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Climbing/Descending Turns


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Hi!

 

Does anyone have any advice on how to NOT lose total control of airspeed on climbing or descending turns? I'm trying to look outside, watch the relation of the compass to the horizon, keep my movements smooth, and I STILL end up gaining or losing way too much airspeed during the turn. :blink: And the tighter the pattern, the worse it is. I've gotten some great advice from you guys in the past so... any tricks I haven't thought of yet?

 

Thanks!

 

HVG

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Hi!

 

Does anyone have any advice on how to NOT lose total control of airspeed on climbing or descending turns? I'm trying to look outside, watch the relation of the compass to the horizon, keep my movements smooth, and I STILL end up gaining or losing way too much airspeed during the turn. :blink: And the tighter the pattern, the worse it is. I've gotten some great advice from you guys in the past so... any tricks I haven't thought of yet?

 

Thanks!

 

HVG

 

HG

 

"I'm trying to look outside....", I know, I would make a control input, then look at the guages, and REPEAT! I think I looked at the guages so much during flight, that you'd thought I was in IMC! :) Eye's outside, and scan the instruments, but Eye's Outside, and it will eventually come to you! It's like an auto, down collective, right pedal, throttle, 65 kts, and eye's outside, right? It will just come to YOU, it's the pilots 6th sense, that all of sudden....POOF....it just happens! Hours, will give you the knowledge you'll need to better understand you, and the aircraft. This might be a vague explanation, but it just happens to us all. When your a student, you'll learn, learn, learn, and BAM...you won't learn anything for a bit, get frusturated, thinking about signing up for the Truck Masters School, then BAM...you're learning again! :D It just takes time in the seat, be patient! I remember coming home and collasping after a flight, because I was so pooped, or soooo FREAK'n frusturated with myself, that I couldn't HOVER! :blink:

 

Time in the seat HG, time in the seat!

 

R91

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It will just come to YOU, it's the pilots 6th sense, that all of sudden....POOF....it just happens! Hours, will give you the knowledge you'll need to better understand you, and the aircraft. This might be a vague explanation, but it just happens to us all. When your a student, you'll learn, learn, learn, and BAM...you won't learn anything for a bit, get frusturated, thinking about signing up for the Truck Masters School, then BAM...you're learning again! :D It just takes time in the seat, be patient! I remember coming home and collasping after a flight, because I was so pooped, or soooo FREAK'n frusturated with myself, that I couldn't HOVER! :blink:

 

Time in the seat HG, time in the seat!

 

R91

 

 

Amen, Brother Rob

 

(see soapbox below)

This is why I hate reading posts about how many hours did it take you to become a pilot? Thats like asking me how many hours it took me to run a marathon?? What does that have to do with your abilities??

 

Honestly, who cares if it takes 60 hours insted of 40 to be comfortable and fly well? You cant get to commercial without a bunch more PIC time anyway...right?

 

HeliGirl- obviously you need a bit more power to maintain airspeed in a turn, right? Sometimes when loaded near max, I set the MP where I want it and leave it. So the two things I am exchanging are airspeed and rate of climb. If I need a 500FPM rate of climb to get back over the airport at the right altitude, I may only be able to maintain 45 knots in a turn ( without losing altitude) and maybe 55 straight out...chances are you just arent pulling in the power you need up front, so when you start turning you see the VSI start to drop, so you pull back cyclic to slow down and slow your decent. Assuming you are not already at max MP, try pulling in a little more power just as you enter the turn...

 

Ah crap, hard to say without being there...but its a thought !!

 

Fly safe,

Goldy

Edited by Goldy
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Oh girlfriend, I know what you mean about airspeed. I'm still losing 10kts somewhere.

 

When in the turn, I pull a little more collective and push the cyclic a little more forward. This seems to help keep the airspeed in the turn. Just remember to lower the collective and bring the cyclic back as you roll out.

 

As these guys say though, it'll come with more flight. In the meantime, enjoy the flying and don't fret the airspeed too much.

 

Later

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Hi!

 

Does anyone have any advice on how to NOT lose total control of airspeed on climbing or descending turns? I'm trying to look outside, watch the relation of the compass to the horizon, keep my movements smooth, and I STILL end up gaining or losing way too much airspeed during the turn. :blink: And the tighter the pattern, the worse it is. I've gotten some great advice from you guys in the past so... any tricks I haven't thought of yet?

