Set down

Purpose: To transition from a stabilized 3-5 foot hover to the surface.

Cyclic: Aircraft Position
Collective: Hovering Height
Pedals Heading


Start with a stabilized 3-5 foot hover

  • Headed into the wind
  • Select a reference point approximately 50 ft in front of the aircraft. Looking directly down from the nose of the aircraft will cause over-controlling.

Smoothly and slowly begin to lower the collective to establish a slow rate of sink.

  • A small amount of right pedal may be needed to maintain heading.
  • The cyclic will be use to maintain a stabilized position over the surface.

As skids make surface contact

  • Neutralize all movement
  • Continue to smoothly and slowly lower the collective.
  • Lower Collective to the full down position.

Do not allow the aircraft to land with any rearward or lateral movement.

Performance Standards Private ACS Commercial PTS
Heading + 10 Degrees + 5 Degrees
RPM + 2% + 2%
Position over a Desired Point + 4 Feet + 2 Feet
Common Errors

  1. Failure to descend at the suitable rate
  2. Failure to recognize and correct for drift
  3. Improper heading control
  4. Over-controlling the flight controls
  5. Failure to reduce collective pitch to full down position, smoothly, upon surface contact.
Safety Considerations

  1. Positive exchange of controls
  2. Guard Controls in the event the student applies abrupt control inputs
  3. Do not let the aircraft drift or slide
  4. Ensure skids are clear of debris, tie-downs, and other obstructions
  5. Student maintains eyes outside of the aircraft