Our magnificent man in a flying machine

Idealog’s very own Biggles dons his flying goggles and test-drives a build-your-own helicopter simulator

Ever wondered what it’s like flying under the Auckland Harbour Bridge in a helicopter? Wonder no more. Idealog’s intrepid columnist (and aviation nut) Vaughn Davis flew from Auckland to Whangarei (in his real plane) and then hopped into the Northland Emergency Services Trust’s new, home-made, million-dollar helicopter simulator, where he “flew” one of the trust’s rescue helicopters back to Auckland and under the Harbour Bridge.

Davis travelled north to investigate how the trust bought the remains of a tsunami-devastated Japanese S-76 helicopter, shipped it back to New Zealand, made a healthy profit selling off unwanted parts, and then used the rest (plus some home-built and off-the-shelf simulator software) to build a simulator to train its rescue pilots.

For the full story, you’ll have to wait for the next issue of Idealog magazine, out on October 21.

In the meantime, sit back and enjoy the ride…

Idealog writer Vaughn Davis gets excited, not in a helicopter from Adrian Malloch on Vimeo.

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