From the previous Ground Procedures and Flight Preparations section, it should be apparent that no two helicopters perform the same way. Even when flying the same model of helicopter, wind, temperature, humidity, weight, and equipment make it difficult to predict just how the helicopter will perform. Therefore, this section presents the basic flight maneuvers in a way that would apply to the majority of helicopters. In most cases, the techniques described apply to small training helicopters with:

  • A single, main rotor rotating in a counterclockwise direction (looking downward on the rotor).
  • An antitorque system.

Where a technique differs, it is noted. For example, a power increase on a helicopter with a clockwise rotor system requires right antitorque pedal pressure instead of left pedal pressure. In many cases, the terminology “apply proper pedal pressure” is used to indicate both types of rotor systems. However, when discussing throttle coordination to maintain proper rotations per minute (rpm), there is no differentiation between those helicopters with a governor and those without. In a sense, the governor is doing the work for you. In addition, instead of using the terms “collective pitch control” and “cyclic pitch control” throughout the section, these controls are referred to as just “collective” and “cyclic.”

Because helicopter performance varies with weather conditions and aircraft loading, specific nose attitudes and power settings are not detailed in this section. In addition, this section does not detail every attitude of a helicopter in the various flight maneuvers, nor every move that must be made in order to perform a given maneuver.

When a maneuver is presented, there is a brief description, followed by the technique to accomplish the maneuver. In most cases, there is a list of common errors at the end of the discussion.