As a pilot-in-training, there are a lot of educational aspects to stay on top of so you can advance your knowledge and skills efficiently and correctly. At this stage in your development, proactivity is important to ensure you get the most out of classes on the ground and in the helicopter. Here are some flight training tips for the helicopter student pilot which you can apply in your schooling.
Know the Facts
Flying is much more exciting than books for most students, but that doesn’t make it any less vital to your growth into a full-fledged pilot. Just like driving a car, you need to know how a helicopter works, as well as the regulations surrounding piloting one. This is how you can keep yourself and others safe when you are in the air.
Don’t just attend ground school classes—pay close attention to what your instructors are teaching and take the time to study on your own to absorb the information for the long-term. Get familiar with the Helicopter Flying Handbook and whatever materials you work with. If you study hard from the get-go, you will retain your knowledge better and you won’t feel as stressed when your written test for your license comes around. Remember that there are levels to your certifications as well. As such, if you want to advance in your career opportunities, you will have to take exams multiple times for each new license and/or the rating you seek. Considering this, building strong study habits early will pay off.
Time in the cockpit shouldn’t be the determining factor of your practicing. Even when you aren’t inside a helicopter, you should visualize how you will operate when you are. Seated in any chair, you can run through the proper procedure for takeoff and landing. You can also practice how to perform more complicated maneuvers.
Keep your checklists nearby so you can scrutinize your actions and find areas that need improvement. Frequently performing this visualization will help you to become more intimate with the helicopter and cut wasted time from lessons with your instructor. This way, you won’t have to spend valuable chunks of your training having your instructor reiterate points you should already be aware of.
Maybe this tip is a bit self-evident. However, it is possible for some students to only arrange for one flight lesson per week. The problem with this is that unexpected circumstances can keep you from your session and prevent you from flying for a couple of weeks. If you have two or more scheduled lessons, even if poor weather or mechanical issues arise on one day, you can still get in practice that week.
And when all goes well and you get in the air often, you’ll naturally hone your piloting skills more than you would with fewer helicopter flight lessons. Your instructor can also help you identify mistakes you may not have noticed on your own, further boosting your progress.