Sunday, July 20, 2014

Planes, Helicopters, and Airports, Oh My

This week, I went to pilot camp at the St. Lucie Airport with Sailfish Aviation and with my friend Alex! It was really great. We saw some DC-3s at a place called Missionary Flights.

On Tuesday, we learned about helicopter parts and how a helicopter operates in the air. There is a stick on the left side of each seat called the collective. The collective changes the pitch angle of all the main rotor blades collectively to increase and decrease lift. The cyclic is the "stick" between the pilot's legs. If the pilot pushes the cyclic forward, the rotor disk tilts forward, and the rotor produces a thrust vector in the forward direction. If the pilot pushes the cyclic to the right or left, the rotor disk tilts and produces thrust in that direction, causing the helicopter to roll right or left.

We also went to the control tower and learned what the controllers doThe airport is equipped with a system that helps pilots land in poor visibility, meaning not able to see well outside because of weather, called the ILS, (Instrument Landing System.)

On Friday, the last day of camp, we went flying with an instructor named Dave. We flew out over the Atlantic for a bit, did a traffic pattern, and landed. Thank you Tom Bean and Sailfish Aviation for the cool aviation class.  

I also slept over at Alex's house for a couple of nights. It was really awesome. We played with LEGOs. For all of  you Doctor Who and LEGO fans, I believe LEGO is coming up with LEGO Doctor Who sets, and the new Doctor is coming August 23rd on BBC America!  Thank you Larisa for letting me stay with Alex for a few nights.