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HeliTorque :: View topic - Tips for Hovering Instruction
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HeliTorque Forum Index » Instructor Forum

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WhirlyGirl
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 16, 2008 8:36 pm    Post subject: Tips for Hovering Instruction Reply with quote

Just thought it would be interesting to hear various techniques instructors use to teach hovering. I have recently flown with the odd student who has flown good number of hours but still just doesn't get it, despite me trying to explain and demonstrate every technique I was ever taught.

What do other people do - are there any tips and tricks that can make it easier for these guys and help hone their skills? It would be nice to hear other people's experiences, and I'm always up for learning new techniques and teaching methods.

Sarah
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Hughes500
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 16, 2008 9:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In a 300 get the student to learn to trim it to nuteral. Show them how to do it and then take your hand off the cylic ( student hands off as well) and see how long you can count before you have to regain control. So far got to 33 seconds. This proves that if you keep your hand still the ac doesnt move.
Other things to try - hover at 30 ft, students are not worreid about hitting the ground then.

Best advice is to do a little and often. Before and after all lessons from 4 onwards do 10 mins of hovering.
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rjc
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 16, 2008 9:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Casting my mind back, there was no "moment" when I could hover.

I was always picked up not looking far enough away. We would do a bit of hovering, after 10 mins or so go and do another exercise, come back to hover, or hover taxi at walking pace. From the student point of view, breaking it up into smaller chunks helped. I didn't get the feeling that one thing was starting to become a "block". What did help was having some kind of ground reference to follow, lines on a taxi way kind of thing, rather than just one distant focal point.

Looking at my logbook it looks like ex 8 was always with any two of 4,5,7,9,10 on the first 5 lessons (about 7 hours).

I do remember the first time I managed a hover taxi, kept it up for 2 mins in total silence. Then I was asked "so, what happened then? You can do it." alas talking and hovering still eluded me and everything went pear shaped the moment I replied, to the laughter of us both. He knew it would happen, I could tell from the grin.

After that it was straight into 11, 20, 21.

Not an instructor, but I guess help from the student side may help?

{cheat mode, used the details from http://www.griffin-helicopters.co.uk/lessons/index.asp to lookup the lesson numbers!}
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 16, 2008 9:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Take their mind off the act of hovering, make them laugh, I used to teach blokes hovering with a number of dirty jokes all related to holding the cyclic.

Any number of distraction techniques work well, when the student stops thinking about it they often stop chasing the helicopter around the airfield.

Its akin to Hughes500s method of let go of the cyclic technique but lets them keep their hands on the sticks while they realise what is going on. Both methods one after the other seemed to work well for me.

Its a bt harder in a 22 because if you let go it tries tip itself over.

One of the biggest things people don't seem to teach is paralax and the way distant objects move the same way you do, if you point it out it helps students tell the difference between translating sideways and yawing.
I was surprised when I first started teaching at how much you take for granted that people need pointing out to them once they start moving in 3 dimensions.

GS
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 17, 2008 12:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

First thing they must master: pedals.

Make it point. If Bloggs can't make it point where you tell him, nothing else will work.

Once pointing is fixed, then the cyclic, with Bloggs' only concern being to KEEP THE PICTURE FLAT. Hold the attitude steady. Do whatever is necessary with the stick to make the horizon stay in the same spot in the windscreen. Doesn't matter if he drifts laterally initially, because once he works out how to hold the attitude steady, then it is only PRESSURE on the stick to stop movement and hold position.

The attitude is the whole key - eyes solely on the horizon, hold the picture flat. Forget the blade of grass in the chin bubble. I usually hold my hand out at arm's length in his field of vision, with hand flat, then give visual cues of "raise the nose a little" "Hold it there" "Down a little" and so on so that his visual sense, which is the most important, can use the cues. Quacking in his ear is sometimes a cause of overload and task shedding, and there is the delay between finally hearing your words, interpreting what you say, and translating it into the wrong thing to do, too late anyway.

Last thing to worry about is collective. Bloggs won't hit the ground because he will see it coming up and yank on the lever and scoot up into the stratosphere.

When he is ready for all 3 controls, the mantra is:
MAKE IT POINT
KEEP IT FLAT
FIX THE HEIGHT.

Notice that this doesn't mention any controls - you are after the Desired Performance, and you use whatever is needed to produce it.
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 17, 2008 8:27 pm    Post subject: Hovering Reply with quote

Aside from "how" to teach hovering, which we pretty much do the same, most students have a problem "settling" in with the controls. They are not physcially comfortable with their position and thus "exacerbate" control movements.

