Wednesday, December 14, 2005


A classic flying dream, and very enjoyable. I found myself at a club operating out of a warehouse, overlooking fields but at the edge of a range of steep hills and moorland. At a later point of the dream I drove to a point on the coast beyond these hills.

One of the facilities offered at the club was the use of radio-controlled model helicopters. Once the control of these had been mastered, it was possible to loop a strap of webbing (similar to that used in seat-belts) over the helicopter, and to sit in the sling formed, whilst holding the radio controls. I can clearly remember the thrill of feeling my feet leaving the ground for the first time as I learnt how to balance my weight with the small lifting power of which the helicopter was capable.

Once I had become confident with this, I tried to see how I felt about rising to increasing heights, and found a comfortable maximum. Then I was off... I left the surroundings of the warehouse/hangar and sailed away to attempt to fly right over the range of hills. Clumpy heather and moss lay below, and I felt sure that I could fall from a reasonable height without injury if anything went wrong. Unfortunately, power lines were strung across the crest of the hill, and I was wary of making contact with or becoming tangled up in them, so I diverted my route back down and round the hill, allowing myself to rise once to a tremendous height and enjoying the view, before returning to a safer level.

I landed, with every intention of getting airborne again as soon as possible - I wanted to enjoy as much of this experience as I could. I discussed the equipment briefly with one of the more experienced members; he explained that more powerful twin-rotor (Chinook-like) helicopters were available, and could manage the weight of a man in a wheelchair.

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