I recently got a chance to go flying with a friend. They own a helicopter. It’s a 1978 Enstrom 280 (not sure which designation, but it has those sharkey looks). While airborne, my friend let me take the controls. While in flight, over California where the Pacific Ocean slaps the shores of Palos Verdes, I handled the cyclic. That’s the tall joystick like touch point that seems like the main piece from which you pilot. It’s not. There are two other major control interfaces. There’s the collective and the pedals.
My friend, Micah Muzio from Kelley Blue Book, handled the other two bits while I was given control of the cyclic. It was exhilarating and terrifying all at once. All of your inputs have to be smooth and small. This chopper responds to the most minute of movements. And again, this is just on one of the three control points.
Things got even more crazy when Micah invited me to try and keep the craft in a hover. Once the helicopter starts to get away from you, it’s hard to think about bringing it back. Thankfully, Micah is a skilled pilot and knows what he’s doing. I am no fan of heights, yet I truly enjoyed my time in the Enstrom.
I’m still not sure if I’m ready to go doors off though.
What are some other difficult vehicles to operate?