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cianpars

Helicopter Pilots Please

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I'm learning to fly helicopters, specifically the Bell and whilst I can now take off, hover, ascend and fly using the cyclic and collective to control pitch, speed and altitude, I seem to be having difficulty with landing, i.e. I need a large landing area and don't have the accuracy to descend over a helipad, hover then land. Is there a normal procedure or can anyone provide any tips as to the best way to tackle the approach, hover and landing phase.

Thanks

 


Ryzen 5600X, AM4, 6 Core 12 thread - Nvidia 3080 - 32 Gig DDR4 RAM - Windows 11 64 bit MSFS 2020 Premium Deluxe Edition Resolution 2560 x 1440 (32 inch curved monitor)

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I would start easy, do your approaches to a large area first like the threshold marks of a runway, when you feel comfortable try to do the approaches to the numbers and if you can't see the point where you want to land you could put a little of pedal to keep the landing area insight.

50/60 knots and 500 feet AGL could be a good start point to start a normal approach and below 30 knots (more or less) the helicopter will try to lose all the remaining speed so you have to keep pushing your cyclic forward to get where you want to land, it can be hovering or direct to the ground.

Don't get obsesed with get a perfect hover because is difficult to get the deep of field in monitors, I think this is much easier in VR but I have never tried.

I hope it helps.

Edited by Soul Rebel
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Fly an approach like you would with a fixed-wing aircraft, slowly needing off speed. Your feet will probably swing from pressure on one side to applying more and more anti-torque pedal as you start applying collective to slow speed and arrest descend. The trick is to only hover just above the ground (briefly), then gradually letting off collective and settling down. 

Remember: more collective = more anti-torque input (and, when near hover, some cyclic input too). 

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2 good links, video series above and this website.

https://www.helisimmer.com/how-to-fly-helicopters

Edited by 177B
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4 hours ago, cianpars said:

I'm learning to fly helicopters, specifically the Bell and whilst I can now take off, hover, ascend and fly using the cyclic and collective to control pitch, speed and altitude, I seem to be having difficulty with landing, i.e. I need a large landing area and don't have the accuracy to descend over a helipad, hover then land. Is there a normal procedure or can anyone provide any tips as to the best way to tackle the approach, hover and landing phase.

Thanks

 

Of the two new copters, you picked the hardest. You  might try starting with the easier one 1st - Cabri G2

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Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-10700F CPU @ 2.90GHz (8 cores) Hyper on, Evga RTX 3060 12 Gig, 32 GB ram, Windows 11, P3D v 5, and MSFS 2020 and a couple of SSD's

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First - be very patient and careful on controls. It is very easy to induce oscillations.

Try hovering helicopter few feet over ground and try to master it. For example - keep nose in one position or circle around some object. Follow taxi lines etc. That helps you learn the controls.

What helped me a lot is to notice torque indication (or pitch angle of rotor blades - depending what you have) when you're hovering. Then you know how low you can go on cyclic when you're trying to land.

Edited by twojastara
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Lukasz Kulasek

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Thanks for the helpful comments guys.Most appreciated.

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Ryzen 5600X, AM4, 6 Core 12 thread - Nvidia 3080 - 32 Gig DDR4 RAM - Windows 11 64 bit MSFS 2020 Premium Deluxe Edition Resolution 2560 x 1440 (32 inch curved monitor)

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Is it good to answer if I am no heli pilot and still very questionable in my ability to land 😁?

What I've learned:

An important thing to learn is to manage the interaction of the forward speed and altitude variation (aka descent). The speed if set by the pitch (cyclic) and altitude variation by the collective. The issue is of course than both interact with each other and don't have the same reaction time to respond. And there is something called air density which changes with altitude.

Get yourself high (I mean in the good sense, altitude...) and learn to descend at no more than 50 knots and -500 fpm by tuning cyclic and collective. This is a constant work all along the descent. 

The next episode will be the final phase.. When I could do it more safely  😄 !  Face the wind  and understand the power curve at low speed, low altitude, two things that I've learned the hard way (aka crash) already.

PS just read Soul Rebel's post upthread which says the same, more intelligibly.

PS2 : and rather fly the Cabri than the Bell, better and easier to understand

Edited by Dominique_K
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Dominique

Simming since 1981 -  4770k@3.7 GHz with 16 GB of RAM and a 1080 with 8 GB VRAM running a 27" @ 2560*1440 - Warthog HOTAS - MFG pedals - MSFS Standard version with Steam

 

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1 hour ago, bvdboomen said:

Very good tip indeed. It makes landing much easier.

Take off too. Moving slowing the bird (if I may say so, a cabri being a baby goat in French) to face the wind makes an easier take off.

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Dominique

Simming since 1981 -  4770k@3.7 GHz with 16 GB of RAM and a 1080 with 8 GB VRAM running a 27" @ 2560*1440 - Warthog HOTAS - MFG pedals - MSFS Standard version with Steam

 

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I highly recommend this free book:

https://www.faa.gov/regulations_policies/handbooks_manuals/aviation/helicopter_flying_handbook

at least:

  • Chapter 09: Basic Flight Maneuvers 
  • Chapter 10: Advanced Flight Maneuvers

an as said by @Dominique_K always try to land headwind, I don't know if Vortex Ring State is well simulated in MSFS but if It is and you land tailwind you can get in serious problems.

Edited by Soul Rebel
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I’m a marginally competent sim helicopter pilot but the biggest thing that I find helps is really taking your time.  While helicopters are capable of some pretty dramatic reductions in speed it’s best to come in slow and stable and don’t make large power/control adjustments.  Small adjustments win the day for sure.

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Dave

Current System (Running at 4k): ASUS ROG Maximus XII Hero Z490, i9 10900k @ 5.3Ghz, RTX 4080, 55" Samsung Q80T, 32GB DDR4 3600 RAM, EVGA CLC 280mm AIO Cooler, HP Reverb G2, Brunner CLS-E NG Yoke, Thrustmaster Warthog HOTAS, VirtualFly Ruddo+ and TQ6+

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19 minutes ago, Soul Rebel said:

I highly recommend this free book:

https://www.faa.gov/regulations_policies/handbooks_manuals/aviation/helicopter_flying_handbook

at least:

  • Chapter 09: Basic Flight Maneuvers 
  • Chapter 10: Advanced Flight Maneuvers

an as said by @Dominique_K always try to land headwind, I don't know if Vortex Ring State is well simulated in MSFS but if It is and you land tailwind you can get in serious problems.

Excellent resource, thank you. For me, it beats any video tutorial.

I’ve been using this one to teach myself http://www.copters.com/pilot/maneuvers.html but the FAA book looks more complete.

As I understand from better simpilot than me, the Cabri simulates the VRS. I don’t know for the Bell.

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Dominique

Simming since 1981 -  4770k@3.7 GHz with 16 GB of RAM and a 1080 with 8 GB VRAM running a 27" @ 2560*1440 - Warthog HOTAS - MFG pedals - MSFS Standard version with Steam

 

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I’m afraid that after reading all this good advice and watching hours of tutorial videos, you will realize that all you really needed were countless hours of practice. And someday, it will all fall into place, but learning how to properly fly helicopters is a continuous lengthy process.

Contrary to all the advice I received at the beginning, I made a lot of progress by picking the hardest landings places, figuring out that if I could land on rooftops, I could land anywhere. And I think it worked for me. And of course, if you want a quantum leap in progress, VR headset will skyrocket your progress. Even though I have no problems landing anywhere, my landings are much more graceful when I fly in VR.😁.

Anyway, keep at it and you will get it. Here is one of my videos where I practice landing on rooftops in L.A.

 

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