a personal recount by Nabil Abaki
Pic of the event - Kyle Dahls Logo700 mastery!
Mind numbing precision.....
Adrenaline pumping smack action....
Echoing cheers and laughter
The week ahead promises all this and more!!!
Heliheatwave 2017 is near and like a logo 700 inverted nose in over speed - closes in super fast!!!!
Last minute preparations for travels to Wagga along side final heli pre-flight checks form the compulsory after work agenda. Whilst this leaves little remaining time for any midweek flying or simming, its a welcome compromise (knowing full well my heli fleet will be ready in time).
By Wednesday night, excitement levels reach feverish pitch with social media and internet based communications flooded with fellow heli pilot and enthusiasts alike sharing images / news of there preparations and plans all mixed in with digital messages, thumbs up, high fives and beer toasting going down!
All are revelling in the hopes of great times and flying over the weekend and completely justified at that.... as this years Heliheatwave sees international heli pilot superstar and helimasters champion Kyle Dahl as the guest of honour!!! The event promises to be a heart pounding, exhilarating experience for all!
Thursday morning sees most attendees including myself heading out. Many have however already arrived at the field in Wagga and some lucky few take part in one on one flying tutelage with the master himself Kyle Dahl.
Mick3d, Ben Bolderman and I meet at our planned meeting point along the M1 just outside Melbourne. Shortly after, Tony Hilton arrives also. We commune for a quick short meal after which continuing our long journey......... now with convoy mode activated.
Despite the 5 hour drive, occasional high spirits chatter on the way up via use of uhf cb's keeps the fatigue bug at bay.
I use the quiet lull periods during the drive up to reflect on my flying over the course of the last 12months including past aspirations / goals and also recounting those flying elements I had successfully been able to integrate / improve. I also reflect how over the last 12 months it hasn't all gone as planned with 2 crashes, a long period of chasing vibrations and a loss of interest in the hobby late December 2017. Somehow I have made it through with my passion for the hobby ever strong and reignited!
The drive up is easy going overall and 4 and 1/2 hours later sees our convoy arrive in Culcairn some 60 minutes outside of Wagga Wagga. We stop at Culcairn hotel / pub for a drink or two with Dan Harding, Brian Johnson and Greg Lepp (whom are already there). Together we are compelled to get the good times and pre event celebrations kick started!
After a round of drinking and laughs, we all head out for the final leg of our journey - destination Connerton airfield .... Wagga aero club, now just after 4pm.
Our virtual excitement thermometer hits new high levels as we creep ever closer to the field. As the thermometer mercury threatens bursting out of its capillary tube, we are no longer able to hold back any remaining sanity or composure, we collectively look for a suitable field along the way. Our efforts are however in vain.
Michael Naylor scores honourably crazy status by suggesting over uhf waves the most absurd yet devilishly cool notion of flying our helis in fig 8s around transmission lines down the road and under and over the train lines now running parallel with our route...
We finally arrive at the field, now almost 5pm, unpack and set up the MRCHC club tables.
After greeting and meeting old acquaintances, we manage to squeeze in a few lazy afternoon flights. With the long drive, my flying is rather subdued and unfocussed but enjoyable non the less.
In the Background - Kyle Dahl continues his tutelage with young up and coming 3d heli superstar Rhys out on the flight line. I sit back and observe, Kyle demonstrating a few flying exercises and then, in sequence, Rhys emulates. Astonishingly Rhys seems to have the new moves mostly figured out and on his first go. Go Rhys! A true superstar in the making!
Eventually the long countdown to Heliheatwave exasperated further by our long 5 hour journey is rewarded and Ben, Michael and I glimpsing our first peek at Kyle Dahls flying prowess.......Kyle Dahl casually strolls over to the middle flight line holding his tool of choice the exotic Logo 700.
Now at the flight line.... a silence falls across the field. Fellow pilots and spectators all simultaneously now have their gazes fixed firmly on Kyle and his Logo (now positioned on the ground, armed and beckoning for launch).
Kyle looks casually left and then right, confirming the flight line is clear and then launches his Logo700 with explosive power into the air.
Kyle rockets his logo 700 and jets it past the flight line at high speed combining the precision and beauty often seen in figure skating with the directional power and force of a screaming high speed locomotive. The complete flight is technically perfect and a very visual representation of Newtons 3rd law- " Conservation of Energy". Kyle wastes no energy in direction changes and / or in transitions from move to move. All energy is conserved and efficiently transferred, rocketing the logo 700 even further each time. A complete delight to watch.
Kyle lands his Logo700 to a round of applause and cheering. We all look at each other in awe. Subconsciously wea are most likely all thinking the same thing "Again AGain AGain..." Cant wait to watch more of Kyles flying !!!".
Over the course of Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Kyle puts in a number of amazing flights. Each of Kyle's flights commands complete attention by all those watching and present. I remember at the completion of each flight feeling as though I had held my breath for the whole time and being relieved to gasp for air once the Logo 700 had landed.
Amazing flights from Jack Milson (Raptor E700), and late Saturday Min Duan joins in with some great flights on his Goblin Black Thunder 700. Both put on some real crowd pleasing shows in between Kyle Dahls Logo700 flying magic.
The entire weekend away is filled with great times catching up with friends, spectacular flying visuals (watching so many talented pilots / friends put there helis through torture LOL- Jack im thinking of you), watching the latest and greatest helis fly and of course good fun flying overall. Not going to talk about the after event parties. That's another whole blog.... not going there LOL.
(to be continued)