Exercise 11 - Engine Failure at the Hover/Hover Taxi


Flight Manual - Height Velocity Chart



For the student to learn how to land safely following an engine failure at the hover or hover taxi.



Engines can fail just as easily at the hover/hover-taxi as in flight. The helicopter will land very quickly should this happen and it is vital that the pilot can react quickly and prevent an incident from becoming an expensive accident.


Selection of suitable area for practice.

Teaching Points

    1. Point out that at normal hover/hover-taxi heights, it will not be possible for the pilot to enter autorotation. In fact, lowering the collective following an engine failure, will result in a heavy landing. This manoeuvre should not be considered an autorotation, the pilot relies on the inertia in the rotor system to land safely.
    2. Describe the reaction of the helicopter when the engine fails:
      1. yaw (to the left in American aircraft);
      2. drift (to the left in American aircraft) and to the rear; and
      3. sink.
    3. Explain that the yaw and drift must be corrected before touch-down. Sink should be controlled by use of the collective as appropriate to type of aircraft and height above ground, to cushion the landing.
    4. Explain that should the failure occur at the hover taxi, the pilot should avoid any rearward movement of the cyclic, and accept a run-on landing.



    1. Engine Failure at the Hover
      1. Demonstrate into wind as follows:
        1. verbal warning;
        2. close throttle;
        3. counteract yaw and drift; and
        4. cushion landing.
      2. Student practice
    2. Engine Failure at the Hover Taxi
      1. Demonstrate into wind.
      2. Student practice.


    1. This exercise should be introduced by providing the student with plenty of warning before each practice. The manoeuvre can then be speeded-up to flight test standards where the student is given minimal warning of the practice engine failure.
    2. Closing the throttle and cushioning the landing with the collective takes a good deal of manual dexterity in most helicopters. Since the aim of this exercise is for the student to react to an engine failure, there is little point in his learning throttle control, in other words the instructor should control the throttle.
    3. Tail-rotor failure at the hover/hover-taxi, which does require coordinated use of the throttle and collective by the student should be practiced at a later stage in training.
    4. Always ensure that the surface is suitable for this exercise, particularly after precipitation.
    5. This is a good exercise to demonstrate to the student the landing stage of an autorotation. It is a good skill to practise just before starting a full-on autorotation exercise.
    6. Exercise caution as a student may react to a simulated engine failure by rapidly lowering the collective. Be sure to state a verbal warning before closing the throttle.
    7. The demonstration of this exercise is easily split to show the three control movements separately, do three separate demos letting the student focus each time on an individual control movement, then combine all three before student practise.