Author Topic: Heli to helio pilot question  (Read 4458 times)


Heli to helio pilot question
« on: January 25, 2016, 10:23:02 PM »
Hi all, I've got a question about learning to fly Helios. I've never flown an airplane. Ever. But I do have about 5000 hours flying helicopters. My question is a little bit early as I was hoping to someday buy a plane but I haven't gone down that road yet. If I was to learn to fly airplanes would I be better off building time in something else (152, cub, 185?) before strapping on a Helio or does it fly differently enough from everything else that learning on a Helio early on would be beneficial? All my helicopter time is in the bush in Western Canada. I'm curious what is the safest and smartest way to learn and is a Helio the right plane for a low time airplane pilot to fly? 


Re: Heli to helio pilot question
« Reply #1 on: January 26, 2016, 06:58:36 AM »
The contrary is more dangerous.  As stated in many pages of Robinson POH.  As IF YOU ARE A &?%$#* PLANE PILOT' DO NOT etc...

Mainly because in a helico, if the engine quit, you better pull the stick.  In a plane, well in most planes, you better push.  Does not make a big difference in a Helio.  Push, or pull, or do nothing, it won't bite.  And you will have time to decide what to do.
If you plan is to be safe, fly an Helio.  This is the safest airplane in the world.  Designed from ground up to be safe.
Is it safe to transition to another plane after ?  I don't think so.  But i do it.  Is it safe to come back to an helico after ?  Robinson seems to think it is not.

The big difference between an helico and an airplne is reaction time and movement.  In a helico, you do need split seconds reaction.  Your life depends on it.  With split seconds reaction, you can get out of all the situations you will encounter in your flight.  In an airplane, it won't help.  Accident are programmed many hours before ( years).  Split seconds reaction won't save you.  There is nothing you can do that could not been done hours before ( load, weather planning , fuel planning ) .  And for split reaction, there is none that cannot take at least 5 seconds.  Or minutes.  Or hours.  In an helico, a 5 seconds reaction if something bad is happening is much too long.  The story is already end before 3 seconds.

When you will go back to a helico, tou will have to adjust the amplitude of your movement to new parameter.  Think of it as hand sex.  Airplane control must be used as a male sex.  And a big one.   In an helico you have now a female sex to please.  Everything will happen in a dime size magnitude. You have to adjust to it, and even if you know it, when you get excited by something, it is not easy to remember and restrain yourself to this new magnitude.  Not do so under stress or else is asking for catastrophic failure.

« Last Edit: January 26, 2016, 07:57:12 AM by Louis »


Re: Heli to helio pilot question
« Reply #2 on: January 26, 2016, 01:10:00 PM »
What ever you do...just don't learn to fly Helios by reading "flyhelio" website  ;D

Doug Johnson

Re: Heli to helio pilot question
« Reply #3 on: January 26, 2016, 08:49:05 PM »
Kat, I think you meant don't try to learn to fly a Helio or any airplane from the website.

I think you should find an instructor to covert you from a helicopter pilot to an airplane pilot. I have a helicopter pilot friend that says once the helicopter starts moving forward at 30 mph it pretty much flies like an airplane.

I really think learning to fly in a Helio Courier would be beneficial.

I learned to fly a Cessna then when I bought the Helio I got 10 hrs from Larry Montgomery's ferry pilot. I should have got 25 hrs.

I couldn't find a Helio instructor even though I was in AK so I settled for an instructor with lots of beaver and other tailwheel experience.

While flying I switched back and forth with a Cessna 172 with sporstman stol kit and 180hp eng and the Helio.
Possibly because of that I never did get to be a very good Helio pilot.

I Think if I'd had this site available to look at I might have understood how to become a fairly good Helio pilot.

Just my opinion

Lets hear some other opinions.


Re: Heli to helio pilot question
« Reply #4 on: January 26, 2016, 10:28:17 PM »
Thanks for the replies.  The "hand sex" analogy is a new method of comparing helicopter to fixed wing flying that I've never heard before... I've not got any Robinson time so I've never read the POH for their aircraft however I had heard that a pilot must be very careful when going from a machine that stops then lands to one that lands then stops. Almost all my time is in turbine helicopters with only about 300 hours in a piston Bell 47. My question about flying a Helio is a partially a question of is the slow speed and the unique flying characteristics I've read about the Helio is a challenge (to fly well) for any pilot regardless of what they've flown before or would  it be beneficial to only have Helio impressed into a pilots instincts?


Re: Heli to helio pilot question
« Reply #5 on: January 27, 2016, 06:21:47 AM »
It is fun that you are doing the reverse of many pilots that hold both helico and aircarft licence.  Usually, people learn to fly in a plane, and go to helicopter afterward.  Bringing their bad instinct to the Helico world.  I am not sure how this way to do it bring some retord.  May be it is the right way to do it.

Il like your "a machine that stops then lands to one that lands then stops"

And find it important for aircarft pilot to remember when transitionning to helico.  In an aircaft, you are loosing energy all the way when you land.  In the circuit, you start to loose energy.  In base, you put some flaps and loose energy.  On short final, you pull the yoke and you loose energy.  When you will touch the runway, you will have around 5 times less energy.  Since energy is square from speed.  Something go bad, let's say you hit a runway lamp, well not much will happen.  You might broke a wing tip, hit the prop a=on a snow bank, or else, but going at the speed of a bycycle, not much will happen to you.

In an helico, you will be full energy when you will touch the runway.  The engine at full, that big blade turning and loaded over your head.  Once landed, if something touch that big blade turning, BADANG !!, you are going to a roller coaster before all the enrgy stored in the blade will vanish.

I am sure you will be a very good plane pilot.  Helio or else.



Re: Heli to helio pilot question
« Reply #6 on: January 27, 2016, 12:51:55 PM »
I would recommend that you don't transition directly into the Helio Courier. I would strongly recommend that you get your transition training in a tailwheel aircraft. It's going to take quite a few hours to get your license so something cheap and basic would be good. ie, Piper Cub, Taylorcraft, Aeronca, etc.

The advantage of training in a tailwheel aircraft will evidence itself later as you start training in the Helio Courier. The biggest difference in transitioning between Helicopters and Airplanes is that the torque inputs are reversed. ie, you need to add right rudder when taking off in an aircraft and left anti torque pedal in a rotorcraft (most, there are exceptions)