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Now I have found out a fact.  This makes me wonder even more about the helicopter and the berries.  The two crates of berries that are picked up in one load weigh 600 pounds.  The helicopter weighs 1700 pounds.  The berries are 1/3 the weight of the helicopter.  This astounds me.

I had a chat yesterday with the Firefly pilot, Harry.  He arrived around 3:30, and for a while he had nothing to do.  This because his assistant, Damien, the guy who connects the lift strap on the ground to the helicopter in the air was in Wareham buying DVD's when Harry arrived at the Cataumet bog.  After a few phone calls Damien was on his way, and Harry had time to chat with a curious photographer.

Harry has been flying since the 1980's, and they were using helicopters to lift berries off the bog before he started, so the helicopter technique is almost tradition too.

Harry is not very impressed by the weight question.  It doesn't seem a big deal to him to lift the berries, swing them across the bogs and deposit them at the truck.  "You just don't make any sudden turns" he says, "you sort of let it just flow".  "Of course you don't want that rope too long, or then the leverage on the berries gets stronger and you have a problem"

We talked about the weather, about bored air traffic controllers, about how the Air Force used to fly out of Otis and the Navy used to fly out Weymouth, and, when Damien arrived about pubs on Clew Bay, County Mayo.  Somehow we just got comfortable in a little Sunday afternoon chat, and we were happy to ease it along until when Steve, the truck driver,  came over and said politely but firmly, "maybe we can load some berries this afternoon, gentlemen?" and our little helicopter chat was over.

Flying High

Berries in the Sky

Safe Landing