It was time to complete the on-the-job training for Joe in the R-22. This was going to be an all day session of flying in the R-22. The plan was to depart the Lawrence Airport, head into Boston on the helicopter routes again, go up to Concord New Hampshire, over to Nashua for lunch, then off to Fitchburg Mass for some additional training.
The flight started with the helicopter routes. Some training on the different routes, then up to Concord, New Hampshire (KCON) for autorotations. Straight in autorotations, 180 autorotations, and hover autos were the course. Quick fuel, then off to Nashua, New Hampshire (KASH) for some lunch. Some great lunch at the midfield cafe, and a talk with our wonderful waitress (Allison), and we were off to Lawrence.
At Lawrence, the winds were gusting to just over 20 knots – a perfect time to introduce full down autorotations in the 22. Joe was now performing to perfect standards with his autorotations – he had mastered all the “finer points” in the R22 – mainly RPM control without overcontrolling, proper cyclic position after entry, and most importantly, all his recoveries were picture perfect leveling off within a few feet of the ground every time. The wind was perfect for full downs – 20 knots allowed us to level off after the flare with plenty of RPM and no ground run.
After a quick break it was off to Fitchburg for some advanced maneuvers and more full down autorotations. We began crossing over midfield and entering a 360 autorotation – this is a great maneuver which shows mastery of RPM control and situational awareness while in the glide. A perfect entry and a perfect recovery. Lastly, since the winds had now calmed to less than a few knots, it was a perfect time to show Joe the difference that 20 knots of wind makes with the R-22 in the full down. A noticeable ground run can’t really be helped when there’s no wind – we needed to maintain the RPM after the flare – flare too long with no wind, and there’s no RPM left when bringing it level. Almost like a running landing without the power. It was a great lesson.
After some fuel from Dick Fahlbeck at FCA Flight Center in Fitchburg, we were on our way back home to Lawrence. We both wished we could have headed into Boston, but that would have to wait.
It was another wonderful day spent flying and teaching in the Robinson R-22 helicopter here at North Andover Flight Academy. We’re located at the Lawrence Airport, and are the premier helicopter flight school in the Massachusetts and Southern New Hampshire area. We train to the highest standards, and teach to the highest standards.