I read somewhere that hovering in a helicopter is like trying to balance a greasy ping pong ball on top of a needle. After 15 minutes of hover practice today, I get it. My instructor handled the collective and the anti-torque pedals. I was only responsible for the cyclic. I managed to keep the helicopter in Spokane County. Not bad for my first lesson.
After hover practice, we headed back to the airport playing “follow the river”. My instructor gave me a target altitude and told me to maintain it while following all the curves of the river. It’s fun, but harder than it sounds. Whenever you turn with the cyclic, you have to pull up on the collective or you’ll descend. Then when you level out, you have to lower collective again or you’ll start to climb. I kept my altitude plus or minus about 500 feet. For my first lesson, I’ll take it.