Griffith aviation students feel the g-force during their Aeropower visit

“Before I knew it, the captain yelled ‘clear prop,’ and the engine came to life. The blades began moving and as they got faster, I knew take-off was imminent. I looked out of the aircraft to see the struts leave the ground and as we departed, I felt that rush, the need for flight.” 

Griffith aviation student Ellis Nand was part of a group of aviation students treated to a tour of Aeropower in Redcliffe that ended in a ride on a helicopter with no doors, last month.  

“As we walked out to the flight line the excitement grew,” Ellis said.   

“I was lucky enough to be selected to go up first riding in the co-pilot seat. Strapping into the helicopter brought back some amazing memories as I put on the four-point harness. 

“We turned onto the runway lowered the nose and gained airspeed before the captain pulled back to climb. As we climbed out over Redcliffe the views were spectacular, the beaches, the horizon, the ocean, so calm while seated directly under a giant spinning fan.” 

During the flight the captain asked if everyone was ok with doing steep turns, before demonstrating some advanced maneuvers. 

“We banked the aircraft, and I was looking out noticing my body felt like it was parallel to the ocean but the joys of feeling the G was enough to put a smile on my face,” Ellis said.  

“We continued doing a few more steep turns on the way up to Beachmere before we descended to 500ft to fly back in.  As we came back into Redcliffe Airport, we followed a Cessna on final, and what a view that was seeing a plane landing as you flew behind it.” 

During the tour, students saw a variety of aircraft including a Cabri G2, AS350 Squirrel and an MD500, learnt about the amazing work Aeropower does, from training and scenic flights, to high voltage line repairs ensuring people can get electricity throughout Australia and globally and got to check out a virtual reality simulator with custom controls for helicopter flying.  

Three lucky students, Jye Halliwell, Ramia Jezdan and Reginald Oughton were also selected to fly the Cabri G2 with an instructor.  

Ellis said the visit was a unique experience he would treasure as part of his studies. 

“As we landed, I knew the flight was over, but the memories will be forever,” Ellis said.  

“While there was a debate as to whether steep turns with no doors were fun, I would say it’s in my top five flying experiences of all time.” 

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