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First Hover

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Well it was about a year ago when i started my journey of becoming a helicopter pilot. It began with a visit to SSH where i learned a few huge lessons....some good and some bad. The first lesson i learned was that after i took an intro flight, i fell in love with flying and knew right away this was going to be worth the battle. I then went home and continued my research on SSH and learned my second lesson...that finding a trustworthy school and the means to pay for the training was over half the battle. I also found that every person has his or her own path to becoming a pilot. It seemed as though i had entered a jungle of tangled weeds and over grown bushes. However i didn’t give up and fortunately after a month or two of heavy research and flight school visits i managed to cut away the weeds and bushes and find my own path. I enrolled in UVSC's global aviation degree program in order to finish school and help pay for flight training at the same time. It would have been a shame to waste two previous years of basic college studies, as my mom would say haha...thank God they were all transferable. After a semester of basic aviation classes i am now in my second semester and finally able to start my private pilot training. It has been such a long road already that i often find myself in awe of what is still ahead of me.......


So here i am only hours after the first hover of my life...and all i can say to anyone who asks how it was, is :o WOW :o. That was everything and more that i thought it would be...it is the most challenging and frustrating thing i have EVER done. The only comparison i could make was to the first time i tried to surf. It took me weeks before i could gain enough balance to stand up. I thought to myself many times that it was impossible but after a lot of hard work and dedication i found it easier and easier to stand up. Now i can only hope this will end up the same. There is no doubt i will bring the same passion and dedication to flying a helicopter that i brought to surfing a wave... BUT, i just hope i don’t run out of money about the time i finally get the hang of it hahaha. :huh:



any advice or stories on your first hover?

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Congrats! it's addicting, that is for sure, just don't give up, keep up the motivation!!



You asked for a story:


The first day I attempted to hover...



A stagefield at Ft Rucker, AL in a Bell 206 (TH-67)... My IP brought it up to a hover and handed me all the controls, and said "good luck"... I couldn't stop laughing cause I was doing the cyclic rodeo all over the place... she never had to take the controls from me to save our lives, but damn we got close. After about an hour or so I got to do a traffic pattern where I calmed down and didn't stir the pot as much. Anyway, after day 2 I was actually able to keep it in a decent hover and while taxing keep the center line within the skids... ha! DAMN that was fun!





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Sounds a lot like the path I am on myself right now! I started off by getting "hooked on helos" a few months back when I went to Silver State Pueblo to check out their program and get a demo flight. I was pretty impressed with the presentation, but like you did I started doing some research. Now I am in the last year of my enlistment and I'm looking for a school that fits me. Currently looking in the Denver/Colorado Springs and Camarillo/Van Nuys areas and can't wait to start!


Congrats to you and good luck with the rest of your training!

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Just relax and try to remember you're flying an aircraft that the laws of physics have proven can't fly:)


I remember my first true hover. I picked the a/c up off the ground and had it perfect. I thought the instructor was helping me until he put both his hands out in front of me to show me that he wasn't. I remember thinking to myself "holy crap... I'm really hovering!!! I'm really..." and then I lost it;)~ Good luck man!!! Have a blast!

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Great post for a newbie! Everyone has their first hover, kinda like your first lover, you tend to remember it !


I remember when suddenly the gyrations stopped and there I was....for only a few seconds I might add, but for 5 seconds there I was hovering still 3 feet above the ground..only then did I realize this might actually be possible !!


Seems so easy now, you dont even think about it...you just feel it. However, whats really the difference between a new student and 50 hours later ? You just feel the aircraft move and correct for it before the new guy even realized it was drifting...so really its about timing. Sense the movement and make a small correction for it. Because it takes the new guy longer to sense it, they make a larger movement to correct for it, which then takes a large correction ....and now you are swinging from a tree !!


God, I hope that makes sense when you read it.....I'm going back for more coffee.


Good luck, have fun, fly safe.



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Thank you all so much for the stories and encouragement! I am very grateful. I doubted anyone would read it haha but its good to see so many genuinely supportive pilots already in the industry.


Good luck to goromadgo also.... its a very tedious path but from what i see and what i hear, it will be very rewarding in many aspects of life other than just money. it also helps to see the reaction from people when they ask what your going to school for and you get to tell them....Well i go to school to fly helicopters. (i love the reactions from those who doubt your efforts because they see it as something they could never do) LETS KEEP WORKING BRO AND DONT LOOSE THAT DREAM!!!



Funny story after my first hover: I was walking back to the hanger as a one of the friendly fuel guys stopped to laugh and let me know just how much he enjoyed watching that "8 sec rodeo ride i gave out there" (thats when you know your in Texas) hahaha man i felt grounded to say the least....but it was hilarious i will say. :D

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I really don't remember my first successful hover. However I vividly remember being very close to washing out of flight school because I had not soloed and was nearing the end of the time allotted by the US Army, to do so.


My instructor said "I have never had a student wash out and you are not going to be the first." He put the TH-55 down on the takeoff pad at a stage field, told me to make the three trips around the pattern, take off from the ground, make approaches to the ground.


Three controlled crashes later, I had soloed and his record was intact.


My thanks to Mr Payne. If it had not been for his confidence, ego, or perhaps stupidity I would have missed some of the most thrilling days of my life.

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Hehe I really wish I had recorded my first hover attempt. It's no joke when people call it the mechanical bull ride. I was all over the place and at several times I was totally convinced that I had placed the aircraft into an unrecoverable configuration. But each time my instructor would snatch the controls back at the last instant and level us out. After a few hours you realize that it's all about very very small control movements. Not the big movements you always see on TV...



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Wow, lot's of good stories. Makes me feel less like a dork :D


I had my second flying lesson in an actual helicopter yesterday (2 sim lessons in between) and actually controlled all inputs myself in a hover for the first time (did some hover taxi too and lifted off and landed with a bit of help from the instructor).


I would do o.k. for a 2-10 seconds sometimes a bit longer and then I'd tense up and start losing it. I also had a tendency to drift toward the airport building.


All in all, it was a blast and I really enjoyed it. I can't wait to get back up this weekend.


The whole idea of "looking through the building" and not focusing on any one object was a big help. Kinda Zen in a way.



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