Five flights of a toy remote-controlled helicopter.

The first flight has a close pass from the helicopter, resulting in the recorder picking up some wind noise through the midweight Sony wind screen. I had tried using the heavier Rode screen, but it cut out enough of the high frequencies to make a noticeable difference.

The second flight includes the distinct sound of the helicopter hitting the stippled ceiling in my condo, followed shortly after by the helicopter colliding with the wall and tumbling to the ground. I can't really tell if all of the stipple-ceiling scratches on the top rotor blades affect its flight – this isn't a precision machine.

Flight number three was going really well until a bookshelf got in the way.

The fourth flight starts with a couple of quick spins of the rotors, which helps prepare the helicopter for a natural takeoff. Most of the time I hand-launch, holding the helicopter by the tail until it's stable and generating sufficient lift. This flight ended with the toy going nose-first into a wall and then falling about seven feet, which is no rougher than average.

The fifth flight that I included in this set – I actually recorded many, many more – is just a short hop with a soft landing at the end, just to prove that I could still do it.

The recorder was in the middle of the room, about five feet off of the floor, with the mics in wide stereo position and pointing at where I launched each flight. I've edited out some wind noise from the fifth flight, and cut out all of the fumbling and retrieval time between each, but otherwise the audio is as-recorded. Gain was set around 6, which is higher than I usually go, and a fair bit of background noise shows up in the quiet moments. But to put it in perspective, I had to learn to hold my breath for a few seconds before and after each flight to avoid contaminating the recording. From seven feet away.

A longer review of the helicopter is coming, but the short version is that it's a lot of fun and remarkably resilient. Even better, despite how it sounds, it has yet to do any damage to innocent parties.