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How long to hover?


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I just started taking lessons. My instructor was telling me how good I was doing. I was hovering the helicopter unassisted after about two hours of instruction.

 

I don't know if I should believe the instructor or not. Is this common to be able to hover so soon? My instructor was telling me that it takes 15 to 20 hours to learn to hover.

 

Comments anyone?

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Guest rookie101
I just started taking lessons. My instructor was telling me how good I was doing. I was hovering the helicopter unassisted after about two hours of instruction.

 

I don't know if I should believe the instructor or not. Is this common to be able to hover so soon? My instructor was telling me that it takes 15 to 20 hours to learn to hover.

 

Comments anyone?

 

Here is a good discussion of this, also, you might want to do a little more research on this website for topics like this, not trying to be rude or anything.

 

http://helicopterforum.verticalreference.com/helicopterfor...wtopic=3825&hl=

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I'd say two hours is pretty good! I've had folks do a passable job in light wind on their first flight (longtime R/C pilot), others still working hard to hold it together after 8 - 10 hours. Fortunately (or unfortunately, you decide), the time it takes to be able to hover rarely has any bearing on how quickly you will attain a rating or how good you will be after 100, 200, or 1,000 hours. Same with the hours to solo.

 

In the end, it's the attention to book study, ground school, and pre/post briefing that will move you most quickly through the process of becoming a helicopter pilot. As an average pilot at best, I rely on good judgement to keep me from having to use superior skill - and good judgement comes from knowledge and experience. B)

 

BTW, I could barely stay in the state of Florida the first time I tried to hover, it probably took about eight hours of flying before I could hold that danged thing in (well, near) one spot, so good on ya!

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I am 16 now and i have had 2 lessons. On my second lesson the instructor said that i should give it a go.

 

This is on my 50 minute mark :blink: so i hadnt even done an hour. I could do all the controls one at a time then he asked me to take control of all three. I held the copter into wind (15knots) and i managed to hold it at 10 feet and pointing to the wind. The only problem i had was to control the side to side movent with the cylic. I struggled with this as is expected on a first attemp.

 

I think the message here is that everyone is different because the instructor was 'estatic' that i kept straight and level flight for about 10 mins and then starting incorporating turns.

 

You are doing really well considering what i have heard from people (4-5 hours) and some even more.

 

 

My 2 cents

 

P.S I am not actually in training. These were one of lesson i paid for with my paper round. :lol:

 

Yeah, im a rookie :angry:

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Guest pokey

this thread made me dig out my old logbooks:

 

i solo'd in my 150 aerobat @ 15.7 hours ( altho it was my plane & my instructer liked to do loops & rolls & so did i) this was 1988

 

time to solo in my 300 was a whopping 38 hours !! ( hangs head in shame),, but? My instructor liked to "take trips", the best was the old adirondak deserted/being rebuilt at theat time railroad in , yip you guesssed it, (the adirondak mountains of NY state), i dont know how fast i could have done it if we werent "just out to have fun". :) needless to say, many hours of mountain cross country fun :) :)

 

circumstances are different, people are different,,,,,, just make sure you're having fun & so is everyone else around you ! :lol:

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I could keep it in the training box, all 3 controls, at about 1.5 tt. What does that mean? Well nothing, I still couldn't fly the heli very well either. And, I had a heck of a time setting down. I had a lot of MS Sim 02' time, too. You can fly the heli in forward flight and not be able to hover very good. I don't know why when we first start training lots of us seem to focus on the fastest hover thing?

 

 

 

Safe flights

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I don't know why when we first start training lots of us seem to focus on the fastest hover thing?

Because that's why we chose helicopters! Hovering is for folks who love to fly but have no place to go...

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Ain't that the truth!

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I HOVER LIKE CRAP!!!!!

 

Actually, I could do well for about 10 seconds, then the bird gets squirrelly on me and I start overcorrecting. It's a pisser I tell ya. I'm thinking of quitting and going back to my low-paying dead end job.

 

NOT!!!

 

Nick said I'll get the feel of the copter soon. He liked the way I flew S&L and turns. I do lose a little altitude though.

 

Next time: MORE HOVER.

 

Later

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Guest pokey

i just realized, i posted my solo times & NOT my hover time :( !!

 

airplane time to hover: about 1200 hours & still waiting :(

 

helicopter: cant really remember, i had alot of "maintenance stick time" ( 20 hours or so over a period of a year or so asking "am I flying this thing?") B4 i took any serious lessons, but? i would guess i was able to keep it in one spot on "this planet" in about 15 or so hours

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  • 2 weeks later...

Tiger Mike- Not to burst your bubble....I remember hovering after about 5 hours and thinking I had control of the aircraft.....in reality it was just being nice to me in a no wind condition. Wait until you get in an R22 and turn the bird cross wind..or worse....downwind even with only 10 knots of wind......then hang on for the ride. It becomes a weathervane, and you have to watch out for loss of tail rotor effectiveness....now thats fun !

