A Turn is a simple maneuver used to change the heading of the helicopter.


Before beginning any turn, the area in the direction of the turn must be cleared not only at the helicopter's altitude, but also above and below. to enter a turn from straight and level flight, apply sideward pressure on the cyclic in the direction the turn is to be made. This is the only control movement needed to start the turn. The antitorque pedals are used to comphensate for torque to maintain the helicopter's longitudinal trim. They are not used to assist a turn.

How fast the helicopter banks depends upon how much lateral cyclic pressure you apply. How far the helicopter banks (steepness of bank) depends upon how long you maintain the cyclic input. After establishing the desired bank angle, return the cyclic toward the neutral position. Increase the collective and throttle to maintain altitude and proper rotor RPM. As the torque increases, increase proper antitorque pedal pressure to maintain longitudinal trim. Depending on the degree of bank used, additional forward cyclic may be required to maintain the desired airspeed.

Rolling out of the turn to straight and level flight is the same as the entry into the turn except that pressure on the cyclic is applied in the opposite direction. Since the helicopter continues to turn as long as there is any bank, begin the rollout prior to reaching the desired new heading.

The discussion on level turns is equally applicable to making turns while climbing and descending. The only difference being that the helicopter is in a climbing or descending attitude rather than that of level flight. If a simultaneous entry is desired, merly combine the techniques of both maneuvers; climb or descent entry and turn entry. When recovering from a climbing or descending turn, the desired heading and altitude are rarely reached at the same time. therefore you may perform the recovery from one of the combined elements prior to the other. Either you will end the climb or descent first and continue the turn to the desired heading, or you will complete the turn, leveling the helicopter, and continuing the climb or descent to the desired altitude.


A Slip occurs when the helicopter slides sideways toward the center of the turn.

It is caused by an insufficient amount of antitorque pedal in the direction of the turn, or too much in the direction opposite the turn, in relation to the amount of power used.

In other words, if you hold improper antitorque pedal pressure which keeps the nose from following the turn, the helicopter slips sideways towards the center of the turn.


A Skid occurs when the helicopter slides sideways away from the center of the turn.

It is caused by too much antitorque pedal pressure in the directionn of the turn, or by too little pressure opposite the turn, in relation to the power used. If the helicopter is forced to turn faster with increased pedal pressure instead of by increasing the angle of bank, it skids sideways away from the center of the turn instead of flying in its normal curved path.

In short: A skid occurs when the rate of turn is too fast for the amount of bank being used, and a slip occurs when the rate of turn is too slow for the amount of bank being used.

Common Errors

Using antitorque pedal pressures to assist turns. This is not usually necessary for small helicopters.
Slipping or skidding in the turn.

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Page Last Updated on: Nov-06-2017