Thanks guys for the replies. I can't stop thinking about how much fun I had today.
Nitro Blast I agree completely. When flying helis I'm concentrating too hard to enjoy myself. It's not until later that the day registers as a good time.
Today I was able to start having fun immediately. My buddy had his heavily modded SC buzzing around me to keep things lively.
One of the first things I did when beginning with helis was get Phoenix. It has really paid off. Due to me not knowing how to tweak it properly, flying the SC for real was much smoother than the sim!