Transition from fixed wing to rotorcraft


#1

I have not flown in almost 4 yrs. (most of my time has been in a Cessna 172 & Cherokee 140). I’ve recently been selected to begin training in a Bell 206. How hard is the transition & do you all have any pointers?


#2

It is considered much, much easier to transition from rotary to fixed wing than vice versa.

That being said, transitioning to rotary from fixed wing is certainly doable, you just need to learn a new set of muscle and coordination skills.

The fact that you haven’t flown in four years or so will actually be to your benefit.


#3

It ain’t easy! I did it after couple K hours fixed wing. You have to unlearn a lot of stuff.


#4

I’ve been told that the controls on the 206 are very touchy & require finesse. Someone has stated that hovering is like balancing a unicycle on top of a huge beachball. Sounds challenging to say the least. I’ll be sure & give a progress report as the training begins.


#5

You dont move it,you think it!


#6

Just remember, If something gets in your way, push down with your left hand, not your right.


#7

Nahhh, just use the hover switch and it’s easy as pie! :wink:


#8

Yea. I’m left handed, so flying right seat with the cyclic in the right hand will feel awkward.


#9

My helicopter instructor said that the only skills fixed wing pilots can bring is radio communications.

Wouldn’t it be easier to do the training in a training helicopter like a Robinson or Schweitzer?


#10

How were you selected? Did you apply to a helicopter training school? Are you paying for this or is somebody else?


#11

A friend of mine recently started taking helicopter lessons. He said that they went to a huge field and the instructor showed the basics of hovering, then gave him the controls and said to hover in the center of the field. After he took the controls, he said that he quickly explored every part of the field except the center.


#12

With 1750 hrs starchwing time in 30 years of flying I started helicopter training in a Robbie-22. Flying was easy, final approach took a couple days to get right, and hovering was a bear for a couple weeks. Then one day I noticed my instructor checking his watch every 10 seconds or so. Finally I asked and he said “You finally found the auto-hover button: you’ve been hovering in one place for 90 seconds”. After that it was natural. You should have no trouble, but make up some great stories to tell around the hanger. We need to retain the mystique!