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-   -   DON'T TOUCH THE CONTROLS!!! (http://www.helifreak.com/showthread.php?t=367531)

captJac 12-25-2011 03:35 AM

DON'T TOUCH THE CONTROLS!!!
 
There is a rumor circulating there is a new helicopter under development that comes with a dog. If you touch the controls while you are flying the dog bites your hand! There is more logic than laughs in this design philosophy because it eliminates the biggest problem for beginning students - over-control. How many times have you been told or heard or read "the biggest problem for a beginner is the tendency of over-controlling." OK - so you try under-controlling. Under controlling?? Over-controlling is a result of under-controlling and once you start over-controlling you can't under-control. WAIT A MINUTE!!! You can't fix over-controlling by under-controlling and you can't fix under-controlling by over-controlling!! Somebody ain't telling you something but what aren't they telling you? What you usually hear is "it will come with time - you need more practice - it will come with time". What good is more time going to do if you are making the same mistakes and you don't have a clue what those mistakes are? You aren't alone with that conundrum!!

After teaching hundreds of students and watching them struggle (trial and error) - I sat down and had a long talk with myself - I usually end up falling asleep in the middle of the conversation. One of those AHHA!! moments came to me. Over-control is a symptom not a cause!! SAY WHAT??? OK - read my words!! OVER CONTROL IS NOT YOUR PROBLEM - TIMING IS!! Now that a lot simpler to read than to understand so here's an exercise you can try at home - preferably outside!

The emphasis of this exercise is to let the helicopter fly itself as much as possible - in other words - keep the cyclic centered as much as possible. Don't follow the helicopter with your cyclic - only give it an occasional nudge of correction. Start with a slow and precise lift-off. This is essential! If your heli is rolling to the left or right when you lift off the ground you are starting with error and are forced to correct. Unless your timing is DEAD-NUTS the error will only get worse not better. Give a tad of aileron at the point of lift-off and then immediately center the cyclic. When you do it just right the lift off will become more and more vertical and more and more controlled. Once you are hovering (2 seconds without roll) the helicopter will look like it is hanging by an invisible thread - what a great feeling!! NOW - and this is the hard part - keep your cottin pickin hands off the controls and let it fly itself. DON'T try to follow it with the cyclic - this will introduce error!! When it starts drifting - it will start drifting in about 3 seconds - give the cyclic a slight nudge in the opposite direction and IMMEDIATELY center the stick - don't chase it - or the dog will bite you!! After the nudge - observe the movement of the heli for 1-2 seconds - if it is still drifting in the same direction - give it another nudge - but keep centering that cyclic. If it starts drifting in the other direction - give it a nudge to slow it down - remember just a nudge - than center the cyclic and WAIT to see what it is doing. By giving the cyclic small nudges and WAITING to see how it responds you will start reducing the drifting instead of increasing it!! If you give it too big of a nudge - you probably will in the beginning - don't chase it - land. Start again - the ground is your stabilizer if if starts getting away from you. After a few touch and go's something amazing happens - you start to feel like you are flying your helicopter - instead of your helicopter flying you. Practice hovering for longer and longer period of time in a smaller and smaller circle. LOOK MOM NO HANDS!!! You will be amazed how that unstable platform called a helicopter suddenly becomes stable. It is the 1st and most important step in learning forward flight and turning the nose and FLYING - maybe even lead to 3D flying - aka "an impending crash". :DOH

captJac

Youthanasia 12-26-2011 12:51 AM

I wish you were standing beside me with a taser when I made my first attempt at hovering my Rex 500 because that's exactly what I was doing....I can hover all day on the sim but in real time it's totally different,that 500 looked like it was on crack for all of 60 seconds.

Drove 2hrs on Thur to Hobby Hut and got me a MCPX.... gonna start off the right way this time and learn to fly this little thing before attempting the 500 again.

PS: After setting up the MCPX,12x and crashing 6 times i'm now officially hovering a heli...:bacon

captJac 12-26-2011 10:47 AM

The "DON'T TOUCH THE CONTROLS!!" is such a simple method but somehow we convince ourselves we can fly better than the helicopter. Even crashing doesn't change that conviction. I'll do better next time. I'll do better next time. I'll do better next time. Which often changes to "piece of junk helicopter" - "waste of time and money" - "who has time for that stupid hobby?" Hey - that might be a good title for my next book? :DOH

