Purveyor of Bollocks to the Crowned Heads of Europe
Friday, 20 June 2014
What could possibly go wrong?
I became transfixed by watching one of my clients take off in their helicopter from the lawn yesterday. Not my lawn, you understand, but their one.
The pilot must have turned the ignition switch, because the engine began to whirr into life and the massive rotor blades slowly started to turn - heading toward the much small blades set at 90 degrees on the tail.
As each large blade headed right into the path of the smaller blades, the smaller ones got out of the way just in time so the big blade swished through the extremely small gap in between them. This happened faster and faster, until both sets of blades were a complete blur, and the sprinkler on a different patch of grass sprayed water in the opposite direction, such was the force of the artificial gale.
Then it elevated to about fifteen feet before dipping its nose and sedately roaring off, leaving me deafened and incredulous.
What an unbelievably crazy way of getting airborne. What trust in the engineers who make the gearboxes. What colossal scope for the possibility for something to go very slightly and very horribly wrong. What a leap in imagination - what blind, trusting faith, to think that you will probably survive a trip in one of these machines.
I am sure Leonardo Da Vinci was only joking when he scribbled the design on the back of a fag-packet, never really believing that we would actually take up the idea.
I have flown in pretty much every type of aircraft except a jet-fighter and a helicopter. Ironically, a hot-air balloon is much more dangerous than a helicopter. I have seen three balloon crashes with my own eyes and was personally involved with two of them - only minor ones involving bruises, and they were both caused by the pilot avoiding the major one of running into overhead power lines.
There is something both ridiculous and admirable about us human's responses to jibes like, "That'll never work!"