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Hover and Landing ?

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I don't have a problem getting into the air. But trying to hover and or land always ends in crashing.

 

Any tips would be appreciated.

 

Thanks in advance to all who reply.

 

Bill

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Practice, practice, practice ...

 

What are you flying?  The default Bell 206 is a fairly stable helicopter and my be worth a try.

 

Have you done the tutorials?  The Robinson is (IMHO) more difficult to fly than some of the bigger helicopters but if you take the time to master the tutorials then you will be able to fly pretty much anything.

 

Practice landings by slow forward approach to the touchdown point.  Hover landings are the hardest.  Slowing forward movement to ~ 10 knots the gradually lowering while slowing but moving forward provides for much more stable approaches.

 

Remember - small movements on the cyclic - and wait for the response then re-adjust.  And - turn your FSX control sensitivity to maximum.  Or if you are running your controls through FSUIPC, set control profiles somewhere in the negative numbers (trial and error required, but start ~ - 3),

 

FSX is not a very friendly environment for helicopter flying.  RW helicopter pilots say one big problem is the lack of peripheral vision; another is the lack of 'feel' of the forces - all the data you get is visual and (as mentioned first) this is not very complete due to the peripheral vision problems.  My suggestion - TrackIR.  This makes a huge difference because you can look around in a fraction of a second - hat switch views cannot come close.

 

Loosen the centering spring on your joystick - take it out completely if you can.

 

If you do not have them, get rudder pedals.

 

Some light reading for the in-between-flights time:  http://www.faa.gov/regulations_policies/handbooks_manuals/aviation/helicopter_flying_handbook/media/hfh_ch09.pdf - the Basic Maneuvers section from http://www.faa.gov/regulations_policies/handbooks_manuals/aviation/helicopter_flying_handbook/


Dan

Legacy Virtual Airline

Legacy Aviation Knowledge Academy

 

Windows 10, i7 3770 3.9 GHz, 16 GB DDR3 RAM, NVIDIA 1070 ti, 42" 1080p widescreen / P3D v5, P3D v4, FSX with Acceleration, FSX-SE / TrackIR-5

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TXHills,

 

Thanks for your reply. I'm starting with the default Bell 206. But somehow I missed the FSX tutorials. I'll look again.

 

Bill

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Bill, could you be a bit more specific as to what your problems are? You say that hovering/landing ends in a crash? Is this because you have lost control? For landings, you'd be quite surprised how slowly real pilots set down helicopters.

 

I found the following video. This landing is decent, but not the smoothest I've ever seen. In the sim, you want to eventually get to the point where you're not setting the helicopter down much harder than seen in this video (you could set it down harder, but for the sake of realism, softer is always better). if you are uncomfortable with where your landing is going or you feel a loss of control coming on right before touchdown, it is sometimes a good idea to increase lift, bring the helicopter back up higher a bit, regain control, and try setting it down again. Also, hovering is definitely tricky for those new to it, but lots of practice will definitely help. Remember to be easy on the controls. Violent/quick/sudden control inputs can offset the balance and cause you to drift in whatever direction.

 


Brandon Filer

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Excellent advice in this thread.  

 

Here's a tutorial I found extremely helpful.  It's a bit advanced - I came to it after reviewing and practicing the training suggestions at Hovercontrol (great resource, by the way).  Agree also that the FAA's helicopter handbook is worth a look

 

Speaking personally, I've found that controlling a helicopter in hover or slow flight is a little like controlling a boat.  Not an exact analogy but the idea is this - if you make a control input and  hold it, the way you would in a fixed-wing aircraft, the helicopter will move, then rapidly accelerate in that direction.  What you need to do is almost immediately counter that input with an opposite input, so you're effectively nudging or pulsing the cyclic to get the helo to move in a given direction.  To adjust slightly forward in a hover, the way the pilot does in the video, you'd move the cyclic quickly (and slightly) forward, then back, forward, then back.  Similarly, when you're docking a power boat, you have to remember it's not a car - there's very little friction, so it'll keep moving in a given direction unless you counter it.  To move alongside the dock, you pulse the throttle - forward, reverse, forward, reverse... so it doesn't run away from you.  Helos are roughly the same way.

 

Beyond this, as Dan said... practice, practice, practice...  

 

If you really get into helo flying (it's addictive), you can arrange live online training at Hovercontrol.  Not for everyone, but if you truly get bitten by the bug, keep it in mind.

 

Hope this helps.



Alan Ampolsk

"Ah, Paula, they are firing at me!"
-- Saint-Exupery

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Thanks Hughes and Alan,

 

The video makes it look so easy. I read the tutorial most informative. I guess practice is the best answer. I'll keep trying. This forum and people on it have been most helpful.

