Well Done! A "pat on your back" thread!

Rightfully earned.

I admit to never having watched lathe youtube. But I own a mini lathe.

The shine of a piece of aluminium for that second or so after the cut before the surface oxidises is mesmerising…


Sold my lorry this morning.

My vehicle collection was getting ridiculous. This was officially my last “transport” vehicle and the offical death of that side of my business. Bit sad as it was my first truck and was meant to mean bigger and better things but never worked out the way i wanted things too.
Privately owned haulage in the uk is in its dying days.
But it was nice to see it go to a good home and get used instead of languishing in the corner of my yard irritating me


This post might come off looking a bit like a dude throwing his money around and bragging about it here. You all are friends of sorts. I hope you know the spirit of this post is one of how simming and friendship intersect. The friend in question had a monkey placed on his back by me two years ago. Since, I’ve felt an obligation, for my satisfaction as much as for his, to knock it off. I had another little monkey of my own which I’ll get to last.

Monkey one. A while back two sim friends came to visit. That’s a story I’ve already told here elsewhere. The short version is that they’ve been dear friends for years but to this point we had never physically met. I took them with me on an R44 lesson and once that was done, I asked my CFI give them each some cyclic time. One friend had hundreds of hours of RC helicopter and a bit of DCS time. He flew very well. The other was a FW PPL and very skilled virtual combat pilot but with no exposure to helicopters. We were merciless in bro-shaming his struggle at hovering. He took it in stride but I knew it stung. This gift that was supposed to expand his love of aviation only give him an understandable hatred for helicopters.

The day before yesterday I asked him to accept my wacky way of flying X-Plane (which he hates) and apply a few principles to hovering: 1) look at least 50m ahead and find a horizon. Stabilize attitude, not position. 2) Do not hold in a cyclic correction. Instead, make little stabs and immediately return to center. 3) Keep your head locked until you have 1) and 2) down cold. I coached him a bit and then left to make dinner. 20 minutes later he came down to the kitchen to proclaim that he can now lift into a stable hover. I nodded, said “Great!” and kept stirring. He just stood there. Finally I said, “You want me to come up and witness this I take it?” With a sheepish smile he said “Yes, of course! Please!”

Yesterday we met his CFI, Giovanni. Immediately we knew that he was going to be exactly the sort of instructor my buddy needed: Friendly, no nonsense and bold enough to maximize stick time without compromising safety.

Meanwhile MY monkey: landing off airport. NJ is nuts in not allowing helicopters to land anywhere that is not an airport or heliport. In my short helicopter career I have never landed outside an airport fence. The owner of the school guided me to a series of sandbars in the Delaware river that were arguably in PA, free of such stupid restrictions. Every hour in a helicopter I learn enough to write a book. On this day I learned about the higher power requirements over water and the mind bending optical illusions caused by the ripples and rotorwash. Such a thrill!

We came back to do autos and my buddy was on the radio calling out “Final 28 for a simulated engine out”. HE’S doing autos! AND working the radios?! With just 1.5 in helicopters this could only mean that his flying was solid. And it was. Giovanni had him hovering with all controls in 20 minutes. Later when we debriefed he had nothing but glowing praise.

The rest of the day continued the high. We stopped by my airport to pack the Pitts for Oshkosh. We then came home, showered and caught the bus into Manhattan to watch my neighbor play drums for a world-class 16 piece jazz band. Came home in a storm. Got soaked. And had a day we will not soon forget.


Mate. Being able to throw your money around and brag about it, that’s the point, Isn’t it?

At least here is a safe space :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

In all seriousness. Well done you. And I would be lying if I said that i wasn’t just a little (OK a lot) jealous… Of you and your friend.


DUDE! This is the most wholesome thing I read in the longest time- well besides here in Mudspike where I read wholesome things all the time!
SO, so, so great to read and see the smile on your friends’ faces. Top notch man! Top notch. :+1:


I can only agree with that.

Sound like an awesome day for everyone involved!

Edit: autocorrect still hates me.


Living the good life bud! You honestly earned every minute of it so don’t sweat it.

That pic of the little red chopper out in the boonies is awesome.


Giovanni is Italian btw. Comes from just outside Venice. He’s only been flying a year or so. Guy was terrific. The thing he said that really turned the light on for Kim was his explanation of how a teetering helicopter is a pendulum, with the fuselage simply hanging by the mast.


Rotary wing aircraft is the natural enemy of safety, because wings shouldn’t rotate! End of story.
That said, I have always nurtured a love-like fascination with those darned beasts of aviation.
I really should do something about that…

Cool story!


Hehe yeah, sometimes Italians can be good guys too. :sunglasses: