Visual Idea of the Exercise – YouTube
Compared to other parts of the blog, for the Quick Stops I would like to line up my experience backwards.
I think it’s more of a help to firstly watch how a proper “Quick Stop” looks, then get an idea of how not to fly them and then, let it settle in one night before starting to practice.
If you get the opportunity to see and watch someone practicing “Advanced Quick Stops” before starting yourself, I think this helps a lot. I had no idea what a Quick Stop was at all when I started this exercise and during my first attempts I combined more or less all the mistakes that my instructor had just briefed me not to do.
Personally, I have always found the best way to improve is by just watching others do it – correctly & incorrectly. It works really well for drum skills or any movements on dynamic devices such as paragliders, skiing/snowboards, or helicopters.
And, if there is no-one around to watch, YouTube is worth its weight in gold for this.
This helicopter is a little bigger than the R22. But that’s good, the movement can be seen even more clearly.
“Does it look very quick?” No. – “Does the helicopter really completely stop?” Yes. – “Does the Helicopter’s nose pitch into the sky?” Yes – very clearly. But “does the Helicopter also climb into the sky?” No – not at all.
My first attempts were quick climbs straight into the sky, with awful yaw and ended not in stop, but slower flight and almost 90° degree turned to the original direction.
“Quick” means “Quick Coordination” & not harsh movements
A nicely flown Quick Stop is about precise and quick coordination of all 3 controls at more or less the same time.
But it does not mean that the single movements themselves have to be quick and definitely not harsh.
It all happens more or less but not exactly at the same time – quick is the coordination of arms and feet.
There is no time to do one movement after the other or to wait and see what happens and start the next movement.
Start Quick Stop “slowly”
A quickly started Quick Stop is a line-up to go wrong in all 3 dimensions for a beginner like me.
All movements must be the usual “gentle” inputs.
Just moving all controls around a little quicker than usual does not work.
“Stop” means “Stop” & not slower flight
The idea of the whole exercise is to stop. Completely stop. On the spot.
No drift to any direction, no nose turning around and no just getting slower.
Let’s fly – Quick Stop into Wind
We start – Take I
The first couple of times, I always climbed almost straight into the sky and after that I’d do something for a few seconds until my instructor took control. I realized that this was not exactly correct but I found it quite cool and thought I did really well. But, I did not.
We stop in hover in a corner of the field and he explains to me one more time, that:
- I really have to be way more gentle on the cyclic and
- I have to work on the collective/lever as well – not just on the cyclic and
- Remarks that what I did feels weird and was not the exercise.
We continue into wind – now with collective – Take II
“Now I got it”, I talk to myself – “don’t forget the collective!”
We speed up – Quick Stop, Quick Stop “GO” – and we nicely climb straight into the sky and at some point a sharp yawing comes along. This time, I did not forget the collective, but the pedals. Again, we do not stop at all.
And again my instructor takes control straight away, this always means, that it was not good.
We continue again into the wind – now with pedal – Take III
Speeding up, climbing with yawing and because everything goes too quickly and I am not thinking ahead I am not sure which pedal to use for a millisecond – enough to touch the wrong one and before I want to correct with the other, of course, he takes control to end this adventurous maneuver.
We agree, that now I’ve practiced a little, I first have to rehearse how to fly them before we invest more time.
Now we continue with Quick Stops downwind.
Quick Stop in Downwind – Take I, II & III
I speed up and I start to turn. An amazing exercise, I love it straight from the beginning. So much so, that in the turn I somehow never hear him saying “start to flare … start to flare …” instead I increase the turn to over 45° degree.
After this time, we stop. He repeats that I have to flare, not to yaw and stop anyway.
Two attempts later, still exactly the same and in the end I admit to being quite surprised about this weird movement and that I completely forget to flare.
Actually, I am simply not aware of what I am doing. These times, he says, feel awkward.
Even though I flew them completely incorrectly, I really liked them. It’s one of the coolest exercises so far.
However, we agree to try again another day. The training time is over anyway.
Mental Training & Virtual Exercise – Safe Money
It is the first exercise in which I decide to write down every single step and rehearse my next attempts, like a fixed order of movements. Just to be mentally upfront during the exercise – as it shall go quickly – there is no time to start a little, look what happens and than continuously adapt the controls.
I must know exactly which input will evoke which reaction in the copter. And, before it really starts to react, I should already be gently starting the next input.
As the cost of helicopter training is based on minutes (the clock starts counting when the blades starts to turn and does not stop before they stop to turn) I don’t want to waste money on things I could rehearse for free on the ground.
Some things simply cannot be practiced this way – I do not see any way to virtually exercise “hovering”. Also “landing” – the feeling of properly setting down through to the last 10″ inches – is impossible to practice outside the helicopter.
But, the flow of the movements for Quick Stops are perfect to mentally rehearse and exercise virtually. I did not rehearse them extensively – just a couple of times during the next few days. This was good enough to help a lot.
For example, Quick Stop into the wind:
start to flare – gently / almost at same time, butt little later
no climb & no nose turn!
leaver/collectiv down gently
keep heading reference pedal right
increase flare slowly
maintainflare & headiung leaver/pedals
once stopped – completely
no descent & no nose turn
cyclic forward – level
keep heading pedal left
From here – Quick Stops into Wind & Downwind
When we try again it’s a whole different story. Of course, there is now lots of room to improve. But to improve on the correct basics, instead of trial and error. Now they start to get Quick & Stop and are also even more fun to fly.
The learning curve is again great and really satisfying.