First day – Helicopter Training Flight #1 – Hover work, Approaches and Patterns

This is the first in a series of posts following a student from first day of flight training, through solo, night and day cross country, to final check ride prep flight. We had one 30 minute ‘demo flight’ prior to official training. The student also has about 10 hours previous helicopter experience, mainly in a Schweitzer 300C from a few years ago. This is the student pilot’s very first helicopter training flight in an R22, in Bend, Oregon, with Instructor Jay of Helicopter Training Videos.

The first lessons typically involve some basic flight manuevers at altitude, some approaches (to low approach with a go-around/take off) and pattern work. If the student progresses well, we try to incorporate some basic radio calls and maybe some attempt at hover work.

Below the video are time-stamped notes/tips for the flight.


0:15 After-engine started checklist
2:25 Automated AWOS Weather
4:15 Reaching to pull anything on lower console – two stages – identify first!
6:25 Make sure frictions are off
6:35 Don’t allow the governor to fully race the RPM up!
7:00 Fingernails up so you can only roll down, roll slowly & watch the RPMs
8:15 Turn on Nav and Landing Lights just prior to pick up to notify visually we are about to ‘fly’
8:35 Always know where the wind is coming from on pick up and how it will affect you
8:45 Initial radio call – doesn’t student sound like a Pro!?
9:02 Make sure you add “Bend” to start AND end of radio call
9:12 Make sure your student/passenger knows what carb heat is before they are asked to pull it
9:23 Pick up – two stage pickup
10:10 Clear your tail before any pedal turn
11:10 Radio volumes – priority on CTAF
12:30 Why do we keep the left door on?
12:48 Wake Turbulence
15:10 On take off – clear above!
15:15 Add more up collective as MAP drops due to increased rotor efficiency
16:05 Downwind Checks
18:50 Approach
19:15 Below 30 knots call out
20:50 Student takes controls
25:05 Great first pattern – low approach only
25:35 Trim Strings
25:45 Delay on inputs
26:20 Pull up on collective on turns to maintain altitude/climb
26:50 Add Bend to start and end of call
27:20 Consider landing options and wind direction
29:50 Go around
30:30 Altitude (500′) & Airspeed (60 kts) = safer
33:30 On Base vs Turning Base
34:40 Go Arounds
41:10 Clearing taxiways before exiting a runway
42:45 Student pedals only
43:10 Why we keep heading aligned with movement (engine failure)
45:45 Left foot only pedal turns
46:00 Always clear tail before pedal turns
49:40 Always check we are safe to fly before picking up
51:18 Only loose grip on throttle – two fingers & thumb
51:20 Student on collective only
53:00 Student has collective & pedals
56:20 Student Pickup
58:00 Demos Air Taxi
1:01:15 Tail Resonance or Sympathetic Resonance

To view all the videos in this series, check out this YouTube playlist of all the Flight Training Sessions (Full-Length Unedited)

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