Saturday, April 24, 2010


Yesterday while relaxing at South Beach, I heard a couple of small helicopters approaching the beach. It turns out they were Hughes 300's. When I went to military helicopter pilot training for the Air Force back in 1981, this was the little guy we learned how to fly in. They called it the "Mattel Messerschmidt" since the bubble canopy was made by Mattel. It was powered by a Volkswagen engine and five washing machine belts!!! Learning how to hover this helicopter was probably one of the hardest things I've ever done. If you wanted to see a 40 acre field in three seconds or less, learning to hover the Hughes 300 was a good way to do it.......LOL I would equate it to trying to keep a pat of butter in the center of a red hot skillet. You could literally fly an entire traffic pattern and never move the cyclic (the control stick in front of you which is used for pitch), more than the diameter of a nickel. I guess that's where all my smoothness in flying comes from......... ;-) Thanks for the memories little guy!

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