Hovering Part 2 (Taxiing)


To develop cyclic control during hovering maneuvers; introduce/reinforce a positive exchange of controls.


  • Brief student on positive exchange of controls
  • Allow student to develop cyclic control by following a defined ground track

Instructional aids and pre-requisites

  • Lesson FC-9 (Hovering 1) is  a pre-requisite
  • Ground lesson: Downwash (recommended)


  • Pre-flight briefing: Positive 3-way exchange of controls
  • Position the aircraft into the wind over an even surface, preferably a straight taxiway and/or a distant visual reference
  • Clear the area for traffic and obstructions
  • From a 5-foot hover, transfer control of the cyclic to the student and allow the student to make an initial forward cyclic input
  • Have the student make small fore and aft control inputs to adjust the taxi speed to a brisk walk
  • When the student is able to achieve a slow, forward taxi with minimal lateral deviation, have the student make a small aft cyclic input to stop the forward taxi
  • Repeat until the student can accelerate to a slow forward taxi and decelerate to a near stop with no rearward movement

Common errors

  • Overcontrolling to overcome speed or ground track deviations
    • Guide student’s attention to a distant visual reference
  • Tension/death grip on cyclic
    • Provide frequent breaks
    • Encourage finger-tip flying

Completion standards

  • Verbalizes positive exchange of controls
  • Lateral ground track ±10΄

Teaching considerations

  • This is the second step in control isolation while teaching hovering. The forward movement decreases cyclic sensitivity and removes the need to simultaneously focus on both fore/aft and left/right control.
  • Since the instructor is controlling altitude, the student develops this sight picture and learns to control the sight picture for a slow forward taxi.
  • One variation on this method is to allow the student to decelerate from a forward taxi, momentarily maintain a hover, then return to taxiing.
  • Another variation on this method is to allow the student to terminate an approach in a slow hover taxi/hover, but begin the take-off roll after a momentary hover.

Additional practice

  • From a slow, forward hover taxi, follow taxiway through left and right turns to develop coordination of cyclic control and pedal inputs
  • Once students are comfortable following ground track with the cyclic, transfer collective control to student

Additional resources

  • None specified.

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