A couple of weeks ago my son was shooting the breeze with one of his summer job work colleagues and learned that this guy’s soon to be father-in-law had a passion for flying helicopters. Apparently, he enjoyed taking passengers on sightseeing flights, and asked if we would be interested in joining him one day. Of course, my son volunteered us on the spot.
Saturday was D-Day. I guess I got a bit anxious about an hour before our scheduled flight when my son received a telephone call from the pilot asking him how much each of us weighed. Later when I got a good look at the blue helicopter on the Nashua, NH tarmac, I had to take a deep breath and ask myself if I trusted the pilot and this tiny machine to take four adults up in the air, stay airborne, and later safely return to the same spot. I’m not normally a nervous flyer, but somehow this just felt risky.
At least we all fit in the tin can, and surprisingly, comfortably. Once the pre-check procedures were explained and performed, my blood pressure went down noticeably because I knew we were in good hands with this experienced pilot. The next question was unexpected and something you don’t normally hear from a pilot: “where do you guys want to go?”
It was off to Boston on a clear, somewhat cool morning. When I tell you it was a smooth flight, that would be an understatement. We got tower clearance to circle the city in a counter-clockwise fashion about a half dozen times. Just before touching down, the pilot did an autorotation to simulate landing the machine in the event of an engine failure. I was now in a Zen state of mind and cool as a cucumber. So when the pilot mentioned we should do the flight again sometime, we both wholeheartedly said “yes please!”