Posted: Mon Sep 19, 2011 5:25 pm Post subject: I'm in Training Right Now. How Can I Be Most Effective?
I'm very new with 4 hours under my belt so far, but want to ensure I can do everything possible to be effective and safe in order to become a a great pilot. Any advice on the following, or other is greatly appreciated:
- Training I can do at home (work on my muscle memory, or other)
- Training resources online
- Financial assistance (grants, trade for training, etc)
Joined: Aug 24, 2010 Posts: 94 Location: Teddington, SW London, UK
Posted: Thu Sep 22, 2011 1:29 pm Post subject:
Good to hear you have taken up the Helicopter challenge
You will see from my diary on this site that I went through the process of the PPL(h) starting about this time last year and have now also completed the R(44) type rating.
Things that you can do to help yourself through the process.
1. Read as much as you can about flying. Not just the textbooks, read the accident reports, read website that talk about flying and try and discuss issues with other pilots and/or on forums. For example I found an excellent website here http://philip.greenspun.com/flying/ that had some fantastic information on learning the hover including advice on how to teach people to learn the hover which is just as useful for the student to read. Watch all the youtube videos you can find on all the various manoevres etc. Read the Pilots Operating Manual until you know all the key bits you need. I make copious notes as I find writing stuff down the best way for me to learn but others may be different.
2. Write up every single lesson you have in as much detail as possible. You can see the level of detail I wrote as its on this site. You dont have to publish your own diary but the act of reliving the entire lesson and documenting it all effectively doubles the amount of learning you can get from each hour in the air. Anything you were not sure about you wont be able to write very clearly which you can then ask about the following week with your instructor.
3. Make as much use of your instructor as possible Before AND After every lesson. I found there was loads of time I had which is effectively free (well was from the school I learned at in the UK) and you should take as much advantage of this as you can.
4. When you get to navigation I spent a lot of time "flying" the routes on google earth before actually flying them. I still do this when flying anywhere new, for example I am flying the london helilanes this weekend and have "flown" them all many times already on google earth to learn the routes and the landmarks to look out for. It still looks a bit different from the actual cockpit but nothing like as much as learning everything from a map in the cockpit.
5. Practice RT as much as you can. Make sure you have the phonetic alphabet off pat as soon as you can. Speaking aloud number plates as you drive is a good way of sorting the basics. Write down and memorise all the standard calls you have to make etc.
6. In terms of muscle memory there isnt much you can do. That has to be learned in the aircraft although reliving the lesson to document it with help you visualise what you did which should help add some memory.
The best of luck. It's a fantastic journey. Probably one of the most difficult things you will ever have to do but a really rewarding one and enormous amounts of fun to be had along the way.
For muscle memory:
1. Sit in a chair (some use a car seat with the handbrake, clutch and accelerator. I've even seen people building a rig to simulate the controls!).
2. Raise your left hand up on an imaginary collective while pushing away with your left foot.
3. Lower your left hand down while pushing away with your right foot.
4. Continue to repeat this, and as you push away with one foot start to pull the opposite foot towards you.
5. Now hold an imaginary cyclic with your right hand. As you raise your left hand up and push away with your left foot, very slightly push forward with your right hand.
6. Next lower your left hand, push away with your right foot and pull very slightly back with your right hand.
(7. - if throttle correlation is needed - add in rolling your left wrist in the correct direction as you move your left hand up and down)
That looks far more complicated written down than it actually is! Don't worry too much about whether the size of each movement is accurate, just get the muscles coordinated. When you are actually sat in an aircraft the size of the required movements will be very obvious.
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