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Initial Entry - Beginning through 8 hours (the highlights).

Kelly N.



This blog will track my flight and ground school experiences through my PPL rating. Hopefully, I'll look back on this during my commercial and CFI training and regain any lost perspective. If other student pilots (current and future) are able to learn anything (or just amuse themselves at my bumbling) then; bonus.


I'm currently at around 8 hours of flight time and 5 weeks into the ground school.


To date my challenges have been:


Hover: Duh! Of course this was a challenge. From what I gather, it is for most student pilots (except those gifted few who are born hovering from the womb :huh: ).


I could hover for 5-10secs during my second lesson (2nd hour and 2nd time in an actual helicopter). I did about an hour in the FlyIt sim which seemed to help a bit. However, the next lesson I had pretty much lost it (or at least that's what it seemed like to me).


After some constructive criticism about keeping the grip in my hand (not fingertips) to keep the larger muscles engaged, I got quite a bit better. Relaxing help a LOT too. Now, hover is coming along nicely with the instructor rarely touching the controls during hovers and pickups. It's improving without my really noticing. I'll be working on another skill and just realize that "Hey! I'm hovering pretty good without even thinking about it". Then I immediately do my best imitation of a bobber with a fish on it since I started actually thinking about hovering :D .


Clearing Turns: This was BIG challenge. I would either whip around way too fast or I would completely loose altitude consistency. This was worst when trying in a right crosswind. The interaction between the extra power required by the TR (due to my stopping left pedal pressure early in the turn instead of following through until I was clear of the crosswind) and then the subsequent loss of altitude and need to raise collective, etc, etc. . . was really frustrating. However, I got better during the lesson and the next time, in light wind, it was much, much easier.


Set-downs: This is still a bit of a hang-up for me. I tend to tense up as I approach the ground and raise the collective too much. The increase in power torques me around and I compensate, but then have to lower collective to get lower again and it starts the rabid wobble. (Yes, that's rabid not rapid. If you saw it you'd understand). I'm working on this though and hope to have it worked out in the next hour or so.


My take-offs and approaches (normal) are coming along and I'll be working on steep approaches next lesson. I'm really starting to feel like I can actually fly helicopters :D Just not well. Yet. B)


I'll post again after my lesson on Wednesday.





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