I also practiced some takeoffs myself (well, mostly myself). From a hover, I push forward cyclic to gain speed. When the helicopter reaches ~45 knots, I pull back slightly on the cyclic and the helicopter begins to climb and continues to accelerate. Then, it’s forward cyclic up to ~65 knots and another go around in the traffic pattern for a landing in front of the barn. Rinse and repeat.
I had some trouble with my takeoffs. I did fine getting us up to 45 knots and then pulling back slightly on the cyclic. The problem is, I’d push forward too far without pulling up on the collective. Next thing I know, I’m looking down at the ground and airspeed is low. Then, I’d panic and over correct with aft cyclic and pitch the nose up. It was like a day at Magic Mountain. I’ll focus on that during the next lesson.
Hovering is getting MUCH better. I’m making very small corrections. My instructor says that with a couple more lessons I should be hovering and he expects I’ll be able to solo at 20 hours.