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So I've had 4 flights all 1.3-1.4 hours, and I don't really know where I should be. I can't hover, there's only been a few times I've held it maybe for about 15 seconds. I am getting better though, my CFI doesn't have to keep taking the controls. I can fly straight and level, do turns, climbs and descents ok, but I guess sometimes I don't watch the gauges and will end up being 200 ft higher than I'm supposed to be without even noticing. I haven't been able to succesfully do a takeoff or approach yet, and I still feel like I'm struggling coordinating all of the controls. I wish there was a way to practice before my flights, but the only way to practice is to fly. I'm memorizing all of the maneuvers from the school's maneuver guide, and hopefully that will help so I can just focus on the controls. Anyway how does it sound like I'm doing, cuz I feel like I'm behind. I know it's only been 4 flights but usually I pick up pretty quickly on things. Thanks.

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Doesn't sound like you have anything to worry about. I'm generally a fast learner myself and I think it was around 9 hours or so where I was able to keep a hover from going out of control. Keep at it and make sure to have fun along the way (not very hard at all).

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One thing I have learned from flying helos is it takes a lot of coordination to hover. I have flown fixed wing for 6 years now and the 2 are completely different animals. Now I know why there are so many fixed wing pilots. Much easier and cheaper to get the rating. I was very fortunate to have a "fly it" simulator to use prior to my actual lessons. Not sure if it was the simulator or just a natural thing for me, but hovering and all the other basic maneuvers where accomplished after my first lesson. I know some people do not agree with it, but I do use Microsoft FSX to practice with. I have everything set up including collective, anti torque pedals and cyclic just like the helo. As for hovering, keep your sight way out font and small movements on the cyclic. Very best of luck to you....

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Celica Pilot,

 

do not worry, you are doing fine and on track.. "your body will remember", (from a scifi movie i can't remember which). soon it will be like the clutch on your car, you won't even think about it.. and actually, when you stop trying to think about it you will do better. My instructor ended up asking me questions about other issues to make me stop analyzing everything..

 

best advice from a post above... just have fun, try not to compare your flying to others, just relax and enjoy.

 

on hovering; one thing that help me a ton, but be sure to discuss this with your instructor FIRST, i was fighting the peddles in hover, pushing one against the other... just put one foot on the floor (which depends on what heli you are flying), you will learn instantly that "light on those controls" relates to the peddles as well as the collective and cyclic.

 

Good Luck... HAVE FUN!!

 

dp

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If it was easy anybody could do it
I could teach a monkey to fly.

It's not easy, but it's not impossible, either. It's a lot like learning to ride a bicycle - at first it seems impossible, but at some point you can just do it. OTOH, there is always something to learn, and you will never know everything you need to know. I try to learn something new every day, and usually do. Just keep at it, and one day you will magically be able to hover, at least in a gentle headwind. Hovering and setting it down gracefully with a 25 knot quartering tailwind, gusting upward against a 200' building, takes a little more practice, but I consider every flight to be practice. Sometimes they still aren't graceful.

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So I've had 4 flights all 1.3-1.4 hours, and I don't really know where I should be. I can't hover, there's only been a few times I've held it maybe for about 15 seconds. I am getting better though, my CFI doesn't have to keep taking the controls. I can fly straight and level, do turns, climbs and descents ok, but I guess sometimes I don't watch the gauges and will end up being 200 ft higher than I'm supposed to be without even noticing. I haven't been able to succesfully do a takeoff or approach yet, and I still feel like I'm struggling coordinating all of the controls. I wish there was a way to practice before my flights, but the only way to practice is to fly. I'm memorizing all of the maneuvers from the school's maneuver guide, and hopefully that will help so I can just focus on the controls. Anyway how does it sound like I'm doing, cuz I feel like I'm behind. I know it's only been 4 flights but usually I pick up pretty quickly on things. Thanks.

 

Nothing you've said sounds unusual for a 4-flight student, although there's huge variation between individuals and situations. There's an immense amount to learn, experience, assimilate and apply physically and intellectually. What, when and how much control to apply has to come from some understanding of a process where all four controls interact in 3 dimensions; and if you're not anticipating the requirements, you're always catching up, adding to your difficulties. The person to truly assess your progress and potential is your instructor. Don't be discouraged and don't wear yourself out trying to meet unreasonable personal expectations. Me, I spend more time than you have in total getting comfortable in an unfamiliar aircraft. That, after 40 years...

"Cockpit drill" seems to help, sitting in the seat, thinking the process and systems through while I read the manual.

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1. Don't stare at the instruments - keep your eyes outside as much as possible and keep your head on a swivel.

 

2. Relax. If you need to hand off control of the aircraft, do so positively, then stretch a bit and work the kinks out.

 

3. I have a habit of leaning on my left elbow after a while, which makes me stack up on that side and throws my sightlines out of whack. Make a habit of checking your posture periodically.

 

4. It's a helicopter, which makes it much like a motorcycle and very much unlike an airplane: look where you want it to go. Think about making it go there and less about what you need to do to make it happen.

 

I just switched to the R-22 from the 300 and I swear I'm having to remind myself of these very items ALL THE TIME. And I still haven't found a happy place for that damn goofy cyclic :angry:

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Anyway how does it sound like I'm doing, cuz I feel like I'm behind. I know it's only been 4 flights but usually I pick up pretty quickly on things. Thanks.

