It’s pretty calm, about 60 degrees, cloudy and I’ve got 21.7 hours going into this lesson.

I put some effort into keeping the nose straight in this lesson and for the most part it worked.  As proof there is a video down below.  Usually I’m all over the map but this one went ok.

On to the flight… I picked up next to the hanger which is getting less nerve racking.  That’s a lie, it freaks me out.  I know how big the rotor is and I know how long the tail is – but once you’re inside the cockpit it means nothing, the rotor looks huge and the tail might as well be 100 feet long.  I always feel like I’m inches from clipping something.  For the record I have not clipped anything or anyone.

We moved down the taxiway, requested to get in the pattern and up we went.  I’m finally able to announce my intentions but if ATC answers with anything other then what I expect I suddenly forget out to speak, sounds come out but it’s not english.  The next few flights I’m going to make an effort to be better at talking to those guys.  Same with announcing my intentions to Grant, he usually has to prompt me to clear my right. Without thinking the other day I cleared left with my wife in the car.  She made fun of me.

A couple approaches and a couple steeps got me into the autos.  Approaches feel good.  Quick stops felt good as well.

The first auto Grant gave me a break and we set it at 1,200 so I had some more time to think.  We always set the downwind at 80knots, when we get to final or entering the auto we’re at 70knots.  The process is: dump the collective collective at the same time as adding left pedal and coming aft cyclic.  Two big bites off throttle, then set the speed to around 50.  When we know we can make our spot we roll on 1 small turn on the throttle then a small squeeze.  Small flare at telephone pole height, bigger flare as we approach the runway, then collective.  Pedals to keep the nose straight – MAKE SURE – to protect that torque from catching up with lots of right pedal when you need it.

When I type it out or watch it on video it seems super easy but when I’m in the cockpit an auto takes approximately 2.2 seconds and there is no time to do anything.

The first few autos of the day went well, then all of a sudden they were terrible, the last one ended up being alright but I did succeed in keeping the nose straight for 60% of the take offs which in my world is a win.

Next week I’ll concentrate on handling autos better. 1.3 more hours in the books brings me to 23 hours.