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Remember that helicopters can hover! :D

 

As you get close (maybe between 200' and 100') just put on the brakes (like a quick stop). You don't have to slow all the way to a hover (perhaps just to the top of ETL) once you've stablized, slowely bring it down and forward.

 

After a while you'll get used to decsending slower, and things will smoothen out,...worked for me!

:)

Edited by eagle5
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My flight instructor would always say "you have the whole runway to land", start with normal approaches, not necessarily to a specific spot. Then start trying to hit your spot. lose altitude when you have airspeed, don't slow down when you're ten feet in front of your landing spot. You control your airspeed, your instructor will be able to give you the best advice based on your skill and progress level. I am not the most experienced pilot in any way, I am just trying to give you the best advice based on my experience. Anyone feel free to jump in and help him out. Good luck!

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1. Make large patterns at first to give yourself plenty of time to set up the approach.

2. When you turn final pick your spot and line it up with a spot on the windshield between the top of the trim strings and the bottom of the compass.

3. Close one eye at first to make it seem more two-dimensional and flat if it helps.

4. If you set up correctly when you turn final you should be going about 60kts.

5. Set a gentle aft cyclic that is slowly bleeding off airspeed as well as a decent rate that keeps the spot your're aiming for in the same spot of the windshield.

6. Keep the landing spot in the same spot on the windshield by adjusting the collective, leave the cyclic in the gentle aft position.

7. As you lose airspeed level out and stop slowing up at 40kts. Below this you'll start running the risk of losing ETL and settling out missing your spot, or put yourself into a risk of settling with power.

8. Hold 40kts or so until you're getting down into ground effect. Once IGE it's safe to slow up to minimum speed and complete the landing.

 

For shallow approaches set your landing spot at the top of the compass and repeat, for steep set your spot at the middle/bottom of the trim strings and repeat. This rule of thumb is assuming that you're of a height near 5'7" through 6'0". Anything outside of this range the spots on the windshield trick will have to be adjusted.

 

Hope it helps.

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sorry for not elaborating on that R-22 beta. I seem come in fast and then settle almost vertical for the last 60 feet of the approach

 

You are “over arcing”

 

Problems at the bottom of the approach begin at the top. It’s all about the set-up…The setup and approach should look something like this:

 

Intercept the 10 degree approach angle at slightly less than pattern altitude at 60 kts.

 

Once established on with that 10 degree sight picture, set your power setting at approximately 14 inches of manifold pressure while maintaining level attitude.

 

Use your peripheral vision to set the speed and that speed should appear to be a brisk walking pace (it’s obviously not because of your altitude).

 

With 14 inches of MP (or thereabouts) your speed should be decreasing incrementally as you descend while maintaining the 10 degree approach angle. Some collective movements are necessary to hold the angle so slight MP fluctuations are expected.

 

The key is to maintain that peripheral vision “brisk walking pace” sight picture seen at altitude and a level aircraft.

 

As you near the ground, you should be nearing a hover taxi speed, ala-brisk waking pace, with a level machine. Ignore the MP as you’ll be smoothly applying the collective to hover power.

 

Terminate to a hover over your target.

 

If done correctly, the helicopter should seem to fly itself to the spot with little to no effort upon you.

 

Have fun........

Edited by Spike
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Look outside. Fly to your spot, if you are approaching too fast apply some aft cyclic to slow down a bit. You are looking for that "relative walking pace"

 

If you are decending too fast, raise collective, too slow then lower some.

 

IMHO, watching particular airspeeds, altitudes, and MP is not that helpful for private students. They end up eyes in the cockpit too much. Looking outside really helps :-)

 

Just fly the aircraft.

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I'll keep it simple for you. As Phoi stated already.

 

The issue you are having is rate of closure. As you line up on final keep eyes out front. Use periperal vision to maintain a walking pace. What that means is the ground appears to move by as the same speed as if you were walking upon it.

 

Maintain that walking pace all the way down using your perhiperal vision and you will notice that you have been slowing down the entire time, just gradually throughout the approach. No need to do a quick stop. In the professional world (charters and so on) you are not going to be doing quick stops as part of your approach. Not a smooth method and the passengers won't like it.