Bet my parents thought I would never learn to walk when I was a toddler... :rolling

nick4622 12-27-2011 01:32 PM

+1

KonaDon 12-27-2011 02:51 PM

Aloha captJac
Thanks for the "Don't touch the controls" Christmas present. You inspired me to spend most of yesterday on Phoenix trying to do what you wrote about your "AHHA!!" moment. I have been getting better at hovering since my one session with you but still have "run a ways" resulting in crashes. After reading your comments I realized I have been "leaning" on my cyclic stick which I believe has caused many of my "Oh S..t" comments following my many crashes. Just wanted you to know "hands off" is working for me and have had a few really steady hovers. But I still try to over correct and when I do I try and land and start over as you suggest. Appreciate you comments and if you get any more "AHHA!!" moments please pass them along. I will conquer this B 450 bird. Mahalo and cheers Don

captJac 12-27-2011 03:46 PM

Those AHAAAS sneak up on you when you least expecting. The written word is a funny animal - the less you write about it the easier it is to understand. The 119 questions in Taking Off With RC Helicopters - FAQs 102 were easy to gather up - the 119 answers weren't quite as forth coming. Had to ambush a few of them before they got in the book. :hammer

atv223 12-28-2011 12:06 PM

Capt JacK, it was from watching one of your YoutTube videos and looking at the sticks that helped me realize this. I saw the stick barely move and then back to center immediately. That one thing helped more than anything! Thanks!!

JoeW 01-01-2012 12:40 AM

That's great Jack, thanks. There's a saying in my line of work that I'm sure is stolen from something else that says in our ideal environment we would just have the equipment, the dog and the admin/engineer. The admin's job is to feed the dog, the dog's job is to make sure he doesn't touch the equipment.

The older I get, the more value I find in pausing before reacting. Especially when talking to my wife :lol:

I just upgraded my sim... I need to go find this thread I saw about a generous man offering a Phoenix briefer...

Joe

dasBlade450 01-02-2012 01:32 PM

Just got off my first hour of sim on RealFlight 6 Heli Trainer....Hovering, no less.....!
It doesn't take too long to figure out....when it says "SMALL" moves/corrections...THEY MEAN IT!!!!!
"Baby steps".....are just that......I've got all Winter to work my way through "Flight School"...and am eagerly looking forward to it...LOTS more fun than shoveling the white stuff!!:lol:
Oh....btw......my best hover was ~5 min. inside a circle ~ 1 blade-length @~ 3' AGL....
Don't ask how many times I "left the circle"........!:oops:

Lycean 01-03-2012 03:35 PM

I'd just like to say thanks for posting this, it's a very helpful exercise. I found it particularly useful teaching me how small the corrections are that you need to make when the heli is hovering nearly stable.

LOACHer 01-04-2012 01:05 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Youthanasia (Post 3497757)
I wish you were standing beside me with a taser when I made my first attempt at hovering my Rex 500 because that's exactly what I was doing....I can hover all day on the sim but in real time it's totally different,that 500 looked like it was on crack for all of 60 seconds.

Drove 2hrs on Thur to Hobby Hut and got me a MCPX.... gonna start off the right way this time and learn to fly this little thing before attempting the 500 again.

PS: After setting up the MCPX,12x and crashing 6 times i'm now officially hovering a heli...:bacon

This is why I don't put as much into sims as most people do...the helicopters on the sims fly waaaaaaay to perfect and waaaaaaay to slow!

As far as the mCPx, it will fly very very different from your 500 as well.

This is why I don't see the duo of mCPx/sim as the holy grail most people do. The skills you pick up with the wasp (mCPx - small tight and twitchy) are a bit different from the skills you need to fly a bumblebee (450+ - heavy, more weight, not as tight).

With the sims (at least for me) it is hard to "feel the aircraft)..there is no "weight" and fly almost perfect...there are no "glitches & twitches".

captJac 01-04-2012 02:59 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by LOACHer (Post 3523576)
This is why I don't put as much into sims as most people do...the helicopters on the sims fly waaaaaaay to perfect and waaaaaaay to slow! With the sims (at least for me) it is hard to "feel the aircraft)..there is no "weight" and fly almost perfect...there are no "glitches & twitches".

Glitches and twitches are all there - but they are filtered out unless you un-filter them in the setup menus. Make sure you have the "physical" slider all the way to the right (100%) in the attributes. It is defaulted to 50%. For training (both in Phoenix and the real world) I prefer the 500 because the 450 is a bit too squirrely. Other than depth of field - Phoenix provides a near perfect training platform for duplicating the physics and flight characteristics. Only thing missing is the intimidation factor. Certainly not any easier than the real world for precision hovering and slow flight. Try flying around 6 foot circle - 1 foot off the ground - pointing the nose in the direction of flight. I made a Phoenix demo video of that exercise. It took me about 100 tries before I got the one you see here . Make sure to click on the 4-arrows on the bottom-right of the youtube screen so you can see how that cyclic is working!! :shock:

Butchr 01-04-2012 03:09 PM

This is very good information
I learned through trial And error carefully
Tiny corrections on the sticks and WAIT if even for a second before doing anything although in actual flying it happens somewhat natuarally after several hours
I only have flown my msrx as my beginning helicopter with much success
Thank I for posting this
I found that less really is more

DominicD 01-04-2012 03:56 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by LOACHer (Post 3523576)
This is why I don't put as much into sims as most people do...the helicopters on the sims fly waaaaaaay to perfect and waaaaaaay to slow!

