Flight initiation course


    Duration: 1 day
      Price: To consult
    More information


Expand your knowledge of helicopter piloting and pilot a Robinson R22 helicopter for 30 minutes.

Course description

The Flight Initiation Course is a training to get into the world of helicopter flight. Progressive technical improvement and functional capabilities have been increasing the scope of helicopter use, and is already a reality in our society, but flying with them is an activity unknown to many.

In Helipistas SL, we have been training pilots for more than 10 years and, taking advantage of our experience, we have created an initiation course on the fly that combines glamor with adventure and technique.

Course Length

The Flight initiation course has a duration of 1 day, where 1 hour is devoted to the theoretical instruction of helicopter piloting, a knowledge test, the ground flight instruction of 30 minutes and the piloting of the 30-minute helicopter.

Course structure

  • Arrival at the Ullastrell Heliport
  • Visit to hangars
  • First contact with instructor
  • Pilot room accommodation
  • Theoretical 60-minute helicopter piloting instruction
  • Knowledge test
  • 30-minute ground flight instruction
  • 30-Minute Helicopter Piloting
  • Diploma delivery


Test of knowledge of the theoretical instruction of piloting of helicopters.

Requirements to complete the course

Being over 18 years.

The aerodynamics of the helicopter is rather more complex than that of the airplane. The difference is that in the first the blades (equivalent to the wings of the airplane) rotate to provide the support that keeps the helicopter in the air and, depending on the flight conditions, the lift of each blade varies greatly. For example , In a two-bladed helicopter (rotor turning left) that is flying at 50 Kts., The support of the blade that is 90o to the right of the nose adds these 50 Kts. To its speed of rotation, reason why its sustentation will be maximum. On the contrary, the opposite spade subtract the 50 Kts. At its speed, being its minimum support. To avoid this large difference in lift, which would make the helicopter dump, a mechanism is used that automatically reduces the angle of the advancing blade and increases that of the recoil blade.

In addition to the above, there are additional problems, such as the reaction torque caused by the rotation of the main rotor (that is why the tail rotor is also called antipar). If the main rotor rotates to the left, the helicopter fuselage tends to rotate to the right, the more so the higher the power applied to the rotor. By operating the tail rotor with the pedals, this rotation is counteracted, but each time the power is changed, the position of the pedals must be changed.

Most modern helicopters have an automatic system for combining the handling of the pedals with the collective control (power applied to the main rotor).

The helicopter has three different controls: the cyclic, which controls the tilt (left and right) and pitch (nose down and up), varying the plane of rotation of the main rotor; The collective, which controls the power (the angle of the main rotor blades) to raise and lower and the pedals, which control the rotation to the right and left varying the angle of the tail rotor blades. In addition, there is the command of the engine or motors, usually automatic, although some are manual.

So far, an effective system that allows the helicopter to be launched as it does from a fighter plane with an ejection seat has not been achieved. (The Kamov Ka-50 military helicopter has built-in this system). Actually, the parachute is the helicopter itself, and more specifically the main rotor.

Unfortunately, the helicopter can not plan, but "drop in". The maneuver called autorotation allows to land with the engine stopped or without power applied to the rotors due to the operation of a system similar to that of bicycles (when the pedal stops, the rear wheel keeps turning) called free wheel. This system allows the main rotor (and the tail rotor associated with it) to rotate in the same way as a windmill does because of the flow of air from the bottom up while the helicopter descends.

In order to enter autorotation, the collective control must be lowered completely and in a very short time (of the order of two seconds) otherwise the main rotor would stop due to the resistance of the air until it loses revolutions and could no longer Support the helicopter. Hence a saying of helicopteristas: "before the doubt, autorrotación".

Although the autorrotation allows to reach the ground with guarantees, it is an extremely difficult maneuver, since the rate of descent during the same approaches the 2000 ft./min. (About 600 m / min or 10 m / sec) and the indicated speed is maintained around about 650 KIAS (approximate conditions of R22).

If contact with the soil were made under these conditions, the result would be catastrophic. Therefore, at the end of the autorotation and very close to the ground (about 30 m.), A flare or aerodynamic braking is performed by rapidly climbing the nose of the helicopter until about 20 °. This achieves three things: a moderate increase of r.p.m. Of the rotor (and therefore of the lift), a large decrease of the indicated speed (ideal is 0 KIAS) and a large decrease of the rate of descent (below 500 ft./min.).

Once the braking is finished, the pilot lowers the nose until it is placed slightly above the horizon and applies the collective control to dampen the entrance to the ground by changing the rotor lift by descent regime (the higher the collective the slower the descent, Provided that the rotor rpm loss is within limits).

Training in autorotations should be continuous, especially in single-engine helicopters. In the basic course of helicopters these maneuvers are practiced with assiduity in the R22, entering autorrotation from 600 ft. On the ground and trying to enter a picture of about 15x15 m. Without breaking the helicopter!

