Posts Tagged ‘helicopters’

Ever mug a buffalo? Ever want to?

Friday, February 15th, 2013

Want to compete on who can come up with the most unusual job in aviation? How about the official title of buffalo mugger? I win. Brim Aviation, based in Ashland, Oregon, with branches in Astoria, Oregon, Texas, and Arizona, uses its own helicopter crew to first shoot a bison with a net gun (no bullets, just a net), then run from the helicopter and wrestle the buffalo to the ground, rodeo style. The actual job title for that is “mugger.” No, really. I saw the video. Yes, I know bison weigh 700 to 2,200 pounds because I saw it on the Internet, and the Internet is never wrong.  I also saw the bison get up afterward and chase the Brim guy. There are more than 90 in one of the oldest herds in the nation, and each year these Utah residents have a blood sample taken. One by one.

The buffalo/bison had every right to attack the Brim guy. Let’s say you are looking around for grass–the legal kind–and you hear this noisy big bird coming after you. You run like crazy, hear an explosion like your great grandfather told you about, and find yourself tangled in a net. This puny two-legged animal grabs your horns and humiliates you by taking you down. So you lie there through the blood sample, the DNA sample, just waiting for your chance. The net comes off and you jump up and charge…and he jumps out of the way. All the other buffalo start laughing. So next year you set up an ambush. Your buddies will attack the humans while you are on the ground. Come on back, Brim!

Watch the human-powered helicopter lift off

Thursday, May 19th, 2011

As Al Marsh reported this week, Gamera took flight. The human-powered helicopter, named for the giant flying turtle in Japanese horror films, is the project of the University of Maryland’s Clark School of Engineering. (Full disclosure: My daughter attends UMd, and I freely admit to using the hashtag “#goTerps” in my Tweets on the event.)

Pilot Judy Wexler, looking poised and competent (while the engineering students jumped around out of nervous excitement, I’m guessing), was able to get the craft off the ground and hover for several seconds–long enough that the team has filed for a world aeronautical record. View the video here.

When is a rock a piece of cake?

Tuesday, August 25th, 2009

The answer to the riddle above is, “When the rock is a helicopter landing pad for an experienced pilot.” Thanks to the “FlightAware Weekly Aviation News and Photo Update” for this link to an amazing series of landings on a narrow rock by a Utah rescue pilot.  “Just a piece of cake?” You decide.