I am a student on the Post 9/11 GI Bill at Upper Limit Aviation. I passed my instrument check ride on November 9th and finished my turbine transition in a Bell 206 B3 last week. Thanks to the GI Bill, I will fly the Bell for the 115 hour duration of my commercial training. The Class Bravo airspace, mountainous terrain, high altitude and turbine availability creates a rich and challenging training environment that will definitely help prepare me for the real world challenges ahead.
I love flying the Bell! The whine of the compressor as I start up is far more thrilling than the rough cough of a reciprocating engine. For the first few hours, I suffered from what I call the “weave and bop”. In other words, the oscillations that occur due to over-controlling the aircraft while attempting to hover. One cause of my over-controlling was adjusting to a traditional cyclic as opposed to the awkward t-bar cyclic in a Robinson. After a bit of experimentation, I found that holding the bottom of the cyclic grip while resting my forearm on my thigh and supporting the cyclic with my knee provided the greatest feeling of stability. Furthermore, I also had to adjust to the greater amount of travel in the pedals. Initially when picking up I was yawing right. Leading with a bit more left pedal fixed that.
I will begin fulfilling my cross country requirements in the next week or so. Please check back for more updates and log on to Upper Limit’s website for information on flight training and the Post 9/11 GI Bill. Happy Holidays!