Helicopter flight training information
While this is definately not the recommended option, many have and still do teach themaelves to fly from scratch. Some succeed at this method, many don't! I personally know of a fixed wing pilot who attempted this and ended up wiping out $30,000 of helicopter but fortunately walked away with onlt minor injuries.
So why have we even listed it here? Well, there will always be those who will try no matter what so we thought it prevelent to supply a few "possible" life saving suggestions.
1. Go spend the couple of hundred dollars on an introductory training flight and see if it is for you or not!
Hold on..., isn't that just what I've decided not to do - flight training? Well yes and no. The only reson you are here this time is to see if you will be capable of flying through accepting how it actually feels to fly in a safe environment, ie; with a qualified instructor. If it doesn't scare the pants off you, and you find coordinating the four (4) main controls - cyclic, anti-torque pedals, collective and throttle while practicing basic flight proceedures and awareness and possibly operating a radio while scanning over insruments (in particular MAIN ROTOR RPM) then this method might work for you.
Tethered flight when done properly IS a great method. Cross braces on the landing gear will also assist.
Flight schools are here for a reason, you shouldn't look at it as an expense but rather a valuable education that will help you achieve YOUR DREAM of flight. We have all heard there are good and bad schools but mostly it comes down to your relationship with the flight instructor (as you would already expect ALL instructors to be professionals in their field). Have a great releationship with that person, communicate well and you will excell. Anything else and you might be at the wrong school for you?
Combination fixed wing/rotary wing
A less expensive method might be the "transitioning training method" of gaining various ratings that are equivelent in both fixed wing and rotary wing (helicopters). Basically, it takes less of a learning curve to fly fixed wing and cost per hour is also less so more time can be spent on flight awareness, navigation and radio proceedures with lower training costs. You then at a certain stage, take up the practical side of rotary wing flight with out having to spend all that time on the other aspects of flight (generally speaking).
Flight simulators - active/passive
You will always hear different views on this subject but in reality, if nothing else, at least it does stimulate your senses and increase various reactions times to situations. It can also familiarize you with instrumentation and co-ordinating multiple controls. Did we mention that besides it being just a whole lot of fun, when you crash on a simulator, it's much more pleasant than in real life!
There is the most basic of basics, your arcade style "video" games which are basically as they seem, "games". A fun way to continue the dream of flight but the furtherest from realistic on the list.
PC Flight Sim (using keyboard/mouse/joystick)
PC Flight Sim "with" full flight controls
The HeliChair with remote control helicopter
Augusto Cicare's SVH full size single seat, training helicopter - as real as it gets without leaving the ground!
Military and commercial training products... ok, so maybe out of the league for most of us but worth a mention.
Study practical aspects
Sound strange? Well what we mean is first do your research. Read other peoples experiences (see our articles section), read a book or magazine, look online. You would be amazed at the amount of people that just think you sit in the thing and fly it...anyone can do it??
Basic training structure
A typical training schedual "might" be....(more to come).