Going back thirty five years thanks to a memory sparked by Greybeard.

My middle son at age five was fascinated by airplanes and helicopters. One day he was riding with me as we passed by a parking lot where a man was giving rides in a Hughes 300. My son got really excited so we went for a ride (probably 20 minutes). Everything was cool until we lifted off. He took in a deep, gasping breath as the ground fell away but soon settled down and enjoyed the ride.

When I’m in a general aviation airplane, pilot or passenger, my head is on a swivel. Just a habit my first instructor implanted in me. Look left, up and down. Look front up and down. Look at the instruments. Look right, up and down. Repeat. The pilot noticed this and finally leaned over (no intercom) and shouted, “I’ve been doing this for a while and have never had a RPG come my way”.

Having never been in Viet Nam, I have no way of knowing if my behavior was normal over there.

The kid enjoyed the ride and the pilot had customers waiting so I was never able to clear up his misconception.
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