Improve your Reaction Time

Improve your Reaction Time

Veteran heli pilot Curtis Youngblood is always happy to share his pointers with other fliers. Here’s his secret to improving his reaction time. “Try to fly the helicopter relative to itself. For example, back cyclic stick movement always makes the canopy move toward the blades (not really, but this is how I think of it). Now matter which maneuver you are in, if you want the canopy to go toward the blades, pull back on the cyclic stick. For aileron control, I use the muffler side of the helicopter as the reference. If the muffler is on the helicopter’s right, you give left aileron to move the muffler pipe toward the blades. As for rudder, I keep the idea in my mind that righ trail-rotor input gives clockwise rotation when inverted or looking at the bottom. The most important thing is to come up with a visual concept that works for you and then practice it.”

Updated: July 23, 2015 — 4:23 PM


  1. Thanks for the tip, now hopefully I wont crash! I’ve only had 2 crashes so far, and both have been because I went the wrong way on the cyclic stick while inverted.

  2. I look at aileron orientation as if I were in the machine. Left is always left, and right is always right. Rudder seems to be more instinctive to me, don’t have to think about that as much. Elevator for me is back stick = brakes on, forward stick = pay attention pal!

  3. The key word is “PRACTICE”

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