 

Now if you are doing a shallow approach to run on, same thing just use a brisk walk. If a steep approach to hover or to the ground a slow walk/crawl as your rate of closure.

 

To help students understand this concept I tell them the following: we have all at one point sat in a 737 or similar airliner window seat, right? Now as you look out the window at 35,000 feet you notice the ground seems to move by slowly. Bring that airliner down to 35 feet but keep the same speed as in cruise and the ground will zip by so fast it'll be blury.

 

Keep in mind the periperal vison, walking pace and that the cyclic will control the rate of closure and collective angle of approach. Then you'll be all good to go.

 

Also, to maintain angle: use this and adjust as needed based on your physical height when siting in the helicopter:

 

Shallow approach: spot aligned with the compass

Normal approach: spot aligned with the trim strings

Steep approach spot aligned with the top of the panel

 

Just remember and the last stage of the approach the spot will need to gradually slide down out of view and under the helicopter to terminate over the intended landing site.

 

That is how I teach it. I see Spike says a brisk walk for normal approach. That is ok too. Each person is a little different. There is no need to come in super slow either as you don't want to hang around up there slow and high if the engine fails. You also don't want to come in so fast you seem or feel out of control or behind the aircraft.

Edited by JDHelicopterPilot
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Your closure at the start of the approach (pattern altitude and normal approach angle of 10 degrees) should be no faster than a man can run, towards the middle it should be no faster than a man can trot, in close no faster than a man can walk, as you are coming to a 3 foot hover you should be crawling.

Closure is perceived best at the fringe of your peripheral vision.

Imagine your approach in 3 equal length segments, and adjust power to the proper closure rate. The whole approach should seem well controlled if not slow.

Don't rush yourself.

Hope that helps.

The other tips given so far are excellent as well. Use the one(s) techniques that work best for you.

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Here's another option that is a little less "feel" and a bit more literal since at the beginning it can be tough to know what exactly you're trying to see/feel.

 

Figuring your pattern altitude is 500' AGL and 65kts but even if it's not, no big deal, the approach part still works when you get there. As you begin your approach, slow it up to 60kts as you come through 400'AGL, 50kts/300'AGL, 40kts/200'AGL, 30kts/100'AGL then a nice normal approach through ETL down to a 3-5' hover. It'll slow you up so you are maintaining control throughout and then near the bottom you won't find yourself screaming at the ground and having to pull it all together in the last 50'. The faster you're going, the faster things happen and that can be frustrating, difficult, and dangerous early on. Those numbers don't have to be spot on, but it gives you something specific to look for while essentially setting you up on a normal approach angle every time until your sight picture gets locked in better. Have fun! :D

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What I have found in every helicopter I have flown is to target a spot just short of your intended point. Then keep that spot in the same place in the windshield. If it moves up in the windshield you will be short and if it moves down you will be long. You then control your closure rate with your spot with the cyclic. For big adjustments, you will need to make collective changes. You will want to make your big adjustments early in your approach. When you get below about 40 knots and 200 - 300 feet don't try to save the approach go around. Another thing that works for me, is to make a slow and steady deceleration on approach. Around 10 knots per 100 feet of altitude. That should put you going through ETL right around 100 feet and just short of your spot.

 

The reason for using a spot just short of your landing target, is that as you enter ground effect you will float just a bit. Each landing is different due to winds, weight, the particular machine, etc. Keep in mind that as you enter ETL, you will need to increase your power a bit to compensate for the loss of lift.

 

If you keep a steady deceleration, the approach will feel smoother. When you start flying passengers, remember, they will judge the quality of the flight on the landing.

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Look outside. Fly to your spot, if you are approaching too fast apply some aft cyclic to slow down a bit. You are looking for that "relative walking pace"

 

If you are decending too fast, raise collective, too slow then lower some.

 

IMHO, watching particular airspeeds, altitudes, and MP is not that helpful for private students. They end up eyes in the cockpit too much. Looking outside really helps :-)

 

Just fly the aircraft.

 

The advice given was “set” the MP, not “look” at the MP…It’s a set it and forget it technique. Or better said, a pilot workload reduction technique…. ….

