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I soloed in a R22 about a month ago and it scared the _ out of me. I just did some hovering around the airport and did about 3 pickups and setdowns. I had a left tailwind and the controls started to get very wobbly like when you first start hovering. So, I set the heli down and my instructor came to get me, he told me I should of pointed it in the wind, but I was so nervous I started to over control, also the ship is different weight wise with out him, we also had added weight because I weigh 122 lbs. I felt like forgetting it all but I have interst still in it . I"m just wondering if I would panic the next time and start too over control and lose it. My instructor keeps wanting me to solo again but I don't feel ready. Has anyone else felt this way? I would like to keep continuing because this would be a great accomplishment in my life time. My problem also is my mom and brothers and sisters are very negative about me flying, they tell me how I crashed in their dreams, and how dangerous it is. My husband is also taking lessons and I hate to talk any more to him about my insecurities because I feel it discourages him. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

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I soloed in a R22 about a month ago and it scared the _ out of me. I just did some hovering around the airport and did about 3 pickups and setdowns. I had a left tailwind and the controls started to get very wobbly like when you first start hovering. So, I set the heli down and my instructor came to get me, he told me I should of pointed it in the wind, but I was so nervous I started to over control, also the ship is different weight wise with out him, we also had added weight because I weigh 122 lbs. I felt like forgetting it all but I have interst still in it . I"m just wondering if I would panic the next time and start too over control and lose it. My instructor keeps wanting me to solo again but I don't feel ready. Has anyone else felt this way? I would like to keep continuing because this would be a great accomplishment in my life time. My problem also is my mom and brothers and sisters are very negative about me flying, they tell me how I crashed in their dreams, and how dangerous it is. My husband is also taking lessons and I hate to talk any more to him about my insecurities because I feel it discourages him. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

 

 

RC- First off, not everyone is cut out to fly. That being said, everyone experiences the sensitivity of the R22, especially in wind conditions. Early on , you get that death grip, where you can hardly even move your arm to land...been there...did that. After 30 or 40 or 50 hours, its really a piece of cake. Like anything it takes a lot of muscle memory and self assurance, epecially in a tail or cross wind. If your looking for advice ,,here it is.

 

Dont care what anyone, including your family or hubby think....they are not PIC and you are.

 

Dont try to measure yourself against anyone....friend, hubby or CFI as to where you should be at what point in the game.

 

if you're uncomfortable...here's an idea. Go up with a CFI next time the winds get to around 15 knots...enough to blow you around a bit...and give you a better feel for how the helo reacts. Fly for an hour or so and try to practice a lot of approaches and ground work...thats where it gets squirrely.

 

Then, when you feel a bit more comfortable...do another solo flight.

 

PS..I've flown the R22 in gusting 30 knot winds...not a lot of fun, but just know the bird can handle more than you can!

 

Also, add more weight....drop 100 pounds under the seat next to you, fill the tanks and off you go !!

 

Read EVERYTHING you can about the R22 so that you really understand and know the risks of certain maneuvers ( mostly low g caused by wind/turbulence).

 

Really, good luck with whatever you choose.

 

Goldy

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Don't give up, spend more time with your instuctor if you have to until you are more comfortable and more confident, don't be pushed into another solo flight if your not ready. It is also well known on this forum as to how I feel about robbies. If you can you should try to get some time in some of the other training helicopters out there and see if you are more comfortable. (Bell 47, Enstoms, or S300's, I feel that these machines are a much more stable platform to learn in, not to mention much safer). Just don't give up, I'm sure you will regret it later.

 

Guy

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Don't give up.

Your skill and confidence will grow with additional seat time.

Getting weather vaned by a quartering tailwind, happens to

everybody. It's part of learning.

Hang in there, It will get easier.

Fifty hours from now you'll welcome and maybe even enjoy

a little left crosswind so you can practice your flying skills.

As for the nay sayers- ignore them- it's your dream, not theirs.

