Here at Central Helicopters, it’s not unusual for us to welcome some rich and famous visitors. From politicians to rockstars, we’ve had some very notable passengers touch down at our Nottingham HQ. But, our most recent celebrity arrival leaves them all in his wake, at least in terms of sheer speed!
British Superbike racer Peter Hickman, or ‘Hicky‘, as he’s known to his race fans, swapped his 188 mile-per-hour BMW S1000RR bike for our Robinson R22 helicopter. It was maybe a little slower than the race ace was used to, but mastering the controls of a helicopter for the first time is no mean feat.
After a safety briefing, ‘Hicky’ joined one of our most experienced pilots, Captain James Walley, for one of our most popular flight experiences, the 90-minute trial lesson. Once suitably briefed on the helicopter and procedures, it was time to put theory into practise, and try out some very different controls.
Peter, who is from near-by Burton-on-Trent, is currently competing in the British Superbike championship, but he shot to fame on the racing circuit by becoming the fastest ever newcomer at the Isle of Man TT with a fastest average lap speed of 129.1 mph.
Once touched down, he said: “I had an awesome time flying the R22. I’ve never been in a helicopter before, let alone flown one, but loved it. Central Helicopters were fantastic, and I’d recommend it to anyone.”
Captain James Walley said: “Peter was a natural. He wasn’t nervous or apprehensive about getting in and flying for the first time, but then again he is used to riding a race bike around a street circuit at 180mph, so perhaps you wouldn’t expect him to be!”
Remember, you don’t have to be a motorbike race hero to fly a helicopter. Our trial lessons are the perfect way to start flying, and they are suitable for just about anyone. Call the team on 01664 823846 to find out how you can follow in Peter’s footsteps, or find more information here.