Home Contents


"According to aerodynamic laws, the bumblebee cannot fly. Its body weight is not the right proportion to its wingspan. Ignoring these laws, the bee flies anyway."
-- M. Sainte-Lague - Mathematician (early 1900s)
(The same applies to rotary-winged aircraft)

Why do women prefer helicopter pilots over jet pilots?
Jet jocks "suck and blow" a lot...
... chopper guys just "screw" around!

Whereas the fixed-wing flyers have got "High Flight"; the rotary-wing community has got...

Low Flight

Oh, I have slipped through clouds of swirling dust, a few feet from the dirt.
I've flown the Chopper low enough to make my bottom hurt.
I've IFR'd the desert, hills and valleys, mountains, too.
Frolicked in the trees where only flying squirrels flew.
Chased the frightened cows along, disturbed the ram and ewe,
And done a hundred other things that you'd not care to do.
I've smacked the Sparrow, Bluebird, Robin and the rest.
I've ingested baby Eagles, simply sucked them from their nest.
I've streaked through total darkness, just the other guys and me,
And spent the night in terror of things I could not see.
I turned my eyes to heaven as I sweated through the flight,
Put out my hand and touched the Master Caution light!
-- Unknown


Oh, I've slipped the surly bonds of Earth
And hov'rd out of ground effect on semi-rigid blades
Earthward I've auto'ed and met the rising brush of non-paved terrain
And done a thousand things you'd never care to name
Skidded and dropped and flared
Low in the heat soaked roar,
Confined there, I've chased the earthbound traffic
And lost the race to insignificant headwinds;
Forward and up a little in ground effect
I've topped the General's hedge with drooping turns
Where never Phantom or even Mustang flew,
Shaking and pulling collective, I've lumbered
The low un-trespassed halls of airways,
Put out my hand and touched ..................... a Tree!
-- By Anonymous

Helicopter IFR = I Follow Road (or Railways)

Follow this link to the story about a Cow being dropped from a Helicopter...

Helicopter Pilots are Different

"The thing is, helicopters are different from planes. An airplane by its nature wants to fly, and if not interfered with too strongly by unusual events or by a deliberately incompetent pilot, it will fly. A helicopter does not want to fly. It is maintained in the air by a variety of forces and controls working in opposition to each other, and if there is any disturbance in this delicate balance the helicopter stops flying, immediately and disastrously.
"There is no such thing as a gliding helicopter.
"This is why being a helicopter pilot is so different from being an airplane pilot, and why, in general, airplane pilots are open, clear-eyed, buoyant extroverts, and helicopter pilots are brooders, introspective anticipators of trouble. They know if something bad has not happened, it is about to."
-- Harry Rossoner

A helicopter was flying around above Seattle when an electrical malfunction disabled all of the aircraft's electronic navigation and communications equipment. Due to the clouds and haze, the pilot could not determine the helicopter's position and course to steer the airport. The pilot saw a tall building, flew toward it, circled, drew a handwritten sign, and held it in the helicopter's window. The pilot's sign said "WHERE AM I?" in large letters. People in the tall building quickly responded to the aircraft, drew a large sign, and held it in a building window. Their sign said "YOU ARE IN A HELICOPTER." The pilot smiled, waved, looked at his map, determined the course to steer to the Seattle airport, and landed safely. After they were on the ground, the co-pilot asked the pilot how the "YOU ARE IN A HELICOPTER" sign helped determine their position. The pilot responded "I knew that had to be the MICROSOFT building because they gave me a technically correct, but completely useless answer."

While ferrying workers back and forth from an offshore oilrig, the helicopter lost power and went down. Fortunately, it landed safely in the lake. Struggling to get out, one man tore off his seat belt, inflated his life vest, and jerked open the exit door.
"Don't jump!" the pilot yelled. "This thing is supposed to float!"
As the man leapt from the helicopter into the lake, he yelled back, "Yeah, and it's supposed to FLY too!"

Commandments of Helicopter Flying.

  • He who inspecteth not his aircraft giveth his angels cause to concern him.
  • Hallowed is thy airflow across thy disc restoring thine Translational Lift.
  • Let infinite discretion govern thy movement near the ground, for vast is the area of destruction.
  • Blessed is he who strives to retain his standards, for without them he shall surely perish.
  • Thou shalt maintain thy speed whilst between ten and four hundred feet lest the earth rise and smite thee.
  • Thou shall not make trial of thy centre of gravity lest thou dash thy foot against a stone.
  • Thou shalt not let thy confidence exceed thy ability, for broad is the way to destruction.
  • He that doeth his approach and alloweth the wind to turn behind him shall surely make restitution.
  • He who alloweth his tail rotor to catch in the thorns curseth his childrens children.
  • Observe thou this parable lest on the morrow thy friends mourn thee.

