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From the previous chapters, it should be apparent that no two helicopters perform the same way. Even when flying the same model of helicopter, wind, temperature, humidity, weight, and equipment make it difficult to predict just how the helicopter will perform. Therefore, this chapter presents the basic flight maneuvers in a way that would apply to the majority of helicopters. In most cases, the techniques described apply to small training helicopters with:
- A single, main rotor rotating in a counterclockwise direction (looking downward on the rotor).
- An antitorque system.
Where a technique differs, it is noted. For example, a power increase on a helicopter with a clockwise rotor system requires right antitorque pedal pressure instead of left pedal pressure. In many cases, the terminology “apply proper pedal pressure” is used to indicate both types of rotor systems. However, when discussing throttle coordination to maintain proper rotations per minute (rpm), there is no differentiation between those helicopters with a governor and those without. In a sense, the governor is doing the work for you. In addition, instead of using the terms “collective pitch control” and “cyclic pitch control” throughout the chapter, these controls are referred to as just “collective” and “cyclic.”
- The Four Fundamentals of Helicopter Flight
- Helicopter Straight-and-Level Flight
- Helicopter Turns
- Helicopter Normal Climbs and Normal Descents
- Vertical Takeoff to a Hover
- Hovering and Hovering Turns
- Hovering—Forward, Sideward, and Rearward Flight
- Helicopter Taxiing
- Normal Takeoff from a Hover, From Surfaces, and Crosswind Considerations
- Helicopter Ground Reference Maneuvers (Part One)
- Helicopter Ground Reference Maneuvers (Part Two)
- Traffic Patterns
- Helicopter Approaches and Go-Arounds
Because helicopter performance varies with weather conditions and aircraft loading, specific nose attitudes and power settings are not detailed in this handbook. In addition, this chapter does not detail every attitude of a helicopter in the various flight maneuvers, nor every move that must be made in order to perform a given maneuver.
When a maneuver is presented, there is a brief description, followed by the technique to accomplish the maneuver. In most cases, there is a list of common errors at the end of the discussion.
Flight Literacy Recommends
This section is based on the FAA Helicopter Flying Handbook FAA-H-8083-21B 2019.