Best of luck & enjoy,

 

gft

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Don't give up!! I've been up in some crazy wind and rain in AK (as a passenger, not quite there as PIC yet!) and it'll make your stomach drop but it's like anything else, the more hours you put in the more comfortable you'll get. They're made to FLY! I agree, go up with your CFI in the wind a bunch more times before you solo again, get confident WITH the CFI first! And everyone's diff, do whatever it takes for YOU to get it... :D

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Everybody has a bad day of flying and it doesn't matter if your a student or professional. I had a few days that I was wondering what the heck was I doing in a contraption that wasn't meant to fly! But as a poster said above, the more time I spend in it the better it feels and more experience my muscles and brain get for dealing with new things that pop up.

 

If you give up you will regret it down the road is my suspicion. At least get your PPL out of the way and then make the decision to go further after you get past the hurdle. Don't give up yet, get back on the horse and show her who's boss!

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Here's another way of looking at your prediciment.

 

Maybe you are too hard on yourself, or trying to measure up to your husband or someone else's expectations. I know when spouse pairs are training in the same thing at the same time, it is usually detrimental to one or the other.

 

Everyone is different, and learns at diffrerent rates.

 

You (or someone else) have been scaring yourself about the soloing for some time now. (Quote your post 15-Sep-06) At some point you needed to take the plunge, and guess what - you scared yourself.

 

Its not your skill or ability that's holding you back, its you and your mind.

 

You are not yet convinced that helicopters can be safe and you can be safe in them. This is most likely based on family pressures, but could be lack of complete understanding or lack of exposure. Either way, flying one becomes a psychological challenge. Until you identify what is messing with your mind, you will always have this psychological reaction.

 

Yet, you sound determined and eager to succed. I am convinced that you are WAY better than you describe.

 

So go back, and try again. Take it slow, maybe even just hover around again. No need to rush through at someone else's pace. And be confident. Overcome that psychological barrier.

 

Your other alternative, would be to 'pause' your training. Not quit, but wait until hubby is through. Get some pleasure time in your helicopter with hubby. *(Of course he must not 'try to instruct' you. You would be a passenger.) Then come back to your flight instructor and continue training. Time pressure will be off, you'll have some more good air experience, hubby pressure will be off. It would be terrible to get to a stage where you don't talk about helicopters together...'specially if you're going to own one.

 

You are in a unique position in that you aren't presumably doing this as a career. You are doing this for pleasure. Well, if you don't get pleasure out of it, then something's wrong. Take your time. No rush at all.

 

Don't quit, but take more time. I think that is the essence of all the replies so far.

 

Joker

Edited by joker
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Ever notice how many instant replies happen when someone with the name "chic" in their handle posts a message ?? maybe its just me.....

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I wasn't even paying attention as to who the initial poster was, but the advice goes for anyone! I figured this was a forum thread that I wouldn't get any backlash or explode it like the last one. Hoping I would skirt under the radar for once, somehow I left the damn transponder on again hehehe :ph34r:

 

Please excuse the hijack, and its great to see another "chic" joining the ranks!

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Quit? Them is fightin' words!

 

Really, flying by yourself is a difficult thing to get over. I get quezy right before I start the engine. Did the same with airplane. Did the same with the car. Did the same with the motorcycle. Did the same with the tug. Did the same with the semi-truck. The first few times are always the worst. After a few times you get used to it and everything is normal.

 

Your first time in the helo was probably scary as crap as you lifted off the ground. After a few hours it was something normal. Your first hover was scary and you panic. Now you can hover. No big deal.

 

The thing is to not let these scary events get you into self doubt. I know;easy to say, difficult to do. I hear you girlfriend. What needs to happen now is to get back in that bird, put more ballast in it, fly in lighter winds, and become more proficient.

 

As for your insecurities, welcome to the club. We all have them. Talk with your instructor, husband (I bet he'll be more supportive than you think. If he ain't, hit him in the head with a frying pan.), and others in the helo community. They have all been through stuff like this and the best way to deal with it is to talk with those who support your endevours. In other words, leave your brothers and sisters, and Mom out of the conversation. From what I gather, their negative waves are affecting your prosperity.

 

AOPA has a mentoring program you might look into. Even though I haven't gotten my private yet I'm thinking of being a mentor. I think at 45, I'm old enough to be one.

 

One other thing; GET BACK INTO THAT HELICOPTER AND FLY THE DAMN MACHINE !!! Work the wind to your advantage-don't ask me how. These Robbies are squirrely. Work with it.

