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Training Update - Hovering!


Tarantula
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As you might know, (or not, as I don't think I made a post) I've been training with Heli-Ops since august. More seriously since mid-late Sept once I got my funding in order. Just ticked to 9 hours today and we're working on approaches, but I'm making progress each flight, so I'm not too worried that I'll get them down. Been lots of fun. Did my first more "scenario based" approach training today. We'd already covered approaches and done the technique for them previous. So today my instructor said he'd have me fly an approach, he'd be there just in case, and just try to fly the best approach I could. I'm still pretty unsteady for the last bit of the approach, so he took controls and settled things out at the end for me. Then we spent a minute to have me review myself, then he added in things he noticed and I missed, and we flew it again. And again and again and again! By the last approach today, I felt like I'd made lots of progress, but I still seem to get nervous the last bit as the ground is getting closer, and I seem to sub-consciously pull collective to keep that very hard ground away from me. I definitely have to work on relaxing, and work on learning just exactly where the skids are. After approaches, we did some hover work, and I think I finally found the "hover button"... at least, for short time periods. Now that I can hover (somewhat) I think I'll feel a lot more comfortable with the ground, as I won't be worried that I'll be drifting all over the place.

 

Gotta say though, the difference in approaches between today and last time I learned them (technique style) was night and day. I definitely internalized a lot more, instead of over-focusing on the technique and missing out on everything else.

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As you might know, (or not, as I don't think I made a post) I've been training with Heli-Ops since august. More seriously since mid-late Sept once I got my funding in order. Just ticked to 9 hours today and we're working on approaches, but I'm making progress each flight, so I'm not too worried that I'll get them down. Been lots of fun. Did my first more "scenario based" approach training today. We'd already covered approaches and done the technique for them previous. So today my instructor said he'd have me fly an approach, he'd be there just in case, and just try to fly the best approach I could. I'm still pretty unsteady for the last bit of the approach, so he took controls and settled things out at the end for me. Then we spent a minute to have me review myself, then he added in things he noticed and I missed, and we flew it again. And again and again and again! By the last approach today, I felt like I'd made lots of progress, but I still seem to get nervous the last bit as the ground is getting closer, and I seem to sub-consciously pull collective to keep that very hard ground away from me. I definitely have to work on relaxing, and work on learning just exactly where the skids are. After approaches, we did some hover work, and I think I finally found the "hover button"... at least, for short time periods. Now that I can hover (somewhat) I think I'll feel a lot more comfortable with the ground, as I won't be worried that I'll be drifting all over the place.

 

Gotta say though, the difference in approaches between today and last time I learned them (technique style) was night and day. I definitely internalized a lot more, instead of over-focusing on the technique and missing out on everything else.

 

Nice job!,,,

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You're definitely on the right track. We're very excited for your progress!

 

It is easy to lose sight of the fact that this is a completely unique physical skill for your brain to learn how to do. Approaches in particular are as much about feeling it as about technique. Remember that no two approaches are ever identical. "Practice makes proficient".

 

For me, during my Private training, I finally had that "ahah" moment while doing approaches at night. With the limited visual cues I finally started to feel it.

 

The other thing that may help you as you keep working is the process of learning to trust the helicopter. Once you have a controlled rate of descent, maintaining ETL until less than 300fpm, pulling in some pitch at the right moment, then you learn to anticipate how ground effect will do alot of work for you to help smooth out your finish in terminating the approach.

 

Good luck,...have fun!

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Not going to tell a CFI or a student what to do or not do...however, might help you if you just go out for 20 minutes and just do pick ups...move 20 feet and set it down again. Try to hover just above the ground, get that feel of where the ground is in relation to where you think it is. And then go do some approaches, terminate each one into a hover and set down if you can...

 

Say hey to the HeliOps crew for me.

 

Goldy

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Funny you advise that Goldy... that is exactly what we started doing after the handful of failed approaches and go-arounds I did. Getting slowly more used to where the ground is and how far below my head the skids are. Hopefully flying tomorrow, I've been looking at videos and pictures of what a normal approach sight picture looks like. Hopefully that'll help. I'll keep you guys updated.

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