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Whirlybird Money Pit
Aborted “brainercise” plan
Text and photo by Tom Hintz
Posted – 4-23-2013
Note: This story was written well before I found out about and eventually bought the Align Trex 450 Pro. That helicopter changed my attitude in a big way!
OK, so I got ahead of myself with the helicopter thing. The smaller one was not a problem and I was enjoying flying it. However, it is very sensitive to wind which limited me to the garage much of the time. I moved to a larger (more expensive) helicopter to gain wind-handling capability as well as more aerobatics but my exuberance fly helicopters could not overcome the lack of dependable local instruction nor the money pit into which I was crashing with regularity. Helicopters are impressive in the number of expensive parts that go away if they simply tip over.
As part of the helicopter plan I joined a local flying club. The idea was to get a RC airplane (I flew those 25 years ago so hoped for a quick refresher course) to get me into the flying club and then use that large field to practice with helicopter. When I took the plane out for the first time I discovered that I could actually fly it! I am far from the level of proficiency I had achieved 25 years ago but I was in the air and not crashing.
The joy of airplanes quickly finished off my already bad attitude towards helicopters. I packed it and my ever-growing supply of (brand new) spare repair parts and sold the whole works at a loss to fund the purchase of a second way faster airplane. I now have two airplanes, can fly both, have had no significant crashes and am doing it all with WAY less money going out.
Your experience might be different from mine. Helicopters look like fun and I realize that people can actually fly them. For me the ever-growing financial drain was something I could not support these days and the frustration was not beneficial to fighting Alzheimer's so I veered fully into RC airplanes. They require roughly the same level of mental exercise if you want to do more than fly around in circles but on way less cash.
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