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Reformed Nitroaddict
07-19-2005, 11:33 PM
This is a repost of a great article by Ed Anderson, one of the smartest electric pilots I have ever read. Great beginner info:
====================================

Whether you have a coach or you are trying to learn to fly on your own,
you will need to be mindful of these six areas if you are going to become
a successful RC pilot. After two years of working with new flyers at our
club, and coaching flyers on the forums, there are a few things I have seen
as the key areas to stress for new pilots. Some get it right away and some
have to work at it. They are in no particular order because they all have to
be learned to be successful.

WIND
Orientation
Speed
Altitude
Over Control
Preflight Check

1) Wind - The single biggest cause of crashes that I have observed has
been the insistence upon flying in too much wind. If you are under an instructor's
control or on a buddy box, then follow their advice, but if you are starting out
and tying to learn on your own, regardless of the model, I recommend dead
calm to 3 MPH for the slow stick and tiger moth type planes. Under 5 MPH for
all others. That includes gusts. An experienced pilot can handle more. It is the
pilot, not the plane that determines how much wind can be handled.

A Case Study - The wind was around 8 mph steady with gusts to 12. That was
strong enough that some of the experienced pilots flying three and four channel
small electric planes chose not to launch their electrics. This new flyer insisted
that he wanted to try his two and three channel parkflyers. Crash, Crash, Crash -
Three planes in pieces. He just would not listen. Sometimes you just have to let
them crash. There is no other way to get them to understand.

Many parkflyers can be flown in higher winds by AN EXPERIENCED PILOT. I have
flown my Aerobird in 18 mph wind (clocked speed) but it is quite exciting trying to
land it.

Always keep the plane up wind from you. There is no reason for a new flyer to
have the plane downwind EVER!


2) Orientation - Knowing the orientation of your plane is a real challenge, even
for experienced pilots. You just have to work at it and some adults have a real
problem with left and right regardless of which way the plane is going. Licensed
pilots have a lot of trouble with this one as they are accustomed to being in
the plane.

Here are two suggestions on how to work on orientation when you are not flying.

Use a flight simulator on your PC. Pick a slow flying model and fly it a lot. Forget
the jets and fast planes. Pick a slow one. Focus on left and right coming at you.
Keep the plane in front of you. Don't let it fly over your head.

FMS is a free flight simulator. It is not the best flight sim, but the price is right
and it works. There are also other free and commercial simulators.


The links below take you to sites that provide cables that work with FMS that
allow you to use the trainer port on your radio to allow you to fly the simulator.
This is an excellent training approach.

http://www.mattclement.freeservers.com/fms/fms.html
http://www.simblaster.com/
http://www.customelectronics.co.uk/

An alternative is to try an RC car that has proportional steering. You don't
have to worry about lift, stall and wind. Get something with left and right
steering and speed control. Set up an easy course that goes toward and
away from you with lots of turns. Do it very slowly at first until you can make
the turns easily. Then build speed over time. You'll get it! If it has sticks rather
than a steering wheel even better, but not required. Oh, and little cars are
fun too.


3) Too much speed - Speed it the enemy of the new pilot but if you fly too
slowly the wings can't generate enough lift, so there is a compromise here.
The key message is that you don't have to fly at full throttle all the time. Most
small electrics fly very nicely at 2/3 throttle and some do quite well at 1/2. That
is a much better training speed than full power. Launch at full power and climb
to a good height, say 100 feet as a minimum, so you have time to recover from
a mistake. At 100 feet, about double the height of the trees where I live, go to
half throttle and see how the plane handles. If it holds altitude on a straight line,
this is a good speed. Now work on slow and easy turns, work on left and right,
flying toward you and maintaining altitude. Add a little throttle if the plane can't
hold altitude.


4) Not enough altitude - New flyers are often afraid of altitude. They feel safer
close to the ground. Nothing could be more wrong. Altitude is your friend. As stated
above I consider 100 feet, about double tree height where I live, as a good flying
height and I usually fly much higher than this. Fifty feet, is minimum flying height.
Below that you better be lining up for landing.


5) Over control - Most of the time the plane does not need input from you. Once
you get to height, a properly trimmed plane flying in calm air will maintain its height
and direction with no help from you. In fact anything you do will interfere with
the plane.

When teaching new pilots I often do a demo flight of their plane. I get the plane
to 100 feet, then bring the throttle back to a nice cruising speed. I get it going
straight, with plenty of space in front of it, then take my hand off the sticks and
hold the radio out to the left with my arms spread wide to emphasize that I am
doing nothing. I let the plane go wherever it wants to go, as long as it is holding
altitude, staying upwind and has enough room. If you are flying a high wing trainer
and you can't do this, your plane is out of trim.

Even in a mild breeze with some gusts, once you reach flying height, you should be
able to take your hand off the stick. Oh the plane will move around and the breeze
might push it into a turn, but it should continue to fly with no help from you.

