Hi guys, I’m Nicholas Mason aka. @masonthepilot. I reside in sunny South Africa, which makes for some amazing flying. I have an absolute passion for flying and love sharing my experiences as I go along.
WHAT TYPE OF FLYING DO YOU DO? HOBBY FLYING, UTILITY, CHARTER?
I currently hold a PPL and am building hours for my CPL. So a lot of fun flying at the moment and making the most out of it.
HOW MANY HOURS DO YOU HAVE?
I have just over 100 hours now, rookie numbers haha.
WHAT TYPE RATINGS DO YOU HOLD?
CAN YOU SHARE YOUR MOST MEMORABLE TIME AS A PILOT AND WHAT MADE IT SO MEMORABLE?
I would consider my solo being my best experience but a few weeks back I loaded the chopper with a camping chair, a drone, my camera and some food and flew to a mountain where I just chilled and had some fun, I mean that’s what helicopters are for, landing in inaccessible places and giving you so much freedom. I know I’ll have a whole load more favorite stories coming up in my career. Oh and I also surprising my dad to go to his favorite game reserve in Madikwe on his birthday just after I got my Private license, I told him I was just taking him for a quick flight so he got a huge surprise when he heard my routing to ATC.
WHEN WAS YOUR FIRST SOLO FLIGHT?
I went solo on 06/06/2017 in a Robinson 44. I think it was just after 4 weeks or so and honestly when I lifted off it didn’t seem right that I’ll be flying the helicopter by myself haha.
IS THERE ONE ITEM YOU ALWAYS TAKE FLYING WITH YOU?
Well apart from my Bose a20 headset which I highly recommend and is a worthy investment, I always have my phone loaded with AirNav pro. It is a great tool for flight planning and inflight navigation. I also try have a bottle of water and a snack in the event...
HOW COME YOU DECIDED TO FLY HELICOPTERS AND NOT PLANES?
Helicopters had always been my passion as a young child, my grandad had a jetty that he would get flown in and that started the snowball effect getting me into RC helicopters and drones. I guess I prefer helicopters as you are always in control, you have the freedom of landing it wherever you want and have a whole lot more fun! But it’s each to their own I guess.
WHAT WAS YOUR WORST FLYING EXPERIENCE?
It would sound silly coming from a low time pilot but I flew a three hour cross country and hitting rain sure did up my pucker factor. Vis wasn’t amazing but thanks to my training from an amazing school I made the right decisions navigating through this. Although I wouldn’t call this my worst flying experience as I gained so much knowledge and experience that you can’t just go out and expect to happen.
IF YOU WEREN'T IN AVIATION, WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU'D YOU BE DOING?
Most likely in the drone industry, I worked with a company who has film grade drones (Alta 8, Shotover U1). I worked on a few movies such as Maze Runner 3 and commercials. I really enjoyed that job as I love working with my hands, tinkering with items and of course flying drones. I also love filming, editing and doing social media management.
Take a loot at these necessary items
The Heli Club Instagram: @theheliclub
You Tube Channel: youtube.com/theheliclub