Monday, March 12, 2018

Helicopters and Autorotation

The recent helicopter accident in NY got me asking "Why didn't he auto rotate down?" I know it works because I experienced it first hand.

I was returning from offshore one afternoon. I was the only passenger. In order to pass the time, I started talking to pilot about my growing apprehension about flying in helicopters. He went on with the many reasons that helicopter pilots will tell you why they are safer than fixed wing aircraft. One of these was the ability to auto rotate and land safely. "Let me show you.", he said. He then twisted the throttle back to idle and dropped the collective to the deck. We started falling like a rock and my stomach was left somewhere 100 feet above me. He then began pulling pitch and slowed us down to a more reasonable fall rate. To my relief, he then brought the power back on and we flew back to base without further demonstrations. He claimed that he could land the helicopter under auto rotation and then go into a low hover and rotate it 180 degrees before setting it down again. Furthermore, he had to practice auto rotation on a regular basis.

So, auto rotation is real and the pilot should have been able to land softly on the water. I will await the NTSB report with interest.

Of course, when I was flying offshore, our pilots were all Viet Nam veterans and those guys could do some very delicate things with a Bell 212 or a Bell 206 Long Ranger.

Next time, I'll tell you about translational lift and it's application departing an offshore platform on a hot day in a fully loaded helicopter.

Sunday, March 4, 2018

Talisker Distillers Edition

Talisker is located on the remote Isle of Skye and has been there since 1830. They are now part of the Diageo stable of brands. They have several bottlings but this particular one spends the last few months of its ageing in amoroso casks. My bottle was distilled in 2005 and bottled in 2015.

Color: Dark amber. It has the prettiest color of any scotch I've drunk and it really sparkles in a crystal glass
Nose: You can tell that this whiskey was born near the sea from it's briny and seaweedy aroma
Palate: Smooth with a taste of salty peat
Finish: Long and warm

Again, here is a fine whiskey that is not even in its teen years. A great addition to your shelf.

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Cutting Off One's Nose......

The news feed was full today listing the companies that cut "partnerships" with the NRA and the left was crowing "That'll teach 'em." Well, exactly what will it teach them?

Most of these "partnerships" were marketing schemes where the listed companies offered discounts to NRA Members. Obviously, they recognized that the NRA members could be a pool of money if they were marketed to correctly.  So, what they are doing is giving the finger to the entire membership or the NRA and telling them that they will no longer get discounts for flying Delta, renting from Hertz, or using Symantic.

I predict that the companies severing ties with the NRA will themselves experience a backlash as NRA supporters decide to boycott them.

NRA members should each buy 1 share of stock from each of those companies and then vote against the management at the next shareholders meeting.

Helicopter Escape Training

Luckily, I stopped flying before this training became mandatory.

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Carnivale in Bologna

The oldest grandson is doing a semester in Europe in Bologna, Italy. They celebrate Mardi Gras a little differently over there. Here is a video typical of the parade he went to today. The floats are fantastic.....and some are towed by Lamborghini tractors.

Friday, February 9, 2018

Parisian Cafe Chairs

Did you ever wonder where all those chairs came from?