Hovering/Pedal Turns/Air Taxi

Purpose: To maneuver the aircraft forward, sideward, rearward, and turn the aircraft while hovering.


Cyclic: Aircraft Position; Ground Track
Collective: Hovering Height
Pedals Heading


1) Forward, sideward and rearward flight.
  • From a stabilized 3-5 foot hover, headed into the wind, move the cyclic smoothly towards the desired direction of flight.
  • Maintain heading with small pedal corrections and altitude with collective.
  • As movement begins, adjust the cyclic to keep the groundspeed at a constant rate equivalent to a normal walk. Reference points along the direction of flight can be used to maintain correct ground track.
  • To stop the movement, apply cyclic opposite to the direction of movement until the helicopter stops.
During all phases of hovering, cyclic changes should be small and smooth.
  • During crosswind hover flight, additional cyclic pressure may be need to compensate for the additional effects of wind and drift.

2) Hovering (Pedal) Turns

  • Hovering turns are accomplished by use of the pedals.
  • Ensure the tail and tail rotor have ample clearance before beginning a turn.
  • Maintain a constant altitude with the collective.
  • Cyclic is used to control attitude and position over the ground and should be continually adjusted into the wind to avoid drifting and excessive attitude changes during the turn.
  • Maintain a slow, constant rate of turn. (A rate of 360° in 15 seconds is recommended.)
  • As the helicopter turns, counter pressures on the opposite pedal should be used to maintain a slow, constant rate
  • With the helicopter headed into~the wind, apply pedal in the desired direction of turn.
  • As the desired heading is reached, stop the turn by applying slight pressure on the opposite pedal

3) Air Taxi

  • Execute normal takeoff profile per the Height/Velocity Diagram
  • After passing through ETL, adjust power and attitude for desired airspeed and altitude.
  • Air taxis are conducted below 100 feet.
  • Do not overfly any aircraft in the airport environment.
  • Fly a normal approach with a headwind to desired landing spot.

Performance Standards Private ACS Commercial PTS
Altitude + 2 Feet + 1 Foot
Heading + 10 Degrees + 5 Degrees
RPM + 2% + 2%
Position over a Desired Point + 5 Feet + 3 Feet
Common Errors

  1. Improper use of controls
  2. Failure to maintain a constant rate turn
  3. Failure to maintain a position over the reference point
  4. Failure to look in the direction of flight
Safety Considerations

  1. Positive exchange of controls
  2. Guard Controls in the event the student applies abrupt control inputs
  3. Ensure skids are clear of debris, tie-downs, and other obstructions
  4. Ensure tail and tail rotor is clear prior to applying any pedal input
  5. Ensure student looks in the direction of movement and area is clear from obstacles
  6. Be aware and plan immediate action in the event of a drastic increase or decrease of RPM