Along this same line of thinking, don't hold your turns for more than a couple of
seconds after the plane starts to turn. Understand that the plane turns by banking
or tilting its wings. If you hold a turn too long you will force the plane to deepen this
bank and it will eventually lose lift and go into a spiral dive and crash. Give your inputs
slowly and gently and watch the plane. Start your turn then let off then turn some
more and let off. Start your turns long before you need to and you won't need to make
sharp turns.

I just watch these guys hold the turn, hold the turn, hold the turn, crash. Of course
they are flying in 10 mph wind, near the ground, coming toward themselves at full throttle.

6) Preflight check - Before every flight it is the pilot's responsibility to confirm that the
plane, the controls and the conditions are correct and acceptable for flight.

Plane - Batteries at proper power
Surfaces properly aligned
No damage or breakage on the plane
Everything secure

Radio - Frequency control has been met before you turn on the radio
A full range check before the first flight of the day
All trims and switches in the proper position for this plane
Battery condition is good
Antenna fully extended
For computer radios - proper model is displayed
All surfaces move in the proper direction

Conditions - No one on the field or in any way at risk from your fight
You are launching into the wind
Wind strength is acceptable ( see wind above )
Sunglasses and a hat to protect your eyes
All other area conditions are acceptable.

Then and only then can you consider yourself, your plane, radio and the
conditions right for flight. Based on your plane, your radio and local
conditions you may need to add or change something here, but this is the bare
minimum. It only takes a couple of minutes at the beginning of the flying day
and only a few seconds to perform before each flight.

If this all seems like too much to remember, do what professional pilots do,
take along a preflight check list. Before every flight they go down
the check list, perform the tests, in sequence, and confirm that all is right.
If you want your flying experience to be a positive one, you should do the
same. After a short time, it all becomes automatic and just a natural part of
a fun and rewarding day.

I hope some of this is useful in learning to fly your plane.

petej
07-24-2005, 02:11 AM
This is great advice, delivered in a surprisingly relaxed style. Thanks to Ed for putting this together, and to NitroAddict for posting it.

I just started flying in February and am still struggling with many of the issues Ed raises -- orientation reversals, over-controlling, flying too fast and fear of flying too high, in particular. But I'm taming some of my worst tendencies. Each week I fly a little better than I did the week before. Reading this and thinking it through should add another minute or two to my flight times.

Thanks.

Reformed Nitroaddict
07-24-2005, 02:25 AM
Glad to hear it - please feel free to post any questions you may have ! Good luck flying! What are you flying?

petej
07-24-2005, 06:41 PM
What are you flying?

Currently flying a Combat Wing XE with a Mega ACn 16/15/5 brushless motor -- it's very much faster than I am, but it literally bounces back from crashing, allowing me to reflect on my errors, adjust and quickly get back into the air. I started with a GWS Slow Stick, which is far better geared to my experience level and reaction time, but it's a relatively fragile airplane and my inevitable crashes meant that I spent a disproportionate amount of time driving to and from the local park and repairing the tattered airplane, and very little time in the air.

I've achieved up to 4 minutes and 30 seconds of flight time with the flying wing, and I'm getting better in-the-air times every time out. Aside from its speed, it's also a challenge because it's just as happy flying inverted as right side up.

I've also worked on flying and landings with an instructor and a trainer airplane (a gas-powered and very forgiving Kadet Senior), but I'm finding that flying on my own on a different field is still difficult. Fortunately, I have access to a relatively uncrowded local flying area where I can debate gravity, stall speeds, winds and physics with the Combat Wing.

Reformed Nitroaddict
07-24-2005, 07:58 PM
Thats fantastic - glad to see you are proceeding nicely. Something to consider - you can pick up the GWS E-Starter in a slope glider version for only 28.00 - It can use all the same gear that you have in your slow stick. This plane flies rather than floats like the SS, and has a decent top speed, but is still much more forgiving than the wing. Full four channels as well. Great 2nd plane. You should take a look at it.

Here is a link to the build on the one I did. It was a great performer - and I just sold it to someone at the field looking for a second plane.

http://www.wattflyer.com/forums/showthread.php?t=61

petej
07-24-2005, 10:06 PM
Interesting idea... In looking up Himax motors, I suspect that you have a 2025-4200 (I can't find a 2015-4200, but maybe it's a discontinued model number). I have a Himax 2015-4100, which has a bit less power but just might work.

At $28, it's worth a try. I'm not enthusiastic about trying to revive the Slow Stick and I'd love to get some relief from the speed of the wing. I'll order the kit and let you know how I do.

Thanks.

Reformed Nitroaddict
07-25-2005, 01:47 PM
petej - the motor I had in the E-Starter was a himax 2015-4100 on D gearing turning a 10x7 APC SF prop. Plane flew great on a 3cell lipo. But it flies nice stock as well.

Feel free to use some of the building tips in my thread and let me know how it goes - it's a great plane!

AEAJR
08-07-2005, 01:47 AM
This is pretty cool. My posts show up at the new site before I even get here.

Amazing!

admin
08-07-2005, 01:48 AM
This is pretty cool. My posts show up at the new site before I even get here.

Amazing!

