Hovering Autorotation

Purpose: To demonstrate safely landing the aircraft from a hover with a complete power loss or tail rotor failure


Cyclic: Aircraft Position
Collective: Rate of Descent
Throttle: Engine RPM
Pedals: Heading


 Note: The entry should be verbalized by stating “Eyes outside, hovering auto in 3-2-1”.

“Pedal, Settle, Pull.”

  • Begin from a stabilized 3-5 foot hover over level terrain.
  • Reposition the left hand so the throttle will be rolled off in the correction direction (“fingernails up”)
  • With the helicopter pointed into the wind, roll the throttle smoothly into the detent while simultaneously adding right pedal to correct for torque.
  • The loss of tail rotor thrust will cause a left drift which much be compensated for by slight right lateral cyclic.
  • Smoothly increase the collective to cushion the landing.
  • Once on the ground, lower the collective.

Use extreme caution to avoid a sideward or rearward movement on touchdown to prevent the possibility of a roll-over.

Performance Standards Private ACS Commercial PTS
Heading + 10 Degrees + 5 Degrees
Minimal sideward movement and no rearward movement allowed
Common Errors

  1. Failure to apply correct and adequate pedal when power is reduced.
  2. Failure to correct drift prior to touchdown.
  3. Improper application of collective pitch.
  4. Failure to touch down in a level attitude.
  5. Failure to completely roll off throttle.
  6. Failure to apply adequate/correct collective pitch resulting in a hard touchdown.
Safety Considerations

  1. Positive exchange of controls
  2. Guard Controls in the event the student applies abrupt control inputs
  3. Maintain awareness of surrounding environment (i.e. airport environment, aircraft, and terrain).  Special emphasis should be placed on density altitude, winds, and gross weight
  4. Ensure proper hand placement prior to rolling throttle!
  5. Maintain proper skid height for adequate cushion
  6. Special emphasis should be placed on ensuring there is NO lateral movement.  Hand should be guarding the cyclic prior to any initiation of the maneuver.