 

Diversionary story: Last week I was hovering and got into Pilot Induced Oscilation. The bird was wobbling like a top. Evasive manuverage was required to keep from contacting the ground. Up collective, forward cyclic.

 

You'll get the hang of it. We all have. Think about it; Thousands of pilots have done it, so can you. YOU DA MAN!!

 

I gotta quit writing so dang much.

 

I remember someone said "Life, gentlemen, is an adventure." I believe that, and believe me, flying the Robby IS an adventure.

 

Later

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I don't know what you and your husbands relationship is.....but let me tell you a story.

 

We recently had a couple, in their late 50's, been married 30+ years, retired, and they decided to learn to fly(airplane). They do everything together, never see one without the other. When it came to flight lessons, it was the same, one flew, the other rode along, after an hour they would switch places. At first all was good, they progressed at about the same pace until landings. The Misses was progressing much faster than her husband in this area. Over a few lessons, they got to bickering about it, then it got to be .......well I'm sure you get the idea. The Instructor was also their neighbor, and friend, which added to the mayhem. In the end they both ended up quitting, which to me was sad. I think that if they had done their training on their own, at their own pace, they would have their ratings now, be flying together and having a good time. There are plenty of pressures already built into learning to fly. Don't make it harder on yourself.

 

Stick with it

 

Fly Safe

Clark B)

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After reading all these posts I feel I want to continue at a slower rate and I'll try to put less pressure on my self. My husband is very supportive of my flying and neither one of us is in competition. We have many interests like snowmobiling, motrocycling, hunting, fishing, I like to do just about anything. But I feel like this has been the greatest challenge of all, and it has brought us closer together. Thank you all so much for your advice. Your support has all ready given me the attitude "I'm not a loser I'm going to be a fighter"

 

Rotorchic

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RChick

Every one gets to a place where they think I will never get the feeling\confidence to fly the darn thing, & thinks of quitting I know I did.

When the instructor got out and said do a couple of circuits on your own I just sat there (.1hours) then thought just a few hovers and set downs maybe a few spot turns THEN I will do a circuit! sounds just like you.

I was flying a 300 which I am led to believe is less touchy but does have its own foibles, the instructor radioed me and said you have to go sometime, I really did not want to but it was his helio so presumed he new what he was doing, a week later I did my X country with 2 landing at remote airfields.

The first circuit on my own was a real high but only when the thing was on the ground in one piece, remember thinking ALL I have to do is put it back down without bending it.

There was a little problem after the first lift off but surprise! the training worked and it was alright.

You are bound to feel nervous for a time don't be put off, fly a few more hours with the instructor just as a passenger so to speak, ask him to not be in instructor mode and see how it feels :)

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Far out girlfriend. If slowing down a little seems the better solution for you, then you do it.

 

However, everyone here-me too-wants to see you do that solo, do that XC, do that checkride, and get that piece of paper that says you are "SKY CAPTAIN".

 

I know...cheezy.

 

But think of it; where would we be if Orville and Wilber gave up? What about Columbus? What about Susan Anthony? What about Sonny and Cher? Where would they be if they had given up and quit. You are a winner. Just like Rocky.

 

I'll stop now.

 

Later

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Hey RC.

After meetin U and Hubby, U have no problem in continuing your training. as you know the 300 U rode in 2 weeks ago was a little less squirrely than the R22. Don't give up on what you're doing you have the rite attitude. fly on days when the wind is in your comfort level.

 

keep at it and most of all HAVE FUN.

 

take care and fly safe

 

Steve

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After reading all these posts I feel I want to continue at a slower rate and I'll try to put less pressure on my self. My husband is very supportive of my flying and neither one of us is in competition. We have many interests like snowmobiling, motrocycling, hunting, fishing, I like to do just about anything. But I feel like this has been the greatest challenge of all, and it has brought us closer together. Thank you all so much for your advice. Your support has all ready given me the attitude "I'm not a loser I'm going to be a fighter"

 

Rotorchic

That's a good attitude. This stuff isn't easy and if you're like me, you just need to keep at it and it will all work out. And you're right -- don't view it as a competition. Hell, there was a time when I didn't think I was ever going to learn to hover, much less solo! And what do you know? Now I can hover, talk on the radio, talk to pax, and chew gum at the same time! Go for it!