Ed,

that is when you know you aren't just "good" but you are "really good"!

Welcome to WattFlyer!

Reformed Nitroaddict
08-07-2005, 02:45 AM
Ed - Welcome to Wattflyer.com!!!

Please - feel free to post your tips, comments, and recommendations here. I learned alot from your posts at other forums and you have been a great help to me.

AEAJR
08-07-2005, 05:10 AM
Thanks for the kind words and the warm welcome. Glad to contribute to this great hobby, this great commuity and to help the new guys get off on the right foot.

Good luck with the new site Marc. :)

admin
08-07-2005, 02:57 PM
Thanks ed!

petej
08-07-2005, 11:44 PM
Thanks again for the advice, Ed. Since reading and re-reading your original article in this thread, I've hiked my flight times from about a minute tops to 20 minutes, ending in actual proper landings. The keys for me have been to climb to a good altitude, reduce throttle and keep the plane in front of me.

So a big thank you to you, and to Reformed Nitroaddict for starting this thread.

AEAJR
08-08-2005, 12:12 AM
petej,

That is great news. Now, be sure YOU reach to the new guys and help them either based on your experience or by point them to resources, like this thread.

If we help each other, then a lot more people can be enjoying this great hobby. :D

mwhitman
09-03-2005, 08:23 AM
Regarding wind...

I just learned to fly in July and am having a great time. I agree that if you are learning, try to fly in little to no wind. The best time for me is between 6:30-8:00 a.m. (in Southern California); the park where I fly is empty and everything is calm (and I can fly before work!).

One last word of advice: if you think it is too windy, then stay grounded or land; it's better to come back to fly another day than to go home and have to rebuild.

tashley
10-28-2005, 01:22 PM
It's good to see you here Ed. You've come farther in this hobby in the time you've been involved in it than anyone I know.

AEAJR
10-28-2005, 02:18 PM
Good to see you too Tom. I have you and others to thank for whatever strides I have made. A lot of people gave me, and still give me, a lot of help. I guess I have done OK.

I AM a bit of an obsessive/compulive when I get interested in something and I got real interested in this real fast. The experienced guys, like you, have been so generous with help and advice that it is easy to advance quickly if you are willing to apply what you learn.

I also find that every time I help a newbie, I help myself advance a bit. Whether it is on the forums or at the club, teaching is the best way to learn. And, in short order, those I have helped have taken a branch that I did not. Now they are teaching me. I think it is just great!

But if I had to put any one factor ahead of all others, it has been the fact that I joined a club. The forums are great but there is no substitute for a helping hand at the field from another flyer whom I have had the privledge to call friend. And the social element of this hobby is just wonderful. Those who are flying on their own just don't know what they are missing.

If not for the club, I might have burned hot for a year or two, then burned out and moved on to another hobby. Now I am in it for life.

It has all been good and the great thing is I have only scratched the surface. Man I love this hobby!

tashley
10-28-2005, 02:38 PM
I AM a bit of an obsessive/compulive Me too! :D

Man I love this hobby! Me too! :D

AEAJR
01-05-2006, 12:14 AM
Anyone have other key points to add to this thread.

New flyers, do you have questions about these points? We are here to help!

Idaho
01-16-2006, 03:35 AM
I have lots of questions! Mostly I'm finding answers searching around various areas here. I'm also posting where I think the questions belong. Thanks all for being very helpful.

AEAJR
01-16-2006, 06:07 AM
Glad to help. Ask anything you wish.

shortfellow
03-15-2006, 06:19 PM
Hi, I'm a begginer with a slo-v. A lot has been said about the hazzards of flying in high winds but I have read nothing about gusts, which are really hazzardous. I have never experienced steady winds where I fly but I think a steady 5 mph wind would be perfect. Slow take offs and nice slow landings.
according to my antenna ribbon the wind was gusting to a little over 5 mph. When it went to 0 mph I hurried up and launched it. Big mistake. The next gust turned the fuse completely vertical. Through more luck than skill I went home with no worse than a badly nicked prop. The cost of a new prop was a real cheap lesson. I'll wait for low wind, no gusts next time.

AEAJR
03-15-2006, 07:36 PM
Two ways to make the Slo-V more wind tollerant:

1) add weight - usually the best way is to use a larger battery pack as you will get longer flights as well. The higher wing loading will help the plane penetrate the wind. Try it! Hang your spare battery pack on the plane. Put the extra weight directly on the CG so it does not upset the balance. The plane will handle better in the wind.

2) Move the CG slightly forward. Not a lot, but a more forward CG handles the wind better. Again, I said a LITTLE. 1/8" Maybe `1/4.

Tape a quarter behind the motor and see how she does.

AEAJR
04-22-2006, 03:31 AM
LEARNING TO FLY IN THE WIND
by Ed Anderson
aeajr on the forums

Learning to fly in wind is one of the hardest things a new flyer has to
learn. You are trying to fly smoothly and under control, but the fluid you
are flying in, the air, is moving around.

