The objective for Phase 2 is to hover at 3-4 inches of altitude (2-3 inches for a micro). Do not go any higher.
You will be in "ground effect" so the helicopter will be twitchier than normal. This is a little awkward, but I highly recommend you practice this for at least a few battery packs to start building the necessary reflexes.
Go back to the hovering area, preflight the helicopter, and perform range check/servo movement checks.
If you are using a heading hold gyro, then make sure there is no wind or as little wind as possible.
If you have a non-heading hold gyro, you will need a slight wind to help keep the tail steady. If you try to hover a non-HH helicopter without wind, this will be very difficult because the helicopter will "weathervane" into the direction it's moving. This is very bad because you will need to try to keep the tail steady while simultaneously hovering the helicopter.
When hovering with wind, practice hovering with the nose of the helicopter facing INTO the wind. When the heli is facing into the wind, the vertical tail fin will help keep the heli from turning (yawing).
Perform the helicopter power-up sequence described in the previous section.
SLOWLY apply enough throttle to lift the helicopter to the desired altitude.
When the helicopter tilts, you will hear a scraping sound, because the edge of the hula-hoop (or a ping-pong ball) will drag along the asphalt (or carpet). Pay attention to this sound, because it indicates your helicopter is tilted.
Watch the disk of the main rotor blades as they spin. Try to keep the circle level, because when the circle is level, your heli is level.
When the helicopter moves left, you should push the joystick right to halt the movement, then when the helicopter has stopped moving you need to nudge the joystick left to level the helicopter. Same for the other three directions.
So, to stop a heli from moving in direction x requires two small stick movements. This requires a while to learn properly.
The helicopter may have a constant tendency to move in one direction, and you may need to apply some trim to counteract this.
Note that it will still be impossible to perfectly trim the helicopter at this stage since you are hovering in ground effect.
Try to avoid "overcontrolling" the helicopter. You want to use small, delicate stick movements to gracefully correct the movement. It takes a while to develop this delicate, smooth touch. Be patient with yourself.
Try to keep the helicopter within a 10 foot circle, and try to keep it level.
At some point, you will start to hover longer and longer periods without an edge of the training gear touching the pavement. This may require 5-10 battery charges or more.
When you become more comfortable with the controls, you should gradually increase the altitude until you are hovering at about waist level (for micro helis) or eye level (for nonmicro helis)
Congrats. You're tail-in hovering. :)
When you can hold the heli within about a 5 ft circle, you should practice hovering with the heli slightly to the left of you or slightly to the right of you (in about the 10 o'clock position and 2 o'clock position) to prepare for the next section.