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R44 - WHY NOT LEFT?


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New to helicopters. Buying an R44 to learn on. I am aware that pilots are told to solo them from the right seat. My simple questions is why? Is it a mandatory safety issue? Maybe to do with torque? Or W&B?

 

Can they be soloed from left? I am way more comfortable using my left hand on the stick, and my right hand on the throttle and other controls (from my many years of fixed wing and gyro flying).

 

Any info would be appreciated!

 

Tom

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The controls are the same in the left seat. You still hold the collective in your left hand and the Cyclic in your right.

 

Also it would be difficult to start the R44 solo from the left seat, the starter is on the right hand controls.

 

RW

 

New to helicopters. Buying an R44 to learn on. I am aware that pilots are told to solo them from the right seat. My simple questions is why? Is it a mandatory safety issue? Maybe to do with torque? Or W&B?

 

Can they be soloed from left? I am way more comfortable using my left hand on the stick, and my right hand on the throttle and other controls (from my many years of fixed wing and gyro flying).

 

Any info would be appreciated!

 

Tom

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The above comments are great insight.

 

Think about this: From the left seat with your right hand on the cyclic and you want to change a freq or adjust something on the console. You will need to:

 

1) move your left hand to replace your right hand on the cyclic,

2) then move your right hand to do "the task"

3) then move the right hand back to the cyclic

4) then return the left hand to the collective

 

Now you are back where you started with alot of moving in the cockpit with chances for mistakes. Also, most of us do not have alot of experience of using the left hand for the cyclic and there is a real chance for problems.

 

Now from the right seat you want to do the same task. You need to:

 

1) move your left hand from the collective and reach to the console and do "the task"

2) return your left hand back to the collective

 

You are done, less movement = less work load = is less chances that you might not be ready is something happens.

 

Yes, I know there alot of left PIC helicopters but not Robinson.

 

Just another thought.

 

Good luck in your training.

 

edspilot

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Think about this: From the left seat with your right hand on the cyclic and you want to change a freq or adjust something on the console. You will need to:

 

1) move your left hand to replace your right hand on the cyclic,

2) then move your right hand to do "the task"

3) then move the right hand back to the cyclic

4) then return the left hand to the collective

Yep, Welcome to the 300...

 

And yes the controls are the same for left and right seat. My only comment is, you said you were buying an R44 but you don't know that the controls are the same on both sides. I would STRONGLY recommend going and taking a couple fights with an instructor to see if you even like flying a helicopter before you ever even attempt to buy. I might even go as far as saying you should complete your private in a ship and then if you want to continue your learning or fly for yourself then look into buying your own.

 

To answer your first question, in the 300 anyway it's a W&B issue. The main fuel take is on the Right side so they don't want the fuel and pilot on the same side.

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Thanks for the replies ... clears thing up.

 

AngelFire ... good advice. I have several hours in friend's helicopters (including a CFI buddy) ... mostly sitting in awe and NO instruction.

 

I understand it would be best to choose a bird after some experience ... but I got a killer deal (in this economy) on a very new R44.

 

I did the same thing with my FW ... bought one to learn on it.

 

Also did it with my Xenon Gyroplane. And while the Xenon is NOT a helicopter ... my helicopter CFI says (after flying it) that many of the flight characteristics share similar qualities (no tail rotor, of course).

 

I have already accepted that I will be starting from scratch ... so it really doesn't matter what I think of a particular bird -- cause I don't know enough to have a significant opinion. And even if it turned out that I like a Jet Ranger or Hughes better ... It wouldn't matter cause I don't have that much money to spend.

 

I am sure there are many heli pilots who would "settle" for something less just to get in the air and learn.

 

Stay tuned for many more silly questions.

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It's the same in the 44. The main fuel tank is on the left. If you soloed from the left with a full tank the helicopter would be so out of lateral CG that you wouldn't have full use of the cylic. I you could ad ballast to the right seat to even it out but you'd still be in violation of the limitations of that helicopter.

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The governor controls are only on the right-seat collective.

Trim and starter switches are on right-seat cyclic.

Access to the starter or mixture control isn't as easily accomplished from the left seat (eg, in the event of an air restart).

At least for the R22, you can't get into CG with a solo left seat pilot.

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New to helicopters. Buying an R44 to learn on.

Tom

 

Tom- now that you have all the facts on left seat flying, I was just going to add that now is a good time to buy a 44. Lots of em on the market, many with less than 50 hours TT. Zero time ships going for 299K (R1).

 

Goldy

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