 

The assumption is Mr. Cryesis is looking outside. Maybe this assumption is a *bad* on my part. If so, then flying blindfolded is not a good idea either……..

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I am only talking about specific "targets" in general, Spike.

 

A lot of the times when I flew with a student who was having lots of problems with VFR approaches, when things went to poop would watch their eyes and they would be staring inside the cockpit. The quickest fix would be to start covering up instruments and sometimes in extreme instances, covering the whole panel.

 

So, yes, wearing a blindfold while flying is pretty silly, but (and I am not referring to the set and forget technique) staring at the instruments during an approach is basically the same thing :-)

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Here's another option that is a little less "feel" and a bit more literal since at the beginning it can be tough to know what exactly you're trying to see/feel.

 

Figuring your pattern altitude is 500' AGL and 65kts but even if it's not, no big deal, the approach part still works when you get there. As you begin your approach, slow it up to 60kts as you come through 400'AGL, 50kts/300'AGL, 40kts/200'AGL, 30kts/100'AGL then a nice normal approach through ETL down to a 3-5' hover. It'll slow you up so you are maintaining control throughout and then near the bottom you won't find yourself screaming at the ground and having to pull it all together in the last 50'. The faster you're going, the faster things happen and that can be frustrating, difficult, and dangerous early on. Those numbers don't have to be spot on, but it gives you something specific to look for while essentially setting you up on a normal approach angle every time until your sight picture gets locked in better. Have fun! :D

 

This worked for me. Specific numbers to shoot for are very helpful when first starting out. Give it a try!

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I am only talking about specific "targets" in general, Spike.

 

A lot of the times when I flew with a student who was having lots of problems with VFR approaches, when things went to poop would watch their eyes and they would be staring inside the cockpit. The quickest fix would be to start covering up instruments and sometimes in extreme instances, covering the whole panel.

 

Yep, I used to cure the “looking inside” problem with a #2 pencil. I’d put the eraser end under their chin with the sharp end stuck into their upper chest. This provided a constant reminder where their head should be. I also covered instruments as well. I used the round soap holder with the little suction cups…. Not too long ago while flying with a former SPIFR training captain, I noticed him checking and fiddling with the GPS when it wasn’t really necessary to do so. From that point forward, it was turned off…..

 

In any case, I didn’t read anything in the OP which indicated a heads down issue. Therefore, my response…..

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What I have found in every helicopter I have flown is to target a spot just short of your intended point. Then keep that spot in the same place in the windshield. If it moves up in the windshield you will be short and if it moves down you will be long. You then control your closure rate with your spot with the cyclic. For big adjustments, you will need to make collective changes. You will want to make your big adjustments early in your approach. When you get below about 40 knots and 200 - 300 feet don't try to save the approach go around. Another thing that works for me, is to make a slow and steady deceleration on approach. Around 10 knots per 100 feet of altitude. That should put you going through ETL right around 100 feet and just short of your spot.

 

The reason for using a spot just short of your landing target, is that as you enter ground effect you will float just a bit. Each landing is different due to winds, weight, the particular machine, etc. Keep in mind that as you enter ETL, you will need to increase your power a bit to compensate for the loss of lift.

 

If you keep a steady deceleration, the approach will feel smoother. When you start flying passengers, remember, they will judge the quality of the flight on the landing.

 

That seems like ill advise for a rookie pilot (and yes, I'm a rookie). Losing ETL at 100' AGL can be dangerous for a new pilot... Extremely dangerous. I can only assume that you forgot to mention the part about how you should ride ETL in to your landing spot.

 

I know (or at least hope) that the instructor is right there making sure everything remains safe, but if the student loses ETL at 75' and doesn't raise the collective, he could end up flirting with vortex ring state and the instructor could be hard pressed to regain ETL before he hits the ground. Even if the student DOES raise the collective, now he's HOGE and may not think about how he needs to ensure his rate of descent doesn't go crazy.

 

I've done it before (flirted with VRS, and yes I learned from it). Fortunately, I was IGE and my instructor arrested the rate of descent before it was too late.

