Rapid Deceleration (Quick Stop)

Purpose: A coordinated maneuver to demonstrate a condition when a rapid decrease in forward airspeed is required (aborted takeoff), ending with bringing the helicopter to a hover.


Cyclic: Pitch Attitude/Airspeed; Ground Track
Collective: Altitude; Rate of Descent
Pedals Trim (Deceleration); Heading (Descent)


  1. Achieve a normal takeoff profile into the wind following the height/velocity curve.
  2. Begin the stop by smoothly lowering the collective while simultaneously applying aft cyclic and right pedal.
  3. Apply aft cyclic and additionly decreased collective as needed to maintain the entry altitude.
    • To avoid ballooning, increase the amount of down collective and/or use less aggressive aft cyclic.
  4. As airspeed is lost, the aircraft will begin to settle.  Slowly being to increase the collective to control the rate of descent.  Add forward cyclic to level the aircraft when slowing to approximately ETL, while maintaining the heading with pedal.
  5. Terminate at a 3-5 foot hover.

Note: Use caution to avoid letting the aircraft settle with a tail low attitude!  Additionally, ensure that the termination of the maneuver is not at an excessively high hover height.

Rapid Deceleration Video by Helicopter Training Videos


Performance Standards Private ACS Commercial PTS
Altitude + 15 Feet + 10 Feet
Heading + 10 Degrees + 5 Degrees
RPM + 2% + 2%
Common Errors

  1. Improper use of anti-torque controls.
  2. Improper use of cyclic and collective controls.
  3. Failure to properly control the rate of deceleration.
  4. Stopping forward motion in a tail low attitude.
  5. Failure to maintain safe clearance over terrain.
Safety Considerations

  1. Positive exchange of controls
  2. Guard Controls in the event the student applies abrupt control inputs
  3. Pay special attention that the student does not roll the throttle off during the entry portion
  4. Maintain situational awareness so as to not let the aircraft descend tail low