On a windy day it is moving very fast and you can't see the motion. Boy,
is that hard to manage especially when you turn and fly with the wind.
You make the down wind turn and the plane can take off like a rocket and
you can end up down wind without ever planning to do so. Many pilots,
especially two channel pilots have been known to lose planes when trying
to fly in too much wind.

How much is too much?

Too much is when you can't keep the plane in front of you. If the wind is
pushing the plane behind you, then it is time to land, you are in too much
wind. It is not the plane's job to handle the wind, it is yours and it is
your responsibility to exercise good judgment about how much wind you can
handle.

If you have a three channel plane, and if you are not flying in too much
wind,
you should be able to manage the situation at least well enough keep your
plane in front of you and land it safely. At worst, if the plane gets away
from you and you can't come back far enough against the wind, the advice I
am going to give you may let you pick where to set your plane down so you
have a better chance of finding it. But, if you can't make progress into
the
wind then you really are flying in too much wind and should land as soon as
possible.

Since you ALWAYS launch into the wind, you should be flying with the wind in
your face. Likewise if you can't feel it but you know there is wind up high
because the tops of the trees are being blown around you should consider
whether you should launch at all. If you do launch, always work to keep
the plane in front of you and up wind over the open field.

Here is what you do! It is simple! Remember this phrase:

Push into the wind!

If you feel the wind starting to get the better of you, push the stick
forward enough to start to dive the plane INTO the wind. This will help you
pick up speed and make progress against the wind. You don't have to dive
for the ground. You are not trying to crash or land, just take a somewhat
downward angle. With the nose down, you can apply full power to gain speed
as well, but don't let the nose come up or the plane will start to climb and
the wind will push you backwards. Between the motor and the dive you can
usually make progress.

Push into the wind!

Under windy conditions, the 3 and 4 channel planes have a big advantage
over the two channel planes. With elevator control you have control the
pitch of the plane so you can push that nose down to pick up some speed and
work your way up wind.

If you start to get too low, bring the nose up, just a little and try to fly
level or with a slight climb so you can gain some working altitude. But
don't let the wind pop the nose up or you will lose speed and the wind will
push you downwind.

Push to Level! Push to Level!

Keep that nose from popping up. Too often new flyers just push the throttle
forward to try and gain speed. Under these circumstances, the plane will
tend to climb, and if you get the climb too steep, the wind will push it
back unless it is very powerful and flies very fast. If you feel you are
losing the plane against the wind you probably are! Push that nose down.

Even against a 15 MPH wind you can make progress with an Aerobird or a
T-hawk or similar plane. Something like a Slow stick can even make progress
against a 10 mph wind if you push the nose down and hope the battery doesn't
give
out.

If you lose the motor because the battery has gotten to low you are probably
going to have to land. Try to pick a spot you can find easily and fly the
plane down using this nose down attitude.

And, since I mentioned the battery, you should leave yourself some extra
margin of safety and power reserve on a windy day. Even if you are able to
keep the plane over the field, if the motor cuts out you may not be able to
get the plane down fast enough to avoid it being blown off the field, so
plan to land earlier than usual.

If you doubt that this will work, just realize that sailplane pilots have no
motor yet they can fly their planes against the wind to get back to their
flying field. How do they do it? They put the nose down and let gravity
help them pick up speed. They call it penetrating the wind.

My favorite windy day story is about an aerotow event at our glider club.
That is where powerful gas planes tow beautiful scale sailplanes up to about
1000 feet and then release them so they can go looking for thermals. It is
a beautiful site.

Anyway, the wind picked up that morning and was being clocked at 15-18 mph.
No one was flying. Here were these powerful gas and glow planes and no one
wants to launch. I was getting frustrated.

So I go to the car and pull out my little RTF Aerobird Challenger. As I was
setting up the "real pilots" were telling me that "that toy ain't got enough
power to fly in this wind! You'll lose it son."

Oh really? Let's see!

I power up and launch into the wind. Now it was really blowing and the
Aerobird was a handful, I got it up to about 150 feet and let it drift
about 100 feet down wind.

"That's it boys, he lost it!"

So I get it level and cut the motor completely. Then I fly it the 100 feet
up wind and land it at my feet.

Jaws drop! Looks are exchanged and then .... the sound of 2 cylinder gas
motors breaks the windy silence. The aerotow began.

I just used gravity to give me the push to get the plane back. Of course
the fact that I had been learning to fly unpowered sailplanes didn't hurt
either. Push that nose down and gain some speed and you can fly upwind.


You can do the same thing with your parkflyer. Once you get good at it, it
can be a lot of fun. You can practically hover the plane as you balance its
speed against the wind's speed so that the plane seems motionless.

Give it time and start working at very low wind speeds. Build up over time
and you may be amazed at how much wind your plane can actually handle with a
good
pilot at the controls.

