Exercise 8: Basic Hover



In this lesson, the student will learn how to fly the helicopter in order to maintain a constant/precise position over the ground.




  1. Brief the H/V Diagram
  2. Brief the concept of an IGE and OGE hover, explain the use of the graphs
  3. Brief hover checks
  4. State the hover height as appropriate to type
  5. Explain how facing into wind results in the helicopter being easier to control, and uses less power
  6. Emphasize the importance of looking towards the horizon when learning how to hover, and to not drop your eyes or fixate near the ground. Select an appropriate reference point on the horizon.
  7. Brief the effects of controls in a hover:
    • Demonstrate the use of Anti –torque pedals in controlling the direction/yaw.
    • Demonstrate the use of the Cyclic in maintaining a ground position.
    • Demonstrate the use of the collective to maintain height
  8. Allow the student to practice each control individually; once the student gains competence, controls can be practiced simultaneously.
  9. Controls shall be demonstrated and practiced in the following sequence:
    • Pedals: After demonstration, encourage the student to keep the nose aligned with the given reference point. Describe the necessity for lots of small pressure movements instead of single large inputs (Accelerative/Rate control faster and larger the input, faster and larger the yaw)

NOTE: Ensure student’s feet are correctly positioned on pedals to enable short, sharp inputs.

  • Collective: After demonstration, and once the student has grasped the pedal controls, allow the student to practice the use of the collective by smoothly lowering or raising the collective as required to maintain 3-5ft-hover height. Point out the effect of wind and ground cushion on collective inputs.

NOTE: Ensure student does not over grip the throttle

  • Collective and Pedals: Once the student is comfortable with use of the pedals and collective individually, allow the student to practice both controls simultaneously, controlling height and direction. Point out how an input on the collective requires a corresponding change/reaction on the pedals.
  • Cyclic: Explain how the cyclic controls the disc attitude, which in turn controls the position over the ground. Point out how there is an appreciable lag between cyclic input, disc attitude change and thereafter fuselage displacement, which results in over controlling if not anticipated. Demonstrate how regaining the hover from movement in any direction requires two attitude changes. One to stop the movement, and a second to stabilize the helicopter. Encourage small pressure inputs to find the neutral hover position, and the nature of dynamic instability in the hover. Demonstrate tail rotor drift, and the necessary correction with left cyclic pressure.
  • All 3 controls: Emphasize the need for pedal accuracy, if the student allows the nose to drift off the assigned reference point, cyclic control will be compromised and the student will have the tendency to cross control by correcting yaw with the cyclic. Maintain a safe hover height with the collective at all times.

NOTE: Watch for over controlling of the helicopter in the roll plane. Ensure safe tail clearance and safe proximity from obstruction at all times. Maintain a god scan monitoring the temperatures and pressures.




At the completion of this exercise the student must be able to maintain a safe steady hover into wind, and fully understand the effect of each flight control in the hover. If deviating from a steady hover position, the student needs to be able to make the appropriate correction to regain stability. Hover checks will be introduced, and IGE hover power, and surplus power available needs to be stated.

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