General helicopter instruction question

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Is it actually counter-productive to do beginner helicopter training
intensively, i.e. every day? Is it better to let the experience
simmer for a bit? I'm trying to decide if I want to do one or two
lessons a week while I work or take off several weeks and do it at
once. I'm in Tucson and there is apparently only one place in town
that trains now, but if I took the time off I could train anywhere -
like take advantage of ECAC's insanely low R44 training costs!

Thanks in advance,

-- Russell Keegstra, April 8, 2008



I don't know if you have received an answer to this question yet, or if you have or are still thinking about helo training.

I used to operate a helicopter flight school and using that and my personal training experience, you are much better off to take the time off and train every day. In the long run this will save you money, as most helicopter pilots will tell you during there training days, with too much time between flight lessons, you spend the 1st 15 minutes or so of the next lesson re-learning the feel of what you learned in the past lesson. This is especially true in the pre-solo phase of instruction.

At any rate, good luck on your rotorcraft rating. It's well worth it.

-- Sam Winer, January 7, 2009

I concur with Mr. Winer. Definitely take the time off and fly as much as you can. A great deal of flying helicopters, especially in the beginning is muscle memory and that is just repeitive stick time which is most efficiently learned by doing. Time lapses in between sessions detract from that memory function which lengthens your training time. Another tip - invest in RC heli simulator and/or rc heli - get proficient in that and guaranteed you will hover solo 4-8 hours sooner. It uses almost the identical spatial movement, timing and finger pressure so all you really have to learn new are coordinating the pedals. We train people for ulta lights (which are all single seats) in a simulator on the ground that flys an actual RC heli in front of them. When they go to the next step in an R22 at flight school they are typically hovering in 15-30 minutes (dual of course) and signed off for solo in a very short time. Good luck with your training!

-- ROTOR F/X, January 14, 2009