New Electric Flyer FAQs
http://www.ezonemag.com/pages/faq/a105.shtml (http://www.ezonemag.com/pages/faq/a105.shtml)

Here are some other tips you might find helpful: Six Keys to Success
http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=355208#post3551513 (http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=355208#post3551513)

AEAJR
07-01-2006, 11:13 AM
Practice, Practice, Practice!
by Ed Anderson
aeajr on the forums

When you are learning, repetition is your best friend. And focusing on one,
or just a few skills in a procedure will help you master that procedure.
When you learned to play baseball, you had batting drills. Stand in the box
and take 100 pitches and try to hit them. Don't run! Don't do anything
but hit. Now let's work on catching. Play catch for hours. Great fun and
a huge confidence builder. So it is with flying. Practice till it is fun,
with no pressure and no nerves.

Launch and Land

Launch, or take-off, and landing are the hardest skills you need to learn.
If you can't master these, none of the others matter. I used to do launch
and land drills for hours. Some times I still do, especially if I have a
new plane. Here is how to break this process down.

If you are flying a glider or small electric in an open grass field this
works. If you fly from a runway, this doesn't work. - Launch, fly straight
out 100 feet, then power down and land. Take the long walk. No turns, no
loops, nothing fancy. Just get to know how the plane lands. Do it 5 times
or do it 50 times, but do it till you feel confident you can do this 3 part
drill right every time.

Launch, Circuit, Landing Pattern and Land - This works for runway or open
field

Launch, climb to 50 feet, make one circuit around the field and land.
This way you are working on your landing pattern and nothing else. Don't
climb high and don't focus on anything else. For this drill don't get above
50 feet. Just launch, go around and land.

If you are flying in an open field, land 50 feet in front of
yourself. Don't try to put it at your feet, not for this drill. In fact, if
you put the wind to your left, you can turn to the left to launch, fly the
circuit and land from your right. This is how it would be if you had a
runway. In this way you never fly directly toward yourself and you never
fly directly away from yourself.

If you have a runway and wheels, then do touch and gos. This also helps you
work on throttle control as you climb out at full power, then power back so
you don't climb too much, cruising speed for the circuit then power down for
landing. Know your plane and repeat the process over and over till it is
automatic.

OK, we have landing down pretty well. Maybe we have spent 2 sessions of two
hours each and all we did was launch and land. Hey, landing is no biggie
any more. You can do it your sleep.

Staying Upwind - Little or No Wind

If staying up wind is a problem, or if you tend to fly over your head, or
even worse, if you let the plane get behind you, focus on that. So, launch
and get at least 100 feet of altitude and do nothing but focus on keeping
that plane at least 100 feet up wind of you. Fly circles, fly square
patterns, whatever, but hold 100 feet in altitude, no more no less, and keep
it up wind.
After a couple of hours of this, it will be a non-issue.

If you pick one skill and focus on that and work it till you can do it
reliably, you take the complicated process of flying and break it down to
simpler parts and work on each part by itself. As you learn to keep the
plane in front of you in calm conditions, then try it in a bit more wind,
perhaps 5 mph, then 7 mph, then 9. Just launch, 100 feet, stay up wind, set
up landing pattern, and land.

What else????

Flying Toward Yourself

Launch, climb to 150 feet and get the plane up wind from you a good
distance. You want to have the time to turn directly toward yourself and
hold altitude and turn well before the plane gets within 50 feet of you.
The plane should not get closer than 50 feet. Mark it on the ground for
reference.

Fly up and out, turn toward yourself and fly. Plan where you will turn,
then make the turn to your left, the plane's right, and do this in a
pattern, a circuit, over and over. Now do it to the plane's left, over and
over. Now alternate so you can project yourself into the plane. You are
the pilot the seat! If you wanted to go "that way" which way would you move
the stick, if you were sitting in the pilot's seat. Do it till it becomes
boring, then do it some more.

Then finish off with a circuit, staying up wind, align and land. So
easy!

Don't do loops! Don't do rolls!

If you master these, then I have one more for you. GLIDE!

How well does your plane glide? You need to know. If you have a motor
failure, if you run the battery down, if that glow engine stalls, you will
have to "dead stick" land the plane. This is called gliding. Get to know
how your plane glides!

Climb out to 150 feet+, get it as high as you are comfortable to fly. Now,
slowly power back. Fly a circuit at 1/2 throttle. Fly a circuit at 1/4
throttle. Now fly a circuit with the motor off and glide. Can you fly a
whole circuit with the motor off? How about half? One leg? 50 feet?
Practice till you can control the plane as it comes down from your peak
height to about 50 feet with the motor off the whole time.

How long can you stretch this? 10 seconds? 20 seconds? A full minute?
Longer? It all depends on your plane and your skills.

We have a climb and glide contest at our club. Climb for 2 minutes. Get it
as high as you like, but once you power off you can not reapply the throttle
or you are disqualified. Now you must glide for 4 minutes and land, exactly
on the 6 minute mark and land so you come to rest in a 3 foot circle. Can
you do it?

To fly this long power off, you probably have to find some thermal lift, but
that is not the point of the drill for today. The point is how long can you
glide and can you set up for landing and land successfully with no power at
all. Do this and you will never panic if you lose the motor. Its is just
that glide drill. I have done that 100 times. No biggie.

