18 July 2005

New Helicopter Students

One of the wonderful things about helicopters is that almost everyone is fascinated by them.

Land in a helicopter, and you'll draw a crowd!
Heck, I've been around them over 37 years, and I still stand and watch with a smile when one takes to the air!

The folks that call to take lessons are almost always interesting.
Conventional wisdom is that whirlybirds are not safe, so anyone that shows up to learn to fly one is, by definition, someone willing to take a few risks with their life in order to learn something new!
(Motorcycle riders fall into the same category, and I love that crowd too!)

A new student had been referred to me by a mutual friend.
I'll call him "Don".

"Don" showed up for the lesson in a Jaguar Vanden Plas.

Car nut that I am, I took note, but said nothing. The Jag was more expensive than your everyday Chevy/Ford, but on an hour drive on the interstate, you're likely to see one. No big deal.

After I have tortured my new students for about 20 minutes trying to hover the impossible contraption, I love to take them on a "relaxation flight" around the area to include a fly-by of their property.

When we started to orbit Don's house, I noticed, outside his garage:
A mid-60's Mustang,
A late 70's Corvette,
An old Model "B" Ford,
And a couple other un-identifiable vehicles.

"Hey Don, who owns all the cars?"

"I do. I'm a collector."

"Oh? What else do you own?"

"Let's see. A 427 Cobra replica, a Ferrari Testarossa, a Viper, a Rolls Royce Silver Cloud convertible, and about 20 or so others in various states of rehab."


Don had found a "niche" business that was poorly run, bought it cheap, then turned it into a multi-million dollar operation. He was a smart cookie, and loved to use his money to buy toys of all kinds.

At the end of the lesson I challenged him:
"I love cars. Drive something different to each lesson and let me drool over it!"

And he did. Over the next few days he brought........the Rolls, the Ferrari, (Red, of course!), and the Viper.

But then he knocked me out! Through the gate came a new,
bright LEMON YELLOW Lamborghini Countach!

$250,000 on four wheels!

And did I drool?
Rolling exotic artwork......
It was bigger than I imagined from pictures, (although the Ferrari was too).

He opened the engine compartment and I was amazed........the firing order for the 12 cylinder engine was displayed prominently on the intake manifold, and seemed to stretch from Topeka, Kansas, to Cleveland, Ohio!

And the kicker? He tossed me the keys!

"Go see what ya think!"

You bet!
But I wasn't gonna refuse a once-in-a-lifetime chance!

It's a big, incredibly expensive go-kart!
As you would expect......rough riding,
with terrible visibility to the rear and sides.
But that engine!
Six speeds available, and I couldn't get any higher than third gear without breaking every speed limit in the country!

It'd be a great second car!
I recommend you buy one!
(Then call me!)

I'll never forget driving it.

Thanks, Don!

If you're interested in the travails of a new helicopter student,
I recommend:

  • Samitch Rides Again

  • Rubberducky is goin' through a lot of the stuff I have written about,
    and you can follow and comment on his progress. Give him a look!

    1 comment:

    inners0ul said...

    Awww lucky you!

    I'd do anything to ride in that too!