Friday the 13th May be considered unlucky by some people but for two Bike Manawatu members Richard Sheehan and Jaycob Humpreys it was their lucky day.
Early Friday morning the call came from Chris Moody pilot of the local Rescue helicopter to arrange a flight for that day. This chance for a flight had been won some weeks earlier at the Manfeild 6 hour event and was keenly anticipated.
We met Chris at the Feildair hanger where the helicopter is kept and after a safety briefing we were in the chopper and underway.
Our flightpath took us out to Ashhurst and through the Gorge stopping to look at the massive slip that has closed it for months and on to Woodville. Leaving there we had a close look at the windfarms and back through the Gorge following the ranges and over Aokautere where we turned to cross over the outskirts of Palmerston North and fortunately for me right over my house to land at the airport where Chris demonstrated the hovering capabilities of the chopper.
Flying in a chopper is quite different, the vibrations, noise and ability to go any direction you wish create a remarkable environment. All in all this 20 minute flight was most enjoyable and for me would rate right up there in interesting things I have done.
My thanks go to the Rescue Helicopter Trust for providing the flight and Bike Manawatu for providing me the opportunity to win it.