We are getting really close to test date now! After about 5 flights each we are getting ready for the progress check. If that goes well we’ll be looking to do our ME IR test soon! Interesting days for sure, especially considering the flights we’ve done today included some different views than we’re used to as VFR helicopter pilots during some cloudsurfing we ended up doing due to the holding height.


Having to enter the Cranfield hold at 4000 ft, we were just on top of the cloudbase. The views are stunning from this angle, see my pictures below. I’ve put some video shots together as well lower down my post!

Getting used to things like the leans, trusting the instruments, and not listening to your brain telling you you’re in a bank is still weird at times, we’re just so used to looking outside.

The feeling is awesome though. Flying a helicopter around using only the instruments as your nav aid. Popping down from the clouds at exactly the right track, lined up with the runway and on the correct angle is satisfying. Sitting in the back during each of our flights has been amazingly useful, the views are obviously just a very nice bonus.

It is all about tidying up now and making sure we are flying to test standards. Especially aircraft trim is important to nail from the moment you lift as it will affect the whole flight. In general: tracking, hold entry, holds, NDB approaches, ILS approaches, PFL’s and Unusual Attitudes are all going according to plan.

We’ve been struggling with icing levels at times, as we are (more information in my previous post) not allowed to fly in cloud in temperatures lower than 1 degree.

Check the video below that I’ve put together with some amazing views from the Twin Squirrel. It still feels really weird to skim the clouds like that in a helicopter. There is so much more to see compared to in an airplane, the visibility from the cockpit is awesome! Too bad we are flying with foggles.. I shot this from the back though, so plenty to see!

My next post will probably be about the next steps to take now that I am about to get all the qualifications I am looking for and get a copilot job in a big twin helicopter.

If there is anything you would like me to cover, or answer, please just let me know by emailing me via jopdingemans@icloud.com.

Speak soon and to read about my IR test, check out this post.

Categories: Journeys

Jop Dingemans

AW169 HEMS Commander | Founder of Pilots Who Ask Why | Aerospace Engineer | Former Flight Instructor


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