13 March 2011

Get Outta My Nest!

Yesterday was a Red Letter day for Tim.
You remember Tim... my UPS delivery driver?
I don't remember what gave Tim the first clue that I was a pilot...
Perhaps it was something I had ordered from Sporty's Pilot Shop?
But he asked about my flying and was surprised and pleased to learn I was a helicopter CFI.
Nice guy Tim...
A commercial-instrument rated airplane pilot.
I always looked forward to the brown truck stopping out front for two reasons...
The arrival of a treat, and a chance to visit with Tim.

Soon Tim had the money, time, and inclination to take helicopter instruction, and we flew for the first time in "the real thing"...
(Tim was also an RC helicopter pilot. That gave him an unfair advantage!)
He took to the R22 like a chimp in a banana tree.

He knew he'd likely solo yesterday.
But the forecast yesterday was wonderful, so to Tim I suggested, "Bring your helmet and come by the house". He showed up smiling, bright red helmet in hand. I pushed Pizza Bike and the '85 'Wing out of the garage and started both. I mounted the 'Wing, Tim swung his leg over the Guzzi, and we were off for a short adventure. We rode twenty miles, stopped and got refreshments, then rode a different route home.

Only afterward did I ask the question...
"How much experience do you have on bikes, Tim?"
"Well, I've ridden about 35 miles on my Honda 750, and before that I had ridden about 100 miles on my Honda 175."
I was flabbergasted.
"You mean this is the biggest bike you've ever ridden, and with that little experience?!!"
He grinned.
But he did fine.

And he did just as well on his solo flight too.
The sun was getting low when he first took off without me. We were both comfortable enough with his performance that he continued making circuits until he had 5 takeoffs and landings...
Two each I was able to log as night/solo/PIC for him.

Quite a day for Tim...
And for me.
There still is nothing like teaching someone how to do something that COULD be so dangerous well enough that neither of us was worried about the outcome of the flight.
Later, I eavesdropped as Tim talked with a relative...
"I soloed the helicopter today, and rode a 1000cc Moto Guzzi!"
Truly a Red-Letter Day!


Red Shoes said...

Good people... Good friends... is what Life is all about.

He sounds like QUITE the fellow!!


Old NFO said...

LOL- He gotcha on that one :-) Either that or he's REALLY coordinated (Oh wait, fly helicopter=coordinated)... never mind :-) Glad it worked out well for both of ya!

Timothy said...

Yeah was really a great day! Going solo in a Helicopter ranks at the top of my list of things I have done in my life. And having a instructor like Greybeard has made the experience all the more great. I mean how many people can say they were taught by a Vietnam Gunship Pilot.