Rc helicopter’s and ground effect…

The consequences of hovering your helicopter too low to the ground results in a condition known as “Ground Effect” .   Ground effect is not new at all to the experienced pilot of course,  but to the newer pilots it is a scary situation to experience.   If you have ever read up about this in the forums you would understand that it is caused by the downwash of the blades hitting the ground and then creating the unsettling air to rise back up towards the heli ,  which causes the helicopter to drift.  It is often recommended that in order to control this kind of behavior with the helicopter,   you should get it up as high as the diameter of the blades or “one yard”  (3 feet) .  It isn’t any surprise that the higher you go the helicopter becomes more settled and hovers really nicely with ease.  When newer pilots learn to fly the mentality is that if they keep it low to the ground then it won’t crash.  The contrast to that is if you do it that way,  you will notice that the heli drifts rather quickly which in turn will cause it to crash.  In order to get over this mentality I would highly recommend a simulator so that you get very comfortable with flying helicopters. In the long run,  even though the  it may seem expensive to throw down a couple hundred dollars on the simulator,  believe me,  it is much more expensive to have a crash then it is to prevent one.

Here is a video to show how the air flows as the blades create lift …


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