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Popped My Cherry


Spartan99
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OK well i thought i would share my first flight with you all since it was a nerve wracking experience. Flew a R-22 with my instructor for the first time and of course two mins in got the old "you have the cyclic"...First impressions are: im not sure about other AC but the 22 seems verrrrrry sensitve...got buffeted from the wind quite a bit and was considerably nervous. Found it hard to get the right sensitivity on the cyclic but then again it was my first time. Did a little route for about 30 mins doing gentle turns, sorta got the hang of keeping the nose down and making the slight adjustments near the end, but still had to hand off the controls once or twice because i was over correcting and found by the time i was two or three adjustments behind it was pretty hard to keep level and i lost control quickly. So back to the airport we head and proceed to practice hovering for about 30 mins, tricky stuff, i sort of got the hang of it at the end but again was afraid of wrecking the AC when my hover started to get out of control at the beginning, but got the old "never quit on me speech" as he had his hand on the collective he was compensating for my bad rocking so i wouldnt take off the tail...Anyways all in all pretty stressful and i just hope it gets easier the next time and i can overall gain a better feel. Hopefully its true that if you can fly a 22 you can fly anything because that little bugger is sensitve and wind prone sucker...Just curious if you all had these first flight jitters and if they go away and you gain confidence?...Anyhow just thought i would share my first impressions behind the controls. Keep in mind i dont even start ground school or real flight training for another month. Thanks again for all your help and input guys, this forum is amazing...

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A suggestion,

 

Stop thinking about the cyclic. Hold the cyclic steady, think about what you want the machine to do and, lo and behold, it will do it.

 

I know, I know, easy to say when you know how to fly but if you think about it, that's what we do when we are flying.

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... the 22 seems verrrrrry sensitve...got buffeted from the wind quite a bit and was considerably nervous. Found it hard to get the right sensitivity on the cyclic... but still had to hand off the controls once or twice because i was over correcting and found by the time i was two or three adjustments behind it was pretty hard to keep level and i lost control quickly. ..."never quit on me speech" as he had his hand on the collective he was compensating for my bad rocking so i wouldnt take off the tail...Anyways all in all pretty stressful and i just hope it gets easier the next time and i can overall gain a better feel. Hopefully its true that if you can fly a 22 you can fly anything because that little bugger is sensitve...

:lol: Welcome to the fold Spartan! I remember exactly how you feel. About the third hour you'll think "I'll NEVER learn to hover one of these twitchy little beasts! :( ", then suddenly... B) Slow down, relax, enjoy the learning.

 

Like Reddog said, stop thinking about, and MOVING, the cyclic! Especially in the hover, it's not movement, it's pressures. Stabilize your forearm on your thigh, hold the cyclic steady and just THINK which way you want to go. S - t - e - a - d - y s - l - o - w pressures, put in that SMALL pressure, then WAIT for the aircraft to respond and begin to move. Don't keep jamming in control movement before the aircraft has had a chance to respond. That will lead to over-controlling, you've seen the results of that.

 

I had an epiphany that third hour, "it's the PICTURE stupid!, stop trying to (over-)control the aircraft, stabilize the PICTURE." And the picture is out there 30 miles on the horizon. You'll see small movements earlier and be able to apply the correct PRESSURES sooner. It's like driving a car looking w-a-y up the road instead of looking at the hood and the pavement inches in front of the car. Look out there, not at the ground right in front of the aircraft. And if there is a hanger right in front of you use your peripheral vision to pick up the cues and imagine that horizon out there 30 miles.

 

It WILL get easier, never easy! They're helicopters, and if they were easy, everybody would be doing it. Stick with it though and it will come. It's also LOTS easier if you're not so stressed 'cause you can "move" (PRESSURE!) the controls much smoother with relaxed muscles than stiff tensed ones.

 

While the R22 is exquisitely sensitive and maneuverable be careful with that old line, "if you can fly a 22 you can fly anything". If you can learn to fly a 22, you probably can learn to fly anything, but each aircraft has its own idiosyncrasies. Your first time on hydraulically boosted controls, or hovering an Astar close to the ground, will have you eating a little humble pie all over again.

 

Enjoy, and good luck! :up:

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justfly hit it on the head, i'm working on taking a discovery flight in a Schweizr 300cb but I do have 20 min. of bandit time (undocumented) in a Huey from back in '85 you just need to think and not do. as the PIC I flew with said caress the stick like a baby it will do what you want with little movement.

 

any feed back on the 300 would be appeciated.

 

thx

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Congrats Spart...

 

Sounds like a good first trip of many good trips to come.

 

I'll second all of justfly's suggestions... try to stay relaxed.

 

The cyclic demands small movements. Those movements come from the fingers and wrist. When we get tensed up and nervous the large muscles take over and we try to make small movements with the larger muscles. Doesn't really work very well. As you progress you'll be more self-aware of your tension. When you notice you'll force yourself to relax your muscles and the control will improve.

 

Using the HORIZON site picture is the other big advantage in both level flight and hovering.

 

Right now the aircraft has to move quite a lot in relation to the horizon before your brain and body register the movement. As you get more time in the seat your brain will recognize smaller and smaller movements of the aircraft's attitude in relation to the horizon and you'll be able to make smaller, more timely adjustments with the controls to keep the aircraft's attitude where you want it.

 

Eventually, probably quicker than you think, you will get it. Everybody does. :up:

 

The same things work in the 300. Any aircraft for that matter. I think the 300 is "easier" to get than a 22. The cyclic trim motors help "hold" the cyclic where it needs to be and there isn't as much aeroydynamic pressure to overcome in forward flight. Still a fun aircraft to fly. Lots of visibility. Don't look backwards while flying though. SCARY!!!

 

Have fun. :lol:

 

rh1

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A good trick I learned in flight school to overcome tenseness at the controls is to hold the cyclic and collective with my fingertips (you don't wanna do that for hours on end). By consciously holding the controls delicately, you'l more easily overcome the tendancy to apply a deathgrip on them. The tr pedals are another thing. The first few hours, I was sure I was gonna bend the stanchions I was pushing so hard on 'em :shock: As you gain confidence, you'll learn to relax... :up:

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I once read somewhere that there is such a thing as a "natural" fixed wing pilot, but that the same doesn't exist in the rotary world.

 

The mecanical movements you need to assimilate (Dang ! There's that word again :lol: ) are anything but natural. It's quite normal to feel like a total klutz when you start....

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forgiving Mr. Reasoner for his apparent lack of understanding of autorotation:

 

The thing is, helicopters are different from planes. An airplane by it's nature wants to fly, and if not interfered with too strongly by unusual events or by a deliberately incompetent pilot, it will fly. A helicopter does not want to fly. It is maintained in the air by a variety of forces and controls working in opposition to each other, and if there is any disturbance in this delicate balance the helicopter stops flying; immediately and disastrously. There is no such thing as a gliding helicopter.

 

This is why being a helicopter pilot is so different from being an airplane pilot, and why in generality, airplane pilots are open, clear-eyed, buoyant extroverts and helicopter pilots are brooding introspective anticipators of trouble. They know if something bad has not happened it is about to.

 

— Harry Reasoner, 1971

 

This and lots more great quotes at Great Aviation Quotes

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67N, i've had a little stick time on the 300... one was actually a 269B, mainly noticeable by how short the m/r mast was... the other time was in a 300 out at okotoks.. i've never even ridden in a 22 so i can't say how they compare...

 

but i liked the 300.. :up: B)

 

and big congrats to you, spartan... hang in there!! B)

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