In a previous life I got interviewed by telephone for a job in Alaska flying Hughes 500D's. Amongst the questions were references to sling loading, longlining, time in the Hughes, bush time and time over water, and mountain time.
Being a veteran Chinook pilot, flown Huey's, Iran, mountains, and the North Sea as well as bush flying in many countries and continents....I was quickly accepted. Last question was time in the Hughes....which I replied 300 hours in the Army on the OH-6A but it was a very long time ago.
Upon arrival at Merrill Field in Anchorage, some very very, very, quick differences training on the "D" model and off we go for the checkride.
We did the hover work, hovering auto's, slopes, pinnacles,confined areas, engine off landings and some sling work.
CP opined the ride was quite satisfactory and asked how I liked the "D" model compared to the OH-6A (...."C" model basically).
I said I quite liked the machine....fast...agile...fun to fly but I did find the controls a bit stiff.
CP smiled and said...."Yes I guess....if you would have removed the frictions you would have found it much more responsive and a lot lighter on the controls."
A slight smile from me....."Frictions?"
Then he asked...."Just how many hours do you have on the Hughes?"
My response....."How long did we fly?"
I spent two very good years flying there in Alaska on the Hughes.
Ah.....the good old days....when Alaska was really fun flying.
I once lifted an R44 up with the cyclic friction still on. Fortunately I was by myself so there was no one else to share the experience which I'd rate as one of the 3 scariest things I've done as a PIC.
My self critique, after I got past the "you bloody idiot" phase, was that I'd finished flying for the day & had been asked to shift the machine 50m just as I was leaving. Regretably I'd removed my 'flying persona' along with the luggage, wife & kids & forgot to put it back on when I climbed in for a task that seemed trivial.
Inexcusable I know but there it is. The grim fact is that nothin' to do with choppers, including wheeling them out of the hangar, is trivial & these days I try to stay permanently 'switched on' when I'm around 'em. The dam things are like junkyard dogs, always waiting for that fleeting moment of inattention on your part to jump up bite you on the bum!
Not a checkride, but a similar story to SASless's.
Quite some years ago, I was a new member of a flying club, at the UK's smallest licensed airfield. One particular pilot had asked me a few times to go flying with him, so one day I did, in a Beagle Husky (a high wing taildragger monoplane, used for banner towing).
He took off and gave me control. The intercom didn't work, so comms weren't easy. Not being at all familiar with that type, I had no idea about speeds etc but we poled around for about twenty minutes, did steep turns etc and a stall then went back to the circuit. He told me to carry on and fly the (crosswind) landing, so I did. On finals he shouted to me that "the heel brakes are a bit tricky and needed a very hard push, so watch out with this crosswind".
The brakes were completely ineffective, so much so that I thought I felt the floor mountings bend. Anyway, we slowed to a (fast) taxying speed within the confines of the airfield, but only just.
I turned off the grass strip and began to taxi in. I commented that the brakes weren't any good at all. He looked at me and suddenly said "Oh $hit! I have control - I've just realised - there are no brake pedals on your side of the cockpit, only heel rests!"
I had been trying to push the heel rests through the floor!
We shut down. As we climbed out he complimented me on the crosswind landing and asked me how many hours total I had on taildraggers. I told him "about twenty five minutes by now, I should think..."
He looked at me.....
His verbal reply was completely unprintable but I got free rides in a Chipmunk and a Steen Skybolt shortly afterwards.
My total brain fart came after a long afternoon Test Flying/Track and Balance of a Long Ranger.After the last flight the Gingerbeer said he would do one last leak check at flight Idle.I'm sitting there for a few minutes then the Hamster Fell of the treadmill....and I think to myself well I'm all done here, do my before take off checks and lift off into the hover......Then I almost have a heart attack when the guy tapes on my window holding on for dear life. So now I make sure all dribbling Ballast is removed before flight.
Interesting thread, as is day in life of- etc – shy’s story reminds me of one similar.
The scene is two company pilots are doing night rating in F/W twin. Nearest civilised airport is quite aways away. Whateryer you doing they say to me why don’tchya come for a run? Orright, I says, thinking these turkeys want me to get night rated too so I can work even longer hours, no way.
Check driver jumps in and away we go. They all take it in turns to have a go, turn the lights on by radio etc riveting stuff.
On the way home check driver is in the proper place and one bright spark says, “Why don’t you have a go, like me, fly home and land there with the flares?”
Bloody bored here so I says, ‘yep.’ Bright spark jumps out of driver’s seat, I jump in - a baron – and away we go.
Something twigged with check driver on descent he says, “You have flown these before eh?”
‘Yep’, I say. Didn’t ask solo did he.
Waffled just a bit on finals, he again says same thing, I says, ‘yep’.
Landed, smoothest one of the night if I do say so, which was surprising as just after touchdown, check man frightens hell out of me and everyone else as all the time I / we’ve been thinking he will take over if I stuff it, when he says, “**** my pedals are folded,” just as he goes to check the brakes.
Of course from the back everyone has been saying yep he’s right, no worries.
Then the penny drops, and check-man asks the right questions, night rated? Nup, baron endorsed? Nup, twin rated? Nup, but I’ll shout the first round if yer like.
A much more frightening scenario was one day when a R22 check pilot turned up with our first R22 and the idea was to check me out in autos. Yep no worries, what’s the drill, it’s bloody hot outside today, bugger all wind.
“Let’s see” says he as he looks at the flight manual, “52 knots all the way down, that’s how to do em.”
I says, ‘are you sure, sounds a bit slow to me?’
Third time down and I’m working overtime and not a happy chappy at all, he’s all talk no do, waving his bloody arms about talking about some bloody moll in kings cross, just then he decides to take over at about thirty feet, totally committed we are and he says, “bloody hell look at this,” at the top of his voice and waves around his collective stick that had just been hanging there, not hooked in properly.
Some time later after he had left I did just a tad more research and went somewhere quieter, cooler and windier by myself to try out some higher airspeeds, bastard.
Went out with the Chief Pilot for a Bambi bucket certification in a new country. We’d sold them the helicopter a couple of years ago…and they needed a driver for 3 months!
As we flashed the second engine up. We got an actual fire to go to…
So away we go…fat, dumb and happy! Grab some water out of a nearby tank, and hit the fire line.
Make the first run in and attack the left flank of the fire…. I’m out to impress, so line up nicely, get on speed/height, and at the right moment. Hit the tit and launch the water at the fire…
Yes, It was a nice run in, and got the timing perfect…Unfortunately when the water hit the fire…
It was still in the bucket!
These guys’s had switched the bucket switch from the collective to the cyclic. And now.Both the bucket switch and the pickle switch were on the same stick. Plus they re-wired the original collective switch as another pickle switch (jettison)
Now I’d flown this exact ship on 2 fire seasons, and old habits die-hard…
I didn’t know what to say to the guy…what can you say? ……Sorry?..
On a similar note to SAS's "young man theme" Was staying in a hotel where a BA crew with a very old and crusty captain were staying. In the bar I got chatting to the girls who introduced me to the captain as a helicopter pilot - He looked me up and down with distain then said...
"young man - the only time when ones wings should go around is when i hang my uniform jacket on a rotating bar stool!" Speechless
While still in the mob, shutting down after initial NVG FHT, I mention to very senior QHI that the goggles were not the best I'd used and the view was quite grainy. After laughing for what seemed like an eternity he told me they would have performed much better if I'd taken the outer lens covers off! I passed the FHT. For those wondering, the lens covers had a tiny hole centre for daytime viewing. Obviously big enough for my (then) young eyes.
Don't feel bad at all about that....was told of a very similar event by one of my young pilots getting ready for Fire season....first practice drop out of the dip and away goes the bucket. The new bucket....not the oldest, most worn, leaky bucket. In time the bucket was recovered from the place it had hid itself in and was almost salvageable.
As he was explaining to me how it all happened....similar thing...different switch set-up to what he was used to....he plainly was wondering what his new boss was going to say.
After he finished....I asked him if he had learned anything from the occurrence. He listed several good learning points and smiled at him and said I was glad. He smiled a bit when I said by him learning something then all that company money he had spent had not been a pure waste. Since I was yet to get my practice in I felt it was the right thing to do in dealing with it as I did. I could just have easily done the same thing.
I did solicit a blood oath from him promising death and/or dismemberment if he ever used a new bucket to practice with.