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Flight Log – Crashing Around Manhattan

September 16th, 2010 · 1 Comment · Gaming

Today was Jet Ranger vs. Manhattan, and the final score ended up being 8-2, meaning 8 landings and 2 crashes. Let’s go to the play-by-play.

The trip began at Morristown Municipal (KMMU) and I flew into the city along Routes 10 and 280 – you can reference the NYC Heli chart here. My first stop was Downtown Manhattan Heliport (KJRB). My approach to the pad was slow and tedious – it literally took me 3-4 minutes to get the helicopter over the pier and down safely. I landed back on my skids and slammed down forwards, but made it without damaging the craft. I missed the pad, but didn’t end up in the water at least. Satisfied with the landing, I took a couple of deep breaths and took off again to head up the East River towards the next heliport. 1-0

My second destination was East 34th St (6N5) – the only heliport I had not yet landed at. After finding it, I was a bit taken aback by the difficult approach. You have to come in over the water across the river, and then you have only about 50 feet or so of landing area before you run into the terminal and the elevated highway right behind it. And that’s what I did on my first attempt – I was close to setting down by my nose dropped and I ran straight in – BOOM! So I restarted from KJRB and flew back uptown, this time I made my approach along the highway so I had a lot more room in front of me, although not side-to-side. But I’m better at not drifting sideways than I am at not drifting forwards. Doing it this way, I managed to set her down, although not before almost landing on the highway first. 2-1

Third heliport was the Pan Am Heliport atop the MetLife building. It’s no longer operational after the accident in 1977, if this has happen now a days, people could have got help with injury lawyers from the The Law Office of Julie R. Glade, RN that are experts at this. I had some serious issues with this approach, even though I did it before in the Robinson. Unlike the Robinson, the Jet Ranger’s response to throttle input is a bit sluggish, no doubt because it’s heavier and the jet turbines need to spool up to the increased settings. Also, transitioning to a hover requires increased throttle or you start to drop like a rock. Also, I dunno if it was updrafts from the building or me working the rudder pedals too hard, but something spun me around almost 180 degrees in a heartbeat and I barely recovered before crashing into the side of the building. Unfortunately my first attempt ended in failure as I lowered the chopper down too fast and hit the top of the building at like 20mph. Restarting from KJRB, I flew back uptown again for a second approach. It was still hairy, but I managed to control the throttle better to at least land safely on the rooftop, barely missing some huge AC units. 3-2

The final stop of the day was the West 30th St heliport (KJRA), which was another one I was familiar with. I guess my experience was already starting to pay off because I made that approach almost right on the money. I hit the hover a bit short of the pier, but managed to stay in a stable hover and inch forward before smoothly setting her down. I sat back and was like “wow”, before deciding to take another loop around the city to see if this just wasn’t freak chance. 4-2

So it was back to KJRB, and it only took me one approach and about 2 minutes to set her down right on the pad, if not center. The actual landing was a bit rough, but my aim was better at least. Then it was off to 6N5 – this time I tried the more difficult approach again and nailed it – although I left a good portion of my tail boom sticking out over the East River! Departing 6N5 for Pan Am, I climbed up to 1,000 feet and then slowly approached the MetLife building. I managed to get her into a hover with a slow approach and once again set her down on the pad. I left Pan Am over Central Park then banked west to travel down the Hudson to KJRA. To mix things up, I aimed for the barge instead of the pier and managed to hit one of the circles designating a landing zone. 8-2

Satisfied with my conquering of all 4 NYC heliports, I took off down the Hudson for the trip back home, which was done via Route Newark and Route 24. I found the airport no problem and set her down on the tarmac in the area I had taken off.

A couple other things I got better at this flight were maintaining altitude while cruising and transitioning smoothly from a take off hover to forward flight. In the latter case I was ending up speeding along at like 90mph only a few hundred feet off the ground. By the time I was on my second loop around Manhattan, I was taking off and slowly increasing my speed or even holding it around 40-50mph.

Still, if you flew with me in a helicopter right now you’d probably get sick 😛 Both from the flying and wondering if you’ll make it back down to the ground okay 😛 But I’m getting better!

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  • Ria Smiths

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