Friday, October 10, 2008

Rotorcraft fun

Ok, I know I *should* blog about L&L (Live and Learn Unschooling Conference), Lago di Garda, Trento, Roma, Venezia, Dublin, Wexford, Achill Island, etc.; but, with no apologies, I'm blogging about this first.

Yeah, boyyyyeeee! That's me in the left seat!

Of course, those of you who know better (obviously NOT including hollywood moviemakers cuz they usually make this mistake), know that in rotorcraft the RIGHT seat is the PIC. That's ok. I had a PERFECT time flying left seat in a beautiful rotorcraft over the exquisite Dolomite mountains of Northern Italy.

Chiara's dad, Gianguido, took us to his company's Trento operation. They're a FBO there and at a coupla other airports - ItalFly. Now this post is about rotorcraft fun, so I'm gonna skip over all the cool fixed-wing stuff they have, including a coupla motorgliders, and talk rotorcraft.

Aside from their stable of "real" choppers, they have a coupla Robinson R22s. Very cool. And for my EAA pals, I have a fun shocker. As we wandered through the hangars I noticed this hidden in one corner:

That's right, flying fanatics, it's a Revolution Mini-500. Eek! A creepy feeling flowed through me, kinda like what I'd feel if I'd been wandering through a candy store and suddenly came across a display of cyanide capsules.

Those of you who are not aircraft-literate might find this illuminating: Mini-500 safety record and/or this. If you don't feel like following the links, lemme just offer my opinion that this is the most dangerous aircraft (kit) designed/produced in the latter half of the 20th century.

Update 10/12/2008: Ack! I've been away from the world of homebuilt/kitbuilt aircraft for too long and completely forgot about Jim Bede. Pretty much all the aircraft he's designed and sold (but rarely delivered) have been deathtraps, when they flew at all. He's a strong contender to replace the mini-500 for the worst-of-the-worst award, since that's only one terrible aircraft while he's responsible for several.

So I asked Gianguido about it. He said that it had been purchased by/for a guy who'd failed his medical (and therefore lost his license) but wanted to continue to fly, which is possible to do if you're flying experimental, which the mini-500 is/was. However, they quickly determined that the aircraft was an unsafe, unflyable POS and it was just sitting there, awaiting destruction. Phew! I was happy to hear that.

But... Hee-hee, wonder what Cap'n Zoom would have to say about that? Wonder what ol' Jim's been up to lately? Ahhh, a quick net search reveals this. It looks like "the lyin' king" is still at it. Snicker!

Well, I've gone wandering around in my mind, just like I wandered the aircraft candystore of ItalFly's hangars. As for our flight through the Dolomites, all I can say is - Ahhhhhhh!

Remember: Any landing you walk away from is a good one. Any landing where the aircraft is reusable is a great one. (VBG!)

1 comment:

  1. So cool, my friend. Good to have you back. Sounds like a wonderful adventure you had!