Crash Test Justin


For my birthday, my parents surprised me with a rather large (and expensive) gift. Their only request was that they be on the phone with me as I opened the package. On a Thursday evening, the package finally arrived. Justin, GWE, and I gathered in the bedroom and we called my parents. After a few moments of small talk, Justin decided to take the initiative and open the box while we were all still talking. GWE and I turned to see what Justin was doing just as we heard him say, “Coooooooooool! A helicopter!!!!”

I don’t know if Justin was more excited about flying a helicopter or the idea of attaching Garrett to a helicopter and flying him away.

To be clear, this is not a toy. It’s an IFT Evolve 300 CX. It is 18.3 inches long, 10.4 inches high, and is equipped with a main rotor diameter of 18 inches. I have begun to affectionately refer to them as “The Blades of Death!”

On the following Sunday afternoon, Justin and I ran to the driveway to try out the new toy. Justin placed the helicopter at the end of the driveway while I set up the radio transmitter and C.A.T. (Collision Avoidance System.) I flicked on the power switch and started the motor. As it began to “whirr,” Justin and I grinned at each other with the anticipation of a successful liftoff.

I lifted the throttle halfway and…

…it immediately shot back six feet and hit Justin in the head!!!! I could hear the plastic blades hitting his skull over and over and over again. ”Thwap, thwap, thwap, thwap, thwap, thwap, thwap.” Once I finally got the motor to stop (and it is possible that I may have hit the wrong lever and made it go even faster before realizing my mistake,) I was able to attend to Justin – who was now in tears and clutching his head.

GWE came outside to see what all the noise was about. She quickly realized that Justin’s head was bleeding. The blades had sliced open his ear and the skin behind his ear. GWE took him back inside and bandaged him up.

Ear 1

As he sat on the sofa with a Band-Aid stuck to his head, the dried trail of tears down his cheeks, and a cold drink in his lap, I realized that he looked like he’d been run over by a helicopter.

Ear 2

I asked him if he wanted to come back outside and try again. He turned towards me and said, “No daddy!”

“Are you sur…”

“No, Daddy!”

“I promise not to hit you in the….”

“No, Daddy!”

“You can use the remo…”

“No, Daddy!”

“It will be fun!” I told him.

“Daddy…That was not fun!” he replied. “Now, put your toy away.”

Justin was mentally (and physically) scarred from this experience. It will take a lot to get him back outside with the helicopter. I think he might consider giving this a second chance, but only if we follow through with our plans to attach Garrett to the helicopter and fly him off into the sunset.


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