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Giving a helicopter ride in Chino, Calif. circa 1990.  I was a full-time economist at the time, and gave copter rides on weekends as a part-time endeavor.  It wasn't much later that I bailed for Pago Pago and my first overseas flying job.

This is a Bell-47-D1, one of the oldest versions of this venerable machine.  The main rotor blades are made out of wood (really).

I've flown various models of Bell 47s, from the old D1 to the funky, stretched J2A.   There is nothing--nothing, I say--more fun to fly than a Bell 47.  If I win the Lotto, I'm buying one!