You would think the biggest difference between driving my car – a 1991 Volvo 940 (note: this is not my specific car) – and flying my school’s helicopter – a Schweizer 300CBi (note: this is not my school’s specific helicopter) – would be, you know, the fact I’m in the fucking air. And trust me, that’s a big difference. (For instance, if I don’t notice I’m out of oil, I just break down and have to pull over to the side of the road, whereas if I’m missing oil in the helicopter I fall about 500 feet from the sky.) But the biggest difference is the fragility and strength of the two transportation choices.
My Volvo is a tank. If I’m in a car fight, I’m not worried, I’m preparing my victory speech. And considering my car is from 1991 and has a whole bunch of dings (which is what happens when you park in a college parking lot for three years, apparently) and, again, is built like a tank, and your car is shiny and new, I’m assuming you’ll back away quicker from the fight. All of this is to say, while I’m a safe driver, and I am careful with my car, I have a belief it can handle damage.
Then there’s the helicopter, which is fragile. A bird can destroy me. Not even a big bird, but one of those tiny ones. I hit a bird, and depending, I’m probably going down. A wire comes loose, a leak appears, a crack…I may, to put it nicely, be kissing ground real soon. I have to be careful in how I wash the windows or I can crack them; I have to be careful where I put my hands and feet because I can break something. I have to be careful lifting it off the ground, because one wrong motion in the wrong time and I can roll over, or fall and crash.
So here’s my first post about flying, which I love and can’t wait to have my next lesson and yadda yadda ya – helicopters are FRAGILE. My Volvo, on the other hand, is ready for a game of chicken.