When you are ready for your helicopter flight training you should contact
Orv Neisingh at Sho-Me Helicopters, LLC to discuss your needs and to schedule
your training. If you will be training in a Rotorway helicopter, and after
we have made contact, you will need to fill out the questionnaire under
the Pre-Instruction Check List button and email that to email@example.com
. This list helps us assess your state of readiness before your flight
instructor arrives so that you can both be better prepared for any additional
work that might need to be done. The closer your helicopter is to being
airworthy, the more time you will have for flight training.
The student is responsible for:
1. Providing an airworthy helicopter for use in flight training.
2. Reimbursing Sho-Me Helicopters, LLC for all travel expenses incurred
in getting your flight instructor to your location and return home.
3. Providing meals and lodging for the flight instructor while he is
away from home. The specific arrangements will be made by telephone in
4. Securing an area where the helicopter can be safely flown for the
flight training desired. Again this should be discussed with your instructor
prior to his arrival at your location.
5. Having on hand at least a set of basic hand tools for making adjustments
on your helicopter(Experimental helicopters only).
6. You will need your set of maintenance manuals available for reference
7. You should have read the FAA
handbook FAA-H-8083-21. titled the Rotorcraft Flying
Handbook prior to begriming your flight training. It will familiarize
you with the controls and aerodynamics of your helicopter and can be purchased
from sources such as Amazon.com or Sporty's pilot shop.
is a photo of the RFH. Paragraph #7 above has a link to Amazon
Following my first flight training session as
a student pilot I was ready to quit. I stayed with it and the photo above
shows me receiving my temporary airman's certificate following my check
ride with Stretch Wolter at the Rotorway factory. Learning to fly helicopters
is one of the most challenging things you can do, but it is also one of
the most rewarding when you finally make it.
If you are planning on bringing your helicopter to our
training center we have several large hangars, that you can see on the
home page, that sit at the edge of our three acre hover training area.
We also have our own private grass night approach lighting with an illuminated
wind sock. We have fuel tanks with long hoses on site for refueling your
helicopter. The photo below shows a typical arrival day when the student's
helicopter is being readied for unloading. Once we have the ship off your
trailer we spend some time giving it a complete airworthiness inspection
an then install the main rotor blades. When the helicopter is ready, we
begin your flight training. If you are a beginning student we focus our
time on the basics; learning the control input and feel of the collective,
anti-torque pedals, throttle, and cyclic. Be prepared, it can be and will
be frustrating at first.
If I am traveling to your location we will first give
the helicopter a thorough inspection to insure that it is ready to fly.
List items give the student a guide as to what we
should have accomplished to insure we are ready for flight training. Depending
upon the type of flight training we will be conducting, some of the items
on the list can wait until after we are finished with the flight instruction
but should be completed prior to flying many more hours. You can discuss
any questions you may have with me prior to my arrival at your location.
Our Flight instruction day usually starts as early as
you want to get to the hangar. We do a thorough pre-flight inspection
of the helicopter before we begin our flight training sessions for the
day. You may have noticed that many of the photos of my student's helicopters
show that the rear panels are removed. The helicopter does not look as
sharp with the panels off but this allows us excellent visibility to keep
an eye on all of the drive train components as we put the new helicopter
through it's paces. If any problem begins to develop we will be able to
quickly see it as we inspect that area after every flight.
During your flight
training your instructor will also teach you how to properly service
your helicopter. This instruction is non-gender specific.
Your helicopter flight training day continues until you
are ready to quit. We can train up to the legal limit of 8 hours a day
but it is more typical to put in 4 or 5 hours due to the fatigue factor.
Many of my students who usually are "night owls" end up excusing
themselves and going to bed quite early because they are just worn out
from the rigors of learning to fly their helicopter. I have yet to have
a student wear me out before they reach their limit.
In the photo below I am congratulating
Brad L. on his completion of Phase II Helicopter Flight Training in his
Rotorway Exec 162F
The Photo below is of Brad L.
performing his first solo Autorotation following a week of Phase II flight
instruction at his home in Connecticut. He trailered his helicopter to
a helicopter meet where this photo was taken.
Tom Doran is one
of my former students. He published the following testimonial in an aviation
publication and sent a copy to me for the web site.
I did my initial training with Orv last year. I spent
with him, staying at his home. He is a great instructor. Very
knowledgeable, patient, and experienced. Also, the West Plains area
has a number of great airports where training can be conducted. At
West Plains, we were able to practice hovering, maneuvering, and
autos for extended periods with few instances of interrupting
training for other traffic. It was like having a private airport.
There are several airports within 20 miles of Orv's place, so you
can do some cross-country and get pattern practice at different
airports. Typically, you can fly 4-6 hours per day. If you are
like me, that type of total immersion training works best. While at
Orv's, there were no distractions to divert my attention from
In summary, I highly recommend Orv for initial training.
absolutely demands that all aspects of helo operations be done
precisely and correctly. He is hard, but good. After flying in
Missouri, I fell in love with the area, and have considered retiring
out there. Good people, beautiful country, cheap land and beau coup
airports. Almost heaven.
Tom Doran 4-15
The flight training is just the beginning of a great new
adventure that few are able to even imagine. So get that helicopter ready
and let's go flying.