 

Welcome to the frustrating part of the training. Back in February, I wrote the exact same thing, "couldn't hover" to save myself at 5 hrs or so. I thought I should have picked it up by then but no. Well, here we are in September, passed my PPL Checkride in August and now working on Commercial.

 

My advice is to settle down, just keep at it and then at 40 hours tell us how you are doing. I assure you that it will be light years difference than you are doing now. Be patient..It will come.

 

"That which we persist in doing becomes easier. Not that the nature of the thing has changed, but our ability to do has increased".

 

Be safe and enjoy the journey.

 

Cheers

 

Rotorrodent ;)

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I started out the same way as you, just don't over think the manuever and don't look at the ground. I used to hate winds over 10kts and thought I would never learn to handle it, a few hours later I was just fine. Relax, it will all come in time. :D

Edited by DieselBoy
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I can't hover, there's only been a few times I've held it maybe for about 15 seconds. I am getting better though, my CFI doesn't have to keep taking the controls. I can fly straight and level, do turns, climbs and descents ok, but I guess sometimes I don't watch the gauges and will end up being 200 ft higher than I'm supposed to be without even noticing. I haven't been able to succesfully do a takeoff or approach yet, and I still feel like I'm struggling coordinating all of the controls.

 

 

Yeah, so? Get in line and join the club ! There may be one or two that swear they were hovering and doing 180 auto's with 2 hours of training...I kinda doubt it. Most of us went the long slow route. You get better, you stall and flatten out a bit, then you get better, then you get a certificate and then you really start learning and thats when you realize how little you really know!!

 

Early in your training I really think you can benefit from a simulator. If you have access to one, then go use it with a CFI.

 

 

Good luck,

 

Goldy

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I was very fortunate to have a "fly it" simulator to use prior to my actual lessons. Not sure if it was the simulator or just a natural thing for me,

 

 

No offense intended, but whatever your skill level I'm sure the FlyIt (or any simulator) has helped sharpen your skills. Its actually harder to hover in the FlyIt because you only have one visual cue...out in front of you. No sides, no bottom, no seat movements, no "feeling" the aircraft shift.

 

I think they are well worth it, and half the price or less, of the real thing. I think if every student did 5 half hour flights in the sim first they could cut the time it takes to solo by probably 5-10 hours. Not to mention you can learn better from your CFI when you are not worried about hanging on to a bucking bronco that wants to fall from the sky !

 

Goldy

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Thanks guys. I just got back from my 5th flight and I did really well. I kept a lot better hover in a 10kt headwind. Hovering with a wind from the left was A LOT harder :P . I'm getting better used to the controls and starting to get used to checking the instruments more often. My instructer started pulling breakers on me today to see if I was paying attention to the gauges. Even though it is fairly frustrating not being that good yet, I still absolutely love it. Thanks for all of the input, this place is great.

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Ah, you're in the Robbie too, then, eh? I found out just yesterday that the R-22 and the 300 are polar opposites as far as what kind of quartering wind they like. Argh.

 

Scott-put them side by side and you will see why...or compare the 22 tail to a 44 tail...

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Scott-put them side by side and you will see why...or compare the 22 tail to a 44 tail...

 

Yeah :lol: Actually we don't have 300s at my new base, but my instructor pointed out the difference during a particularly gusty - and particularly frustrating - long taxi and suddenly it made sense. It also helped to hand off the aircraft for a minute with "hey, show me how well an old Huey driver handles this wind." Turns out I wasn't doing as bad as I thought.

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It also helped to hand off the aircraft for a minute with "hey, show me how well an old Huey driver handles this wind." Turns out I wasn't doing as bad as I thought.

 

 

O.k. It's funny but I've had similar moments where I was dogging myself mentally with how I was all over the place and going up and down with each gust on take-off and approaches. One such time, my CFI took the controls to demonstrate something and I suddenly realized that, hey, it's a helicopter, not a cadillac! It's going to be bumpy at times no matter what.

 

The standard that I was holding myself to was not realistic and getting to see someone with more experience than me have the same sorts of fluctuations really helped me be able to just "ride it out" rather than trying to fly a laser beam. Of course, there's always room for improvement. . .

 

Kelly

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That is unless you're doin' the "Dancing Donkey".

 

One thing I figured out about the learning curve is that everyone is different. Some can solo at 20 hours, and others solo at 40 hours. Some get their ticket at 40 hours, others get it at 120 hours. Some can hover rock steady, others bounce a bit. Side note, I was hovering over the compass rose, doing well, and a Blackhawk over on alpha was hovering and bouncing all over the place. We're all different and we all have a different curve. Don't beat yourself up because others do better. This ain't a competition... yet. That's later.

 

Later

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"your body will remember", (from a scifi movie i can't remember which).

dp

 

"the abyss?" when the navy guy was telling bud about the liquid oxygen system...and how his body used to "breathe" liquid in the womb...?

 

that's not even true, is it? i thought O2 was delivered via the placenta (directly through the bloodstream), and the doc slaps the kid on the ass to get it to breathe for the first time with its lungs.

Edited by will
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"the abyss?" when the navy guy was telling bud about the liquid oxygen system...and how his body used to "breathe" liquid in the womb...?

 

that's not even true, is it? i thought O2 was delivered via the placenta (directly through the bloodstream), and the doc slaps the kid on the ass to get it to breathe for the first time with its lungs.

 

That is correct, oxygen is delivered via the placenta. However, babies do breathe the amniotic fluid. It's been a while since nursing school, but the babies do breathe the fluid.

 

 

Later

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