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Lateral hovering


Fred0311

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So I just finished my third lesson and I feel I had a stable hover down pretty well by the end of my second. My hover taxi is improving but where I'm having trouble is a drill my instructor has me do where I hover laterally around a triangle on the ground, and that's where everything turns to crap. Now I know if I did what my instructor said I'd do fine but the problem is overcoming my intuitive responses. I tend to over correct of course and not hold the cyclic input long enough to make the movement. Any suggestions on how to train yourself to overcome these impulses?

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And your on your 3-4th lesson? Id say your doing fine. It will just be a matter of feeling it. Yeah I know thats what you wanted to hear! :D One day it just clicks. Do you ride motorcycles? One of the things they teach is to look where you want to go. I find the same thing in helicopters. Identify where your trying to go. Even in a turn in the pattern. Look 90 degrees, and watch that spot until you roll out on it. I find that when students are learning they look between their feet or are watching the gauges (even 3' off the ground) and all of the sudden your sailing past your spot and then you try to correct back to it. Look at the spot and the machine just sorta heads that way. But your still trying to correlate how all three controls mesh together (or 4 since you have two pedals!) It will take you a little bit to know without thinking what amount of input does what. Right now your brain is thinking about a lot of stuff, even if you dont realize it. In time, some of that stuff its thinking about will become less intense and youll be able to work on the finesse. Right now its all about gross motor skills! Your just trying to hold the crayon....... actually writing your name is still a few lessons away.

 

Your instructor knows what he/she is doing. There are A LOT of skills involved in that one drill. Cross winds, all control in puts, tail winds, head winds, manipulating the throttle depending on what your flying.

Edited by Flying Pig
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Thank you for the input. My instructor said I'm pretty well ahead of the curve but I'm extremely aggressive in my pursuit of this and I want to see constant improvement. I know that's unrealistic and there will be snags but I'm going to try to excel regardless. I can tell my brain is almost overwhelmed though because I can only make radio calls while straight and level and I'm exhausted after a lesson.

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You're a type A like most of us. Frustration with what we perceive as a lack of progress is par for the course. Just keep in mind that this is not an easy thing to learn how to do! Learning to fly helicopters is like learning how to juggle swords while riding a unicycle. Just keep practicing and you will get it. What I do when hovering laterally is turn my head 45 degress in the direction of travel so I have good peripheral vision of both the front and lateral side of movement. This way I can keep the helicopter aligned properly without unwanted drift. Then you just apply cyclic pressure in the desired direction, use pedal as necessary to maintain heading and collective as necessary to maintain hover height. Once you get it, you will wonder why it was so hard to learn.

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I'm with these guys. Looking where you want to go is very important. Sometimes it can be hard if you don't have a specific target, I used to take people down to the wash rack (or any obstacle) and have them approach it like they were going to get fuel. As in hover up, turn sideways, hover sideways toward the target, and set it down.

 

What that seemed to do was give them a goal to shoot for, and took their mind off of the actual act of hovering. It helped quite a bit.

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There's a triangle painted on the ground where two unused taxi ways come together. I find myself either staring at the point on the ground I'm moving towards or at my reference point straight ahead after I clear my path. I'll definitely try to look at a reference point in the direction of my target but not the spot on the ground as that seems to be the consensus. Thank you all for the input but I'm definitely open to anything anyone else has to add. Also I'm wondering if there's any tricks to fight my impulses that I know are incorrect? I know it's the wrong thing to do but I think I'm doing it anyway because my brain is so loaded up just hovering I can't consciously override the instinct to neutralize the cyclic input once I start moving.

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Make radio calls I could not talk on third lesson I was so overloaded.

Your doing OK don't fixate on a spot, use reference points further away, the close in references will come later with experience \ stick time

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One more tip. Helicopter controls are sensitive enough that you really only have to think about what you want it to do and it responds almost like ESP. What's really happening is that when you think "I want to slide left", your body responds automatically by applying pressure to the left. Don't over think the control movements, just think about where you want to go, and you might be surprised by how smooth you become.

Edited by nightsta1ker
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Thank you for the input. My instructor said I'm pretty well ahead of the curve but I'm extremely aggressive in my pursuit of this and I want to see constant improvement. I know that's unrealistic and there will be snags but I'm going to try to excel regardless. I can tell my brain is almost overwhelmed though because I can only make radio calls while straight and level and I'm exhausted after a lesson.

 

Just realize that it's all a part of the learning curve, which is NOT a straight line from here to there.

 

Good luck on your training,

Goldy

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When I was learning to hover I found myself thinking about it way to hard. My instructor had me talk to him about something I enjoyed, non helicopter related, to take my mind off of it. Made my hovering get good pretty fast. Then I eventually learned to not think about it so hard w/o talking.

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My instructor had me do that while circleing around a point and keeping my nose pointed at it and it worked pretty well. That was after the other tips got me better at hovering odd directions. He also had me do a drill were he got the hover "out of control" (in a safe controlled manner) and I had to stabilize the hover. That was a huge confidence booster! But thank you for the tip! It was definitely an effective one.

Edited by Fred0311
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I'm not sure what your referring to. I'm in a r44 when I was talking about holding the cyclic input I meant I kept bringing it back to neutral and it would drift to a stop. And I know I need to get that 22 time. I dropped 25 lbs pretty quick but that last five is killing me!

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What kind of helicopter requires a longer-term control input? Hiller?

 

I got about 5 minutes in a Hiller in Wenatchee this summer. It handled like a dump truck with flat tires. It was just as sensitive as any other helicopter, but you had to lead the inputs because there was a significant delay in responsiveness. I know that sounds contradictory, but what I mean to say is that when the lag finally caught up it would respond just like most types I've flown. This throws you off until you get used to it. Controls were extremely stiff too, so flying smoothly was a bit challenging. The pilot explained that in the Hiller, the cyclic is actually controlling the paddles and the rest of the system follows, hence the delay.

Edited by nightsta1ker
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