Once apon a time, I had a 101 in 1001 list (101 things to do in 1001 days). On this list, was a helicopter ride. But that list was a while ago.
However, I persevered and finally, last night, I flew in a helicopter!! But not just any helicopter! An Oryx! And not just any flight! This flight was a training run for a co-pilot so we were in the air for an hour and fifteen minutes! That’s R95,000 worth of a flight!!! Crazy!
All thanks to an awesome friend of ours who is a pilot and managed to organise 6 spots for us on the ride, so my sister, her bf, his dad, my parents, and my fiance were able to go for a ride (for free!)!
After nommming some pizza we brought, we left Yesterplaat at around 8pm and flew out to Atlantis so the co-pilot could practise some landings (she did really well! I couldn’t tell who was piloting between her and the pilot). When we landed in the field so they could set out the lights for us to land in, they left the doors open for those landings and takeoffs and the view was breathtaking, being so open and close to the edge!
Then we moved off to Seapoint area, landed at Groote Schuur hospital and then moved off to Newlands (went past UCT) and Constantia where we were hit by a heavy downdraft that pushed us down so that we came out of our seats! Later on, our friend explained that in those seconds, the pilot wouldnt have had control of the heli, but it was really frightening when it happened even without knowing that haha.
After that we moved off to another hospital for the co-pilot to land and some people took some photos of us hehe ok, ok, they took photos of the Oryx!
We moved off from there, travelling back, over Rondebosch Common, to the airforce base to land. We exited the heli and left the pilots to do their thing.
We all piled inside as it was VERY windy outside on the ground and we had so much to say to each other cos while in the ride, we all had earplugs in. Even in my video I took, you cant hear us yelling at each other (heli was 160 or 180 decibels I believe!).
The pilots joined us inside, we thanked them profusely and went home, with memories that will stay with us a long, long time.
I know its not something everyone gets to do (the training route we did vs a leisure ride), so I am very grateful to the pilots and our friend who made it happen.
Some quick pics I snapped with my camcorder:
Approaching the Oryx
The view! (sorry for the blur)
How close we were to the edge (photo taken while we were landed during the Atlantis landing routines)