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Saturday, July 28, 2007

Helicopter Humor


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I found out recently that my cousin R. has been taking helicopter flying lessons. For those of you unaware of this, flying helicopters is a bit harder than flying an airplane be it a jet, a propeller airplane, a bi-plane or even a glider. That is in a large part because you have to get used to handling not only the big rotor that brings you up, down, and controls the angle and speed of your movement, but also the rotor in the back that keeps your little rock in the sky from spinning around like a frog in a blender. That back rotor is really important, and controlling it, while moving, up, down and side to side is why flying helicopters can be really tricky.

Of course, helicopters can go places no other aircraft can go, and land places no other aircraft can, like on the roof of buildings like hospitals, which is usually a really good thing. R. is one of my younger cousins, with lots of younger sisters and one of my most vivid memories was the first weekend she got her driver's license, and I happened to be at a major intersection waiting for the bus when their station wagon came careening around the corner with R. at the wheel, my Godchild M. half hanging out one window, and one of the others waving her arms out the other. There is a reason Roman Catholic's have the sign of the cross and that moment was made for it as I prayed that they would make it home safely.

R. has always been one of the most responsible of my cousins however, (I have 41 cousins in that tier so I don't have to say how many are in the very, very responsible group, now do I? LOL) and so none were lost on that ride, but of course the first image that flashed through my mind when R. told me she was about halfway through helicopter flight training was that image of 20 years ago, then another of her doing a low level run in a Huey around the same corner with the same results.

Ruth will be a fine pilot of course, time has passed since that first encounter. She is not only much matured, but I think her level of instruction is much higher than her high school's driver's Ed program and her parent's possible desire to get all the kids out of the house for a few blessed minutes of peace.

With this in mind, I have scoured the net for some helicopter jokes and dedicated this post to cousin R., in hopes that I can get a ride with her soon after she gets her license to fly. Yup, soon after. She's going to be a great pilot, I can already tell.

Part of An Actual Helicopter Training Session Intro:

As you know, there is a bolt in the rotor assembly that is
quite critical. It holds the rotor onto the shaft. In a fit of
wisdom, it was once termed the "Jesus bolt." The apparent reasoning
was that only the good grace of the Savior kept it from failing.

Failure of the Jesus bolt quickly gives a helicopter the same
aerodynamic properties enjoyed by the common household brick. These
same gentlemen also proved that a bumblebee cannot fly. In my talk
this evening, I'll ignore their error concerning the bee and focus
on their correct assessment of helicopter aerodynamics.

A helicopter was flying around above Seattle when an electrical malfunction disabled all of the aircraft's electronic navigation and communications equipment. Due to the clouds and haze, the pilot could not determine the helicopter's position and course to steer to the airport.

The pilot saw a tall building, flew toward it, circled, drew a handwritten sign, and held it in the helicopter's window. The pilot's sign said 'WHERE AM I?' in large letters.

People in the tall building quickly responded to the aircraft, drew a large sign, and held it in a building window. Their sign said 'YOU ARE IN A HELICOPTER.'

The pilot smiled, waved, looked at his map, determined the course to steer to SEATAC airport, and landed safely.

After they were on the ground, the copilot asked the pilot how the 'YOU ARE IN A HELICOPTER' sign helped determine their position.

The pilot responded 'I knew that had to be the MICROSOFT building because they gave me a technically correct, but completely useless answer.'

Helicopters don't really fly. They're so ugly the earth repels them.

Q: When was the last time you went to an antique helicopter fly-in?

A: Never. Helicopters fall apart before they get to be antiques.

Joe went on a free helicopter ride for his birthday, but the helicopter crashed on its way back to the airport, and Joe and the pilot were injured but not killed. Joe's brother Tony, who had given Joe the free ride rushed to the hospital full of guilt to find out what had happened because he had picked the company in particular because of its outstanding safety record.

"What the heck happened, Joe! If this was their fault I'm going to sue the pants off them, you could have been killed!"

"I don't know", said Joe, "I'd been drinking that Champagne that you sent along for the flight and by the time we were coming back I was getting really cold. That bird was not really well insulated. All I really remember really is reaching up to turn off that big fan, and the pilot screaming, when a few seconds later we started spinning and started to fall like a rock...

Two cows are standing on top of a hill. One cow turns to the other cow and says: "Are you worried about mad cow disease?"

The other cow looks puzzled: "Why? I'm a helicopter."

One Chicago helicopter pilot to another in a bar near Midway Airport:

"So, how'd you get started flying helicopters? Was it the thrill of flying, the way members of the opposite sex react when you tell them you're a pilot, the knowledge and skill required, knowing that you are your own boss when you are up in the air flying, or is it the knowledge of the risk, the adventure, the thrill of knowing that a mechanical failure could lead to certain death at any time?"

The other looked at him with steely eyes and said, "No way, you're from here, you should know better than that!"

"I was just tired of risking my life every time I went out on the Dan Ryan Expressway. That thing's dangerous! After my third rear-ender I said to hell with this, I wanted a safe way to travel!"

Q: What's the difference between an eastern block helicopter and a NATO one?

A: Eastern block Helicopters have ejection seats.

Darted Moose Attacks Biologist's Helicopter

March 5, 2007

A moose apparently annoyed by being shot with a tranquilizer dart charged the rear rotor of a hovering helicopter, colliding with it and eventually bringing it down to the ground. The pilot and a wildlife biologist aboard the helicopter were not injured in the incident but the moose had to be euthanized. As a part of his study on moose, biologist Kevin White shot the animal with a tranquilizer dart and followed it while the pilot maneuvered the helicopter to keep the animal from slipping into a tight space or collapsing in water and drowning, Doug Larsen, regional supervisor for the Division of Wildlife Conservation told the Anchorage Daily news.

In Washington D.C., helicopters are often used to monitor the traffic conditions. The Francis Scott Key bridge, named after the man who wrote the national anthem, is frequently jammed.

The bridge's traffic problem is notorious and frequently featured on helicopter TV news shots; among some, it's known as the Car Strangled Spanner.

A former huey pilot thought that if he ever lost his rotor mast at high-enough altitude, he'd take his helmet off and put it on backwards, drop his pants, sit on the cyclic, and let the NTSB try to explain it.

I suspect they might just write it off as a rotor cup injury....

Morris and his wife Esther went to the state fair every year, and every year Morris would say, "Esther, I'd like to ride in that helicopter". Esther always replied, "I know Morris, but that helicopter ride is 50 dollars and 50 dollars is 50 dollars".

One year Esther and Morris went to the fair, and Morris said, "Esther, I'm 85 years old. If I don't ride that helicopter, I might never get another chance." Esther replied, "Morris that helicopter is 50 dollars and 50 dollars is 50 dollars".

The pilot overheard the couple and said, "Folks I'll make you a deal. I'll take the both of you for a ride. If you can stay quiet for the entire ride and not say a word I won't charge you! But if you say one word, it's 50 dollars." Morris and Esther agreed and up they went.

The pilot did all kinds of fancy maneuvers, but not a word was heard. He did his daredevil tricks over and over again, but still not a word. When they landed, the pilot turned to Morris and said, "By golly, I did everything I could to get you to yell out, but you didn't. I'm impressed!"

Morris replied, "Well, to tell you the truth, I almost said something when Esther fell out, but you know -- 50 dollars is 50 dollars."

They may not all be original, but gosh darn it they sure are funny. Let's hope that R.'s mom doesn't see the ones about crashes. Good luck R!

Peter, Chief Editor and Spell Wrecker
The Peter Files Blog of Comedy, Satire and Commentary

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