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HeliOps 2019 Calendar Giveaway

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HeliOps 2019 Calendar Giveaway

Old 31st Oct 2018, 08:28
  #1 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Auckland, New Zealand
Posts: 689
Devil HeliOps 2019 Calendar Giveaway

Okay trying this again with a different question and a couple of rules around it

I have put aside 250 of our 2019 HeliOps calendars to give away for Xmas presents this year. I have been part of this industry since I was a kid and I still have the passion for it even though recently I lost two more very good friends in the crash of an MD500 here in NZ last week. Doing what I do enables me to capture some amazing images of the things that most of you do - and every year I try and collect about 30 of the best images and compile them into this annual calendar we do. Its a privilege and a pleasure to be involved in this industry, capturing moments that will last a lifetime. So thats why each year I give away some of these calendars to members here and hope you reflect on this amazing industry each time you turn over a new month or go to scribble something on your calendar. As you add your post to this thread please take a moment to remember my friends killed here in NZ (Nick Wallis, Paul Hondelink and Scott Theobald), as well as Eric Swaffer the pilot killed in the AW169 crash. We are involved with an unforgiving industry - so please be safe out there and wherever you are raise a glass to absent friends.

The task for this years post is very simple - make a post outlining your most memorable moment involving a helicopter either as a pilot, crewman, owner, operator, or in whatever role you are involved in this industry with. Dont just post a three or four word post or these will just get deleted. Have a think about what you write as inspiration to others, or for others to chuckle at. With all the recent tragedy out there its nice for people to get some enjoyment from ones post or a chuckle.

Once you have made your post please send me a PM with name or username and postal address and I will send you off the 2019 edition of the HeliOps calendar. Those who responded from the other thread dont need to resend me your address.

So thanks everyone, fly safe out there and be that extra little bit careful.

Below are some of the images on this years edition of the calendar.

KiwiNedNZ is online now  
Old 31st Oct 2018, 22:32
  #2 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: AGL in Brazil
Age: 44
Posts: 45
First of all, thank you Ned for this opportunity and the chance to have access to your calendar! I love them and my kids love to see your photos!

My most memorable situation in a helicopter is, without a doubt, my first solo flight. Everyone, especially at the beginning come accross that moment where we put in doubt our ability to become a pilot. We think this is for super humans until we start our journey and then, one day, you find yourself alone in a helicopter. What a feeling! From having no idea to be able to fly alone. What an accomplishment and this moment I will carry with me for a long time!!
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Old 31st Oct 2018, 22:46
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Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Bristol/Bath
Age: 59
Posts: 83
I think we are in an industry where we never stop learning. I remember when I was a newly qualified PPL(H) and took a friend out for a trip from Bristol to Old Sarum for some breakfast.

I struggled all the way with the flight, and couldn't understand why I was not smooth with my inputs. The flight didn't feel "comfortable" for me and I just put it down to nerves on my part as I'd only recently qualified. I made my calls into Old Sarum and made an approach to one side of the active runway for a nice approach. As we neared the ground, I was really struggling to control the aircraft in the hover, it was like I'd never flown a helicopter before. The beads of sweat were appearing on my brow, and my passenger looked a little nervous. I assured him I'd have it sorted shortly, and not to worry.

I finally managed to get control of the beast and made a reasonable crossing of the active runway, to the parking area. As I settled on the grass, my tension lifted a little and I began to calm down. I grabbed the shutdown checklist and read "frictions on" - as I read that and went to apply them, I realised I'd flown the whole flight with both frictions on!

My learning is the last point on the departure checklist is pretty much "frictions off"!!

Never done it since then!
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Old 1st Nov 2018, 00:37
  #4 (permalink)  
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Southland, NZ
Posts: 14
First job as a CPL-H flying passengers around the Okavango Delta in Botswana looking for the usual suspects, Elephants, Hippos, Giraffes etc when I came across something I'd never seen before and realised it was a Whitr Rhino! Considering how endangered they are it was pretty special and the excitement from my guests both in the air and back on the ground was pretty cool. Times like this you remember your getting paid to do things that most people pay to do!
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Old 1st Nov 2018, 14:27
  #5 (permalink)  
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Jakarta, Indonesia
Posts: 63
I guess my most memorable experience would have to be graduating from US Army Flight School. It was my high school dream to be an Army Aviator and the course was anything but easy. The feeling of accomplishment cannot be compared to anything else in my life and the shiny wings on my uniform were priceless.
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Old 1st Nov 2018, 15:38
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Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: uk
Posts: 1
Great calendar, as usual Ned

From my first helicopter solo at 16 (before I was allowed to drive a vehicle), to taking my first passenger flying (my father), to teaching people to fly, to flying various members of royal familes, and heads of state, to (of course) flying a 189 with Ned in a 139 trying to get that ‘perfect’ sunset shot in a sandier part of the world....I feel very lucky and privileged to have the office views that I do. Although a fixed wing career is very tempting right now, I doubt that it will ever put a smile on my face like a helicopter does...
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Old 2nd Nov 2018, 08:30
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Join Date: Dec 2015
Location: Denmark
Posts: 9
My most memorable experience was during my time as a CFI flying out of Elmonte Airport in CA.