Master these skills and you can go play with loops and rolls and all kinds
of stuff.

Good job pilot!

cbatters
01-04-2007, 04:37 PM
One small tip not mentioned:

Resist the urge to add a little extra up-elevator trim "just for good measure" on a new plane. In many cases the extra up elevator trim will cause the plane to immediately nose up / stall / roll and crash. MUCH better for the plane to start flying level and then begin climbing out as it picks up more airspeed/lift.

This is especially critical if the plane has a tendancy to tip stall and roll - unrecoverable on launch by even an experienced pilot.

I have gotten in the habbit of testing/adjusting model trim with several hand launches before trying to use the motor. If you can't hand launch the plane successfully without power, chances are it will crash from a higher altitude with more speed / causing more damage with the addition of power.



Clint

AEAJR
01-04-2007, 06:53 PM
One small tip not mentioned:

Resist the urge to add a little extra up-elevator trim "just for good measure" on a new plane.

..............

I have gotten in the habbit of testing/adjusting model trim with several hand launches before trying to use the motor. If you can't hand launch the plane successfully without power, chances are it will crash from a higher altitude with more speed / causing more damage with the addition of power.

Clint

I fully agree with you on the up elevator point.

As for the glide testing, I often employ this approach BUT not all planes should be handled in this way. Some planes will not glide safely from a hand throw.

Many beginner parkflyers have an excellent glide but there are many planes, especially if the wing loading is over 15 oz/sq ft, that may not glide well and will drop like a rock.

Look for the tall grass to try these first hand glides with a plane you don't know. If this is one of those rocks, it could save your plane.

cbatters
01-04-2007, 07:40 PM
No intent to argue... but would like to understand the issue of hand tossing heavier models without power.

Challenger has a wing loading of 14.7 oz / sq ft and my estimate is that the Freedom is up around 16 oz / sq ft. Neither one of which have any problems gliding from a firm hand toss.

Edit: Finally found the wing specs for the Freedom. 226 sq inches - 23 oz AUW - 14.6 oz/sq ft - almost identical to the Challenger 14.7 with 167 sq in / 17 oz AUW

Besides having to throw harder to achieve adequate airspeed on a plane with heavier wing loading, is there any other reason there would be a problem hand launching any model without power?



Clint

AEAJR
01-04-2007, 08:51 PM
No intent to argue... but would like to understand the issue of hand tossing heavier models without power.


Clint

I feel debate is good and useful. It brings out information.

The 15 oz/sq ft is not a hard number, it isn't even a well thought out number. You can have planes with 20 oz/sq ft that will glide great, and you can have planes with 15 oz/sq ft that don't. The key is you don't know until you try, and if you assume ALL planes have nice glides you could do some serious damage.

My Electrajet, with 8 cell pack, glides poorly from a hand toss. Ask me how I know. :(

I would not want to take a 60 Glow trainer, or an electrified equivalent, and hand toss it on a glide to see how it does. Damage could be serious.

Hand tossing my 3.4M scale sailplane is challenging. If I get it going fast enough it will do fine, but it is just as likely to drop and break, if I don't get a good throw on it. I do those throws over the tall grass.

That's all. I am just adding some caution to your statement so that people will think, "will this thing glide?", that's all.

cbatters
01-05-2007, 01:52 AM
Got it. Tall grass is good!

Also sounds like it would be more appropriate for me to suggest hand launching lightweight electric planes/electric gliders without power to test for proper trim.


Clint

TLyttle
01-08-2007, 05:10 PM
Yeah, and I have also found that handlaunching is a learned art, power on or off! I usually fly over long grass, so handlaunching is mandatory; however, two things interfere with my handlaunching, long grass (I am uncoordinated enough to find something to trip over on SHORT grass!), and old age (legs just don't operate the way they used to...) . Crashes are less traumatic though, both for me and the airplane.

Handlaunching big/heavy models can be tricky alright, and if it is big enough to require a runway, I have had success using the old high-speed taxi/short-hop routine. Most problems show up early on, like tail-heavy, control sensitivity and all that.

And there is no way I could bring myself to handlaunch a 3.4 Scale sailplane, Ed, indeed a challenge!

Airhead
01-09-2007, 01:49 AM
I've read the entire thread as part of my learning curve. Very useful info. I have been working on the taking off and landing to better get the feel for controlling those items. I'm learning that the planes I have do not handle that well on the ground. Any little gusts get me in trouble. I do understand about the wind and what problems it can cause a beginner (can be frustrating). However I admit that I am anxious to fly and see that I am improving. I'm thinking that other beginners feel the same.
Again, thanks for all the good info.
:)

AEAJR
05-03-2007, 07:02 PM
The Seventh Key to Success - Getting and Giving Help

Regardless of how you learn, if you have become a successful pilot, make a point of seeking out and reaching out to the new guys who are trying to go it alone. Don't shove it down their throats. Offer a hand. And if they refuse, still be ready to help them when they need it.

Be ready to help.

Give them tips.

Check their planes.

