Helicopter Appreciation Thread
pace the recent accident in the Grand Canyon, I have been thinking about the wonder of helicopters and the need for a thread about them.
So show us some nice helicopter pics (bonus points if they’re of the SAR variety!), and/or tell us some good helicopter stories.
Posted 5 months agotheotherjonvSubscriber
^ likewise at work in Farnham, although you hear them before you see them.
My helicopter story is a slightly sad one in light of…….
We went to LV on honeymoon and a helicopter ride to the Grand Canyon was on the itinerary. We booked through the hotel concierge, and he asked us when we wanted to go – we said early so we had the rest of the day, but he convinced us to go mid afternoon based on seeing a sunset and the real colours of the canyon and desert, and he wasn’t wrong.
The helicopter pilot was amazing, flew us over the Hoover Dam down to a landing spot in an Indian Reservation ‘on the banks’ of the Colorado river (yeah right – I had a good arm then and lobbing pebbles at it, I was still about 200 yards short…… stuff is BIGLY BIG in America) – where we had champagne and a picnic. I still remember flying low over the desert (I don’t know what low really is, it just felt it) towards the rim and then suddenly it felt like the earth had just disappeared, we were so high up as the canyon appeared below us.
Then a flight back as the sun was setting, exactly as predicted by the concierge, and then knowing we were honeymooning the pilot went ‘off route’ and flew back into Vegas from the other end so he could fly us right down the strip, in the dark (and he got a decent tip in return). And to cap it all, we were both in earphones so he could talk to us over the noise of the fan, and as we got onto the strip he had basically an old car stereo plumbed into the headphone system, so we got the full Viva Las Vegas soundtrack as we skimmed the tops of the casinos.
Simply amazing, and I’d recommend Papillon helicopters to anyone 🙁Posted 5 months agohammyukMember
Does being in the door of a Whacker when it spat the rear g’box over No Mans land count?
No visual for the pilot, 30+ guys in the water and he kept it in the air long enough to slam the arse into the mud rather than the wet stuff.
Copilot blew the tether as I couldn’t reach it being face down and then picked me up under his arm and ran. (Bugger was a huuuuge bloke)
Neither of them paid for drinks in the mess for a VERY long time!Posted 5 months agokristoffMember
I’m fortunate enough to work on these crazy things at Leonardo in yeovil (what was Westlands helicopters) so very familiar with sea king, merlin/eh101/cormorant, and also recently the aw189 which are now being used for U.K. coastguard duties 😊
i do like a good heli story!Posted 5 months agobinnersSubscriber
When I was in the ATC as a kid one of the best weeks we had was at RAF Odiham, spending the week dossing about in helicopters. The highlight was taking off at 1 in the morning and buzzing across Salisbury Plain at ridiculously low-level with the side doors open in these 😀
Also playing footy in the back of Chinooks. Happy daysPosted 5 months agopostierichMember
Emergency landing in a chinook whilst a lanny and trailer were winched underneath certainly shakes you up especially when you are hovering for ages in pitch black.
Airmobile for 4 yrs whilst in Germany loved it but not in bad weather as it made for long days in the back of a 4 tonner.
Yanks are mental btw did not trust them one bit
[url=https://flic.kr/p/EErB5p]13775537_10154399456931474_4536596026296379797_n[/url] by Richard Munro, on FlickrPosted 5 months agoTheDTsMember
Posted 5 months ago
(Not my vid)
A couple of great days skiing in the Kootenays, some drops we had to land on one skid, hop out, chopper transferred to other skid so the guide could get the skis out. We also had a chainsaw with us so that we could clear the landing pad for the next drop.CountZeroMember
I love the Hind Mil Mi 24. Scariest helicopter ever! Unless you’re the Mujaheddin. In which case you just blow it out of the sky with your american bazooka.
Wouldn’t even take that, a sniper could put a couple of rounds through the screen because it didn’t have armoured glass for the crew.Posted 5 months ago
Back in the early 70’s I was on holiday on a caravan park in Beesands, a little village in Start Bay, and one cloudy night there was a lot of noise and a bright light shining down into the village.
Everyone came out of the nearby houses and caravans, wondering what the hell was going on, with a helicopter flying backwards and forwards with a light on.
Eventually it hovered over the village green and came in to land.
The crew got out, and a little while after a Navy Landrover turned up, picked them up, and they drove off.
Next morning, the crew, a little the worse for wear, drove back into the village and got ready to take off.