 

My CFI made me hover the damn thing once tail into the wind...it was gusting 25 knots....it was all I could do to hold the thing, and I had 50 hours at the time. ( we were practicing auto's, and I was getting cocky I think!)

 

Youve just started on a great journey, you should be proud. Dont over do it...The aircraft can kick your butt for any number of reasons at any time. Hopefully every 20 hours or so you'll realize you have only begun to learn.

 

Good Flying !

 

Goldy

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Hey... just my two cents... on my familiarization flight the instructor who took me up thought I was handling things well, you know basic straight and level and some turns etc, so he let me try to hover when we got back to the airport that my school was at. I was really good with the cyclic and pedals but when he handed over that damn collective with its independent throttle I turned to mush!

 

After about five hours though things were looking up and I was getting the hang of this beast called the hover... and then, our one and only aircraft went down, a little Enstrom 280C... and the next time I got in her, it was like I had never tried to hover in my life!

 

So what I'm saying is, the best thing is to be consistant, fly as often as you possibly can! Cause that three week break in my training was hell from a "I NEED TO FLY" obsessed student pilot point of view, but it really was for sh*t on my skills.

 

P.S I have to agree with some of the other posters in here though, hovering early doesn't secure you the status of an excellent pilot! I have a friend who is very highly regarded in our industry here and when I was all upset about my hovering he boosted my confidence ten fold when he told me that he simply could not hover until well over twenty two hours! sometimes it just takes people that much longer for the coin to drop.

 

safe flying everyone!

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I'm going to throw in a question that may not belong here, but I'm trying to pick up as much as I can and I haven't even had my first flight yet. You said in your post about an independent throttle. I have flown (or attempted is more like it) a model helicopter and the throttle and collective were tied on the same stick. Are they adjustable always? Are they different on different helicopters? I can't say I know how the controls are laid out on the real collective control. I understand that my first lesson will be in an Enstrom, though I don't know what model.

 

Hey... just my two cents... on my familiarization flight the instructor who took me up thought I was handling things well, you know basic straight and level and some turns etc, so he let me try to hover when we got back to the airport that my school was at. I was really good with the cyclic and pedals but when he handed over that damn collective with its independent throttle I turned to mush!

 

After about five hours though things were looking up and I was getting the hang of this beast called the hover... and then, our one and only aircraft went down, a little Enstrom 280C... and the next time I got in her, it was like I had never tried to hover in my life!

 

So what I'm saying is, the best thing is to be consistant, fly as often as you possibly can! Cause that three week break in my training was hell from a "I NEED TO FLY" obsessed student pilot point of view, but it really was for sh*t on my skills.

 

P.S I have to agree with some of the other posters in here though, hovering early doesn't secure you the status of an excellent pilot! I have a friend who is very highly regarded in our industry here and when I was all upset about my hovering he boosted my confidence ten fold when he told me that he simply could not hover until well over twenty two hours! sometimes it just takes people that much longer for the coin to drop.

 

safe flying everyone!

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Brian, yes they are two independent controls although closely related....most birds have a correlator that helps adjust throttle as you change pitch, but its up to the pilot to keep his RPM where it belongs. The R22 has a really good governor...only after some really bad accidents.

 

im sure other posters will add some more.....

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Hey Brian... I saw your other post about your first flight and I hope it went well and that you've made the decision to start training! What Enstrom did you end up flying?

 

By independent throttle I meant that on the end of the collective in the 280C there was a throttle control that you could twist left and right to make any adjustments to RPM after any inputs I made with the collective. It's a balancing act but I've never flown a helo with a governor on it so I can't say that it isn't hard in something like an R22... although I am dying to find out!

 

But, in this same forum once, I got two of the most excellent tips that were really useful to me. I was the over controller of the century just before I had to stop training, but my last three flights were great because of these two simple things: 1) if you're holding the collective and you stick your thumb out and onto the seat or towards the seat and make all your collective inputs by pivoting around your thumb, you will soon realise that it is impossible to over control like this! It really gave me a feel for just how small your movements really can be to make this thing fly; and 2) if you can see a picture in your mind when you're hovering and you make that picture stick and not change then you're in good shape.

 

I don't know if I've explained them properly but the guy that wrote them just made things click for me!

 

Anyway Brian... just go into and have fun!

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Thanks Ruby. I haven't yet gotten my flight in. Its Friday after next. I wish it were sooner but that's the scheduling. I don't know what model of Enstrom, the company I am going with doesn't have it listed on their website. I just got it from the return email.

 

I understand that there are things that it helps to anticipate (I'm talking a lot more experience than I will have after one flight so I'm just making discussion). Such as tail rotor (yaw?). I would guess that wanting to turn in the opposite direction of the rotor you wouldn't need more power, just less pitch on the tail. But turning with the rotor would need more throttle as you are increasing the pitch on the tail. Does that happen automatically or do you have to anticipate and correct for it?

