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Hi,

 

30 hour casual helicopter student here. Training in the R44 Raven 1. Working full time so I fly maybe about 10 hours per month.

 

I am at 180 degree auto rotations but am having problems with the last 20% of the maneuver, which is the flare part.

 

My airspeed and RPM control throughout is usually pretty good +/- 2%, +/- 5 knots, (101% & 70 KIAS) but when it comes time to flare I am either doing too much too soon, or not pitching up enough soon enough in the last part of the full flare which makes my instructors really nervous. I can almost never seem to get that perfect flare timing to hit the spot at the perfect altitude.

 

My instructors mostly say to start a "baby flare" at about 40 feet, which is just 1 or 2 degrees of pitch up. I'm supposed to hold that for a few seconds and then go into a "full flare" so that I stop right at the spot. Throttle is supposed to be rolled on right at the beginning of the full flare for the power recovery. I estimate that this happens at about 60 knots and 20 feet, Ideally I end in a low hover right over the spot.

 

My straight in autos are pretty solid, for some reason the flare isn't as much of an issue there. I don't know if there is a requirement to do so but I have been entering the 180 autos at 1000 ft AGL abeam the landing spot on downwind, usually aiming to hit the runway numbers. This usually results in me rolling out with skids pointed toward the spot at about 2-300 feet.

 

I've done a few away from airports using different colors of grass as a spot and it seemed to help a little bit, but not enough to fix everything.

 

I just feel like my instructors are always either coming on the controls and telling me to flare more or telling me not to do so much so soon. Overall the first part of the flare is too big and the last part is not big enough.

 

Any tips are appreciated. I am also a fixed wing ATP so my CFI's say I am too focused on being lined up with the runway when we do these at an airport, which doesn't matter.

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If your straight in's are good, you should be good on your 180's based on the info you gave. After you turn just tell yourself it's a straight in.

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As Bonzo said it should be a strait in auto or are you leaving the turn till you are low & having to flare in the turn,, bit like a down wind quick stop turning into wind.

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As Bonzo said it should be a strait in auto or are you leaving the turn till you are low & having to flare in the turn,, bit like a down wind quick stop turning into wind.

 

If i misjudge some part of the turns then i do occasionally start the flare in a turn. This would most commonly happen due to ATC since we operate at towered fields and sometimes cannot begin the maneuver at the perfect time; I guess a real engine faiulre would not happen at the perfect time either, though.

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If i misjudge some part of the turns then i do occasionally start the flare in a turn. This would most commonly happen due to ATC since we operate at towered fields and sometimes cannot begin the maneuver at the perfect time; I guess a real engine faiulre would not happen at the perfect time either, though.

 

As said above, there is no reason for the final segmant of a 180 auto to differ from a straight auto, assuming you are able to roll out at the proper angle/altitude/airspeed.

 

While most new CFI's coach autos to start at the perfect entry point, it'll do you a lot a good to get away from that mindset. As you said, engine failures almost never happen under ideal circumstances.

 

Focus on understanding all the variables that affect the glide/flare profile. As you develop proficiency, you'll become more comfortable executing steeper turns, more aggressive flares, maneuvering out of trim or sideways/backwards, which allows a much higher degree of precision.

 

Check out "The Little Book of Autorotations" by Shawn Coyle. Very insightful into all the nuances of a successful autorotation.

 

https://www.amazon.com/LIttle-Book-Autorotations-Shawn-Coyle-ebook/dp/B0092PX8H6

 

Also, don't be discouraged. Autorotations are by far the most difficult maneuver to master. Even experts botch one up from time to time.

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Hi,

 

30 hour casual helicopter student here. Training in the R44 Raven 1. Working full time so I fly maybe about 10 hours per month.

 

I am at 180 degree auto rotations but am having problems with the last 20% of the maneuver, which is the flare part.

 

My airspeed and RPM control throughout is usually pretty good +/- 2%, +/- 5 knots, (101% & 70 KIAS) but when it comes time to flare I am either doing too much too soon, or not pitching up enough soon enough in the last part of the full flare which makes my instructors really nervous. I can almost never seem to get that perfect flare timing to hit the spot at the perfect altitude.

 

My instructors mostly say to start a "baby flare" at about 40 feet, which is just 1 or 2 degrees of pitch up. I'm supposed to hold that for a few seconds and then go into a "full flare" so that I stop right at the spot. Throttle is supposed to be rolled on right at the beginning of the full flare for the power recovery. I estimate that this happens at about 60 knots and 20 feet, Ideally I end in a low hover right over the spot.

 

My straight in autos are pretty solid, for some reason the flare isn't as much of an issue there. I don't know if there is a requirement to do so but I have been entering the 180 autos at 1000 ft AGL abeam the landing spot on downwind, usually aiming to hit the runway numbers. This usually results in me rolling out with skids pointed toward the spot at about 2-300 feet.

 

I've done a few away from airports using different colors of grass as a spot and it seemed to help a little bit, but not enough to fix everything.

 

I just feel like my instructors are always either coming on the controls and telling me to flare more or telling me not to do so much so soon. Overall the first part of the flare is too big and the last part is not big enough.

 

Any tips are appreciated. I am also a fixed wing ATP so my CFI's say I am too focused on being lined up with the runway when we do these at an airport, which doesn't matter.

 

Another note. Without observing you personally, it's hard to give any specific input for improvement. But if I had to guess, you may be fixating too much on your instruments, which makes it nearly impossible to maintain the correct glide profile.

 

While keeping RRPM within limits is very important, fixating on a specific percentage or a very specific airspeed can do more harm than good. Just keep RRPM near the middle and airspeed around 60-80kts. Maintaining 70kts instead of 65kts won't have much of an impact. Also keep in mind that being out of trim can give an inaccurate airspeed indication.

 

Anticipate when RRPM will increase (such as banking or initiating the flare) and be prepared to increase collective slightly. Be prepared to reduce a bit of collective when decreasing your bank angle. By anticipating changes before they occur, you are less likely to get caught needing to make a large cyclic/collective adjustment, which will have a significant impact on your glide angle. And try to keep your eyes outside the cockpit as much as possible, to keep assessing the glide angle throughout the maneuver.

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Never thought about looking inside was told just keep it in the green & look where you are going to put it, but I can see how you could get fixated about the numbers & when you look out it is a rush to get your last bit clean.

The other thing is a real auto is not like practice the motor is gone no little bit of help at the bottom with the remaining motor RPM & as sure as hell you want to get collective down quick the RRPM drop seems to be a lot quicker when it all goes quite,

How do I know (around 300ft in a 300c climbing out nothing bent), went & thanked the instructor after lessons learnt thumbup.gif cant remember what I did it was so quick,

WE always did Autos to the ground I know it is not the modern way but I found it easier than recovering to a hover

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