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A Blip on the Radar - Vertical Flight, Without a Helicopter

Posted 8 years 339 days ago ago by Francis Meyrick


   In my dreams, in common with many people, I have achieved feats of levitation, and flying under my own power. Sailing through the sky, accepting that my spontaneous flying abilities were perfectly normal.  Invariably, these experiences were pleasing and relaxing. They seemed to occur a lot early in the morning, as I was slowly beginning to emerge from a deep slumber.  That was also when I seemed to experience Out of Body Experiences. I would find myself looking down at myself, and my gaze would wander around the room. I would see the clutter, the open books, the reams of scribbles, and even the dust on top of the cupboard.  I would gaze at the sleeping figure, thinking in a kindly sort of way, that it was actually about time the lazy blighter got up and did something useful.

     It never crossed my mind, that one day, I would actually achieve (albeit briefly) pure –sustained- vertical flight, by myself, without the aid of a noisy helicopter.  I know as always there will be the doubters and the cynics, the disbelievers and the heretics, so let me state right up front that there were TWO witnesses. Both Helicopter Pilots. I doubt if they are still plying their trade in the Tuna Fields. They have probably moved down, poor fellows, and will now be flying Corporate or Oil and Gas. Medevac, or Longline. Where ever they are now, it is bound to be tightly regulated, and nowhere near as interesting and spontaneous. Or, if you prefer, off-the-wall. Nothing beats the Tuna Fields for a spontaneous freedom. Believe me, I’ve tried most things.

     Well, these two gentlemen can vouch for the scientific and technological truth of what occurred, one night, off the coast of… the Solomon Islands? Or was it Truk Island? It might even have been Wewak, in Papua New Guinea.  Those two pilots will tell you on oath that what I describe, took place, and defied all known Laws of Nature…

    We had been out on the town. A few beers, a sing-song, and the swopping of wild tales. The latest gossip, with a pinch of Blarney thrown in for good measure.  We had returned to my ship, for a few beers and more Blarney, and we were in the process of clambering aboard in the semi half darkness of a slumbering ship.  We were beginning to make our way forwards, when I nearly ran into some pallets. Stacked, carelessly, vertical.

“What dozy bastard left this lot lying around?”, I commented.  

Since my cabin lay ahead, and I was leading the way, I swung a leg over the pallets, and hopped on over.

     At that precise moment, somebody unseen, some filthy Asiatic pervert, who must have been hiding in the darkness, disrespectfully grabbed my leg. I was wearing shorts, so it was full flesh contact. What was worse than the sudden grabbing, (which was disconcerting, to put it mildly) was the emerging –explosive- fact that he followed up the grabbing by a somewhat more heinous act. A furious kissing of my leg. (I appreciate the crew liking their pilot, but there ARE limits). And if you think that’s bad, you don’t know anything. The yellow pervert, whoever he was, was running his tongue (which must have been huge) right UP my exposed leg, in the general direction of parts which I value. In what seemed a split nano second, he had moved his salivary attention past my knee to under my shorts. He was coming up my inside leg. Oh, and for good measure, he was making truly rapacious sounds. Heavy breathing on steroids.


The combined effect of the unexpected application of a frenetic wet Chinese tongue on my naked Irish leg, the unmistakably enthusiastic, upward direction of exploration, the assault on the integrity of my old shorts, and the truly explosive excited breathing, engendered in me considerable alarm.   I’ll admit I lost my usual calm composure. Well, that’s maybe a slight understatement.

Okay. I confess:

I screamed like a little girl…

Well, what would YOUR reaction be??   With a randy Chinaman unexpectedly kissing your leg?  Stoic composure??  Yeah, right. I-don’t-think-so…     


It is at this stage I managed to achieve Vertical Flight. Without a Helicopter. Seriously. Up and up I went, 150% torque, and I would have landed thirty feet up on the helideck, if I could have. I’m sure I made it past the half way point. The vertical thrust vector was a sharp pointed arrow, believe me.

Unfortunately, my levitation ability was finite. Back down I came, still dragging the collective lever UP, Rotor Rpm drooping, Horn sounding, still screaming like a little girl. I was back out over the wooden pallets in a VNE dash. I don’t know how far I legged it, but I didn’t stop in a hurry. Put it that way.  

Strangely, my two compadres, far from heroically rushing to my aid, to fight off my lecherous, sex pervert attacker, were totally useless. Too busy splitting their sides, laughing their buttocks off.

Say, what!?

I remember trying very hard to recover my torn and tattered composure. I didn’t think it was funny. At all. I was not amused. A man has his dignity, you know.

“What the fu-fu-fu… was THAT!?”   I asked the question from a safe distance. Like, half a mile away. Perplexed. Wondering which member of the crew had passed out drunk in the shadows, and had awoken to the irresistible temptation offered by the passing of my virginal leg. And my shorts.

In between hysterical laughter, sobs of breathlessness, and fists beating the floor, tears-pouring-down-face sort of thing, I could barely make out these words:

 “Moggy! You ain’t EVER going to live this one down! IT’S A PIG! AND SHE SURE LIKES YOU…! ”

Catering supplies…

*                           *                           *                               *                          *

And that is the night I swear, I achieved vertical flight, with-out the aid of a helicopter…


A Little About Moggy  - Francis ‘Moggy’ Meyrick (www.chopperstories.com) admits to not being terribly bright, but he did first grace the skies (more or less) totally on his own some forty-five years ago. He is rumored to have solemnly intoned these memorable words on the downwind leg.

“Holy Crap! NOW what have I done…?”

He is working dutifully on his eighty-sixth incarnation (he does, admittedly, get sent back a lot – for another try) , and he describes himself as a ‘chopper jockey’. He says it’s basically a case of a nut, hanging under a nut. (BIG nut, though).  Compared to trying to attain Wisdom (he was a Buddhist monk once) (before he got demoted to galley hand), he reckons it beats working for a living.  It ranks right up there with being a happy penguin, and spending all day sliding down icy slopes.

Moggy loves spinning a good yarn, and his greatest reward is simply your enjoyment. His many friends caution you he does tend to tell his bar stories with verve and gusto, and much arm waving, so you are advised to move your pints and other drinks safely out of his way. Peace. Got a pickle sandwich?