The Art of Flying…is lost on my Koreans (Dec 12)

At least, fishermen. I think they think that this thing works like a boat. And probably think anyone could hop in and do it. I’m not expecting accolades or a celebration every-time we come back and land, I would however appreciate just a little bit of understanding on their part. I’ve flown almost 5 hours in the last two days and the flights were great – at least for me.

You see the Koreans seem to be under the impression that once you input a heading into the helicopter you just set it and forget it. They can’t seem to grasp the notion that the pilot must be constantly monitoring everything from altitude and airspeed to engine readouts and power setting, rotor and turbine rpm and so forth. So, all that being said, when the course strays be a degree left or right for a nano-second – don’t freakout. I’m here to make sure that we have a safe and responsibly operated flight, within the limitations of the aircraft, I will get you that 1º back if you give me a second, I’m probably doing some other life saving instrument check elsewhere and will be back to the GPS in a moment. Kthanksbye.

Don’t even bother trying to explain to them that a 1º deviation at 80 knots for 5 seconds has a negligible impact on a course of only 10 miles distance – that math eludes them, it could be the language barrier but it just doesn’t matter. Or the fact that right now they’re going from a pilot who has 40 years flying experience to a pilot (me) with only 4 years flying experience. Add in the fact that I’ve got almost no time in this helicopter, there will be a learning curve.
“no, you fly straight next time flying.”

Like I’m zig-zagging up there on purpose.

All that moaning and groaning behind me though the flights have been going really well, and I’m starting to get more and more comfortable flying this helicopter. The landings still are something else and I feel my stress level spike out every time I come in to land. Partly because I’m new to this, mostly because despite having asked multiple times for them to slow the boat down and turn into the wind for my landings right now while I’m learning – they don’t. So much like I told my students at Inland Helicopters, learn or die. A saying of which may not have had as staggeringly stacked odds against them then, but certainly does against me now.

We’ve spotted a bunch of small schools of tuna, a couple big schools of tuna, and I’ve hovered over the ocean surface at two “payow” that we found. The more I fly the better I get, so I’m hoping they start flying more.

Last night we drifted near a “payow” and they made an early morning set on it today. The first officer said that maybe there is 100 tons of yellow-fin in the net. That’s awesome, especially since this is one of the ones I found on a flight, so if they catch 100 tons of yellow-fin tuna off it maybe some of the credit for the catch will come my way. Hahahaha…probably not. Time to watch another movie.

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