Exercise 10 - Hovering Exercises


Flight Manual - Height Velocity Chart



For the student to learn how to:

    1. turn at the hover; and
    2. hover-taxi.


Exercise 8 - Hovering


Manoeuvring close to the ground and obstacles is very much part of the operational environment, particularly in confined areas and when clearing a ramp. These are important exercises therefore, that must be mastered completely.


  • Lookout - obstacles
  • Aircraft limitations

Teaching Points

    1. Turns at the hover

      Describe the techniques for making hovering turns and stress the following points:

      1. The effects of weathercocking.
      2. The problems of yaw control and increased power required when the helicopter is downwind, or crosswind, in strong wind conditions.
      3. The importance of lookout during all hovering manoeuvres and in particular for low obstacles that are hard to see and which can snag the landing gear or tail rotor.
      4. In strong or gusty wind conditions, a turn away from into wind should be in the opposite direction to torque reaction (i.e. to the left in a helicopter with a counter-clock turning rotor). In this way it is possible to ensure that there is sufficient tail rotor control available. If control limits are reached at this stage, a safe return to into-wind is easily accomplished.
      5. No turns or any movements from the hover should be initiated until the helicopter is settled in an accurate hover at the required RPM and power setting.
      6. The continuous use of high power in this exercise means that a careful watch should be kept on engine temperatures and pressures. Prolonged hovering out of wind should be avoided on some types of helicopter because of the dangers from carbon monoxide in the cockpit.
      7. In some aircraft at certain C of G configurations (i.e. high cabin loading) it is possible to reach the aft cyclic limits when hovering downwind. Warn the student of this possibility and describe the safe recovery actions:
        1. turning into wind; or
        2. landing straight ahead.
    2. Hover Taxi
      1. State the height and ground speed to be used and relate to safety considerations.
      2. Describe the effects of controls.



    1. Hovering Turns
      1. Demonstrate 360° hovering turns in each direction, commencing into wind, and pausing at each 90° point.
      2. Student practice.
    2. Hover Taxi
      1. Demonstrate hover-taxiing into wind.
      2. Student practice.
      3. Demonstrate hover-taxiing out of wind.
      4. Student practice.


    1. Dual instruction in this exercise should be carried out in a range of wind conditions. This will prevent the situation arising where the dual instruction is given on a calm day and the student meets the problems of strong winds when solo on another.
    2. Pausing at each cardinal point enables the instructor to point out the different cylic positions into the wind, when competent, complete the 360 degree turn without pause.
    3. Whenever possible, when hover taxiing, keep the skids parallel to the aircraft movement in case of engine failure, or having to run the aircraft onto the ground in an aft C of G condition.
    4. Turns around the tail are covered separately in Exercise 16.
    5. Sometimes the student will use cyclic instead of pedal to assist in turning the aircraft, particularly in strong winds.
    6. When proficient at the basics introduce some hover patterns requiring taxiing and pedal turns.