Hovering—Rearward Flight

in Basic Flight Maneuvers

Rearward hovering flight may be necessary to move the helicopter to a specific area when the situation is such that forward or sideward hovering flight cannot be used. During the maneuver, maintain a constant groundspeed, altitude, and heading. Due to the limited visibility behind a helicopter, it is important that the area behind the helicopter be cleared before beginning the maneuver. Use of ground personnel is recommended.

Technique


Before starting rearward hovering flight, pick out two reference points in front of, and in line with the helicopter just like hovering forward. [Figure 9-2] The movement of the helicopter should be such that these points remain in line.

Figure 9-2. To maintain a straight ground track, use two reference points in line and at some distance in front of the helicopter.

Figure 9-2. To maintain a straight ground track, use two reference points in line and at some distance in front of the helicopter.

Begin the maneuver from a normal hovering altitude by applying rearward pressure on the cyclic. After the movement has begun, position the cyclic to maintain a slow groundspeed—no faster than a brisk walk. Throughout the maneuver, maintain constant groundspeed and ground track with the cyclic, a constant heading with the antitorque pedals, constant altitude with the collective, and the proper rpm with the throttle.

To stop the rearward movement, apply forward cyclic and hold it until the helicopter stops. As the motion stops, return the cyclic to the neutral position. Also, as in the case of forward and sideward hovering flight, opposite cyclic can be used to level the helicopter and let it drift to a stop. Tail rotor clearance must be maintained. Generally, a higher-than normal hover altitude is preferred.

Common Errors

  • Exaggerated movement of the cyclic resulting in overcontrolling and an uneven movement over the surface.
  • Failure to use proper antitorque pedal control, resulting in excessive heading change.
  • Failure to maintain desired hovering altitude.
  • Failure to maintain proper rpm.
  • Failure to make sure the area is clear prior to starting the maneuver.

51l0aN891BL._SX396_BO1,204,203,200_Are you ready to start your journey learning to fly helicopters? Learning to Fly Helicopters, Second Edition, provides details on the technical and practical aspects of rotarywing flight. Written in a conversational style, the book demystifies the art and science of helicopter flying.


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