Learning Experiences

January 2003 Issue

Beach Battle

“With the nose down and the girl waving back vigorously, I was now along for the ride”

I was assigned to ferry an OH-58A (a.k.a. Bell JetRanger) from Fort Bragg, N.C., to Corpus Christi, Texas, for overhaul. I was a newly minted Army captain, two years out of flight school, with about 500 hours of helicopter time.

I was on the second day of the ferry flight, with the VFR helicopter loaded down with sectionals and all of the helicopter’s logs and records. The weather was good VFR, and I was flying along the Texas coast from Galveston to Corpus Christi, listening to local radio on the ADF. I was flying low enough that it would have been illegal over a congested area, but high enough that my whirling wings weren’t kicking up sand as I blew down the coast at all of 90 knots.

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