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learning to fly a helicopter

Discussion in 'AviatorChat.com' started by wsaraceni, Feb 7, 2012.

  1. kurtflies12

    kurtflies12 Karting

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    Check out the Bell 47.
     
  2. 88Testarossa

    88Testarossa Formula 3

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  3. Testacojones

    Testacojones F1 Veteran

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    Lol, are you implying that you soloed a helicopter after only 3.5 hours in which the instructor was constantly saving you from from crashing at every second the helicopter was at hover... 😂😂😂 With 3,5 hours you would still be scratching your head on what pedal to push while raising the collective... Lol...

    You would have to perform hover auto rotation, straight autorotation, 180 automation, settling with power entry and recovery. Those are some of the basic mandatory maneuvers you would have to demonstrate. You need a minimum of dual hours too, no matter what. No instructor will sign his licence away. Geez, no one is capable of doing these this maneuvers in that amount of time.
     
  4. Hannibal308

    Hannibal308 F1 Rookie
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    The military doesn't do anything like tye FAA requires when it comes to training. Hell, it was definitely different, but my first flight in the R-22 started out pretty smooth and got even better. After 1.4 hours I flew the entire recovery to Honululu from Barbers' Point finishing by taxiing to an intersection, holding for about a minute in a hover then taxiing back to our spot and landing. It was never easy, but there's no doubt in my mind I could have got the IP out of the thing right then and there and "safely" taken off, gone somewhere, and come back without hurting myself or the machine. Had something gone wrong with the craft...whole different story. That said, the military may not put a newb through the equivalent of Stage One before solo, so all bets are off. I'm sure he will tell us and I'm interested to know.
     
  5. Testacojones

    Testacojones F1 Veteran

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    #55 Testacojones, Aug 27, 2016
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2016
    I've decided to remove my last post since I've been drinking and posting today. Don't me too seriously, just curious lol...
     
  6. WJGESQ

    WJGESQ Formula 3

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    The old Hillers are cheap to but. Easy to fly. But slow mo big time.
     
  7. tazandjan

    tazandjan Three Time F1 World Champ
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    No helicopter experience, but is hovering kind of like flying formation in fighters?
     
  8. killer58

    killer58 Formula 3
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    Taz,

    In flight school, one instructor likened it to rubbing your stomach and patting your head.
    While balancing on a beach ball....
     
  9. HobbsTC

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    Well, at Ft Rucker in one of the libraries there's a hovering tool. It's a stick with a flat plate on top. You put a marble on it and try to keep the marble in the center. It's kinda like that. But in the uh60 we're doing that with 18000lbs gross weight...
     
  10. donv

    donv F1 World Champ
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    Hovering really has to do with where your eyes are focused. It seems impossible, and then once you get it you can't understand how you couldn't do it before. Kind of like riding a bike.
     
  11. tazandjan

    tazandjan Three Time F1 World Champ
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    Sounds like fun, but so far I have only been a pax in military copters.
     
  12. Hannibal308

    Hannibal308 F1 Rookie
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    Taz,

    I'm finding myself laughing at the question as I wait to see who actually answers it!

    Just kidding. I'm still learning, but I've found it to be similar in many ways. Small corrections are key. Spotting deviations early and arresting them before they get big is a common aspect. The actual motions are very different but the coordination required is very much the the same. Guarantee you would not have any trouble as I'm sure you flew plenty of FT in the 'Vark. I figured it out after about an hour of instruction, of which there was really maybe 10 minutes of me practicing staying put over various spots on a taxiway at Barber's Point in wind 10G15. It was a challenge the whole time, to be sure. Kind of like flying FT in the weather, I would say, from a concentration aspect. After about 5 minutes though, it seemed to click and I've never looked back. In that sense too, it's similar to flying close formation. It's not terribly difficult, but you have to have your cranium in the game 100% of the time.
     
  13. 88Testarossa

    88Testarossa Formula 3

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    You don't know what the heck you're talking about insulting me like that and acting like a troll. What's my motivation to lie? I'm proud of my accomplishment of being the first to solo in my class.

    I started flying a/c at the age of 13, soloed on my 16th birthday, licensed at 17, multi-engine rated at 18 and helicopter instrument rating at 22. You?

    Flying a helicopter, for me anyway, was intuitive and mostly reflex-based. The key is finger tip pressure, rest your forearm on your knee, light, minute control input and most of all, don't overthink control inputs. Be one with the a/c. I always treated my a/c as an extension of myself.

    It's a bit like big boat racing sailors.


    The best sailors often are those who started racing a dinghy at a young age, have innate talent and boat trim/ balance feel, and can point the boat in a direction and go fast.

    There are probably some F1 drivers like that who started in Karting at a young age. I often wished I'd grown up sailing a dinghy when I raced big boats.

