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"I want to fly a helicopter, not look at a bunch of crazy dials"

Discussion in 'Channel Zero' started by seeking, Feb 11, 2004.

  1. seeking

    seeking Dirty Dozen Crew

    Joined: May 25, 2000 Messages: 32,278 Likes Received: 240
    Okay, so since time began, man has dreamed of flight, right? I know I have. I've always wanted to swoop between the mountains and hang suspended high above the earth and all that jazz. So naturally, I decided to try my hand at flying a helicopter. But here's the problem: Everyone makes such a damn big deal out of operating one. I want to fly a helicopter, not look at a bunch of crazy dials.

    You know what man has not dreamed of since time immemorial? Keeping an eye on his H-over-G indicator. Cavemen did not look to the hawks in the heavens and wonder about their approximate yaw angle, whatever the hell that is. Old Orville and Wilbur sure as hell didn't dream about zeroing the VOR needle for bearing correction—I'll tell you that for free. So why in hell is some instructor screaming at the top of his lungs for me to look down at the console when I'm in the middle of trying to avoid crashing into a barn?! Something tells me there's no barn-missing meter down there!

    A helicopter has about 40 different instruments. I suppose there's a chance that I'll be curious about a couple of them someday, but for now, they're just getting in the way of the view. In fact, all that blinky-blinky nonsense seems downright dangerous.

    In the Bell Jet Ranger, I had to sit on a couple of extra cushions, because otherwise, the airspeed indicator and the artificial horizon were right in front of my face! Isn't it more important for me to see the real horizon? For one thing, it'd help me figure out the damn helicopter speed—one thing they don't have a dial for!

    Half of these dials don't even mean anything. What's "ROTOR ANGLE/ATTACK" supposed to stand for? Am I really expected to know what the "COLLECTIVE DEG INCL" is at all times? You can tell me all the scary stories you want, but I doubt old Icarus fell to his death by ignoring his "MANIFOLD PRESS/TEMP IN/HG." All those dials just jump around like crazy, with no rhyme or reason.

    And if "LBS FUEL PAYLOAD L/R" is supposed to be some sort of gas gauge, it should read "E" to "F" instead of displaying a bunch of arbitrary numbers that go all jangle-dangle when I'm having fun with the stick. And when's the last time anyone ran out of gas, anyway? Everyone knows that there's always a few gallons left, even when the needle's pegged.

    Hey, if it would make everyone feel better, I guess I could choose one meter and look at it whenever there's nothing to do. We'll compromise: I choose a go-to meter; you bite your tongue. Having a hot-read meter wouldn't be so bad, anyway, so long as it didn't interfere with the serious business of flying around and swooping.

    But I wouldn't want to let it get in the way of just plain hovering. Because I don't want to be futzing with some meter when I'm trying to do the hovering-around-in-the-air thing I love.

    Come on, there's a lot to look at when you're flying. Things are spinning around and coming right at you, and the helicopter seems to have a mind of its own. And then there's the crazy-ass instructor, hollering and grabbing at things and telling you everything except how to deal with the telephone poles that keep popping up right in front of you. I can't wait to go solo. It's hard to soar with the eagles when you're scratching with the chickens!

    Seriously, how important could all those dials be? It seems like any problem would come with a lot of smoke, which I'd smell, or a loud explosion or shrieking metal sound, which I'd hear. Or by a bunch of landscape right in front of my field of vision. If any of that happened, it'd be too late anyway.

    Flying a copter isn't for the faint of heart. Those loud warning buzzers that start up 30 seconds into your flight will drive you crazy. Sometimes, you get so turned around, you can barely say which way's up.