Help them fix the damage.

I promise you that, by helping others you will become a better pilot, a better builder a better fixer and a better person. You may have learned on your own, but wouldn't it have been more fun if someone had helped you?

Many of the new pilots on Wattflyer are self training. In the glow world this is rare. We can do this because our typical trainer planes are made of resilient or easily fixed foam or plastics. So they can tolerate some poor landing without turning to toothpicks. And their light weight means there is less energy involved when they crash. This "try, crash, try again" method is not the best way to learn, but when your plane can bounce and survive, you can certainly give it a try.

However, learning with the help of an experienced pilot is the best way to learn. Joining a club or finding an experienced coach is the best method for learning. If you are going it alone, be very careful, and do a lot of reading. Flight simulators can help a lot but they are not the same as flying a real model in real air.

Do your early flights when there is no one around. Remember you could be putting others at risk if you are not careful. Don't do your first flights when there are others in the area unless those others are your coaches.

If you choose to be your own teacher, you had better make sure you have studied the material before you take the test. A preflight on your plane also includes a preflight on yourself. Are you REALLY ready to fly? Are you really ready to take responsibility for what will happen if you lose control?

Get help if you can. And be willing to accept help. When I hear "I know I know" it is usually followed by a crash or a plane in a tree.

I may have thousands of flights to my credit but when the more experience pilots speak, I try to take the time to listen. There can be gold in those words, but even if there isn't, someone cared enough to offer me a hand. Am I so accomplished that I can not accept a little help? Not now, not ever!

Having a coach or an instructor is the BEST approach and you will make new friends in the process. I had help when I started and I seek help today. It made and continues to make all the difference in the world. I was never on a buddy box, but that does not change the fact that I had lots of help.


This is a great hobby, but it is so much better when we share it with others and we help one another to be successful.

cbatters
05-05-2007, 03:13 PM
Very well said....

(And help them put a label on the plane / battery with name - phone number in case the plane gets lost.)



Clint

Chris Raymond
06-24-2007, 07:17 PM
Thoughts for beginning RC pilots


Get an RC flight simulator that comes with an RC receiver and teach yourself to fly in virtual space. We’ve crashed $250,000 worth of models (and counting) and the rebuilds are a button click. As you learn to build models, you can use the edit functions to explore engine size, prop diameter and pitch, wing shapes etc on models that are similar to the one you’re building. BEFORE you go fly, be honest with yourself and make sure you can reliably take-off, fly under control, and LAND. Challenge yourself to take-off and land several times without incident before you commit real time and money launching your precious model into the unknown.
Get a good radio. Its hard enough to learn to fly, you don’t need radio interference to contribute to the problem. A spectrum DX6 radio with its micro sized AS600 receivers is a fantastic investment.
Start with a plane like the Super Cub from HobbyZone (ok, it comes with its own sort-of-hokey radio, but it works …). Your first plane is tool that you offer up as a sacrifice to the “oops gods”, and this plane will take A LOT of abuse. We still fly ours all the time because it’s just plane fun.
Fly high. Altitude that is. So many demonstration videos are shot near the ground – so that prospective buyers can SEE the model – that its easy to get the impression that this is how its done. Get way up there, then mess around. Bad things happen too fast near the ground.
Build your own planes. It’s not for everyone, but building your own models will teach you how planes work. I derive as much enjoyment in “the shop” as I do in the field. When the weather is poor, it gives you something to work toward. Kits are fairly cheap, so you can try out many different designs.
When you start to build models THINK light. It’s tempting to “reinforce”, but here’s the physics. Energy (the destructive forces in a landing or crash) is proportional to mass x velocity[squared]. When you add weight, you add destructive potential in two ways. First, you add more mass. More importantly, your model has to fly faster to stay in the air, so you add speed. This means all the little extras you put in to make your plane stronger add mass and speed[squared] to your model and rather than making it “stronger”, they actually add to the likelihood that even a sort-of-reasonable landing (much less a crash) will do damage. The opposite is also true. Ultra light builds mean you can get away with a smaller (lighter) battery, motor, speed controller and prop combination and still get great performance. Smaller is generally less expensive too.
The generous dihedral angle in your main wing (the amount of “V” as seen from the front) and the flat bottom airfoil that are common features of “trainer” models are both your friends. Both features add stability to your model in the sense that it makes the aircraft “self-orient”. You WILL lose track of spatial orientation during flight and it is hugely helpful to fly models self-orient (when you cut the prop and let go of the sticks in a moment of confusion).

AEAJR
09-08-2007, 02:56 PM
Plane Locators

During my self training I learned how hard it can be to find a plane that
has landed in the woods, tall grass and other places. On my second
flight, I lost my Aerobird when a huge gust of wind carried it over deep
woods and I was too inexperienced to deal with it. Even though I
was certain I knew where it went down, after 8 hours of searching, I
could not find it. I bought another Aerobird and fly it often.

