Cyclic Pitch Control[PDF]


The cyclic pitch control is usually located between the pilot’s legs or between the two pilot's seats (depends of the helicopter's model):

Cyclic pitch control.png
Usually, the pilot controls the cyclic with his right hand and keeps a hand on it during the entire flight to make little adjustments based upon the helicopter reactions
It is important to never push the cyclic fully forward/backward to the right/left except on the ground with the collective in neutral position to check if it moves well in all directions or during a flare. Otherwise, the cyclic must be used with small and smooth movements (forwards, backwards on the right or left) but never abruptly whatever the direction.

Functions and use of the cyclic pitch control

During the flight, the main function of the cyclic is to control the direction of travel of the helicopter. It is also the cyclic that allows the pilot to control the heading of the helicopter except during a hover (Helicopter Hover)

The cyclic can be moved by the pilot in all directions:

  • Forward
  • Backward
  • Left side
  • Right side
Unlike the yoke or stick that can be found in an airplane, the cyclic should not be used in the same way to lose or gain altitude by pulling it backwards or pushing it forwards
Cyclic moves summuary.png

See also

  • None


  • FAA Helicopter Flying Handbook
  • Principles of Helicopter Flight (2nd edition)
  • The Helicopter Pilot Manual (2nd edition)


  • VID 514786 - Creation


  • 12:14, 23 February 2021


  • This documentation is copyrighted as part of the intellectual property of the International Virtual Aviation Organisation.


  • The content of this documentation is intended for aviation simulation only and must not be used for real aviation operations.