Flying through

Sunday, 9 September 2012

Glorious September

Bell 407GX taking off
Interesting the way the Bell 407GX takes off left skid low, and inevitably with a slight drift too. Cyclic correction, please.

There sounds to be a lot more things coming out of Bell Helicopters in the next year. If we are lucky the HAI in Las Vegas may hold a new Bell model .... and if it is the rumoured one I think that is very good news.
Keep watching this spot for more helicopter information.

Friday, 7 September 2012

Bell 407GX Test Flight

Bell 407GX
Flew the Bell 407GX for a test flight for Helicopter Life. We flew from the helipad behind Manston where HeliCharter is based. HeliCharter started in 2000, but just recently (it was announced at Farnborough) became the Bell dealer.
The flight was really wonderful. I am used to the Bell 206 but this is like a much more powerful LongRanger, with a really nice digital display and a FADEC. It has four blades and is wonderful to fly. There was such a lot of energy in the engine that we seldom used more than 60 torque.
We did lots of emergencies and there feels to be a good safety margin in everything. Rate of descent in auto is 2500 fpm though, so you want to keep a good interest in what is happening around you!
We also had a wonderful photoshoot over the white cliffs and local area. Huge thanks to Paul the photographer for his excellent work.
For more see the next edition of Helicopter Life.

Bell 206 taking part in the photoshoot

Saturday, 1 September 2012

Visiting the oil rigs from the Shetlands

Sikorsky S92 on the airport at Scatsca
Flew with Bristow Helicopter company out to an oil platform just off the Norwegian coast.
Bristow is based at Scatsca Airport on the mainland of the Shetlands - the mainland, incidentally, is another island, not connected to Scotland.
We are staying on Fetlar, a wonderful island with a population of 70 people. There are four or occasionally six children in the school and one school-teacher.
Bristow uses Sikorsky S92s and has some Eurocopter Pumas. However, it seems they find the S92 more reliable than the EC225, so most pilots prefer the Sikorsky.
On the platform
Other helicopter companies are based here including CHC and Bond Helicopters.