Day 16A – Helicopter Training Flight #16A – 1st Solo Flight & Demo of Steep Approach

This is the sixteenth training flight in a series following a student through his flight training from day 1 to checkride in an R22.

Due to flying with one door off, the airflow creates some extra noise, which means some interference in the audio in some parts of the video.

This is it – the big day, the first time a student flies without an instructor onboard (helicopter solo).

After the short initial solo, a steep approach is demonstrated.

NOTE radio calls are hard to hear when student is flying solo due to the microphone being in the instructor’s headset.

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

Also see the version with external video and photos here.


00:00 we set first solo wind limits of 5 kts to reduce risk
00:15 secure objects in left seat, especially if dual controls are still installed – you don’t want a headset falling under the collective
00:20 use ‘solo student pilot’ in radio calls to help other traffic understand your limited experience and work with you accordingly
00:40 radio calls will hard to hear until the instructor gets back in (microphone in instructor’s headset).
02:25 1st solo pickup will feel very different- you will become airborne sooner and it will sit very nose high due to the change in weight and balance – take it slow
15:20 things got a bit congested for his experience level, so the student chose the option of making a left orbit away from the traffic until a safe gap in the traffic flow appeared
19:45 student cleared the runway to the right, unfortunately the instructor was still on the left side of the runway…
21:40 the solo set down can also be challenging with the tail sitting so low
23:30 instructor back onboard (able to hear radios clearly again)
26:40 avoid prolonged flight below 300′ to reduce risk in the event of engine failure
27:20 demonstration of steep approach
32:30 no autos as engine just out of overhaul and they don’t want sudden low power settings while ‘running in’ the engine
33:35 come to normal hover before initiating pedal turns if possible, to reduce power and torque requirements

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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