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Wind and confidence

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I am becoming increasingly frustrated with the wind and the impact it is having on my confidence. When i did my first solo nav x i returned to the base and managed to land the R22 in about a 20kt wind, it was frightening but i managed. then once i had completed my ppl and i took the R44 for my first conversion flight, i did it in 22kts and i was comfortable and confident enought that i managed to land the heli during a simulated hydralics failure.


Since then i have not been able to fly as much as i would like and i have been averaging 1-2 hours every 2-3 monhts. i now have finally broken the 70 hour mark (70.1) and i am absolutely petrified to go and fly. I took some friends for a flight the other day, it was a steady 11kt NE with no gusts, i was at 2000ft and we experience a little turbulence so i elected to abort the flight and return to the airport. I ascended to 2500 feet and i was crossing a mountain which peaks at 1800ft. halfway across the mountain we experience severe turbulence. i shat myself, flew up and out of the turbulence and then shook the whole way back to the airport


Any suggestions on 1 how to deal with the confidence issue and 2 where i can get some more information on flying in and around the mountains.



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http://www.pilotfriend.com/safe/safety/int...on_mountain.htm .......fixed wing but a bit of useful info

mountain flying bible by sparky imeson ......again fixed wing

helicopter pilots handbook of mountain flying and advanced techniques by norman bailey


Of course going on a mountain course will get you the best training, far better than just reading about it but reading is a good start.

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When you fly so little, you shouldn't take passengers and it's not enough to stay proficient anyway. If you fly in mountains go on a mountain course, preferably Canada.


To be safe and proficient you'd have to fly several hours a week, with your experience. Once you reach the 200 hour mark it's might be a bit less, but 1 or 2 hours every three months is dangerous.


Wesp CFI

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Northies---Ditto, Ditto- I only have about 30 more hours than you in a R22, but I would not fly passengers with that attitude. First , the wind is your friend, when you know which way its blowing. Ever do auto's in 20 knot winds? What a piece of cake, nice easy flare is all you need. Fact is, with the exception of the downdrafts, all the wind is going to do is keep you airborne!


I'm sure you know this- but just slow down when it gets bumpy. I usually take it back to 65-70, it feels more in control and I have a lot more power to climb if I'm in a downdraft.


At this point, I think you need to pick the windiest day, take up a CFI and go practice over the mountains. You have to experience just how bad it can really get, so that anything less is a piece of cake.



You act surprised that you caught the turbulence 1/2 way across the mountain.....where else would you have expected it ?


There are some great posts here on Mountain Flying by pilots better than me...check this out http://helicopterforum.verticalreference.com/helicopterfor...?showtopic=4161

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Your open honesty is a good first step to overocoming your failing confidence.


The next step is to (re)learn what you must have forgotten about turbulance, and wind and helicopters.


As someone said already, "Wind is your friend!"


Fear is usually a combination of lack of knowledge and/or lack of experience, which gives you a false sense of risk. Therefore, you need to work on these two elements to restore your confidence. That means, some study coupled with some training in different conditions will help you.


Mountains are not the place to be 'testing' your confidence. Experience should be gained in a progressive manner, not 'thrown in at the deep end'. Start off in light winds and easy conditions and slowly build up more. You will have to fly out of your 'comfort level' in order to gain experience, but you should be either with an instructor (who is well inside his comfort level) or only solo and 'only just' outside your own comfort level.


I agree with the others, that maybe you need to fly a little more regularly and be more confident before you take your friends and family flying.


So don't worry about it, just recognise the deficits of knowledge and experience, fix them and get back into it.



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