 

 

Hey Brian... I saw your other post about your first flight and I hope it went well and that you've made the decision to start training! What Enstrom did you end up flying?

 

By independent throttle I meant that on the end of the collective in the 280C there was a throttle control that you could twist left and right to make any adjustments to RPM after any inputs I made with the collective. It's a balancing act but I've never flown a helo with a governor on it so I can't say that it isn't hard in something like an R22... although I am dying to find out!

 

But, in this same forum once, I got two of the most excellent tips that were really useful to me. I was the over controller of the century just before I had to stop training, but my last three flights were great because of these two simple things: 1) if you're holding the collective and you stick your thumb out and onto the seat or towards the seat and make all your collective inputs by pivoting around your thumb, you will soon realise that it is impossible to over control like this! It really gave me a feel for just how small your movements really can be to make this thing fly; and 2) if you can see a picture in your mind when you're hovering and you make that picture stick and not change then you're in good shape.

 

I don't know if I've explained them properly but the guy that wrote them just made things click for me!

 

Anyway Brian... just go into and have fun!

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Somebody can feel free to jump in and correct me if I am wrong, cause as far as experience and knowledge goes, I have a s***load still to learn.

 

For argument sake lets just say that your main rotor system is turning counter clockwise... are you asking if by inputting your left tail rotor control to get a left yaw (ie. same direction of rotation as main rotor direction) that you should anticipate having to make a throttle input?

 

I might be very wrong but I'm thinking, in flight every power change needs to have some amount of anti torque rotor input... yes? So, every input in anti torque rotor should be followed by an input in engine power whether more or less depending on direction? But I would imagine there might need to be some cyclic input as well to keep airspeed and collective input to keep level.

 

So, please correct me if I am wrong cause this is worth knowing, but, I'd say turning against torque (or with main rotor) would require more power to overcome torque in opposite direction so I am saying you should definately anticipate the need for input in power!

 

Really, I think with helicopters you should anticipate the need for input during your whole flight... it is so true that if you make one input, you need to counteract the adverse effects of that input with another and then counter act that input's adverse effects with yet another input... and so it goes for the whole fabulous flight! Helicopter aerodynamics... you have to love it!

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That's pretty much the theory I was going with. Anything that fights against the natural motion of the helicopter should need a throttle increase. Anything else should be just easing off pitch and letting the copter go where it naturally wants to go. That'll take some skill to master.

 

Somebody can feel free to jump in and correct me if I am wrong, cause as far as experience and knowledge goes, I have a s***load still to learn.

 

For argument sake lets just say that your main rotor system is turning counter clockwise... are you asking if by inputting your left tail rotor control to get a left yaw (ie. same direction of rotation as main rotor direction) that you should anticipate having to make a throttle input?

 

I might be very wrong but I'm thinking, in flight every power change needs to have some amount of anti torque rotor input... yes? So, every input in anti torque rotor should be followed by an input in engine power whether more or less depending on direction? But I would imagine there might need to be some cyclic input as well to keep airspeed and collective input to keep level.

 

So, please correct me if I am wrong cause this is worth knowing, but, I'd say turning against torque (or with main rotor) would require more power to overcome torque in opposite direction so I am saying you should definately anticipate the need for input in power!

 

Really, I think with helicopters you should anticipate the need for input during your whole flight... it is so true that if you make one input, you need to counteract the adverse effects of that input with another and then counter act that input's adverse effects with yet another input... and so it goes for the whole fabulous flight! Helicopter aerodynamics... you have to love it!

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Guys & Gals, take a brick and balance it on a piece of fishing line. Once you master that, then hovering is a breeze !

 

Ok, I'm half-kidding. Yes every control input may cause a subsequent correction somewhere else. You get used to it. Yes, depending on rotor direction, which way you turn in a hover will require more or less power. Usually, what happens is you sink or increase altitude based on which way you turn ( because of the lag time in throttle adjustments increasing rotor rpm...you will lose a foot or two of altitude or gain a foot or two..depending on the direction of the turn). make sense ?

 

Don't forget that this only works with no wind., Add a wind element from any direction, and you will have to correct for that as well....and the wind is always blowing somewhere.

 

So, a 10 knot wind gust hits you from straight ahead. This adds lift for you, so you lower collective, which increases RPM, so you lower throttle, which also by the way now requires more right pedal ( R22)..then the gust goes away, so you need more power, which lowers RPM, so you need more throttle, since your producing more power, you need more left pedal ( R22).....gee, this was fun just writing it !

 

Now, forget all this stuff, go have a great first flight.

Goldy

 

BTW- Brian, I've always wanted to fly an Enstrom. I hear they have a high energy rotor system and very well balanced..so lot's of safety factor when doing auto's...Let me know how it goes.

 

Ruby- Trinidad ???? Now I'm really jealous.

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