DVD-06 :: Circuits (Traffic Patterns)
  • DVD-06 :: Circuits (Traffic Patterns)

Please note: This DVD was filmed and produced in the 1990s.  We are currently in the process of improving our DVD training material to a more contemporary format, with some exciting stunning footage!  In the meantime the content is still highly relevant to any pilot learning to fly a helicopter today!


The Circuit or Traffic pattern as its called in some countries. The DVD puts together the use of controls and elementary handling into a formal pattern. Footage taken from the cockpit illustrates all aspects of a circuit from you, the pilot’s, view.

Duration: 50 mins

Circuits are an air exercise which help students practice coordination and accuracy skills as well as learning to fit in with other air traffic, particularly at uncontrolled aerodromes. The great thing about circuits as an exercise is that they cover all the basic phases of flight, and that is why if a student pilot is proficient at them, it is a good indicator that he or she is indeed competent in handling the machine. Flight instructors look for consistency in both circuits and autorotations before allowing a student to fly solo, so during your training, you will certainly do more than a few of these!

A knowledge of what is involved long before you go for your first circuit, as well as having seen one from the point of view of the pilot, will definitely benefit any student and therein lies the purpose of this DVD. This DVD can also be a wonderful refresher for pilots who have not flown in a while, and have let their currency lapse.

Upwind, cross-wind, downwind, power changes, what control inputs, where and when, as well as specifically what to look for in terms of performance (speed and height) when commencing each 'leg', are all discussed in the briefs. Instructor Fergus Ponder also includes a basic analysis of the dead man's curve to highlight exactly why we fly it the way we do, and what the implications would be in terms of safety, if you were to conduct a circuit at different heights and speeds.

Take note that circuit heights have changed since this footage was filmed. At present, helicopters in Australia conduct a standard circuit at 500 feet above ground level.

The real-life footage taken in a Bell 47 is narrated by Mike Becker. This is a wonderful way to get used to how you should be thinking and what items to check and when to turn, climb, or descend, throughout the circuit.

This DVD is limited to circuits and does not include any details of how to hover a helicopter, land or lift off. These topics are covered in detail on other DVDs in this series.

Price: $19.95

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