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New Helicopter Book !!!

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Lesson Plans for Helicopter Flight Instructors


At last - it is here.  For all you budding CFI's and CFII's out there there is a new book just hot off the press that you will find invaluable.  Click on the link above to get to it.


This book contains all of the following lesson plans - in full color.:


Power and Drag Curves

The Height Velocity Diagram


Weight & Balance

Coriolis Effect


Dissymmetry of Lift

Stability and Pendulocity

Transverse Flow Effect

Translating Tendency

Effective Translational Lift

Retreating Blade Stall

Low G Conditions

Loss of Tail Rotor Effectiveness

Settling with Power (Vortex Ring State)

The Normal Take off

The Normal Approach

The Pattern

The Go Around

The Pick Up and Set Down

The Shallow Approach (with run on landing)

The Steep Approach

The Pinnacle Approach

Maximum Performance Takeoff

Quickstop (Precision Transition or Rapid Deceleration)

Sloping Ground

Surface Taxi

Confined Area


Settling with Power Demonstration

Engine Failure at altitude

Straight in Autorotation

Hovering Autorotation

180° Autorotation

The Flight Controls

The Carburetted fuel system

Magnetic Compass

Pilot Restraint Systems

Pitot Static system

Rotor Systems

Electrical System

Transmission System


Special Use Airspace

Airport Lights (runway environment & signals/aids)

VFR Route Planning

VFR Cloud Clearances

Endorsements required by Student Pilots

Airworthiness & Minimum Equipment Lists



The Eye

Visual Illusions


The Characteristics of a CFI

The Responsibilities of a CFI

Maslow’s Human Behaviour

The Laws of Learning



The Learning Process


IFR regulations

Primary and Supporting Scan method

Emergencies in IMC

IFR Clearances


Mandatory Reporting

IFR Flight Planning

Instrument Approach Plates

Marker Beacons



Weather Services

Low Level Windshear avoidance


Diversion Overheads for Diversions lecture

Hypoxia Overheads for Hypoxia Lecture


The best thing about this book is that the lesson plans are set out exactly as your whiteboard should look - not the standard "words only FAA type" plans that have no diagrams or pictorial explanations.

This book is suitable for students too - giving precise and informative plans to revise from for any exam.


And yes you guessed it - I wrote it, copywrited it and am now marketing it.  I'd love it if you bought it.  I'm still a CFII - many of you know me, and some have even been taught by me using these very plans.  Thanks for listening.



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Hi roondog - how many more plans would you like to sample - I could e mail you another if you like.  Can't spot any spelling mistakes myself - but sometimes spell check doesn't always work - if the mistake is in the posting - just ignore it (i type quick and don't check).  There shouldn't be any in the book.  However, each book comes with a helpdesk Email address, so if there are things like that, they can be revised for others.

I have been very careful to get all the american spellings in there (this whole project took nearly 2 years to complete), but sometimes something may slip through the net.. As someone quite famous once said "the U.K. and the U.S. are two great nations separated by a common language"


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How about Loss of tail rotor effectiveness or airspace. Didn't mean to sound too critical, I was just so excited to see this as I am about to do my CFI and have been looking for an aid like this for the past 3-4 months. This has been my biggest fear about instructing, puting the plans together in a way that makes the most sense. It really helps to see how others approach the different subjects. Thanks for your hard work.
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This is something that I would be definately be interested in purchasing, however I would like to see a couple more examples from the book before making my decision. Also, spell check. Found a few mistakes. It may hurt your credibility.

I'd be intersested too, but would like to see some more examples. In the example shown in pdf the grammar is not the greatest either. Was it reviewed by a editor?


Not being too critical either, but for 90 bucks people are going to expect high quality. Is a coil bound book really worth $90 will be the big question.


Great idea and great job putting it together though.  ::cheers::

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It looks very informative for a new student helicopter pilot like myself. I studied a similar book for fixed wing CFI's when going for my commercial fixed wing license. It sounds very similar in design except that book didn't have any illustrations. It was also spiral bound. That made it easy to use hands free which is very helpful for those of us who use our hands to explain things. As I remember, it was in the $75 range so $88 isn't bad. I understand that a limited market with limited sales demands a higher price to cover costs and this seems to especially apply to aviation.


I too, would love to see a few more samples.... I think this book will be on my Christmas wishlist just the same.

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Not being too critical either, but for 90 bucks people are going to expect high quality. Is a coil bound book really worth $90 will be the big question.


I know what you mean - I have a ton of $24 dollar book that I never pick up any more.  However - this is a book that you will use constantly.  I deliberately made it spiral bound so that you can fold over the other pages and use the book one handed if necessary.


In the example shown in pdf the grammar is not the greatest either. Was it reviewed by a editor?


