Are you considering helicopter lessons and wondering how challenging they are? Flying is undoubtedly rewarding but it can also be extremely challenging to learn. Taking helicopter lessons is undoubtedly quite difficult, especially in the beginning. It eventually gets easier once you get a good handle on the basics and learn how to do some of the important manoeuvres involved with flying. Eventually, after you get your hours up with helicopter lessons, it will become enjoyable and almost instinctual but you’ll need to be prepared for the fact that it won’t be a walk in the park from the beginning.
Helicopter lessons can take some getting used to and you’ll need to spend a while in training before you get the feel for the aircraft. They are very touchy and will respond to even the slightest movements, it’s very different from driving a car or a boat. So, what should you expect from helicopter lessons?
You’ll start slow
When you start out with helicopter lessons don’t expect that you’ll immediately start flying. Usually, you start off which some ground fundamentals and simulator practices before you start using the aircraft itself. Simulators are a great way for you to learn aircraft controls and to get to know how they respond to input or movements.
One of the most complicated things to learn during helicopter lessons is how to ‘hover’. This is usually one of the first manoeuvres that flight students will learn. The skill usually takes a few hours to teach and once a student has got a good handle on it they can start to learn more complicated skills. Usually, people will feel that hovering is one of the hardest things to learn, but truthfully, it’s just because it’s one of the first things that people will be taught.
Autorotation is another important skill that is often taught during helicopter lessons. Autorotations are supposed to be used if an engine stops working correctly. If you do an autorotation then you’ll be able to reach the ground safely, even with no external power. Autorotations can be quite scary but are important for pilots to practice. These are taught initially with a simulator and then later for real once students have become comfortable with it.
What else makes it challenging?
There are other factors, like weather conditions that can make helicopter lessons difficult.
This is something that can make flying quite hard and scary for new students. The higher up you get the less dense the air will be. Thinner air can make it very difficult to fly but pilots who know how to fly at higher altitudes are highly regarded.
Bad weather can cause difficulties for new students and can have a bit impact on the operation of a vehicle. It’s important for pilots to learn how to handle themselves in all kind of conditions, from windy days to rainy days, and everything in between. Safe pilots are pilots who know how to handle poor weather conditions.
If you want to work as a professional pilot then you will need to get an instrument rating. Flying with only instruments can make the process much harder and getting an instrument rating will mean that you can fly even when your visibility isn’t perfect, such as when it’s raining or foggy.
Cheaper isn’t always easier
Students sometimes think that cheaper helicopter lessons are the easier option, but this isn’t always the case. Often the more expensive classes are easier and will make you a better pilot. You should look around and find reputable teachers.