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After reading all these posts I feel I want to continue at a slower rate and I'll try to put less pressure on my self. My husband is very supportive of my flying and neither one of us is in competition. We have many interests like snowmobiling, motrocycling, hunting, fishing, I like to do just about anything. But I feel like this has been the greatest challenge of all, and it has brought us closer together. Thank you all so much for your advice. Your support has all ready given me the attitude "I'm not a loser I'm going to be a fighter"

 

Rotorchic

 

I know how you feel. You need to ask yourself, why am I becoming a helicopter pilot? Is it because your going for a career? Or is it for your own personal pleasure and enjoyment? If its the first one, then you need to put aside your fears and do what you have to do. You simply need to get over it and continue. If your doing it for personal reasons, and mainly for fun, I would slow down a little. It's your money and your time. Do what you need to do in order to enjoy the experience. Whats the point if you force yourself to hurry with your training and never really get that confidence your looking for? Tell your instructor straight up what the deal is. Tell him your enjoying your flying and you love doing it, but your spending a lot of money on this and you don't want to do anything you really don't feel comfortable doing. I would recommend taking the soloing slowly. Next time you fly, fly around with the instructor a bit. Let him out and lift off to a hover. Just hover as long as you can until you start feeling uncomfortable. Then just set it down. Wait a minute. Then do it again. Keep doing it that way. Little by little it'll become second nature and you'll find yourself wanting to make a circle around the pattern. I know this may sound kinda crazy, but this works for me. I try to take some of my attention off what I'm doing. I find myself sitting there thinking and concentrating way harder than I need to be. I'm sure your a naturally good helicopter pilot. You don't have to have your full undiverted attention on hovering. Take your eyes off the ground in front of you and stare straight ahead at something in the distance. Then you'll start thinking about something else, like what am I looking at? Where is that vehicle going? What is that guy standing over there for? Guess what? Your hovering just fine and didn't even realize it. Another thing I do is rest my right arm on my thigh and try to keep a relaxed loose grip. That really really helps the nervous overcontrolling issue. When your sitting there hovering, keep telling yourself outloud, "relax", "loose grip", "nothing to worry about", "i've done this a million times and i know what i'm doing", ect. It'll build your confidence. When your sitting there telling yourself, "what the heck am I worried about? I know how to do this", you'll find your confidence going way up. Another thing to remember is it may feel very twitchy and out of control, but from your instructors standpoint outside the aircraft, it likely looks perfect to him. In all honesty, it really is a mental thing. It's all about the state of mind. Remember after your first few flights when you finally figured out how to hover on your own? Remember how your hovering would be pretty darn good, but as soon as your instructor started talking to you, it would start getting wobbly? Thats because your brain got overloaded. It's funny how you can hover just fine when your fairly relaxed, but as soon as the situation changes, your mind starts racing and you start getting uneasy. Basically, when your instructor steps out, your mind is racing the whole time thinking about way too many things at once. I feel thats why it seems so hard to do the basics. Don't let it happen! Theres no doubt in my mind you fly very nicely, but the split second you doubt yourself, it starts to show in your flying. All of the tips I mentioned are things that helped me. Feel free to use my advice, but remember that all thats just my advice. Do what you feel is right. I know some people also may disagree with me, but sometimes it does help to walk away for a little while and take a little break, depending on how often you fly. Sometimes you get to that point where you start questioning wheather you really want to continue or not. Walk away for a few weeks and I promise you'll be back ready to go! If your not itching to get back into the cockpit and don't really miss it, then you aren't cut out to be a helicopter pilot in the first place. I'm sure you'll do just fine! Good luck!

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The 22's controls felt very touchy to me on my first solo, part weight difference, part nerves. Once I got up to altitude I felt fine. I still am a little jumpy on solo pickups and set downs. Watch the wind sock and keep the aircraft in a slight slip so the nose is into the wind, it will make for much less pedal input. Don't let any loss of confidence get the better of you, if you can fly with the CFI you can fly solo, the mental part is messin with you. Good luck.

