Progressing on from a 1on1 helicopter 
flight training session



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Firstly I very much hope that you enjoyed your personal training session with me, and that you took away from it some hints and tips and feel that you learned something during the session.

If you haven't done so already, I would really appreciate it if you would add your own comments on your session - you can do so (in a separate window) by clicking on this link.

Once you have completed a session, we will very probably have modified some of the setting of the BO105 we are using during our time together.  I do this so that you can see what effect some of these have on  your ability to hover.

Once you are back practicing on your own, you will definitely need to slowly reset these important settings, as the way I have it set up initially makes it far too easy to fly, and if you were to assume that just because  you can handle this heli in Phoenix, you are ready to go and fly your own real helicopter, you are very wrong, and will almost certainly crash.

Lets run through the important settings that you should be working on changing, and tell you why.

Once you have the Edit Screen UP, (CTRL + E will do it) the first tab to go to is the MAIN ROTOR TAB


Toward the bottom there is a section named LIFT, and the first entry there is HOVERING STABILITY.  If you followed my setup notes you will have this set to 70%, but we may well have changed it during the session.

Your first target is to work to reduce this value to ZERO %.

What it does is to make the helicopter a lot more amenable when hovering, and the higher the percentage value you use, the smoother and easier it is to fly it.  In real life, helicopters have absolutely NO HOVERING STABILITY AT ALL, so that is why you need to progressively lower this value until you are happy hovering with zero %


Immediately below the above setting is one labelled GROUND EFFECT, and set to 100%.  I prefer to have my students leave this at 100%,but others may tell you that it is easier to lower this value. That is true, but the fact is that in real life, you CANNOT REMOVE GROUND EFFECT, so you may as well learn about it right now.


Go to the TAIL ROTOR TAB and select the GYRO MODE option. There are two settings available here, RATE Mode and HEADING HOLD (HH) mode.  I usually set my student aircraft up with HH mode ON as this means that the tail is held far more easily, allowing you to concentrate on the hover without worrying too much about the tail.  As you progress in your hovering, you should change this back to RATE mode, so that you then learn how to control the TAIL, as you will certainly need to be able to do so once flying your own helicopter.


Go the FINE TUNING TAB, and slowly adjust the EXPO settings DOWNWARDS towards a ZERO VALUE.

These help you in the early days of training as they let the centre point of the cyclic stick to be much SOFTER than it is normally. This means that if you move the cyclic stick  a bit too quickly, it is dampened by the EXPO, making it easier to maintain the hover.


Go the MAIN ROTOR TAB, and slowly increase the frontal and lateral cyclic response rates.  This makes the amount of cyclic movement increase the higher the value entered. These will never be more than 0.7 at an absolute maximum, and more typically 0.4 

Once you are managing to fly this aircraft in Phoenix with all the suggested settings rest to normal, you will be ready to try to hover your own helicopter, but don't forget it will feel different, so start very slowly at first until you feel confident.


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