After finishing the assembly, doing the heli setup as best I could figure out, programming the transmitter for beginner mode and installing the training gear, I finally got up the nerve to try hovering.
The best advice is: Don't do it yourself - get an experienced pilot to check your setup and do the initial flight. Oh well...
Contrary to appearances, it did not crash off screen (as in Flight of the Phoenix...). It stopped safely, just short of the bushes.
Needless to say, I was happy - and relieved.