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  • 2 months later...
Far out girlfriend. If slowing down a little seems the better solution for you, then you do it.

 

However, everyone here-me too-wants to see you do that solo, do that XC, do that checkride, and get that piece of paper that says you are "SKY CAPTAIN".

 

I know...cheezy.

 

But think of it; where would we be if Orville and Wilber gave up? What about Columbus? What about Susan Anthony? What about Sonny and Cher? Where would they be if they had given up and quit. You are a winner. Just like Rocky.

 

I'll stop now.

 

Later

 

Dude, you crack me up!

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Rotorchic, I was thinking about this thread today at job #2 (the one that pays for my flight school.) I read the entire thing yesterday at job #1 (the one that makes the house payment! LOL) Pretty much what everyone is saying is correct, IMHO. This is something that YOU have to decide on, and DO NOT let anyone make the decision for you. You're settin' yourself up for one of those damn "what if's" later in life. But if it's not for you, then it's not. It is what it is. But you need to look back on it and be able to tell yourself that you gave it 100%, right?

 

Before we go any further, I want you to know that I have exactly .55 hours stick time. BUT I have a bajillion hours in psych classes.

 

OK, so here's what I thought of today. And I'm gonna attempt to get you into my way of thinking on this. Basically this all stems from the fact that on your first solo, you forgot a few things you've learned, the R22 got a bit squirrley, and you set her down. Right? So YOU'RE thinking this isn't for you, you got scared, and you thought about quitting.

 

Fear turned inside out is knowledge.

 

NOW, here's how you SHOULD think about it. Again, this is only MY opinion. On your first solo, you forgot a few things you've learned, the R22 got a bit squirrley, and you set her down. Right? The key here RC, is YOU SET HER DOWN SAFELY! Instead of looking at all the negative things that happened, pat yourself on the back. BECAUSE, you recognized a problem, or several, and you set it down safely and walked away from it. Period. Your training kicked in, and you handled it.

 

Could it have gone better? Absolutely.

Could it have gone worse? ABSOLUTELY, but it didn't.

 

Are ya pickin' up what I'm puttin' down here?

 

It's about the ATTITUDE as much as it is about the ALTITUDE.

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Rotorchic, I was thinking about this thread today at job #2 (the one that pays for my flight school.) I read the entire thing yesterday at job #1 (the one that makes the house payment! LOL) Pretty much what everyone is saying is correct, IMHO. This is something that YOU have to decide on, and DO NOT let anyone make the decision for you. You're settin' yourself up for one of those damn "what if's" later in life. But if it's not for you, then it's not. It is what it is. But you need to look back on it and be able to tell yourself that you gave it 100%, right?

 

Before we go any further, I want you to know that I have exactly .55 hours stick time. BUT I have a bajillion hours in psych classes.

 

OK, so here's what I thought of today. And I'm gonna attempt to get you into my way of thinking on this. Basically this all stems from the fact that on your first solo, you forgot a few things you've learned, the R22 got a bit squirrley, and you set her down. Right? So YOU'RE thinking this isn't for you, you got scared, and you thought about quitting.

 

Fear turned inside out is knowledge.

 

NOW, here's how you SHOULD think about it. Again, this is only MY opinion. On your first solo, you forgot a few things you've learned, the R22 got a bit squirrley, and you set her down. Right? The key here RC, is YOU SET HER DOWN SAFELY! Instead of looking at all the negative things that happened, pat yourself on the back. BECAUSE, you recognized a problem, or several, and you set it down safely and walked away from it. Period. Your training kicked in, and you handled it.

 

Could it have gone better? Absolutely.

Could it have gone worse? ABSOLUTELY, but it didn't.

 

Are ya pickin' up what I'm puttin' down here?

 

It's about the ATTITUDE as much as it is about the ALTITUDE.

 

 

FastLane, thanks for all the great advice, I am alot more confident know that I have more hours. It seems like all of a sudden everything starts to click and everything seems to make sense. I'm doing alot more autos which are really fun and I love to hover and pic up Its the greatest feeling, I'm never quitting its to much of and addiction, the days I'm not flying I wish I was its the coolest thing ever. Thanks alot for your reply. Take Care

 

RC

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