Not a particularly popular political leader and his wife were flying over a crowd of protesters in a helicopter. He told her: "I could throw out one 10,000 euro note and make one person happy. I could throw two 5,000 euro notes and make two people happy. Or I could throw 10,000 one-euro coins and make 10,000 people happy."
The chopper pilot grumbled: "We could throw you out and make everyone happy."

Why Helicopters are Better than Women

  1. A helicopter will kill you quickly . . . a woman takes her time.
  2. Helicopters can be turned on by a flick of a switch.
  3. A helicopter does not get mad if you 'touch and go.'
  4. A helicopter does not object to a pre-flight inspection.
  5. Helicopters come with manuals.
  6. Helicopters have strict weight and balance limits.
  7. You can fly a helicopter any time of the month.
  8. Helicopters don't come with in-laws.
  9. Helicopters don't whine unless something is really wrong.
  10. Helicopters don't care about how many other helicopters you have flown.
  11. When flying, you and your helicopter both arrive at the same time.
  12. Helicopters don't mind if you look at other helicopters, or if you buy helicopter magazines.
  13. It's OK to use tie-downs on your helicopter.
  14. Helicopters don't comment on your piloting skills
  15. However, when helicopters go quiet, just like women, it's usually not good.

Aeroplane pilots "land" and then try like f**k to stop.
Helicopter pilots "stop" then when they're good and ready they land.

A Huey Cobra practicing autorotations during a military night training exercise had a problem and landed on the tail rotor, separating the tailboom. Fortunately, it wound up on its skids, sliding down the runway doing 360s in a brilliant shower of sparks.
As the Cobra passed the tower, the following exchange was overheard:
Tower: "Cobra 1, do you need any assistance?"
Cobra 1: "I don't know, Tower. We aren't done crashing yet."

Stay out of fog. The single red light you think is a cell phone tower might be the starboard light of a docked boat.

Helicopters are a collection of parts flying in relatively close formation while all rotating around different axis. This arrangement works work well until one of the parts breaks formation.

Always try to keep the number of times you park the helicopter equal to the number of times you've flown it.

The canopy:
If all you can see through your canopy is the direction you were previously travelling intermingled with sparks, and all you can hear is commotion from the passenger flying left seat, things are not at all as they should be.

An optimist is a helicopter pilot that smokes and thinks he's going to die of cancer.

Other Objects:
In the ongoing battle between objects made of aluminium and Plexi-glass going dozens of miles per hour, and the ground going zero miles per hour, the ground has yet to lose. Same holds for trees, water, buildings and larger animals. Draws don't count.


Going Forward:
It's always a good idea to keep the transparent end going forward as much as possible.

Hovering is for people who love to fly but have no place to go.

Ask 6 helicopter pilots a question, and you're sure to get at least 7 different opinions.

Q: Why do airports have runways?
A: So that the handicapped can also fly!

The following was provided by Col. Charlie Block, USMC.

Anything that screws it's way into the sky flies according to unnatural principals.

You never want to sneak up behind an old high-time helicopter pilot and clap your hands. He will instantly dive for cover and most likely whimper...then get up and kick your butt.

There are no old helicopters lying around airports like you see old Airplanes. There is a reason for this. Come to think of it, there are not many old high-time helicopter pilots hanging around airports either so the first issue is problematic.

You can always tell a helicopter pilot in anything moving, a train, an airplane, a car or a boat. They never smile, they are always listening to the machine and they always hear something they think is not right. Helicopter pilots fly in a mode of intensity, actually more like "spring loaded," while waiting for pieces of their contraption to fall off.

Flying a helicopter at any altitude over 500 feet is considered reckless and should be avoided. Flying a helicopter at any altitude or condition that precludes a landing in less than 20 seconds is considered outright foolhardy.

Remember in a helicopter you have about 1 second to lower the collective in an engine failure before it becomes unrecoverable. Once you've failed this manoeuvre the machine flies about as well as a 20 case Coke machine. Even a perfectly executed autorotation only gives you a glide ratio slightly better than that of a brick. 180-degree autorotations are a violent and aerobatic manoeuvre in my opinion and should be avoided.

When your wings are leading, lagging, flapping, precessing and moving faster than your fuselage there's something unnatural going on. Is this the way men were meant to fly?

While hovering, if you start to sink a bit, you pull up on the collective while twisting the throttle, push with your left foot (more torque) and move the stick left (more translating tendency) to hold your spot. If you now need to stop rising, you do the opposite in that order. Sometimes in wind you do this many times each second. Don't you think that's a strange way to fly?

For Helicopters: You never want to feel a sinking feeling in your gut (low "g" pushover) while flying a two bladed under slung teetering rotor system. You are about to do a snap roll to the right and crash. For that matter, any remotely aerobatic manoeuvre should be avoided in a Huey. Don't push your luck. It will run out soon enough anyway.

If everything is working fine on your helicopter consider yourself temporarily lucky. Something is about to break.

Back to Top

Home ] Up ] Contents ]

Send mail to webmaster@aviationafrica.com with questions or comments about this website.
Copyright 2001 - 2019 Aviation Africa