    Given how hard it all is to start with, I really don't see why they have to go and complicate things more with a bunch of dials, buttons, lights, and levers. The next guy can futz with those things all he wants; I, for one, am ready to fly.

    www.seeks.theonion.com/something tells me theres not a barn-missing meter down there.html
  2. im not witty

    im not witty Guest

    haha, i was just reading this and thinking it would get a laugh on 12 oz.

    best line has to be.."Something tells me there's no barn-missing meter down there! "

    *edit, oh and look how you singled that line out already. oh well. you know what they say about great minds,...... that they are better than mediocre ones.

    witty/ always check the nutritional value before bitin your shit
  3. seeking

    seeking Dirty Dozen Crew

    Joined: May 25, 2000 Messages: 32,278 Likes Received: 240
    yes, teh barn-missing line is the joint. infact, as soon as i got to that point, i posted it. didnt even bother reading more. i knew that the whole rest of it could suck, and that one line would still save it.

    good stuff.
  4. BROWNer

    BROWNer Guest

    excuse the ramble..
    but..i've flown in so many choppers its stupid.
    jetrangers, hughes 500's(by far the illest),
    a-10's or whatever they're called...huey's..
    huey's are cool, they kick up a ton of wind
    power at take off, vietnam steez.
    i used to fly with this dude who OWNED his
    own hughes 500(think magnum PI). he'd take all the doors
    right off and pull huge banking maneuvers
    at a moments notice and you'd be horizontal
    looking straight down with no door. hot shit.
    his chopper was completely paid off(cool million)
    and he used to bum butts off the crew sometimes
    when he was fresh out..
    dude would pay like $5 for a 1 butt.
    then he'd make a pitstop at some country ass
    gas station to grab a pack of smokes on the way home in his chopper.
    his safety speeches were the best of any pilot i heard.
    complete sober expression coupled with this drawn out and complex
    nerd-factor techno speak to explain basically how your face
    would get melted off if you ventured to the back exhaust area.
    i also flew with a jetranger pilot once who took us at high speeds
    down a river..insanity. main thing i remember is the high speed
    and zooming around a huge enbankment and dude flying
    underneath a huge tree that went across the river from one
    side to the other. fucking amazing. this old guy that scored shotgun
    pissed his pants on that flight.
    helicopters are fucking awesome, but there's something
    really fucked about them.
  5. 26SidedCube

    26SidedCube Veteran Member

    Joined: Mar 18, 2003 Messages: 6,590 Likes Received: 10
    Ahh.. I remember working behind a desk and
    relying on my daily dose of The Onion... that
    and CNN were regular distractions. Thank god
    I hadn't decided to start posting on this thing
    back then.. I would have gotten shitcanned fo'

    The 'Babies Are Stupid' article on there is an
    all-time classic.

  6. Holy shit bro, thats awesome...i guess from now own your 8mm should be tight in HUD mode.
  7. Gunm

    Gunm Banned

    Joined: Aug 31, 2003 Messages: 12,427 Likes Received: 2
    helicopters are squirley as all hell if i am to understand correctly.

    They also make for the most spectacular crashes. Planes hits the ground explodes, you maybe get a few random chucnks of shrapnel....maybe an engine crashes through a roof and squashes some old lady watching "The Price Is Right"

    You get a helicopter crash.....holey moley......rotor blades fly off and whip in every single direction turning everything into the consistency of meat sauce. The shrapnel factor is like....+++++10.

    but getting to the main point, those dials are all very very annoying but they all do serve a purpose to varying degrees for a great deal of situations. I'm sure your instructor is getting you used to dividing your attention between flying and consulting those dials. Eventually there will be an occasion where you might acutally have to consult the "yaw index angle horizonal parameter line reader" and then BAM! your eyes go right to it. Better that then to go "Uhm where is that damn thing? Uhmm.. hmm, where is....." CRASH!!!!!
  8. Dick Quickwood

    Dick Quickwood 12oz Loyalist

    Joined: Aug 25, 2002 Messages: 14,783 Likes Received: 14
  9. WorldBench

    WorldBench Veteran Member

    Joined: Oct 27, 2003 Messages: 9,391 Likes Received: 275
    :lol: yea that was good