Get to know one of the few pilots in the world who can fly a helicopter upside down.
Chuck Aaron recently sat down for an interview with 'RC Heli Pilot' magazine and the following are excerpt highlights:
On His Life
I used to have this recurring dream that I could fly a magic carpet.
My dad was a pilot in the Royal Canadian Air Force and the army, the American army.
He was my mentor.
I’m married, got five kids. I live here in L.A.
On Flying and Performing
I’ve been flying helicopters for over 40 years. I got about 20,000 hours.
I normally do about 25 air shows a year, maybe sometimes 30, all across the United States, everywhere.
What I’m doing, no one else is doing, and there’s a reason for it.
We modified this helicopter so I could do aerobatics with it, and we special built it to do aerobatics.
I never look at the crowds, only stay dialed in with my head on the instruments.
I’m either paying attention to my air speed or my altitude, or the torque I’m putting on the engines, and keep making sure the rotor RPM stays the same all the time.
From a hover, I can flip it over backwards and go straight down the other way. And I can flip it over backwards and do a back flip, and on the way down, I can do a 180 degree rolling turn and pull out, and go the other direction.
When I’m done, I always finish with a bow. That’s when I look at the crowds for the first time.
On His The Helicopter, The BO-105
That’s my baby.
I’m legal for a negative 1G, up to a positive 3.2Gs. So as long as I can keep it anywhere in there, then I’m not going to hurt this thing.
I haven’t popped any rivets. I haven’t cracked anything.
It’s made by Messerschmitt-Bölkow-Blohm. It’s a German-made helicopter. This one was built in the '80s.
It took us a year and a half of modifications to get the FAA to buy off on this.
We put a lot of effort, and a lot of money, and a lot of time to do it safely, and to do it right.
The hardest thing I do is probably the "Chuckcevak." It’s a move where I’ll come in at 500 feet, straight and level, 120 knots, and I’ll pull up and go vertical, and go straight up.
On the Future of Helicopters
We’ll probably wind up with helis that’s a tilt-rotor type thing that’s ducted, that will probably do three, four hundred miles an hour. So I think that’s going to happen.
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