The second day has started and the briefing is significantly longer, the really serious training has started.
And, I am totally surprised that the instructor starts explaining to me in detail what I have to consider during my first attempts to “hover”. I had expected this part to start in a few weeks, or, let’s say lesson number 10.
Whatever I had read or heard about “hovering” was more or less a description of a totally frustrating task that would take ages to learn. We are on my 3rd flight …
One hour later, we take-off for the first lesson and hover-taxi to the training area and start the so-called “airfield work”.
Shortly after arriving there, he gives “me control” just some 4ft above the ground. Without even starting to do anything the R22 immediately wants to roll and drift away, and, he takes back the control within a micro-second.
He gets us back into a stable hover and I start my 2nd attempt.
30 seconds of fame
I do not remember how many times we repeated this but during this 50min lesson, I somehow managed to hover for 30 seconds. I was totally surprised and the feeling after finishing this flight was a mixture of being very proud of course.
But, I also started to have the impression that the time-gap between proper hovering, a complete failure, and scratching the ground was within a split second. Not really encouraging at this stage.
From here (2nd day!) my hovering started to improve in every flight and I really fell in love with it. It didn’t seem to take long to get quite a stable feeling in hovering and it was the same for other students that started at the same time.
Perhaps we were all just very lucky, or extremely talented, and therefore hovering was not a major issue. But, I think the reality is, that the nightmare stories about how difficult hovering is are a fairy tale. Like the Myths in the book I mentioned.
And the R22 is not known to be especially easy in handling. The opposite is the case.
However – the saying << Flying is magic – Hovering is divine >> is more than true.
The magic carpet feeling is absolutely addictive.