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Part 1 of 2: Helicopter Controls

Familiarize yourself with the helicopter components and controls. Read your
individual aircrafts operating handbook. Here are some of the basic controls youll need
to know to operate the helicopter:
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The collective is the lever mounted on the cabin floor to left side of the pilots
seat.
The throttle is the twistable grip at the end of the collective.
The cyclic is the stick located directly in front of the pilots seat.
The tail rotor is controlled by the two pedals on the floor also known as antitorque pedals.

Operate the collective control with your left hand.


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Raise the collective to make the helicopter rise, and lower it to make it go down.
The collective changes the main rotor's blade angle collectively. The main rotor is
on top of the helicopter.
Adjust the throttle. As you raise the collective, you need to increase engine speed.
Decrease speed as you lower the collective. Throttle is directly linked to the
position of the collective lever so that the RPM is always in line with the
collective setting. You will only need to make adjustments when necessary.

Operate the cyclic control with your right hand. The cyclic is similar to a joystick, but
sensitive, so make very small movements.
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Push the cyclic forward to move forward, back to move backward, and to either
side to travel sideways. The cyclic does not change the direction in which the
front of the helicopter points, but it does cause the helicopter to tilt forward and
back (pitch) or to the right and left (roll).

Operate the tail rotor pedals with your feet. These two pedals (or anti-torque pedals)
control the direction in which the helicopter is pointing, more or less having the same
effect as the yaw pedals in an airplane.
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Gently increase pressure on the left pedal to swing the nose left, or increase
pressure right to swing the nose right.
The yaw pedals increase or decrease the force that the tail rotor produces, thereby
controlling the yaw. Without a tail rotor, the helicopter will naturally spin in the
opposite direction of the main rotor.

Part 2 of 2: Basic Maneuvers

Take off. Follow these steps to perform a standard takeoff:


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First, open the throttle slowly until you reach proper operating RPM.
Pull the collective gradually up. As collective pitch increases, push the left pedal
(right pedal for clockwise rotating main rotors). Continue pulling on the collective
and depressing the left pedal. Adjust the pedal if the aircraft is turning to the left
or right.
The helicopter will leave the ground and you'll be able to use the cyclic. As you
continue to pull the collective and depress the pedal, adjust the cyclic to level the
aircraft as you take off. Push forward slightly to start moving forward.
As the helicopter transitions from vertical to forward motion, it will shudder. Push
the cyclic forward a little more to make sure you keep going forward. The
phenomenon that causes the shudder is called effective translational lift (ETL).
As you progress through ETL, reduce the collective lever and apply less pressure
to the pedal. Push the cyclic forward to avoid an abrupt nose high attitude and
reduction in forward speed.
Once youve taken off, slightly release forward cyclic pressure. The aircraft will
then begin to climb and gain airspeed. From this point, the pedals are primarily
used to trim the aircraft. Most maneuvers will only require a combination of the
cyclic and collective controls.

Hover by finding a balance between the collective, cyclic and tail rotor controls.
Learn to do this with an instructor, who can operate the other controls while you practice them 1
at a time, and then in combination. You must learn to anticipate the time lag between when you
adjust the controls and the helicopter's reaction.

Climb and descend using speeds according to your pilot operating handbook. This will vary
depending on terrain. Maintain 15-20 knots during a steep climb. Carefully increase collective
and be sure not to exceed the yellow limit of the torque gauge.

Land, taking care to always have your landing target in sight, normally slightly to
your right (pilots side). This may mean that you have adjust your trim so you are turned
slightly to one side as you approach.
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Try to be around 200500 feet (61.0152.4 m) above ground or any obstacles


when you are .5 kilometers from your landing area.
Watch your airspeed. At around .2km from the landing area slow the aircraft to 40
knots and begin to descend. Check your descent rate. Be careful not to let your
vertical speed go over 300 feet (91.4 m) per minute. Vertical speed can be
adjusting by applying the necessary amount of collective.
As you approach the edge of the landing area, gradually slow to 30, then 20 knots.
You may need to bring the nose up to decrease airspeed. Doing so will
momentarily obscure your sight of the landing area.
Keep moving forward when you get to the landing area, since it's much harder to
control drift and land on the target if you hover first. Once the spot you want to
land appears to slide beneath the nose of the aircraft you can then reduce the
collective.
Arm the parking brake. Ease the cyclic back to reduce momentum and then
forward to level the altitude. Keep rate of descent as low as possible adjust the
collective appropriately.
Once you have made contact with the ground, check that your parking brake is
armed and then reduce all power