Super Sue to the rescue – Student Sue swaps training in the R22 for a flight in the Jet Ranger

Super Sue to the rescue – Student Sue swaps training in the R22 for a flight in the Jet Ranger

15th September 2020

There’s never a dull moment at Flying Pig (or with flying) and today was no exception. Arriving at 8.45 for my flying lesson that morning, in mist, scattered clouds at 200 feet, broken at 300 (Heathrow METAR) with no significant changes for 2 hours.  I was resigned to a no flight day.  Capt Paul, having sorted his Monday morning duties, ready for me, said visibility on North side of Elstree Aerodrome was clear enough for take-off, landing & hovering practice. Great just what I need to conquer.

We best guessed for fun, when the weather would clear, I said 11.15 hours, it’s now 9.45 am.

After pre-briefing chat, questions answered, plan ready for action, Foli’s on the apron ready for us, all booked out with Elstree Information – ready for manoeuvres on North side.  As we walk to Foli, weather is clearing, sun has broken through earlier than expected sky clearing.  Flying might be a possibility after all.

Paul received a text… the Jet Ranger is needed… Whoops, due to the conditions Paul had driven to work and the Jet Ranger was at home!

Thankfully the weather cleared earlier than expected & we were off on a rescue mission to collect Jet Ranger & get back in time for the crew & passengers’ day out.  It was quicker for Paul to fly Foli than me, experience over learning 😊.  So with apologies for interrupted lesson off we flew.

Great experience for me. I get to see what the R22 can do, feel like in experienced hands, quite different to me. At 90 KIAS, as I’m not concentrating on pedal, cyclic, collective etc., I notice where the horizon is for me 90 KIAS, max speed I’ve done is 70 KIAS. Paul pointed out the visible temperature inversion, landmarks – if you can call fields, trees & one road landmarks.  Does help to know the terrain. Clouds parted & we had a clear flight all the way.

Having swapped the R22 for the Jet Ranger, quick chat to Katharine out walking with Fly, Paul gave me a helping hand, well a push into the Jet Rangers pilots seat.  I flew into it, literally. The R22 would fit inside the Jet ranger!

I can see why the ‘boys’ like the Jet ranger, full of buttons, switches, instruments, very throaty sounding on start up. Paul took off, pointed us in the right direction, sorry I mean heading to Elstree Aerodrome. ‘There you go Sue, keep this heading, straight & level, you have full control’.

Wow, she was like flying a Rolls Royce, so smooth compared to Foli, even with me flying. I settled back, relaxed & concentrated.  ‘Look at speedy Sue’ says Paul, ‘flying at 110 KIAS’, quick check with Paul that speed was OK, yes, well within her limitation.

Arriving for final approach, not use to reducing speed from 110 Knots I’m use to 60 Knots, Paul took over for a smooth transition & landing. Next challenge getting out of the Jet Ranger.  With Pauls help, me holding on to the Jet Ranger, I managed to get out fairly lady like 😊.  Hand over to next pilot, weather… now a beautiful day & they can have lunch as planned.  Mission accomplished.

What gave me the huge smile on my face that day? The fact I flew straight & level in a Jet Ranger or that I got in & out of it, for those who know me – I’ll let you decide 😊

Super Sue – R22 Student.





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