Flight 3 – Hovers, Approaches and Autos – Part 12

IGuimbal G2 Cabri at Midwest Helicopter Acadameyt was cooler, around 50 and some light clouds.  As I got to the airport I noticed the windsock was super calm.  Awesome. The first couple flights were around 15 knots if I remember right.  I have 3 hours in the air.

Today’s flight actually felt good.  Hovers were semi-controlled, approaches seemed click a little more and I’m keeping the attitude of my turns more in check.  Grant showed me what a hover auto feels like, he asked if I’d like to try one… I quickly responded, I did not.  It was crazy and I need more time before I jump into that.

As with every flight we started with an external pre-flight.  That can be found here!

Then we did our startup procedure.  There is a good video of that located here.

We ran through a couple of take offs and approaches, I’m not capable of putting the helicopter even close to where I want it on the approach and I’m chasing it but if Grant were to have some sort of issue mid-flight there is a chance I could get us on the ground and possibly walk away.  It’d be ugly and the Guimbal might not look the same when I got it down but… progress.

The main problem with my approaches is I wait to long to apply power, come in too fast or too slow or too high or too low.  What am I doing right?  Well, not much, I can keep the nose pointed forward and able to keep a semi-stable hover.  Baby steps… I’ll use that semi-stable hover comment as a segue to hovering instead of dwelling on my sub par skills.

Hovering felt good.  If I relax on the collective and cyclic and STAY in ground effect things are pretty easy.  Grant had me do some sidestepping or strafing and some left and right pedal turns, those turned out to be easier than we both thought. Here is where I dispense possibly bad advice, so take this with a shovel full of salt, make tiny corrections and hold the cyclic with your index and thumb LIGHTLY.  Hold the collective the same way.  Stare out at the horizon, if you look down at your feet through the glass at the ground you’ll start chasing the helicopter.  Figure out what the helicopter is doing as quickly as possible and correct it.  Be smooooooth.  There will be gusts of wind, there will be dogs running around the airport, there will be fixed-wing taking off and landing from you 30 yards away… There will be a lot of distractions but if you keep ahead of the craft and make your corrections quickly and with a light touch it gets better.

We also set the Guimbal down on mother earth more times than I can count.  That’s fairly simple, get the thing settled, then with a TINY amount of forward movement put collective down.  To get back up, right pedal, right cyclic and slowly pull power.

So this is where I should talk about autos, but I just wasn’t there yet.  I understand the idea but watching and following grant’s movements on the controls… I knew it was a no go.  We’ll get to that next week.

At the end of the flight I had another 1.5 hours in the Guimbal.  I don’t feel as much like a clown…