 

Anyways, cryesis, don't feel too bad. My normal approaches seem WAY too slow to me. My steeps started out with a fast rate of closure. Fixed that. Now, though, because of all the steeps I had to do to get it right, my normals took on the rate of closure that the steep requires. Fortunately, the new semester has started and I get to fly tomorrow. Hopefully the new instructor I have will be able to give me a different piece of advise that my previous one may not have thought about.

 

Next time you're out walking around, pay attention to how fast the ground appears to be moving beneath you and dedicate it to memory, then apply it to your approaches.

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I've done it before (flirted with VRS, and yes I learned from it). Fortunately, I was IGE and my instructor arrested the rate of descent before it was too late.

 

Not sure where you’re at in your training program but as a PTS requirement, you’d better do more than “flirt” with it………

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Not sure where you’re at in your training program but as a PTS requirement, you’d better do more than “flirt” with it………

 

Second half of private. And the event I was referring to wasn't part of the recognition and recovery training, it was me coming in for a steep approach and not keeping my rate of descent in check.

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Second half of private. And the event I was referring to wasn't part of the recognition and recovery training, it was me coming in for a steep approach and not keeping my rate of descent in check.

 

Check.

 

Not sure what “second half of private” means but if you don’t ride the elevator, recognition and recovery doesn’t mean much. Great training will show you where the edge is by throwing you over it….

 

In this circumstance, surfing the vibe is critical, but in no way foolish if done correctly…

Edited by Spike
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There ain't no magic bullet for this. Like everything else in flying, it takes practice. Eventually it will come around, and the only solution is to keep working at it. In the meantime, try flying approaches so that it seems that you're way too slow. That will probably be about right. Too slow is always better than too fast. Most overtorques are the result of a fast approach, then trying to stop too quickly, and worse things can also happen, including LTE and slamming into the ground.

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Check.

 

Not sure what “second half of private” means but if you don’t ride the elevator, recognition and recovery doesn’t mean much. Great training will show you where the edge is by throwing you over it….

 

In this circumstance, surfing the vibe is critical, but in no way foolish if done correctly…

 

At Guidance Pvt is split in two. Most of the training for Pvt is in the first semester, up to and including the first solo. Pvt 2 semester is aviation weather, cross country flight planning, cross country solo, and the FAA written/oral/checkride for PPL.

 

With my instructor we did quite a bit of training with getting into settling with power, and recovering from it, to the point I had my altitude loss at about 75ft at the point of recovery, but that was at HOGE at 700ft. We did do a few approaches, intentionally getting below ETL on steep approaches to feel the helo sink faster, to recognize what happens when you get into this, then apply fwd cyclic to get the A/S back up to above ETL, then up collective. Really wasn't that dramatic, but I was expecting it. That would be the closest to finding the edge and going over it that I experienced with my instructor last semester, and honestly it did help and I learned from it.

Edited by superstallion6113
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besides all of the excellent advice already stated, i found myself coming in too hot and needing to make the adjustment at the last minute. what it came down to was physiological. my body was used to the feeling of 65 knots. it felt natural, especially after cross-country's. so just reminding myself that the physical sensation will be changing, and expecting it, rather than being surprised by it at the last minute, gave me a better way to visualize my approaches, especially in confined areas/off airports. i could say "brisk walk pace" all day, but i needed to expect the "feel" to change.

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besides all of the excellent advice already stated, i found myself coming in too hot and needing to make the adjustment at the last minute. what it came down to was physiological. my body was used to the feeling of 65 knots. it felt natural, especially after cross-country's. so just reminding myself that the physical sensation will be changing, and expecting it, rather than being surprised by it at the last minute, gave me a better way to visualize my approaches, especially in confined areas/off airports. i could say "brisk walk pace" all day, but i needed to expect the "feel" to change.

 

As a general rule of thumb, I used to tell students that during an approach, the first 2/3 of the approach required lowering collective, and the last 1/3 requires raising collective.

 

Waiting too long to raise collective (and therefore reducing the rate of descent) makes for a really rough approach to hover (and pulling tons of power)

 

The last 1/3 is pull a 1/2 inch or so, wait.... Pull another 1/2 inch, wait.... Etc

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