Several members of the BeCA Management Committee met with Chopperline’s “Chief Pilot” Mike Hayes this morning to discuss any issues relating to the general behaviour of helicopters and other aircraft above our estate.
This open communication channel between your community and Chopperline ensures an understanding between us on issues relating to Caloundra Aerodrome.
The helicopter in the photo left is used by Chopperline during the initial stages of training their pilots.
Mike reported that the behaviour of helicopters from outside the Caloundra area also impacted on him and Chopperline.
Mike again pointed out where ever possible, the preferred routes Chopperline helicopters take when instructing students are not above any residential area. Mike again reiterated his commitment to Chopperline and local residents getting along as well as possible whenever possible.
Mike repeated that if he has a ‘heavy’ flying day in store, his flights are programmed to ‘share the love’ and are spread across the day. Two Chopperline helicopters doing circuits at the same time very, very rarely (if ever) happens.
He also assured BeCA that helicopters were much safer aircraft to bring down if something ever did go wrong. In Mike’s 25 years of experience he had never suffered a situation where the engine stopped on his helicopter. If this did happen he assured us a helicopter pilot retains a lot of control and is able to bring an aircraft safely to the ground. The sight we have all seen on TV or at the movies when a helicopter motor shuts down and the aircraft spins out of control is true fiction and just doesn’t happen like that in real life!
Currently Chopperline have about 6 students learning to fly helicopters. He believes the days of Chopperline accommodating up to 25 pilots in one training program are long gone. Mike believes there is a possibility of a small increase in student numbers but not a lot.
Mike will consider making a presentation at one of our BeCA Public Meetings in 2014. The photo below shows BeCA Committeeman, Bob Smith having a turn at flying a helicopter over “Brisbane Airport” in the Chopperline simulator. Click on both photos for a larger view!