First helicopter lesson in an R22

btd1982

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Today I had a great experience in trying to hover an R22. Previously I had a 5 minute go on the cyclic only with an R44. The experience with the 44 was encouraging as I didn't really go too far out of control, I thought because of some experience flying rc helicopters. However the 22 today seemed harder and I was a little disappointed with my performance, I had half an hour of hovering practise and had all three controls for the first time, but not for long before the instructor had to take over. The collective and pedals I felt were quite intuitive although sensitive. I watched numerous videos on hovering technique and was trying their advice such as looking at the horizon and keeping control
Inputs small but I would still let the helicopter get gradually more and more out of control. There's definitely a feel for it and it seems control reactions need to become subconscious. My main objective is to learn to hover so will have some more lessons and just hope it doesn't take too long to get to grips with it.
Ben
 

Greg Vos

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The 22 has a very lively tail ( rudder is sharp) and now that you have experienced the little chopper try and explain to gyro pilots how lethargic the inputs are in comparison 😁

Well done on your new adventure your going to love it 🍺
 

Barney Bahle

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My main objective is to learn to hover so will have some more lessons and just hope it doesn't take too long to get to grips with it.
From what I've read it's usually around 10 hours before it really sets in. I have 7 hours on the books to achieve a hover endorsement but probably twice that in a single seater 10 years ago plus some time with a couple different helicopter pilots that are not CFI's. It aint gonna happen overnight so don't get disappointed and quit after a couple lessons. Everybody's different and it will take what it takes to get it under control.
 

WaspAir

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It is fairly common for student pilots to reach a point where they despair of ever mastering the hover, just before everything suddenly "clicks" , and afterwards they wonder why it ever seemed so hard.
 

Greg Vos

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IMO with learning to hover pick an object a good few metres away on your 12, not to close and don’t look down or fixate on the instruments
use it as a guide, to close and your all over the place it’s a technique that takes time but hovering is the first excercise you must have mastered before moving on ….exciting stuff ahead 😁
 

btd1982

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Thanks for the comments, interesting reading indeed! I mentioned the collective and pedals were intuitive and the collective certainly was but in fact although seemingly straight forward pressing left pedal = turn to the left, I was actually pressing the right pedal instinctively to turn left. This I think can be likened to driving a car where to turn left your left hand comes closer towards you and your right hand gets further away. Any reason why the pedals are this way around ?
 

Martin W.

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Thanks for the comments, interesting reading indeed! I mentioned the collective and pedals were intuitive and the collective certainly was but in fact although seemingly straight forward pressing left pedal = turn to the left, I was actually pressing the right pedal instinctively to turn left. This I think can be likened to driving a car where to turn left your left hand comes closer towards you and your right hand gets further away. Any reason why the pedals are this way around ?
My brain is also wired like that ... it is intuitive (to me) to push right pedal to rotate the fuselage to the left .... that way the fuselage would rotate the same direction as your feet are moving .... similar to steering a bike or motorcycle .... I have operated industrial equipment with hydro-static drive and steering was by foot pedals .... push a pedal and machine rotates the same direction as your foot is moving .

Anyway , for some reason helicopters are the opposite ... even after many years of experience I still do a slight dance on the pedals at liftoff just to remind my brain how it works.

(Years ago) my first 4 hours of training everything was new and exciting .... then hours 5 to 9 were frustrating ... I could not hold a hover and felt like quitting .... then everything clicked about 10 hours and after another 5 hours I went solo ..... also very helpful what Greg said .... focus on a distant object and you can stay a lot more oriented than looking down at the ground.
 

WaspAir

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. This I think can be likened to driving a car where to turn left your left hand comes closer towards you and your right hand gets further away. Any reason why the pedals are this way around ?
There's lots of history behind these choices, going back to the Wright Bros. If you steered with a tiller bar (or like an old fashioned sled) your instincts would be correct. If you used differential brakes (like the split brakes on a tractor) it would work like a helicopter (and like airplanes and gliders and gyros). Tail rotors react to pedal inputs as if they were rudders.
 
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500e

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WaspAir said It is fairly common for student pilots to reach a point where they despair of ever mastering the hover, just before everything suddenly "clicks" , and afterwards they wonder why it ever seemed so hard.

Aint that true
@Martin W.
Anyway , for some reason helicopters are the opposite ... even after many years of experience I still do a slight dance on the pedals at liftoff just to remind my brain how it works.

(Years ago) my first 4 hours of training everything was new and exciting .... then hours 5 to 9 were frustrating ... I could not hold a hover and felt like quitting .... then everything clicked about 10 hours and after another 5 hours I went solo ..... also very helpful what Greg said .... focus on a distant object and you can stay a lot more oriented than looking down at the ground.
15 hours I wish, feet the subtle push just to remind your self (y)
 

btd1982

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The analogy of the tractor split braking is the perfect example for me to remember, I can quickly visualise in my head what happens when pressing one particular pedal. Thanks
 
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