September 2023 News

Home News September 2023 News

📷 Melbourne Heli Photography Competition 📷

⭐⭐⭐ Congratulations to Josh Noden, Matt Moore and Rachael Leeson!! ⭐⭐⭐

Melbourne Heli Photo competition winner 1
Melbourne Heli Photo competition winner 2
Melbourne Heli Photo competition winner 3

Congratulations to Rachael Leeson, Matt Moore and Josh Noden (pictured above in order) on their well-deserved victory in the Melbourne Heli Photo Competition! Your exceptional photography skills have captured the spirit and capability of helicopters in both flight training and aerial photography. Thank you for your amazing submissions, we can’t wait to see them up on the Hangar 7 walls. We hope you will each enjoy the prize of $200 worth of flight time and look forward to seeing you next to your winning photo!

Thank you to everyone who submitted their photos, we had over 50 amazing entries and were thrilled with the response of the Melb Heli community. There is still abundant room for more photos on our walls so keep an eye out for another edition of the photo competition next year!

Student congratulations

Harrison Hendey CPL

Let’s kick off with a congratulations to Donald Shackleton, who recently soared to new heights by completing his first solo flight. May this be the start of many more successful flights in your piloting journey!

Equally deserving of praise are Rick Heinrich, Harrison Hendey and Rachael Leeson, all of whom achieved success by passing their CPL tests. Congratulations to the three of you on reaching this pivotal point in your aviation careers. Your hard work and dedication have truly paid off, and your instructors couldn’t be more proud.

In addition to these achievements, let’s also celebrate Matthew Wong, who earned his Night VFR rating. Well done Matty on mastering the intricacies of night flying. Your commitment to advancing your skills is commendable.

Mike Everest and Jarrod Evans recently passed their PPL theory exams after enduring 2 weeks of intensive study with the theory wizard Chris. An impressive study effort rewarded with great results!

The entire Melb Heli team extends warm congratulations to Donald, Rick, Rachael, Harrison and Matthew for their outstanding accomplishments in the air. Not to mention the theory gurus Mike and Jarrod. We wish each of you continued success and many more safe and adventurous flights ahead!

Top left – Harrison Hendey Enroute

Top right – Donald Shackleton on his first solo

Second from top – A happy Rick Heinrich

Third from top – Rachael Leeson next to a very proud instructor Rob

Bottom right – The Dark Knight aka Matty Wong

First Solo in September
Rick Heinrich CPL Graduate with Melbourne Heli
Rachel Leeson CPL graduate with Melbourne Heli
Night VFR rating with Melbourne Heli

Changes to Private Hire

At the beginning of September, some private hirers may have noticed that there is no longer a method to book in an aircraft online. This is not because you have been delisted or taken off our private hire register. We have simply moved private hire of helicopters to a phone call booking system.

If you have a license and you are keen to go for a fly – especially in this warmer weather we are getting. Please give us a call at +61 3 9118 8841 and we would be delighted to book you in.

Creating a Smart Profile

Dear students,

Now that we are operational with SMART aviation we would love for you to engage with the program yourselves. Your profile and account are yours and if you choose, can be invaluable well after your training with us, especially in an hours-tracking capacity. The logbook, medical and licensing info is all accessible to you for free and the guide below can show you how to navigate the program. Feel free to upload a picture of yourself, personalise your account and explore what the program has to offer. The guide below should be a good starting place. If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to discuss the program with an instructor or give the office a call on +61 3 9118 88

Heli Washing 🚁🛁

Spring has arrived! Now is the perfect season to inspire our students to maintain the cleanliness of their helicopter canopies, often referred to as “bubbles.” Given the substantial cost of helicopters, it’s natural to be cautious about potential damage. Washing a helicopter may seem daunting, especially for those who have never attempted it. However, fear not! Below is a step-by-step guide for students who wish to clean their bubbles either before or after a flight.

Please make sure you have a Melbourne Heli employee with you while washing. Especially if its your first time.

  1. Firstly, gather the necessary tools for the task. The washing equipment is stored beneath the metal stairs leading from the instructors’ office into the hangar. Buckets, sponges, wash mitts, chamois, and soap can be found here. The hose and taps are located near the fire extinguishers.
  2. Next, take a bucket and fill it at least halfway with clean water. Add a splash of soap concentrate while filling to create suds. Immerse your chosen sponge or wash mitt into the soapy bucket, ensuring it becomes wet and filled with luxurious suds.
  3. If the helicopter is parked far away on the eastern border of the apron, fill a small watering can with clean rinse water. Alternatively, if your chopper is closer to the hangar, use a hose for rinsing. Don’t forget to bring a chamois for drying.
  4. A quick note on chamois use and care: Rinse the chamois thoroughly under the tap or in a bucket of fresh water before use. After using the chamois, rinse it clean again, squeeze out excess water, roll it into a log, and place it back into its tube. Avoid leaving the chamois hanging out to dry, as you would with a micro-fiber cloth or mitt.
  5. Now, you’re ready to wash! Retrieve your wash mitt or sponge from the soapy bucket and carefully apply it to the top end of the canopy. Ensure it is thoroughly wet and soapy. Gently “scrub” the canopy using vertical, up-and-down strokes only—avoid circular or horizontal motions. It is very important that no pressure is applied when using the sponge. Even bug debris can cause permanent scratches on the bubble.
  6. Avoiding leaning over or placing any weight on the helicopter’s canopy. Once the entire bubble is scrubbed with soap, it’s time to rinse.
  7. Use your watering can or hose to rinse off all the soap. Work from the top down, allowing gravity to assist until the bubble is crystal clean and free of suds.
  8. Now, for drying. Take your clean chamois and place it at the top of the bubble. Working with gravity, gently dry the bubble using vertical strokes only. Squeeze out the chamois if needed after drying the first half. Again be sure to avoid applying any pressure on the screen, just lightly drag the chamois across the surface.

You’re done! Your helicopter’s canopy should now be sparkling clean and ready for an enjoyable flight. Don’t forget to put away any cleaning equipment you’ve used.

Some words of caution for new students or anyone cleaning their chopper’s bubble for the first time:

  1. If there are aircraft starting or running their engines on the apron, wear hearing protection!
  2. Do not leave any washing equipment on the apron once finished. Take all your equipment back into the hangar immediately!
  3. If another helicopter is about to lift into the hover or is taxiing back to land from the hover, pause your washing and securely hold all your equipment. A helicopter’s rotor wash is powerful and can blow loose items across the apron, potentially causing damage or injury.

– Ruben Gonzalez


Wash Bay at Melbourne Heli

Above: All cleaning materials can be found on board the red cart under the stairs. The orange or black cylindrical containers are home to the chamois.

Below: The buckets, sponges and watering can will be your go-to tools. you can also use the hose for rinsing. Just be sure to place a witches hat where the hose passes the hangar doors to prevent people from cutting the hose in two when they move the doors.

Wash buckets at Melbourne Heli