When I first learned in the 300, it was hard hovering until my instructor noticed that I did fine as long as my elbow was fixed aside my body, but when I banked, or the copter got a bit squirely, I was all over the place.

The solution was as simple as pie.....he had me trim the cyclic aft while on the gound so that my elbow was close on my hip. Never had a problem again. Still use the technique today in some copters.

Look at the students arm to see if it can move around away from the body. If it can, then devise a way for them to support it. Seat cushions, back cushions and the "trim" method all work.

Same goes for the pedals. If they are too far away, the student tends to "slid" down to push on them, and in most cases, moves the cyclic as well.

One pilot I flew with had to have this pillow thingy tapped under his elbow so it would not move around. Worked fine.

Someone mentioned starting hovering higher. I don't like doing that in case of engine failure, so what I do is "step them down" from about 50 feet at 10 foot increments on the approach. It gives them a chance to adjust to the ground and eliminates the "ground rush" which often tends to panic a new student. Once they are comfortable to a hover, then the approaches are straight in to the mark.

Each student is different, and it is more important to identify "why" they are having a problem, rather than the "how" of hovering.

Who said being an Instructor was easy! Surprised
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 18, 2008 10:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I started out on the R22 in the 80's and only just got to hovering it but only on a calm day!

When I did my PPL course it was in a 300 and forever I was not using the trim. Somehow I regarded it as cheating (don't ask me why) and it took me AGES to make good use of it. I was also shown how stable the 300 is by it being trimmed out to hover on its own and that really makes you see how good the trim device is. So if there's a facility put there as an assistant to the pilot, use it! (When I took my first outing in a R44 there's a governor..what a BRILL piece of kit that is!!!

[I know the B206 has one and I did the European trip in one of those but somehow that seemed more normal or expected in a larger machine]

FF

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 20, 2008 1:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

When teaching hovering, the key is to get your student to simply try and hold an attitude... that's it, nout fancy, explain to them that they will drift abit, but if a student is told "try and keep it in the same place over the ground" they'll never do it.

After a few goes they will then naturally start using their periferal vision to judge movement across the ground and make appropriate corrections.

It reduces the hassle of the instructor continiously having to take control aswell.

That's just how I do it.

HH
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 20, 2008 2:40 pm    Post subject: Hovernig Reply with quote

I do not feel that allowing the student to wander all over the sky is a good teaching technique. It teaches them that sloppy flying is tolerable, and therefore takes them longer to get it right.

At first, I give a student a large circle to stay in, maybe a radius of 10 feet at best. That's their target area. As they become more comfortable, I reduce the area until they can keep it above the spot without excessive drift fore and aft, and to the side. I do not allow backward movement unless it is planned and necessary to reposition the helicopter.

It takes time for a student to learn a fluid motion to the controls, not the push and shove which new students tend to do. The "keep it in one place" is really not practical for a new student. If they new how to do it, they would not need an instructor.

I teach them that small, smooth movements get the best results, and the larger "arena" allows them some lattitude, space to experiment, while still setting limits for them.

Another standard technique is only letting them have one set of controls at a time...pedals or cyclic. During this phase, I like to see the student learn to move the controls slow and easy. Then I add another set of controls and repeat the training.
As HaggisHunter stated, learning to fly an "attitude" is very important.

Once a stiudent learns that only small movements are necessary, progress is made rapidly, and student confidence is instilled.
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 20, 2008 3:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Once a student learns that only small movements are necessary, progress is made rapidly, and student confidence is instilled.

Isn't it a funny (peculiar) thing that one assumes large inputs are necessary to fly! Even when doing practice-turns later in the syllabus the inputs are still not large to make the bird lean over.
All very measured and controlled and she will respond very nicely and with much more control if you handle the whole thing very gently.

Just like with a woman.. Smile Very Happy (a whole new thread there eh?)

FF

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 20, 2008 5:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Now then FF, who is going to rise to your comment Wink

CW
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 21, 2008 4:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Catwoman wrote:
Now then FF, who is going to rise to your comment Wink

CW
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So not going there !!!
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 21, 2008 12:17 pm    Post subject: Hover Reply with quote

Me neither. Rather loose a tailrotor, than answer to CAT.

Laughing
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 21, 2008 4:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hee hee hee hee Wink

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 21, 2008 4:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

How to hijack and stop a thread...!

FF Very Happy Very Happy

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