Piloting an R-22 Helicopter

By June the adrenaline junkie in me was restless again, so I decided to take a piloting lesson at Vertex Aviation Group. Believe it or not they let me pilot a Robinson-22, which is a two-bladed, single-engine, light utility helicopter. After my pilot went over the design, controls, and checklist with me, he allowed me to take off and even work on my hovering skills. Of course he piloted most of the flight, but I felt surprisingly competent for my first take-off and landing.

I highly recommend taking a flight/lesson like this – the view was so crisp. We made the climb to 500 feet and at one point, my pilot pointed to a lady walking her groceries out to her car. The visual acuity was remarkably impressive. A flight over Houston (the fourth largest city in the country) by helicopter made everything seem so accessible – as if we could fly over the entire city within fifteen minutes. Please note, I can drive my car from one end of Houston to the other (in normal non-stop traffic) for an hour and still not be out of the city.

My pilot instructor was very thorough, explaining each of the gauges and switches, why they were necessary, and what functions they performed. On our first narrow turn, I became acutely aware that I was strapped into the hovercraft with a mere seatbelt, and despite that, I felt unusually safe. Happy reading!



NOTE: All blog posts, articles, and photographs are the intellectual and creative property of Melissa J. Koziol. Thank you for reading!


  1. I took a flying lesson a couple of years ago and loved it, it really gets your adrenaline going. I will definitely sign up for some more lessons soon. I haven’t tried helicopter flying lessons though, it looks fun!

    Liked by 1 person

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