How to Move a Helicopter


Moving a helicopter is no easy endeavor. Unless you can fly it, which isn’t the case for us right now.

Jon built this Rotorway Exec 162 a few years ago in Idaho, after selling his beloved Cessna 206, Gulf Tango, which he’d had for many years. Gulf Tango had flown him all over Alaska for two decades. But he was ready for a change. He decided to build his own, and Rotorway offered the top of the line with an exceptional safety record.

Unfortunately, health problems have caused him to lose his medical, which happened before he could even progress beyond hovering. So we have been contemplating moving this beast from Idaho to where we live now in Washington. It’s taken us two years to finally have a viable plan. Here, we plan to sell it.

We took the plunge over the Fourth of July weekend.

We drove to Portland, in order to purchase a utility trailer that we could tow behind the Toyota 4Runner. We looked into the cost of hiring movers and/or a moving truck/trailer, and it was actually less expensive to do it ourselves–including actually buying a 14 foot trailer.

From there, we hauled it to Twin Falls. It took us a couple of days to empty out the hanger, which we also used for storage, and farm out things for donation and dump. We got rid of 80 percent of what was in there, since we have no place to store it all here.

After a day of frustrating rotor dismantling and other aircraft preparations, we were finally ready for loading this 1,500 pound monster.

Recruiting a couple of big, burly guys to help, they began the process of maneuvering this thing up the ramp and onto the trailer…

The heli is on two wheels. Should be a piece of cake–just roll it up the ramp. Right?

Wrong.

Wheel span is about four inches wider than the trailer. So, the wheels have to come off. Bummer.

Major bummer.

What they ended up doing was rigging it so that the wheels were temporarily attached to the inside edge of the skids (they are normally attached to the outside), just long enough to get it up the ramp and level. After that, the guys took them off and slid the heli, on its skids, up to the front of the trailer.

From that point on, it was easy. Of course, getting it off the trailer will be equally challenging, but maybe we can find a buyer who wants the trailer as well–and then the dismount it will be up to him or her.

We can only hope. But for now, trailer and heli are in our back yard, awaiting the perfect new owner.

Now for your viewing pleasure (or comical enjoyment), here’s a little sideshow…I mean, slide show. 🙂

And, if you know of anyone interested in a Rotorway Exec 162F Turbo, give me a call.

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