I had otherwise good student that got too confident over time.

I got too relaxed over time… a bad combo..

One sunny morning we were flying the normal landing pattern in a R22..

We had done several nice rounds the same morning.

The student was a little high on Base and wanted to descend faster.

So he.. ROLLED OF Throttle… horn went on.. and I went active.. also verbally…,

He got scared and locked totally up on the controls..

- dumping the collective and flaring was hard and too slow..

RPM dropped like a hammer and stayed extremely low.. - would NOT come up for a LOONG time..

We were on base the ground came very close very fast..

Needless to say I managed to gain RPM to survive... But I did have nightmares weeks after..

-will never forget this flight..

I guess I had a little luck left in my bucket..

Stay safe out there!!
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Old 2nd Nov 2018, 10:09
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Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: England
Posts: 59
My most memorable moment was my first solo flight. Like everybody on this forum this was and achievement coming from a childhood objective.

I remember flying out with my instructor to area Delta (Titusville) on a very beautiful morning sunny day, then we landed in the middle of the field. My instructor, who sadly passed away in a helicopter crash a few month later in a training flight took his video camera and wished me good luck. Suddenly I looked to my left and there was no one next to me. I was here on my own, engine running, T&P’s in the green and ready to go.

If I would be totally honest I was really scared, I run the checks twice and then decided to go for it. Self-reassurance came from the fact that my instructor wouldn’t have signed me off if he had felt that I couldn’t do it, also I have done it many time before without input from him so why not doing it the same way this time? I left off in the hover and looked for him outside in the field and started when I have seen the thumb up from him. I did the usual 360 degree turn and then transitioned to a quick circuit at 500’ followed by a very smooth landing on the grass at the same exact spot where I came from. I was so proud of that landing!

My instructor came to me from the right with a big smile on his face that I will never forget, we shake hands thoroughly he jumped in and we returned back to Space Coast, I will never forget this day.

Ten years down the line with a still valid CPL(H)/IR I sadly never managed to make it a professional career, I still think of my instructor and buddy Colm from time to time, not a good a finish for me but I don’t regret any of it.
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Old 3rd Nov 2018, 03:40
  #9 (permalink)  
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Bangkok
Posts: 120
Back in 1975 I was fleet engineer for an offshore supply boat company. The job involved being sent around SE Asia to various areas where we had rig supply boats operating to sort out problems.

We had one ship based in Brunei working for BSP. Shell had staff based in what was then called Saigon. (Ho Chi Minh) With the imminent fall of the city they were desperate to extract their staff, and in the general confusion could not guarantee available commercial flights. So a big floating barge was organised and the supply boat put on standby to tow it to Vietnam. Thinking that I had enough time to complete whatever it was I was there for I went to sleep on board. Woke up the following morning to find the tug underway and out at sea towing the barge!

The operation was designed to provide an offshore landing pad and refuelling point for one of the S61 helicopters from Brunei to be used as a shuttle to extract remaining staff from Saigon. For the life of me I cannot recall if the S61 was carried on the deck of the barge or not, but I think it may have been flown over. We defiantly had many drums of fuel on board the barge.

We stood off Saigon for several days if I recall correctly, much to the chagrin of the brass nearby in the US 7th fleet, that kept up endless harassment on the radio!
Shell manage to extract all of their staff via commercial flights, so the S61 was ordered to return to Brunei. I managed to convince the Captain that I needed to return to Brunei also, so he agreed to take me with them. For sure all of those pilots are long gone from BSP, so what happened next should not incriminate anybody.

It is around 750 nautical miles from where we were back to Brunei, with nothing of any use in between. So they loaded a couple of drums of fuel on board, removed the belly fuel tank covers from inside the cabin, and away we went! It is amazing the small things that stick in peoples minds, and apart from still having a vivid picture in my mind of the engineer decanting the fuel into the tanks, the other thing is one of the pilots yelling out to the other one; "you had better pull up a bit or you might hit the periscope of some submarine"! We arrived back in Brunei without incident, and I also recall the Captain saying; "we have one of the Australians with us". Do not recall that being any problem, but I doubt that it would happen today.