 

Bill

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Hi bill,

 

I was a hover control pilot for a long time, but the community seems to have died off a little (it has been a while since I was there - I might be wrong). If you can spend some time reading there help sections and try there test. There really is only one way - practice, practice and a little more practice. Someone above has drawn syinogy from flying a helicopter and a boat. For me learning to fly a helicopter is more like golf! It is one of the most frustrating things to do on the plant! But, get it right and the sence of achievement is amazing.

 

Good luck and let us know how you get on,


Craig Tomkins

CIX VFR Member

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Try this page.

 

FYI that they're now revamping the training so that involves much more live instruction before the test. The test itself will be different.  But the old version that's still up on the training page is still useful - the maneuvers are good for practice.



Alan Ampolsk

"Ah, Paula, they are firing at me!"
-- Saint-Exupery

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I find hover-taxiing a particularly useful practice discipline (in other words, move at a walking pace forward just barely off the ground, and stay on the taxiways).

 

It's far more deliberate than landing an airplane, and requires far more attention to precise control and small movements.  You also have to stop reading gauges and set up a bank angle for the helicopter that has the rotors at the right pitch above you to give you a sense of control.  Think in terms of angling the rotor blades gently in the direction you want to go, until they start to pull in that direction, and that helps a lot as well.  But you have to be able to see them above you to do so; staring at the flight instruments will prevent you from doing that.


Excellent advice in this thread.  

 

Here's a tutorial I found extremely helpful.  It's a bit advanced - I came to it after reviewing and practicing the training suggestions at Hovercontrol (great resource, by the way).  Agree also that the FAA's helicopter handbook is worth a look

 

Speaking personally, I've found that controlling a helicopter in hover or slow flight is a little like controlling a boat.  Not an exact analogy but the idea is this - if you make a control input and  hold it, the way you would in a fixed-wing aircraft, the helicopter will move, then rapidly accelerate in that direction.  What you need to do is almost immediately counter that input with an opposite input, so you're effectively nudging or pulsing the cyclic to get the helo to move in a given direction.  To adjust slightly forward in a hover, the way the pilot does in the video, you'd move the cyclic quickly (and slightly) forward, then back, forward, then back.  Similarly, when you're docking a power boat, you have to remember it's not a car - there's very little friction, so it'll keep moving in a given direction unless you counter it.  To move alongside the dock, you pulse the throttle - forward, reverse, forward, reverse... so it doesn't run away from you.  Helos are roughly the same way.

 

Beyond this, as Dan said... practice, practice, practice...  

 

If you really get into helo flying (it's addictive), you can arrange live online training at Hovercontrol.  Not for everyone, but if you truly get bitten by the bug, keep it in mind.

 

Hope this helps.

 

Philip Greenspun is an amazing guy; photo.net was one of my favorite internet hangs many years ago, and his analysis of photography and photographic equipment is as spot on as it is for everything else he touches.  Thanks for the moment in the Wayback Machine.

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For landings, you'd be quite surprised how slowly real pilots set down helicopters.

 

Interesting comment... I've only spent about 4 hours of dual instruction in a Schweizer 300, now I think known as the Sikorsky S-300, and that was about 8 years ago, but one thing I'll never forget is how many times the instructor insisted on calling landings "set downs" and takeoffs "pick ups".

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Easy landing! Lol have you seen the US Army pilots they throw them down like tin cans!


Craig Tomkins

CIX VFR Member

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Hovering is an applied principle of forward flight, just smaller less forceful movements on the cyclic and collective learn not to over control and with easy movements on your controllers and you’ll get the hang of it…

See below for basic instructions, with practice you can do this...

Respectfully:

David...

 


"Remember, you don't fly a Helicopter. You feel her."

helicoptero_animado_2.gif

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Not much to add to what's been said above but:

In a sim, the greatest challenge for me (dabbling in rc helicopters) is still to anticipate long enough into the future. With a small rc model the reaction is almost instantaneous, something that can't be said about the FSX helis at least, so I keep overshooting, reacting too late with the counter input and all cyclic inputs are still too much but what has been said is very true: Practice, practice, practice and then some more practice. Right now I am perfectly happy with keeping the sim heli within a 50m circle but I'm getting a bit more comfortable with it every time. I try to keep my VSI needle between 0 and -1 and not allow it to -1 or below. That alone takes practice to be smooth and soft enough on the collective (a Saitek X-52 throttle unit in my case).

 

One of the first things I learned with my rc models was, at take off and landing, a slight forward motion would not ruin the day, backwards motion is more hairy with that tail rotor low but no sideways motion can be accepted so for me, my first priority when I learned to take off and land the models (then the sim helis) was to stop any sideways drift the best I could, even if that meant timing the touch down when the heli stopped moving in one direction and just before it was about to move the other way. Not pretty but I have never had a roll over on touch down and with more practice, I might even be able to do a "clean" touchdown.

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