Exercise 3 - Effect of Controls


  1. Theory of flight:
    1. Definitions.
    2. Helicopter Controls.
  2. Function of flight and engine instruments.
  3. Function of ancillary controls.



For the student to learn:

    1. Effects of flight controls in cruising flight
    2. The use of ancillary controls.


Exercise 2 - Preparation for Flight.


This exercise is a basis for all helicopter flight operations.


    1. Lookout
    2. Transfer of control.

Teaching Points

    1. Explain that moving the cyclic causes the rotor disc to tilt. As a result of this, the helicopter will either pitch or roll, or a combination of the two, depending on the direction in which the cyclic is moved.
    2. Describe the visual and instrument indications resulting from various cyclic control movements.
    1. Moving the collective causes an equal change of pitch to all main rotor blades. The primary effect of moving the collective alone, in cruising flight, is a change in height.
    2. Explain that there are secondary effects comprising changes of attitude, heading and RPM. For this reason, the collective is seldom moved without co-ordinating movements of the cyclic, pedals and throttle. This aspect will be covered in the following exercise.
    1. Explain how to open and close the throttle.
    2. Explain the function of the throttle as appropriate to type.

    Explain that movement of the pedals causes a change in pitch of the tail rotor blades. The result of this is a yaw. Stress that at the cruise, this yaw is a large skidding motion. The pedals should not be used to change the helicopter's direction of flight.


    Describe the use of the ancillary controls e.g. carburettor heat, mixture, trim, rotor brake, anti-ice, windscreen, de-fogging, heater, etc., as appropriate to type.



Air Lesson

  1. Before take-off:
    1. make sure the student is seated comfortably and ensure all checks are completed using a check list;
    2. demonstrate the correct use of frictions, trims and control adjustments as appropriate to type;
    3. demonstrate the effect of cyclic control movements on the rotor disc, including how the horizon is used as a reference to interpret the aircraft's attitude; and
    4. demonstrate opening and closing the throttle.

Cyclic Control

2. Establish a straight and level cruise at a safe altitude.

a. Demonstrate pitching movement in the normal range. Point out the sensitivity or lag as appropriate to type.

b. Student practice.

c. When student demonstrates a reasonable competency, point out flight instrument indications.

Re-establish a straight and level cruise.

Demonstrate rolling movement (gentle and medium turns).

Student practice.

Point out flight instrument indications.

  1. Re-establish a straight and level cruise.
    1. Demonstrate a combination of pitching and rolling movements.
    2. Student practice.
    3. Point out flight instrument indications.

Collective Control

5. Re-establish a straight and level cruise.

  1. Demonstrate the effects of raising and lowering the collective, pointing out the visual and flight instrument indications.
  2. Student practice.


6. Where appropriate to type, re-establish a straight and level cruise.

  1. Demonstrate the effects of opening and closing the throttle, pointing out the visual and flight instrument indications.
  2. Student practice.

Tail Rotor Pedals

7. Re-establish a straight and level cruise.

  1. Demonstrate the effects of right and left pedal movement, pointing out the visual and flight instrument indications.
  2. Student practice.

Ancillary Controls

8. As appropriate to type:

  1. Demonstrate use of ancillary controls.
  2. Student practice.

All Controls

9. Have the student practice simple flight manoeuvres by application of the basic principles of this exercise. Stress the need for smooth operation. Rather than demand accuracy at this stage, monitor the controls to avoid excessive control movements by following-through as necessary.

10. Briefly introduce hovering and let the student attempt to hover.


Tips for Instructors

  1. As this is to be the student's first flight training exercise, spare no pains to explain everything carefully. Emphasis is necessary since all future flight training exercises are based around the basic principals of this exercise.
  2. This exercise should be tailored to the student's flying experience.
  3. Students will often get very tense in the early air lessons. The instructor should make every effort to ensure that the student is comfortable and relaxed as much as possible.
  4. Ensure the helicopter is stabilized before handing over control to the student.
  5. Emphasize the use of verbal confirmation before commencing a turn.
  6. Any transit time to a practise area should be used for demonstration and practise. This applies to ALL exercises.
  7. The use of a model helicopter will make the preparatory instruction much more effective.