    Put me in an F1 car against a kid who grew up karting and I'll bet you he solos the F1 well before I do.

    Yes - I soloed after 3.5 hours; most in my class soloed after 5 hours. Ten hours was the cutoff point, and no one got cut until the instrument qualification phase of training (half my class).

    So, how long did it take before you soloed a helo?


    Sent by itsy bitsy electrons
     
  14. 88Testarossa

    88Testarossa Formula 3

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    Sorry if my reply is harsh. Blame it on my Italian heritage. I stand by initial post.


    Sent by itsy bitsy electrons
     
  15. dmark1

    dmark1 F1 Veteran
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    Sorry but you are full of it. Don't even compare your flying background to mine, you will lose. Started at 15, licensed on 17 th birthday, ATP at 23, Hired by American Airlines at 25, 9 type ratings, FE, 727, 737, 757,767,777, BAE 3100, Saab 340, 15,000 hours, currently single pilot of my Citation Mustang

    I started flying helicopters 4 years ago. Took me 2.9 hours to hover (without the instructors assistance- NOT SOLO) 14 more to do all the rest. The statement you learned to completely have soloed flying a helicopter in 3.5 hours is a figment of your imagination. You can't con a con. ;)
     
  16. dmark1

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    I would think formation would be much more intense but it is a lot like that, yes. Tiny constant control inputs. Robinsons are notoriously easy to over control and that is the biggest impediment at first. It IS a lot like learning to ride a bike. There is a "feeling" that snaps into place at some point and you "have" it. Prior to that happening you feel like everything is out of control....
     
  17. 88Testarossa

    88Testarossa Formula 3

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    #67 88Testarossa, Sep 5, 2016
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2016

    LoL

    Let me tell you about the USAF pilots who trained in T-38s and flunked out of school. Probably great jet jocks, but couldn't hold a 3' hover.

    My comment stands. Soloed at 3.5 hours. I don't give a rats ass if you believe me. That's not my problem. I found flying helos quite natural and lucky for me, easy. And more satisfying personally than flying fixed wing/or a fighter jet (got to fly an F15 once, from the back seat).

    Students washed out if they didn't solo in ten hours. If you soloed at 14 hours like you did, you would have washed out. Flying jets or piston fixed wing does not equal flying helos, as you well know.

    The military training, especially during the Vietnam War was unlike that of the civilian training. There was a big push to put students through for the war effort.

    Also, as you well know, learning to fly a helo in your late teens or early 20s is much easier than doing so if you're in your 30s or older. The military wasn't concerned about liability insurance letting a kid solo with less than five hours. It was restricted to once around the patter.

    I did a quick search and found one guy who soloed at 3hr15min hours in a helo (RAF) and a civilian IP who says he soloed a student at 4.6 hrs.

    The last guy to solo in my class? A former airline pilot who could not dodge the draft 😀 Heavy jet, or any jet time is not a plus when learning to fly a TH-55 recip engine trainer, IMHO

    I'll have to search for the newspaper article about my Army helo solo flight if I still have it.

    Sent by itsy bitsy electrons[​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
     
  18. jcurry

    jcurry F1 World Champ
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    FAR Part 61 Sec. 61.87 effective as of 04/01/2016

    While the above is the current text it appears unchanged since 1978. Given how time is logged, i.e. engine start to shutdown, the number of items that require at least some rudimentary instruction prior to solo would seem impossible to cover in 3-4 hrs, let alone cover sufficiently that an instructor would put is neck on the line. Of course, as previously noted, the military is not subject to the same regulations and liability as civilians.
     
  19. 88Testarossa

    88Testarossa Formula 3

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    #69 88Testarossa, Sep 5, 2016
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2016
    Tell me, exactly, how many hours did Wilbur and Orville Wright have before they soloed?

    If my memory serves me correct (it's been almost 40 years), we had four weeks of ground school and a/c systems, then morning class and flight time. I could hold a stationary hover after my first hour. I'm not alone, in that respect, others have done the same. Autorotations were easy, obviously I could fly a pattern and control the a/c.

    Frankly, I was surprised when my instructor let me solo (somewhere between scared as xxxx and about as exhilarated as I was when I first soloed a fixed wing).

    In the 1960s to 1970s, the US was less litigious and the US Army flight standards although somewhat stringent, were very methodical and scientific, esp when I trained because the had an enormous amount of training experience and learning behavioral science. It was an amazingly efficient flight training program. Probably the best in the world at the time. They created a large number of pilots for the Vietnam War in a relatively short amount of time, some serious OPTEMPO. VNAF officers also trained in my class following six weeks of intensive English classes in TX.

    Modern day flight training (in my opinion) is risk averse (litigation), profit driven (more hours=more revenue), and the a/c tend to be more advanced and complex.