So Ned, that is my most memorable experience. I will just add that I went on to both own and commercially fly helicopters a few years later. Cheers
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Old 3rd Nov 2018, 04:36
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Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Inverness-shire, Ross-shire
Posts: 1,388
After the Leicester crash, and then yesterday's ismr press release about SAR helicopter support, I need cheering up. A HeliOps calendar would do the job nicely!

One dark cloudy November night a few years ago, an MRT exercise with a RAF helicopter was curtailed because it was too dark in the corries even for goggles. I was getting a lift back with the helicopter and the light conditions meant we couldn't get back across the hills the way we had come. So we set off down the coast to probably go all the way round.

So we're 1500' above the sea and I am at a bubble window with one tube of a pair of goggles barely able to make out the mountains several miles off on the port side. Smell of burning. Ach, it's an old aircraft: they smell. Lights come on. Yes, the cabin really is full of smoke. Everyone looking for the source. Lifejacket? Oh yes, eff'in lifejacket!! Panic over: radio power supply had committed suicide. Power off, fire out, door open. Breathe! Captain on intercom, "Are you all right back there Jim?" "Per Ardua." says I.

Back home for tea and medals. :-)
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Old 3rd Nov 2018, 09:50
  #11 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jun 1999
Location: Worldwide
Age: 71
Posts: 114
Returning from an oil rig MedEvac off Vung Tau Vietnam in the mid 90s. Starlit sky and dozens of fishing boats fishing with lamps some 20 miles offshore with oil rig flares in the distance. Are we upside down or what? Fascinating!
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Old 3rd Nov 2018, 11:17
  #12 (permalink)  
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: SE England
Posts: 111

Quite a few years ago, as a wet behind the ears baby North Sea pilot, I ended up on shift on a Tuesday morning going to one of the rigs in the Piper Field.

The outbound flight was uneventful, I took a quiet moment in the radio chatter and paperwork to admire the sun coming up and soak in my self-satisfaction at managing to wangle my way into the LHS of an S-92.

After we landed on and offloaded, out came the HLO with the usual tattered blue bag full of hot lard - does life get any sweeter? Anyway, instead of the usual tap on the shoulder and thumbs up gesture as he left the bag of vegan-friendly health food for consumption on the homebound leg, our man gestures to us indicating he wanted a word -

"One of your passengers today is the OIM - he's leaving us for the last time after 18 years! Is there any chance you could do a flyby for him?"

"Of course, no problem." says the Captain.

Five minutes later and the pax are their bags are on, the aircraft is secure and the checks are done - 'Piper Traffic, time 51, XXXX lifting for Aberdeen'

We're airborne, and lazily looping round the back of the rig, positioning for a slow flyby not far above deck level - as we get closer we see about 20-30 of the rig crew have come to pay their respects to their offgoing boss.. they're all huddled together on the helideck waving merrily! Aww, isn't that nice

As we get closer though, there's a shuffle of activity from the assembled oilies...

Jackets and overalls are flying in every direction as the group make the switch from waving to baring their hairy white arses Braveheart style at their erstwhile leader!

I could barely fly with the tears in my eyes and the uproarious laughter from the back was audible over the whine of the aircraft.

Genuinely one of the funniest moments I can recall in all my years of flying - I've had more spectacular flights, more fraught flights, more taxing flights and more worthwhile flights but as far as sheer entertainment that's one of my favourites.

The OIM came up to the front of the aircraft as he diesmbarked, shook us both by the hand and thanked us heartily - it was nice to be able to have made his last flight a memorable one.

RIP to those who have lost their lives in this industry over the years.

