Exercise 1 - Helicopter Familiarization


  1. Familiarize the student with the layout of the school, including briefing rooms, crew rooms etc., and introduce him to members of the staff who are associated with the flight training.
  2. Explain the course syllabus and how it will be applied, including details of how, when and where ground school, preparatory instruction, pre-flight briefings and post flight debriefings are carried out; how dual and solo flights are authorized, how progress is monitored, and any other information necessary to the student in his day-to-day attendance at the school.



To introduce the student to:

    1. the helicopter;
    2. ramp and air traffic control procedures;
    3. training procedures;
    4. the local flying area including prominent landmarks; and
    5. all basic manoeuvres.


    1. how to enter and leave the helicopter with rotors turning;
    2. that seat belts or harnesses should be done-up at all times during flight;
    3. the necessity for the positive hand-over and take-over of the controls. The person flying the helicopter should ensure that the other is on the controls before saying "You have control". The person assuming control should say "I have control" and fly the helicopter;
    4. the need for a constant and thorough lookout for other aircraft. Describe the clock method of reporting aircraft to the other crew member; and
    5. flight clothing commensurate with the weather and area.


Air Lesson
    1. Identify the main components of the helicopter. This can be done during the instructor's external check but care should be taken not to confuse the student with too many details.
    2. Seat the student in the pilot's position in the helicopter and explain the general function of the controls and instruments. Demonstrate adjustment of the controls for comfort and safety, as applicable to type.
    3. Carry out a short familiarization flight, pointing out prominent landmarks and giving the student an opportunity to handle the controls in cruising flight. Student performance should not be criticized or corrected at this stage.


Tips for Instructors
    1. Avoid confusing the student by presenting too much detailed information at this initial stage.
    2. Avoid over-emphasizing the difficulties of learning to fly a helicopter.
    3. Relate this exercise to the student's flying background and level of experience.
    4. Many people are somewhat nervous when first experiencing the sensation of flying. Avoid sudden or violent manoeuvres that will aggravate this situation.
    5. This exercise provides the instructor an opportunity to evaluate the student's attitude and temperament.
    6. If your student enjoys this first trip it will probably be a positive foundation for the rest of the course.
    7. Explain that procedures which seem complicated at this time will become easier with more exposure and use.
    8. Positive hand-over/take-over of the controls is always vital to safety. This is particularly so in the early stages of training, when either the student or the instructor is "following through", and both persons are on the controls for a long period of time.