In case all you fixed-wing pilots hadn’t noticed, Frank Robinson’s success in the light helicopter market has been nothing short of spectacular. Robinson Helicopter Company (www.robinsonheli.com) has sold some 8,500 helicopters in the last three decades.
As a fixed-wing aviator who came late to the rotary-wing party, I discovered helicopters 20 years ago in conjunction with a story for an ABC program, Wide World of Flying. I was a confirmed fixed-wing fan whose only exposure to choppers had been shooting photos out of the back of an occasional Bell JetRanger or Hughes 500. For my ABC video story, I took a cram course in a Robinson R22, somehow managed to pass my private checkride after 55 hours and immediately went on camera to inform the audience of the joys of flying without the benefit of a runway.