 

Thanks!

 

HVG

 

HG,

Is this for pattern work?

 

Attitude controls airspeed, so the first thing is to cement in your mind what that 60 knot attitude looks like. If you can control your airspeed on an extended departure during climbout, you have the right attitude (and the right sight picture), so focus on keeping that.

 

Next, when you climb or turn, you need to add power, and if you're doing both, you will add more. When you pull collective, the rotor pulls the nose up and the tail lags behind--you're attitude changes (nose pitches up). Without a correction, you'll slow down, so you need to make a cyclic correction. This is all about maintaining that sight picture. Descents are the opposite--you drop collective and the nose goes down while the tail floats behind you. Your attitude changes to a higher airspeed attitude, so you make a cyclic correction aft to maintain your 60 knot attitude.

 

So now you've pulled in some power, you're banking, your senses are telling you if you are climbing or not, and you are maintaining 60 knot attitude. Peek in and check the instruments...is you're VSI where you want it (3-500 ft/min) and where is your altitude? Confirm your airspeed. Now eyes go back outside and you make whatever control adjustments you need...climb rate too high/low=collective correction, speed too high or low=cyclic correction. Now leave your eyes outside and wait for the helicopter to stabilize. Now bring your eyes inside and scan your instruments to see what, if any, adjustments you need to make. You need to be patient and let the helicopter respond to your adjustments.

 

You probably have all the elements there, but you need the practice to put them together. Go fly some more!

--c

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Thanks for the encouragement everyone. Because my mistakes are inconsistent (i.e. sometimes gaining airspeed, sometimes losing it) I have a feeling it's like trying to hover. I'm overcontrolling and fighting the helicopter and still trying to internalize what it's supposed to look/feel like.

 

In thinking about it I think I'm also trying to get over the bad habit of thinking that if I'm going "uphill" my nose is supposed to be pointing up, and if I'm going "downhill" it should be pointing down. Makes a lot of sense on a bike but makes me instinctively slow down on takeoff (oops :mellow: ) and speed up on landing (whoa! :o ) And then I see my problem and start throwing the cyclic everywhere.

 

So, OK, just like hovering, practice practice practice.

 

Thanks for the advice on power too, Witch and Kodoz -- I definitely am still learning my atitudes. I understand a lot of that stuff at home but having it at my fingertips so to speak when I'm flying and talking on the radio etc. is another level...

 

Going flying tomorrow :)

 

HVG

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One thing I used to notice about my students was during a left turn they would come aft on the cyclic a tiny bit causing altitude and airspeed problems. Just the opposite on right turns, a tiny bit of forward cyclic causing an increase in airspeed and and a loss of altitude. If you are making nice smooth turns, then there should be little need to adjust collective. If you are making sharp/heavy turns then there will need to be an increase in power during the turn, then reduced back to cruise power upon roll out. Just try to keep your cyclic movements completely lateral. I am not positive that this is your problem but I have seen it SEVERAL times. Good luck.

 

--CM

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  • 2 weeks later...

I was intrigued by the problem lots of people seemed to have with airspeed dropping on left turns and rising with right turns. So I sat on the stairs in my house and traced a perfectly straight line in front of me with my right hand (and imaginary cyclic) and it felt strange -- like I was pushing forward to the left and pulling back to the right, when in fact I was moving straight across. My arm naturally wants to pivot in a semicircle around the shoulder (probably moreso when I'm tense), so back in a left turn, forward in a right turn.

 

I'm looking more at the trim strings, trying to start my turns a little earlier and smoother, but I think the most profitable thing I've done about this little problem is sitting on the steps moving my hand back and forth, back and forth, trying to install some muscle memory on what it's supposed to feel like.

 

Thanks for the help everyone, I'm only dropping 5-10 kts now...

 

HVG

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  • 1 month later...

It is defintely important to practice this in both directions. With a counter-clockwise rotating rotor system, the nose wants to rise in left turns, and fall in right turns. Practice will help you better anticipate the coordination between cyclic and collective in each direction of turn.

 

Mike

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