Remember the sim assumes you have setup your real heli properly. When you learn to reall setup a heli you will find they fly VERY much like they do on the sim.

Jack my I suggest an addendum to your advice. Make all your nudge corrections the same, give the smallest and fastest nudge cyclic adjustment you can. If the heli is tilting in a direction give the fast/small nudge to correct. In the case where the nudge wasn't enough then you give 2 fast/small nudges instead of 1 longer/slower nudge. if the heli is really far off center then give 3 nudges in succession. The trick is to learn to fly competely with small adjustments at the right times, let the heli fly itself with minor corrections instead of trying to fight what the heli wants to do naturally.

TexasC 01-06-2012 11:14 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jackclarke (Post 3523677)
Glitches and twitches are all there - but they are filtered out unless you un-filter them in the setup menus. Make sure you have the "physical" slider all the way to the right (100%) in the attributes. It is defaulted to 50%. For training (both in Phoenix and the real world) I prefer the 500 because the 450 is a bit too squirrely. Other than depth of field - Phoenix provides a near perfect training platform for duplicating the physics and flight characteristics. Only thing missing is the intimidation factor. Certainly not any easier than the real world for precision hovering and slow flight. Try flying around 6 foot circle - 1 foot off the ground - pointing the nose in the direction of flight. I made a Phoenix demo video of that exercise. It took me about 100 tries before I got the one you see here . Make sure to click on the 4-arrows on the bottom-right of the youtube screen so you can see how that cyclic is working!! :shock:

How do you get the target on the ground, and how do you switch to head-hold (transmitter or Phoenix itself)?

dbshotgunn 01-15-2012 01:19 AM

Now I understand
 
I have crashed allot starting out a short six months ago with collective pitch helis, and I scoured the Internet and magazines for help. I kinda tripped onto what your talking by adjusting the expo to -50%, opposite of the norm, on my Phoenix sim. This forced more aggressive action to my small movement, forcing me to NOT over control but simply bump the sticks. It trained my fingers to stay close to center, but I seem to still over controll when something goes wrong. I'm still fighting to keep from choking the sticks, but my control is getting better and my hovers are starting to stay within a six foot circle. Keeping a presence of mind, I don't cut throttle anymore, crashing into the ground often sideways. Instead I gain altitude and release the stick, then make my corrections. This has given me over a dozen successful (based on no money spent on repairs) almost hovers. And bonus, I have removed the traing gear! I understand the frustration of "it takes time" and "just keep practicing", and the hobby store clerk "back again?". The confidence of flying real life and not sim is a big boost, and "set your goals small" was the best advice I read. Today, I will take off and land, even for a few seconds, and it won't cost me money. Little victories

"Accident avoidance is an expert menuever"
-Rick

ignaceous 01-15-2012 06:15 AM

Thank you for the information. Even within this message board, there are people who try to help with all kinds of advice, in this case insisting you lift the heli without touching the right stick at all and only begin to control it once it's magically hovering in mid-air. After a few unnecessary crashes and believing there was something wrong with my mCPX, I realized that the only thing broken was the initial advice, and started following the steps you posted with great success.

Thanks again.

J.I.

Gizmodude 01-19-2012 02:49 PM

Flying and Practice with the McPx
 
Just remember folks, the McPx is flybarless with a 3 axis gyro system. So any input from the controls at take off will influence this little bird quite a bit. I find this little one is great for orientation practice. You can fly this indoors and just practice slow movements navigating the heli through its paces...I use a Dx7 as I found the RTF radio very limited with the adjustments.

Best of luck and practice won't make you perfect, but it will increase your confidence and flying ability, real flying vs SIM I prefer.

Thanks

:thumbup:

Derfman 01-20-2012 03:32 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ignaceous (Post 3557285)
in this case insisting you lift the heli without touching the right stick at all and only begin to control it once it's magically hovering in mid-air. .

Thanks again.

J.I.

what do you mean by this? only touch the right stick only when im in the air? or should i be adjusting the right stick before lift off?


thank you

DominicD 01-20-2012 03:35 PM

Don't touch the cyclic on a FBL machine until the heli is off the ground.


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