Your flight instruction will include training
on inspecting and maintaining your helicopter.
Your instructor will cover every aspect of your
check lists prior to flight training
It is hard work to learn to fly a helicopter, but look at that
smile after the first solo flight.
Raymond Butler sent the following
Just thought I'd report in. I've got 1.8 hours remaining to get
to the 40 hours! I have had some wonderful flying time! This afternoon,
I got 2 hours in. The Rotorway is performing flawlessly! I flew
for two each, one hour sessions this afternoon and everything
worked perfectly. I have been starting to do a few entries to
Autos from 700 feet. Concentrating on getting the collective in
the pocket quickly, rolling off a little throttle and then getting
the collective back up to control rpm on high side of the green.
Keeping speed around 65-70. Have not done any quick flares near
the ground yet. Getting much better with hovering, take offs,
and landings. I am getting more comfortable with the helicopter
each time I go up.
Do I have to do anything special with FAA once I get the 40 hours
How are you doing? Did all go well with the training on the ship
that had the earlier belt break? Thank you for getting me started
safely and properly! I would advise everyone to learn to fly one
of these ships with your coaching FIRST! Never try it without
I have found that those students who fly remote control helicopters
seem to learn to fly the real thing faster than those who do ont
fly the remotes. If you would like to view what one person rigged
up to prep himself for training CLICK
|To view a collage
of a first solo flight Click
I have posted
several videos of practice autorotations performed by
my students and myself during flight training sessions.
If you would like to view these videos click on the following
When I was in Rhode Island
instructing Dave, Tony, and John we did literally hundreds
of autorotations. When the student set up the auto perfectly
we took them all the way to the ground. Dave alone did
4 to the ground during his training.
On my last flight before
leaving Rhode Island I was flying with John and asked
him to video the last auto of the session. John was the
camera man and I flew the auto. The link is below. I made
the video as a training aid for my students to view while
we are learning and practicing autos. I did not take it
to the ground because I don't want anyone to see me do
it and then attempt to do these themselves after watching
the video but not receiving the proper training, the ship
could roll over if the flare and settling is not done
I decided to post this video
so that others who have not been doing autos can see what
it is like from inside the cockpit. Here is the narrative.
We were at SFZ on downwind
with around a 10 knot wind. When abeam my intended practice
landing spot I chopped power and initiated the autorotation.
Since this ship is an Exec 152 it presented a perfect
platform to view both the auto and the instruments during
the auto that is why I decided to film this video in John’s
As the ship flies downwind
the collective is fully lowered into the pocket when adjacent
to the intended landing spot. Once the auto is established
and Rotor RPM is stabilized the turn is initiated.
When in the turn, the Rotor
RPM increases, so additional collective pitch is added
to maintain the Rotor RPM in the desired range. During
the turn you can hear a slight surge of the engine as
the RPM is brought up to around 80% on the engine tach
to verify that the engine is still running.
You can see the altimeter
wind down from around 1000 feet to the field elevation
indicated on this altimeter of around 400 feet msl. Notice
the VSI during the turn. The nose needs to be lowered
to build airspeed for the flare. As altitude was converted
to airspeed the vertical speed reached 2000 fpm in this
At around 100 feet the turn
is complete and the ship is leveled for the initial float
where the 100 mph air speed is converted to Rotor RPM
and Lift. You can see the forward airspeed wind down from
around 100 mph to around 30 mph where the final flare
During the flare you can see that the high rotor RPM light
flickers briefly indicating that the main rotors are spun
up with adequate inertia for the completion of the auto.
As the helicopter is brought level at the completion of
the flare you can see it settle level with the surface
and win a slight forward ground speed ( All of these ships
have the extended reinforced skids with SS skid shoes
(see VPHelo.com if you need a set) so touchdown with some
forward speed is acceptable).
As the helicopter levels
and then settles toward the surface at around 12"
skid height the main rotor RPM low indicator light illuminates
indicating that most of the inertia stored in the main
rotor system has been spent. At that point I would have
allowed the ship to continue to settle and would have
applied just enough collective pitch to cushion the landing.
In this case I elected to
make a power recovery by rolling in throttle and then
applying just enough collective to transition into a hover.
By listening to the engine
sounds, you can determine exactly where the power was
rolled back at the initiation of the maneuver and exactly
where the power was brought back in.
Now the WARNING!!!!!. I
have posted this video for interest and entertainment
purposes only. This video is not to be used as a guide
for anyone to practice autorotations in any helicopter.
My students do not earn their solo to altitude endorsement
until they have accomplished around 100 and more often
around 200 practice autos, one of those autos is usually
taken to the surface.
Watch the video if you are
interested but do not use it as a guide for how you should
perform an autorotation. There is no substitute for having
a highly experienced CFI provide you with proper instruction.
I am demonstrating a 180 degree autorotation filmed from
inside of the cockpit: CLICK
I am instructing Dave Armando in a 180 degree auto: CLICK
Second 180 auto by Dave Armando while training: CLICK
Straight in auto by John Garabedian during flight training:
180 degree auto by John Garabedian during flight training:
|To View the photos of the preparation
and actual check ride Click