Last edited by FC80; 3rd Nov 2018 at 11:54.
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Old 6th Nov 2018, 02:52
  #13 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Auckland, New Zealand
Posts: 689
Anyone else interested for these or are we done with them. Cheers. Ned
KiwiNedNZ is online now  
Old 6th Nov 2018, 04:43
  #14 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Dagobah
Posts: 5
Back in the eighties (yes I am that old) I was in the back seat of a BO105D. The drivers up front were doing a line check and I was along for the ride to observe a Decca Navigator snag (yes, really, I am that old). We were flying to an exploration rig which had opened the deck especially for us (this was a Sunday). As I thank you, we were carry the Sunday papers out to them.
When we landed on, the pilot asked me to supervise the unloading and to grab the nav bag out of the back, which I duly did.
Once strapped in again, he asked me to find the Aberdeen area chart. Head down in the back, we lifted off the deck and as we started to move forward, I heard an engine wind down. I looked up to be faced with the surface of the sea where therer should have been horizon. After the first shot of adrenaline, I noticed a hand on one of the throttles. The bastards had briefed while I was outside and didn't deem it necessary to mention the fact to the engineer once he returned. I am sure the CVR had a few choice words on it that day.
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Old 6th Nov 2018, 16:57
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Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: open air
Age: 64
Posts: 49
I can recall many happy experiences in my heli-life but I guess that one of my best feelings was when I graduated at Fort Eustis with my AMOC and test pilot course on CH 47 Chinook...
As an NCO in the Spanish Army I was lucky enough to be selected to be an Army Pilot but after a few years, there were no officers available with the required english proficiency level to take that course (AMOC/Test pilot) in the US Army so Battallion Commander had to relay on me and away I went. After the course, I happened to be, and still I might be, the only NCO that has ever taken that AMOC/Test pilot course on CH47 in the US Transportation School around the world. That made me really happy !!!
More that 40 years flying helos and stilllearning .... fly safe.
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Old 6th Nov 2018, 22:37
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Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: UK
Posts: 454
Great pics!

My most memorable rotary moment was one to counter the general feeling that weddings and helicopters don't mix, on another thread regarding the recent US wedding day tragedy.

For my wedding day, I arranged to fly my best man in to my wedding venue, a country home, with prior permission to land on the front lawn, just in front of the room for the ceremony. After the wedding ceremony, I had the pleasure of flying my new bride out to our honeymoon hotel. Thankfully the mission was a complete success!

Knowing I would have to do a towering T/O from the lawn to clear trees etc for the return trip, I'd discussed and agreed in advance the very specific instructions only to fill 1/2 to 2/3rd tanks. How very annoying arriving to pick up the helicopter to make the trip to the venue to find it filled to the brim. And then they told me they'd somehow mislaid the key. Not good to hear when 60 miles / 90 minutes drive away from my wedding, with just 60 minutes before the booked wedding time, to pre-flight, and to fly there. Luckily I spotted the missing keys hanging out of the door lock as I was pre-flighting... only the return trip towering T/O with full tanks to worry about now.

Thankfully my bride to be was very slim, but I still felt obliged to warn her to ease off the wedding breakfast to guarantee maximum performance later on!

I'll avoid the obvious gag about the performance of the chopper on the day, and I'm delighted to report I'm still happily married, and will always look back on that day as very special day - flying. And the wedding was quite good too.
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Old 7th Nov 2018, 03:20
  #17 (permalink)  
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: SE Asia
Posts: 58
Thanks for the cool offer Ned, much appreciated.
I used to work on cruise ships in the Alaskan waters for a number of years. During the time I spent there, I used to love the port of Skagway the best as the helicopters departed very close to the cruise ships. Many, many years later and off ships, looking for a career change, I decided to learn to fly. 7 years after earning my licenses and certificates, I landed a job for that exact same company in Skagway, flying excited tourists off the ships and up onto the ice-field. I worked there 2 years, and although losing a very good friend in my second season, that job and fulfilling a dream is my most memorable of all my flying memories.
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Old 7th Nov 2018, 12:10
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Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Bristol/Bath
Age: 59
Posts: 83
Calendar arrived this morning, absolutely brilliant, brightened up my morning on a dull rainy day! Many thanks Ned

Last edited by JBL99; 7th Nov 2018 at 12:11. Reason: spelling!
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Old 7th Nov 2018, 17:36
  #19 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Germany
Posts: 99
Ned, thanks for giving us the chance for getting hold onto those beautiful calendar every year.
And RIP for all your lost friends in the recent accidents.

My most memorable moment was the aftermath of a simple and small tour i took in a H300 with a friend. On departure, we were allowed to shortcut the taxi directly from the apron over the free meadow area to mid-runway and turn directly from the hover taxi to takeoff run.
As weather was fine and traffic was none, I took this opportunity and my friend was shooting a small movie of this departure with his digicam.
A few days later, he made that video available to me. It was just a common takeoff, nothing special, but with the sound of the old and famous "Magnum" series, it made a lot more impression.
For me, it was a great pleasure to see how enthusiastic other people can get, if a heli pilot just does his job.
My learning from that event: Just stay to the usual and common stuff, because for others, it might be thrilling enough. There's absolutely no need to make an extra big hype of our work/hobby.

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Old 7th Nov 2018, 21:13
  #20 (permalink)  
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: USA
Posts: 847
Calendar arrived! Thank you again!
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