It can not be said that one is more difficult to pilot than another, each one has its peculiarities. The helicopter requires a great coordination between the hands and the feet, and the movements of the controls generally have to be very small, reason why "fine hands" are needed.

Based on the fact that the helicopter was invented to cover the gap between the surface vehicle and the aircraft, no great speed is needed. The fundamental problem is the rotor of the helicopter, which at high speeds suffers a series of aerodynamic phenomena that limit its maximum speed. Even so, modern helicopters have acceptable speeds, allowing them to "rub shoulders" with conventional airplanes, and even with some fighters, on airport landings.

Theoretically yes, provided that the maneuvers are within the resistance limits of its components (rotor, structure). Even so, the maneuvers would not be as colorful as in conventional aircraft (for example, looping is much more like an ellipse than a circle) because of the aerodynamic problems inherent in the design of the helicopter.

No. Due to the aerodynamic problems that appear in the lateral and back flight, the speed in these cases is much lower than in the forward (about a quarter of this in "normal" helicopters and 50% in models of combat).

As far as the power plant is concerned, there are no major differences from a conventional blast engine or turbine / turboprop aircraft except that helicopter turbines do not have a post-burner. However, the rest of the components of the power train are much more complicated.

In multi-engine (usually twin-engine) helicopters, the main transmission box must be capable of absorbing, combining and transforming the power supplied by the motors (which do not always rotate at the same r.p.m. and therefore do not provide the same torque). To give us an idea it is enough to say that some turbines work at about 30,000 r.p.m. And the main rotor at about 300 rpm. All this is achieved by reducing gear sets.

As far as flight controls are concerned, the difference with conventional aircraft is much greater since the supporting surfaces (blades) are at the same time the control surfaces.

The rotor heads are of great technical complexity, although the use of composite materials tends to simplify their design and maintenance. An articulated rotor (the type most commonly used for its efficiency) allows the turning movements on the longitudinal axis, up / down and forward / backward. In addition, the blades themselves undergo deformation and flexing while rotating. All this makes the maintenance of the rotors a very important aspect.

The blades have to be matched so that their weight is as uniform as possible (all have equal weight), the tolerance being in the difference of weights of tens of grams since of a mass imbalance in rotation causes vibrations And, ultimately, structural damage to them and to the rest of the components of the helicopter.

Yes, provided they are approved for it and the pilot is qualified for flight in IMC. However, icing conditions (ice clouds) are very dangerous because of the aerodynamic problems caused by ice accumulating in the rotor blades and in the air intakes to the engines, which can cause them Stop operating due to ingestion of ice if the helicopter does not have anti-ice engines.

Yes, although it must be done in manual opening in helicopters that do not have a rear ramp since there is the risk that if the launch is made in automatic opening, the belt of the parachute or even it can be hooked in the tail rotor of the helicopter.

KIA corresponds to the initials Knots Indicated Airspeed (air speed indicated in knots). Aircraft speed is measured by means of an anemometer, which provides information on the speed at which air collides with the instrument sensor, ie the relative speed of the aircraft with respect to the mass of air in the aircraft. that moves. The system is called Pitot.

Due to the different altitudes, temperatures and air densities an aircraft can operate, there are different types of speeds. The most important are: indicated, the one indicated by the instrument; Calibrated, the previous one corrected with the error that the installation has; On the ground, the actual speed at which the aircraft moves on the ground once the wind factor has been applied.

A knot is equivalent to one nautical mile per hour (approximately 1852 m / h). 100 KIAS would correspond to 185.2 km / h.

The engines can be alternate (much like a car) and turbines, much like those of passenger planes. Both types of motors provide power to the rotors through a gear system (main rotor and tail rotor). Almost all modern helicopters employ turbines.

Alternative engines use aviation gasoline (almost equal to the 98 octane of cars). Turbines use different types of fuel, but all of them are basically gas oil. The most commonly used fuel type is JET A-1, the equivalent military name JP-8.

Turbines are often noisier at high frequency, and the noise emitted depends on the revolutions to which you are operating. However, helicopters often work at relatively constant turbine revolutions. In the case of helicopters, the rotors contribute greatly to the level of noise emitted. For example, the EC-120 "Colibri", due to its low noise level due to the advanced rotors, is one of the few models authorized to fly in the famous park of the Colorado River (USA).

The basic difference between heliport and helisurface is that the former is designed for normal operations, whereas the helisurface has an eventual character. Of course, helicopters can also operate from any other place that meets minimum safety conditions and with the authorization of the competent authority (Civil Aviation Authority or Military Authority, depending on the civil or military aircraft). The technical requirements to be met are reflected in the Regulation of Air Circulation.