Despite all I said last month about giving my blog readers informative reading or at least some handy tips or useful advice I’m sitting here at a complete loss this month.
No, I don’t actually think I have any more than what I shared with you last time, so I’ll just do my usual mad Auntie waffling.
One of my Christmas presents from Albert had been an introductory helicopter training lesson. So he decided to take the day off work especially to take me (probably for entertainment value no doubt) As soon as I woke up that morning I felt peculiarly sick. What if got really windy, what if I crashed what if I threw up all over the bubble glass or worse needed to go for an emergency visit the loo?
The first part of the lesson involved me sitting down in a classroom listening to instruction from a very nice man, who was earnestly trying to make me believe I would remember all the functions of three main levers situated in the cock pit. Whilst sitting there I was pretending to be calm, but inside my head there were alarm bells and sirens going off at minute intervals and my stomach was doing a good impression of a blender despite the fact I’d had no breakfast.
In no time at all we were walking through the hangar and out towards… now I have to pause here…‘the helicopter’, WELL REALLY it was seriously impersonating a dinky toy and yes of course I was expecting a Chinook.
So, we are in this bubble of (plastic?) with a door on one side and an OPEN space on the other. I am reassured that they only put the passenger door in for me, but I'm told that I would be asking them to take it off if this was my third lesson. No air-conditioning and you are sitting in a sun magnifying glass, sorry got that wrong, no door is the air-conditioning. I'm briefed on all the controls and dials and then asked if I have any questions. Yes sure, I'm 5’ 2” how do I slide the seat forward to reach the pedals? Bearing in mind the pedals keep the thing straight on the vertical axis (see I was listening) So what’s with that piece of dental floss handing from the centre of the screen anyway? Why haven’t they put a dial in to tell you you’re flying listing over to the left?
Anyway, the instructor just looks at me, then gazes down at my feet, back again at my face, takes a breath and says “The seat doesn't move can you sit forward and reach the pedal?” Actually, no I can’t!
Off he goes back into the hanger to find something to wedge behind me. Of course Albert thinks this is hilarious and we heatedly discuss whether he might like to go up instead since his legs are longer.
Finally we were up in the air and it was truly out of this world, like sitting right inside and above a stunning holiday location with nothing around you but pure beauty. I just don’t have the words to describe how amazing the scenery was or the experience. I blithely write up the side panel here “ I'm a person who feels I live in paradise…” It went way beyond that up there and rather than taking my breath away it was almost like being winded with the shock of such splendour and definitely a situation where you could justifiably use the word AWESOME.
Can I recommend a helicopter lesson for people who've never been in one?
Too right I can, it just HAS to be on your bucket list, and it also needs to happen in a wonderful location.
Forget the fear, I did.
Samantha "I'm a person who feels I live in paradise and truly love Australia after immigrating here in 2003. I work as a foreign exchange trader, live with my true soul mate, husband Albert. I have a passion for Aussie wildlife and became a registered wildlife carer in 2005 and can say I feel truly privileged to be able to raise and rehabilitate orphan wallaby/kangaroo joeys. I love these creatures with my heart and soul. My dream is to be able to help struggling volunteer wildlife carers, financially, so that they can do what they do best without worrying how to pay the next vet bill"