MTN Flight – Just a quickie in Portland – Part 50

IMG_8941So I happened to be out in Seattle, WA and Portland OR for bidness and decided I would check in on some friends of Midwest.  It’s a company called Precision Helicopters. They have a bunch of Guimbals, A-stars and a few other odds and ends.

I got in touch with them a week before I went out and had a loose plan.

I finished up with my meetings and started heading south.  The drive from Portland to Newberg was pretty sweet.  Nice country out there.. it’s all wine and logging.

I met Nigel and we went through a quick ground and risk assessment.  All looked good so we grabbed a G2 and walked around it for the preflight.  We hopped in and fired it up.  We were around 3000 MSL and had around 18 gallons of fuel on board.  The idea was we’d very slowly and carefully introduce me to mountain flying.

We made our calls and we were off.  We flew past a few vineyards and within 5 minutes we were in the foothills.  Nigel demonstrated a bunch of pinnacles and a running takeoff.  I followed on controls for most of it then we started in on a few pinnacles.  AMAZING.  Everything is different.  You come in sort of like a steep but your spot is an imaginary place above the ground by 10 feet.  You plan for your ditch so far in advance and at a moment in time there is a go / no-go point.  If it feels right you continue down to that spot that is 10 feet above where you are really going to put your skids down.  We drilled on that for 15 or 20 minutes then Nigel demo’d another running takeoff.

Every landing was a slope and every takeoff was close to a max performance. So so so cool.  I learned so much in just 1.5 hours.

We headed back and we did some autos that were… possibly the coolest display of control I’d ever seen.  I hadn’t seen an auto done with such surgical precision.  (When I left I actually went out and bought the dude a bottle of bourbon and drive back to the airport because I was that impressed.)

I met David the owner, thanked him for the time and left with a huge smile on my face.  I didn’t get to shoot any video but it was eye opening to put it VERY MILDLY and I promised myself I’d head back out.  Hopefully this spring I can find a window to head out when the air is nice and cool.

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