I had an opportunity to fly alongside a Sikorsky SkyCrane this weekend, and blew it. Coming into Afton Wyo. on a breakfast run, I also needed a few things at the big Ace Hardware store that's right on the way to the cafe, plus needed to pay FBO'er Mark for prior help when I broke a prop blade there some weeks earlier. He let me off VERY easy BTW, much appreciated. Just as I was calling out left turn onto base for 34, he was lifting off the ramp, southbound.
Being the by the book pilot that I am
it never occured me that this was a once in a lifetime chance to fly along the big beast, the air was smooth, and there was no other traffic, and if I had simply turned right I could have joined up and escorted them out of the area. As it was I reported I'd just extend my base leg east of the centerline and let them continue their takeoff without me being a factor, I mean we are talking 460 GPH for them versus 3 or so for me.... After they cleared the centerline I re-assumed my approach and as I was landing at the very north end (nearest the cafe) no worries about the turbulence it may have stirred up, I don't even want to imagine what that could be like!
It wasn't until after breakfast, and in the FBO looking at the pictures Mark took of the thing that I realized what I had done, or not done.
Oh well, next time maybe. I did the exact right thing pattern work/traffic wise, but damn I was asleep at the wheel not to have seized the chance to fly formation with it a bit!