    Keep in mind, that from the age of 13-18, I worked at an FBO seven days a week after school and weekends. I was never paid, but got a lot of flight hours (almost daily in exchange when I was 16 to deliver and pickup a/c to ROTC training site). Flying was my life at that time.

    The TH-55 is not a turbine or particularly complex a/c to learn to fly.


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  20. 88Testarossa

    88Testarossa Formula 3

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    #70 88Testarossa, Sep 5, 2016
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    Not relevant. And my training was during Vietnam War, which was over by 1978. Military was not a Part 61 or 91 operation.

    Yes, it's possible to cover it 3-4 hours. I don't recall ever leaving the pattern before I soloed. Autorotations took longer for some to master. Luckily, not for me. TH-55 A/C was recip engine, no hydraulics. Pretty simple/basic helo.


    Sent by itsy bitsy electrons
     
  21. tazandjan

    tazandjan Three Time F1 World Champ
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    Mark, Will- Thanks, it sounds like it would be fun to try except my reflexes are not what they used to be. Flying close formation and refueling from a KC-135 and KC-10 were fun, so hovering must be too. Just takes all your concentration.
     
  22. dmark1

    dmark1 F1 Veteran
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    Ok whatever you say. BTW I am not just heavy jet guy - I am civilian and have flown over 100types of small aircraft. I stand by my assertion that what you claim to have done..i.e. "solo" in 3 hours is impossible. Unless of course, your instructor didn't give a damn about having his license pulled or getting you killed.
     
  23. Hannibal308

    Hannibal308 F1 Rookie
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    You guys need to read what I said before about mil training...it has absolutely nothing in common with what the FAA says you need to do to get through Stage X. And 40 years ago, when Al trained, during the VietNam war, it was likely even less than irrelevant.

    If he says he soloed a helo in 3.5 Hours then I believe he did without any doubt in my mind. It makes sense that a guy with prior fixed wing experience, the airmanship derived from hours spent in flight, and a level head could master hovering and autos to the standard that the Army, not the FAA, deemed sufficient in that amount of time.

    In UPT most studs soloed the T-37 in around 10 hours in the old days. It could have easily been sooner except for some EP patterns were a bear due to the really long spool up times on the motors, and those patterns took time to get right consistently. It was also syllabus driven, so not based as much on the skill of the individual pilot, though lack of skill could surely prolong it.

    Helo training in the civilian world, as I am doing now, is very syllabus driven. I suspect, as many of you have overzealously emphasized, that it is indeed unlikely even an experienced fixed wing pilot could [be cleared to] solo in less than about 10 hours following a typical Stage I syllabus. There is simply too much stuff to do and practice. I could have picked up, taken the R-22 In and out of our Class B, including all the comms, come back and set down right where I left after one flight. It's just not that hard. Checking all the boxes to the satisfaction of an IP and being able to handle all the EPs that "could" happen is a different story. That's what I'm still working on, and I'm glad for it, as when I'm a CFII I'll be teaching it the same way.
     
  24. Bob Parks

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    Reading what you guys have done and can do makes me feel like a bumbling kid who can boast about absolutely nothing. Hats off to all of you!
     
  25. Hannibal308

    Hannibal308 F1 Rookie
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    You are no bumbler! And boasting isn't what I was getting at. And I'm pretty sure Al wasn't either.

    The point I was trying to make was that we were both trained in highly refined military training systems. Not any guy off the street even starts in those pipelines. During the VietNam war, the Army needed helicopter drivers by the hundreds and they needed them as fast as they could possibly train them. Out of that need, training became strict, regimented, and milestones needed to be met based in a timeline that very few civilian training programs ever emulate.

    People can be trained to perform at a high level very quickly if the training process is sound. at the Air Force Academy, I was trained to jump out of airplanes and all 5 jumps were free fall jumps...no static line...no accelerated free fall instructors....nada! Later, when I was Wings of Blue, we taught the course and it was as strict and regimented as you could ever imagine. There was no tolerance for poor performance on all the ground training exercises. A kids first jump was going to be his or her test of how well their training was accomplished. The program had, and as far as I know still has, a perfect safety record.

    As another example of how radically accelerated military training can be, when I finished med school and my surgery internship, I was incredibly fortunate to have been selected to go fly the F-16 flying as a pilot again. At the time I started my transition course, I had not flown anything for over five and half years. After ground school and some EP sims, I soloed the Viper in about 5 hours and took a Form 8 instrument/qual check in the thing 2 hours later. It was all in the training program. As a pace reference, this all happened in about 8 duty days! They don't mess around.

    I'm super happy with my self paced helo program. I get to do other things at the same time, such as hang out with my young daughters and surf. Oh, and work a bit too. But it will take longer to learn that way, I know that and I'm not on a mission to solo in X hours. If I were, I would fly twice a day for a three weeks and be done with my private. I don't really care that much to beat myself or my family over it.
     

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