Had a chat with one of them, and it turned out they were on their way back to Dartmouth, and found the cloud base was too low to allow them to fly over the hills surrounding their base, so they were forced to put down on the nearest flat piece of ground along the coast.
First time I’d been really close to any sort of helicopter other than in a museum, so it left a big impression.
It was only a Westland Scout, but impressive to see land and take off from only a few feet away, much more common nowadays what with police and ambulance choppers in regular use, and thanks to the Wiltshire Air Ambulance my brother got to Frenchay A&E fast enough to survive a motorbike accident the other side of Devizes.
Wonderful machines, don’t know how we’d manage without them.stu170Subscriber
I used to work RAF Merlins and did a couple of trips to Bastion with them, always amazed me when they came back and the crewman would say “think we took some hits” quick look round to find the holes, open the panels up to find the destruction inside.
Lot of respects for the crews flying round into hot areas, knowing there was a huge chance they would be hit day after day.
Never easy to fix em either.Posted 5 months agoMing the MercilessSubscriber
My old boss used to work on radio, radar, jammers and the like on a variety of kit, Vulcans, Harriers, Lightning’s, Lynx’s and Chinooks. He was on exercise one day over Germany in the back of Chinook flying “nape of the Earth” when, his words “the bad gearbox light” came on and they ARRIVED in the nearest field. Most people needed new filllings it was that definite a landing.
They also nearly lost a Chinook over Germany when a German eagle took offence to it being in its airspace and rammed the cockpit taking out most of the pilots controls and windscreen.
Incidentally the best helicopter display I saw was at Helitech 88 or 89 at Redhill. The Russians came to visit with a Hind, Havoc (I think) and their huge 7 bladed thing. The Hind had apparently been stripped out and the pilots had a very er cavalier regard for crowd proximity and altitude limits. This thing tore a hole in the sky. Very impressive. Incidentally the Mujahadeen only got to grips with them after getting US MANPADS.
All helicopters are vulnerable to small arms, for want of being politically correct the fuzzy wuzzies in Afghanistan took out an entire 30 ship Air Cavalry Apache unit with nothing but mobile phones, Ak’s and RPG’s. They suckered them in with high volumes of cell traffic and went dead as they rolled in over the town. They pointed they’re weapons up and let rip as the Apaches were overhead. 2 Apaches crashed leaving and the other 28 were so badly damaged as too remove the unit from combat status completely. Most of them badly damaged.Posted 5 months agostevemuzzyMember
They held armed forces day in stirling a.couple.of years back which included an amazing demonstration by an apache and a puma. Got some on film somewhere truly amazing stuff.
That apache was fast, loud and butt ugly!
Edit-not my footage but shows what it was like ok.Posted 5 months agobeejSubscriber
I was on the airfield at RAF Odiham as the very first RAF Chinook landed, having come in from Southampton docks (where it had been unloaded and assembled). My Dad was on 240 OCU so he’d been doing some of the checks at the docks, then he took me onto the base when he went to see it come in.
I was… about 10? 11?
He then moved to 18 Sqn in time for the Falklands but managed to avoid being sent down there.Posted 5 months agosweaman2Subscriber
Spent a day Heli-skiing on honeymoon. The pilot heard it was our honeymoon so on the flight back to base invited Sweamrs up to the front to get the full view… but she’s afraid of heights and gets motion sickness… So whilst the pilot thought he was giving her a once in a lifetime ride and close up views of cliffs etc all she really wanted him to do was fly straight and level back to the base…..
Posted 5 months agotinybitsMember
I nearly got run into by a chinook – that wasn’t fun! I was flying a glider pre-start at the Bicester gliding regional competition and a chnook came through the start line (roughly 50 gliders in about 1 mile of airspace getting ready to race). I had to dive out of the way and could very clearly hear the noise of it – I’ve never heard another aircraft in the air before, it was bloody close. Pilot gave no sign of seeing me at all although it’s kind of understandable – my glider only had 26meter wings! (this one –<span style=”font-size: 12.8px;”>https://abpic.co.uk/pictures/model/Schleicher%20ASH-25)</span>
On the positive side, my best man re trained as a helicopter pilot and now instructor (flies out of Leicester). WHile he was getting his hours up he used to fly down to my house, drop into the garden (I have a small paddock that came with the house) and take myself, Mrsbits and micro bits for fly to the cheddar gorge and back. Bloody good fun.Posted 5 months ago
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