You may be misunderstanding the point of the plans.  Of course they are all in shorthand that is decipherable by most pilots.  Instead of writing out the long winded version with all the nice grammar and prose, it resembles more notetaking.  For example:

instead of

"Learn the  correct method for doing quickstops so the student pilot can apply the teachings in practice to avoid obstacles or a wire strike, or apply it if ATC asks the pilot to abort the takeoff or air taxi accross the field in an expeditious manner"


I use

"Learn method so can apply in practice to avoid obstacles, wire strike or if ATC asks to abort takeoff/air taxi"


Hope that clears that up.  The really neat thing about the book is the online support you get - now does Jeppesen or Wagendonk offer you that?  Each book has the e mail address for you to send mails to and ask questions if you do not understand anything in the plans.


I carefully researched the price.  All that is out there are "words only plans" for fixed wing guys.  They cost on average $90 or more for 32 plans. This is how I view it.  If you spend 1 hour making a lesson plan for each subject you want to have (in this case there are 75 plans in the book) then pay your self less than minimum wage to make them presentable for the FAA examiner.  Lets say $2 per hour.  You just spent $150.  OR, you could go buy the book, which even if I do say so myself is pretty darn good and save yourself $62.

Looking at it another way - this book costs approximately 0.3 of an hour helicopter flight time. (thats a warm up and shut down in my school).  Lastly, for students - this is an ideal book for clearing up those often badly explained subjects like Settling with Power, DOL and airspace - subjects that all too often I find overcomplicated in books.  I can't tell you the number of books I have read that still explain weight and balance in a way that gets me confused.  Roondog - airspace is on its way as a free sample (as a one off).  I understand that this isn't a book that will please everybody - I just wanted some of you to have a choice.

For those who have already bought the book - congratulations, and thanks.  You are well on your way towards the law of primacy.  Much love to you all, I have always found VR to be the best website for students, and the most supportive.


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Speaking from experience this is one of the best training tools I have ever come across.  I was one of his students and saw him use it first hand.  When I went to start my CFI training I asked if I could buy a copy of the book.  I looked at it this way, it would have taken me an hour or two to write a lesson plan but here they were all were for less than a hundred dollors.  One of the fear that I had about my own lesson plans were that they would be either too simple or too complex.  Here I had the lesson plans of an experienced CFI.  


I just took my CFI checkride the other day.  The oral section went smoothly, very smoothly in fact.  The FAA inspector thought very highly of the lesson plan presentation and said that it explained the subjects that he wanted covered in a way so that someone with no experience in aviation could easy grasp the concepts.  (the subjects were autorotation, dissymmetry of lift, retreating blade stall, and the flapping hinge)


Checkrides are very stressful.  Going into it with all the possible lesson plans took some of the edge off of it.


Plus the best part, now I have a complete list of lessons for my future students.

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I would be very wary of using someone else lesson plans.  It is an important part of the instructional process to be presenting material of your own assemblage.  This should only be used as a tool, and not a direct copy.  You will find things you and the FAA do not agree with in this as well as most others lesson plans.  I would even look at the objective statement in the sample lesson plan and say that is not the objective of quick stops and that in the third column the words "Maintain high hover" shoud not be found in a FAA type quickstop.  Don't take short cuts.  Do your own work.
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I would be very wary of using someone else lesson plans.  It is an important part of the instructional process to be presenting material of your own assemblage.  This should only be used as a tool, and not a direct copy.

missdk has a fair point in as much as you do need to know what you are talking about before teaching a subject, and you have to realise there are many coorect methods in teaching the same thing.  Plans are there to build on, and I hope students will add to the plans as they go along and adjust them as necessary to fit their school.

I do not agree however with re-inventing the wheel.  Particularly at the CFI level.  By the time you get to do your CFI practical test a takeoff has been tested in your private, commercial, and maybe your instrument too.  So if you don't know how to do one then something is wrong.  CFI is about teaching someone else how to do it. When I was doing my CFI I made my own plans, then had them criticized by 6 other CFI candidates, and I took what they said and adjusted the plan accordingly.  The advantage of this book is that hopefully the amount of holes someone picks in each plan is reduced to near zero.  (you won't please every chief flight instructor/school in one book).  This is what CFI candidates should do even with these plans.  Every school teaches things a little different anyway, This perhaps is why the FAA never really "approves" anything.  Even the Rotorcraft Flying Handbook (great book though it is) consistantly contains phrases like "prescribed by the individual manufacturers" so as to be as general as possible.  Lesson plans don't work like that, you need to tell a student "pull 26 inches" or "maintain 2-4 feet" or "auotrotate at 60 knts" not "maintain a height prescribed by the manufacturer".


