How to Hover with a Helicopter in FS2004/FSX?

Pro Member Chief Captain
Chris102 Chief Captain

How do you hover with a helicopter in FS9? Whenever I try, the aircraft sways and eventually crashes.

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Pro Member First Officer
Vin4evr First Officer

yeah, someone please help ! same story here...

Pro Member First Officer
PH First Officer

I think the helicopter is more difficult in FS than for real. Make sure you offset any changes in power with rudder inputs....not a "rotary" pilot so can't offer much assistance!

Pro Member Captain
John Hodges (originalgrunge) Captain

The helicoptor is a tricky aircraft, but no harder to learn than landing a 777 by hand. There's no magic knowledge that will let you hover, it really is mostly feel and anticipation. You can read through the article in FS on helicopters as it does certainly shed some light on "anticipating" the movements of the helo, but more than anything it's just using your own sense of inertia. Make sure you're using the VC and keep it zoomed out to about 60-65%. This really helps with your sense of movement.

As you work on getting the feel for the hover, practice flying around cities with plenty of tall buildings. Even if you can't land on top of a building, you can at least hover around the same floor/position around the building. Also, before you can get it by feel, keep your eyes on the airspeed and vertical speed indicators. When you're entering the hover, you want to tip the heicopter back enough to make the airspeed drop, but back off on the throttle to make sure your v/s doesn't show any change. That takes a lot of practice. As you get close to zero on both guages, use your senses and your eyes to keep it stable. For the first few hours of practice you'll find that you end up flying BACKWARDS a lot! That's okay, it's part of learning.

Good luck! The helo always used to be my most frustrating aircraft, but is now steadily becoming my favorite!

Pro Member Captain
John Hodges (originalgrunge) Captain

I forgot to say that a joystick with a twist-rudder or rudder pedals are a MUST. You need to use your feet, throttle hand, control hand, and mind all equally and simultaneously in this aircraft. If rudder pedals aren't at your disposal, you can use your wrist, but you can't use the keyboard.

Pro Member First Officer
horrgakx First Officer

I don't have a twist joystick or a rudder and I can manage with the keyboard.

One tip I have is set the realism to EASY when flying the helicopters, if I don't do that I just crash & burn every time.


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