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Aviation History for Suffolk, VA and Fun Facts for Suffolk, VA
Whirly-Girls History: Jean Ross Howard Phelan, Whirly-Girl #13, founded Whirly-Girls in 1955. In hopes of developing an organization where female pilots could share information and camaraderie, she was one of 13 charter members representing women helicopter pilots from France, Germany and the United States. As of 2011, there are over 1700 registered members representing 44 countries. Whirly-Girls is an official affiliate member of the Helicopter Association International.
New Helicopter Pilot Training Facts:
When the engine quits during a hover, the pilot needs to make three control inputs. The right pedal is pressed forward to reduce tail rotor thrust. Now that the engine isn't running, you don't need all of that anti-torque. The cyclic is pressed slightly right to return it to a neutral position. An American helicopter has a tendency to drift right in a hover, which means that a pilot has to hold a slight left cyclic input to keep the helicopter stationary. (The cause of the drift is tail rotor thrust.) When the engine power is removed, leaving this input in will result in a left drift. Thus the need to pull the cyclic slightly right. The final required input is an upward pull of the collective, starting at about 1' from the ground. This cushions the impact.