I would even look at the objective statement in the sample lesson plan and say that is not the objective of quick stops

Got to disagree with this.


Anyway, enough said.  The book is there so that students have choice.  If the CFI teaching the candidate is worth his salt, having these lesson plans won't be a shortcut.  They will be a help, they may need adjustment for your own school/helicopter, but they will certainly take the pain out of re-inventing the wheel and trying to put something presentable in front of the examiner.

I realised not all students have access to a computer, not all of them have the time it took me to put together 75 plans in a short enough period for the CFI lessons to be remembered.  I realised that when CFI students go to the internet anyway  and purchase airplane lesson plans they start teaching the wrong thing - and that is a harder habit to break.


Thanks for the input though, everything is valuable, fair winds to you all.


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From the FAA Rotorcraft Flying Handbook:


"In normal operations, use the rapid deceleration or

quick stop maneuver to slow the helicopter rapidly

and bring it to a stationary hover.......


......Even though the maneuver

is called a rapid deceleration or quick stop, it is

performed slowly and smoothly with the primary

emphasis on coordination."



Objective: Learn method so can apply in practice to avoid obstacles, wire strike, or if ATC asks to abort takeoff/air taxi.


My point on the wrong objective is this: According to the PTS it is a performance maneuver, along with the straight in or 180 auto.  Not in the emergency section like an aborted take off. It is primarily a coordination maneuver.  You can use it for emergency purposes,  just like an auto for an engine failure, but that is not what it will be testing on the practical unless the examiner says "wire" or "abort take off".  As for avoiding obstacles, there are generally much better options than a quick stop.   But I am glad to see that your intent is not to have cookie cutter lesson plans, but I would think that is what is libel to happen.  Most people are looking for short cuts. My intent is just to show that aything along these lines should be gone over with a fine toothed comb, which would seem like more work that just making them yourself.  I didn't have a computer when making mine, just some white paper and some pencils.  Guess my age is showing. Cheers.

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I'm liking what you say - you have good points.  But the objective does say "in practice".  In the real world you rarely have to show off your coordination skills in a quickstop.

"In practice" helicopter pilots on the rare occasion use quickstops to abort takeoffs, avoid wires or even obstacles - as it is one of several tools available for a pilot to use.  "In practice" the abort could be slow if you have the room, or faster if you need it to be.  "In practice" if it's a little uncoordinated on a commercial job but it avoids damage to an aircraft that is OK.  For the purposes of taking a flight test, you need to learn coordination of course.


And this is exactly why these plans benefit all new CFI's.  When someone you are teaching to be a CFI uses this book, you can explain all these things to them, open up the discussion - just as we have here and he can add to and pass that information on. That is what makes the CFI's who teach CFI's (like you and I) worth their weight in gold. What you are getting here is the starting point, and if you have the book, you have a lead on the competition.


That's why they are "plans" and not "a bible for instructors".  It would be nearly impossible to include every moot point and discussion angle in one book - that's what the teacher gets paid for!!!!   Fair winds to you Msiidk, hoping your pencil always stays sharp!



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  • 2 weeks later...

I had to do a quickstop during my commercial checkride, and it wasn't planned.


Uncontrolled airport, a Cessna 172 taxied onto the main taxiway very quickly without warning during a takeoff run, and a quickstop followed by a dodge to the left as I came level and returned to a hover is how I avoided hitting him.


The DPE looked at the Cessna, then myself, said "good job, lets go home", and that was that, I was a commercial pilot.


As for the book itself, I'd love a PDF version and would pay you $30 for one, but as a CFI myself, I don't need a spiral bound copy for $90.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Thanks Rob2k,


If you wish to see a sample lesson plan you can get one through the link above too.


Thank you to all the budding CFI's who have sent so many emails to me in just the past few weeks.  I wasn't expecting any book signings or "Harry Potter" like sales - but I am overwhelmed with the messages of support, thanks and of course the sales...thanks to you all - and of course Rey and the moderators for allowing me to get away with telling people about it on the site.  I'm sending you another donation to continue with the excellent work rey, thanks.


fff ::devil::

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I purchased the book and for those of you that may just need a little nudge in the right direction - it's great! Everything that you need to cover is in there and although it may seem expensive I guarantee that it will pay for itself many times over with convenience. I was a little apprehensive about the qualtity, but I assure you that it is very good. Nicely done FFF!


As good as this book is, DO NOT use it as an excuse to be lazy and not write lesson plans during your CFI course. I learned more during the countless hours writing those plans than ever before, but my layout was always crappy and disorganised. This book will work great as a guide, which I can elaborate on if need be. My initial unwillingness to spend the money reminded me of back when I was deliberating whether or not to buy the bose X headset, needless to say I ended up buying it and have not once regretted it.

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