A Bell 47g-2 Pilot Talks About His Years Flying
By Maria Morrison
In 1956, the first successful civilian helicopter was made. With it's unique and large cockpit bubble the Bell 47g-2 can be recognized, along with other things, as the M*A*S*H* helicopter. It's main job was being an aerial ambulance during the Korean War, but the Bell 47 was also used for mail delivery, photos, fire fighting, and agricultural spraying. One of these helicopters, however, is now in use giving rides to the public at Pioneer Airfield, something that I got to do yesterday (Tuesday).
The feeling of flying is different for everyone. Mike Brown, a Bell pilot for almost seven years, says that most the people are either scared or squeaking from excitement. He also said that some of them smelled shampooed and others smelled like they had been camping out the whole week. He found a system to work with both. Another pilot wrote a poem about it.
Mike once flew his copter for hours, with passengers that smelled rank or like flowers.
Control of this reek,
Lay right at his feet,
With rudders named sweet and named sour.
The Bell 47 is not too loud, and can fit three people (pilot plus two) comfortably. What most people go for, if not for the historic meaning, is the view. With an all glass cockpit with open sides, the Bell gives you an amazing panoramic view of Oshkosh Airventure. You can watch some of the airs how, see planes on the ramp, or watch all the people and be glad that you are not in the humid heat.
Rides in the Bell 47g-2 are about $47 per person, and it is defiantly worth while. The wait can be any where from 20 minutes to two hours. Cameras and other photography devices are allowed, but they ask you to leave bags and backpacks in the hangar. I would recommend a flight in the Bell for anyone who likes amazing views, air conditioning, and unique memories.