Finally got around to finishing the flight I started last time I took to the air with the Bell 222B. That flight was interrupted after I landed at KJRA and the program crashed out on me. Because I had to reload back at KJRB, I decided to swing around the city and just head straight for KEWR as the sun was setting and I only wanted a short hop anyways. Since the last time I’ve flown I’ve taken the time to update the helicopter traffic with unique aircraft. Before this everything flying around was just a default Bell 206B with plain white textures. Now there are Bell 407s, Bell 222Bs, Bell 430s, Eurocopter AS350s and 355s, MD 500Ds, Augusta 109s, and more. All in various liveries, like the news choppers over the city are now in news liveries. This makes things look a lot nicer when at one of the heliports and seeing all kinds of aircraft arriving and departing.
Preflight and departure went off smoothly, although I was in the air and wondering about the sluggish handling when I realized I had forgot to enable the Helicopter Total Realism external program. After I loaded that up the helicopter felt more like the last few times I’ve flown it. I’m still getting used to how it handles in the air. I’m rising and falling a lot – my VSI needle is all over the place. Any passengers along for the ride would think they were on a roller coaster. I might try to tone down the stick sensitivity next time out and see if that helps.
Turning off the East River towards Central Park to transition to the Hudson I came literally within 50 feet or so of colliding with a Bell 430 flying out of the city – most likely towards La Guardia. Holy crap the thing flew straight in front of me a little lower in altitude. Yes, I did look left to check for traffic before making the turn and I saw a landing light pointed at me but it seemed much farther away than it actually was! Mid-air collisions happen in real life over NYC and it’s too bad the helicopter AI program doesn’t allow the choppers to sound off their locations or when they are within a set range of you. Communication is vital when flying around the NYC airspace and it’s a bummer I can’t simulate that properly. I do make sure to tune to the proper radio channels when over the Hudson and East Rivers but that’s pretty much it.
Approach and landing at KEWR was uneventful, although I did have to rush my landing since a Bell 430 was on approach for the pad as well. Even still, I hit the pad and did so at only 1 foot per second. I have to admit I’m really aces when it comes to landing this helicopter. HTR hasn’t reported a bad landing for me yet. I think my worst was around 3 f/s the very first time I went to land. Anything more than 4 f/s has the danger of damaging the landing gear.
There’s a flight in the C172 I’ve been putting off for a long while now and I hope to get to that next sometime soon.