When I moved on to sailplanes in July of that year , I started flying a Great Planes
Spirit 2 Meter. Again, during my early learning phase, I got into trouble
and it
went down into heavy woods and brush in a very hard to search area. I went
into the woods about fifty feet, trying to decide how to proceed when I
heard Beep Beep Beep. The plane was about 200 feet away in heavy tree
growth. I could not see it, but I could hear it. I had the plane located
and out in
10 minutes. Believe me, where it had landed I likely would not have found
it.

The difference was a little device you put in the plane that gets attached
to the receiver. If you turn off the transmitter, the thing starts beeping
loudly and you can hear it from quite a distance.

I use one of these in my my sailplanes, slope gliders and parkflyers.


SkyKing RC Lost Model Locator - $20
This is my new favoriate because it works with PCM receivers too!
http://www.skykingrcproducts.com/accessories/lostmodel/lost_rc_model_alarm.html (http://www.skykingrcproducts.com/accessories/lostmodel/lost_rc_model_alarm.html)
Review
http://www.slopeflyer.com/artman/publish/skyking_lost_model_alarm.shtml (http://www.slopeflyer.com/artman/publish/skyking_lost_model_alarm.shtml)

The Lost Model Alarm - I have a bunch of these
http://www.californiasailplanes.com/Lost%20model%20alarm.html (http://www.californiasailplanes.com/Lost%20model%20alarm.html)

These two are similar in size and appearence and have similar features. I use both.

They hook to any channel or share a channel with one of your servos.
They have a connector to pass through to the servo. This will work in any
plane with a 72 MHZ receiver.

Low Voltage Watch

In addition to helping me find the plane, they monitor my
battery pack voltage and sound an alarm if the pack voltage gets below a
safe level. This is especially valuable on my glider. If I catch a good
thermal, I could be in the air for over an hour, so a pack that tested good
on the
ground could run low during the flight. The digi-alarm would warn me during
the flight.

Channel Conflict Test!

As a test to make sure no one is flying on my channel I turn on the receiver
only. If the device does not go into lost plane mode then someone else is
on my frequency. I may have just saved my plane, or someone else's.


Here are two more I have not tried.


lost Model Locator - $10
Does one job, but does it well, I hope.
http://www.allthingsrc.com/webshop/product_info.php/cPath/24/products_id/39 (http://www.allthingsrc.com/webshop/product_info.php/cPath/24/products_id/39)

RC Reporter - $24

A bunch of features
http://www.rcreporter.com/products.html (http://www.rcreporter.com/products.html)


27 MHz

My Aerobird does not have a conventional receiver. The electronics and
servos are one integrated circuit board. There is no place to connect one
of the above locators. However the HobbyZone combat module makes a
GREAT plane locator. Hit the fire button and it makes a heck of a noise.
I found mine quickly using this method.

On the Aerobird and other 27 MHz plane you can also use a
key ringer. www.keyringer.com (http://www.keyringer.com) One
of these goes on the plane and one stays in my pocket. If I am looking for
the plane, I click the one in my hand and the one on the plane
answers. It has an effective range of between 50 and 150 feet depending on
conditions. I have attached a photo so you can see how I mount it. It does
not seem to hurt the plane's performance. I use it mainly when it is windy
now, but I used to put it on for every flight.

Every plane I ever own will have some kind of locator and/or a battery
monitor from now on. Of course I could move it from plane to plane, but at
$15-30 they are cheap enough I can put one in every plane and forget it!


LONG RANGE

For really long range finds, measured in miles, there is the Walston system.
The plane unit is about $150 while the tracking unit is hundreds of dollars.
This is especially appropriate for purchase by sailplane clubs, where a
sailplane can cost $2000. A $150 transmitter is worth the cost.
http://walstonretrieval.com/main.htm


SUMMARY

If you are trying to learn how to fly and you lose your plane, it can make it very hard
to continue your learning. ;) So consider putting one of these plane finders on your plane
so you can recover from that landing in the woods, the tall grass or on some roof somewhere.

Most new pilots don't know about these devices. Now you do!

Spencer J
09-08-2007, 03:51 PM
YES!!!

I am so glad someone else has rediscovered the greatness behind the RDF plane/dog locators. They are not too expensive and will pay for themselves the first time you use it to find a down, lost plane. You can get them for low $$$, and transmitters are cheap. You can use dog tracking collars, they operate on the same freq. Just get rid of the collar part.

I've screwed around with FMS a bit in 2006, and didn't really see much in it, I had better luck with FSX....then again, I was using my joystick and not a radio. It seems like you can connect your tx to your computer via the buddy box port :confused:

I've bought two lost plane alarm locators from the jns guy in ebay, they work well are were only 10 bucks each. I like it better than RC reporter because it sounds whenever tx/rx connection is lost, and does not require an extra channel...you just plug it into any old servo port, and then plug whatever was going to go into that port into the buzzers female plug! :cool:

Although it has been a while since I last messed with my Firebird Outlaw, one of the biggest killers for first timers is WIND. Please wait until yo uhave a calm day, especially with lighter, easier planes to fly. The ultimate choice for a firstpland is a GWS slow stick...a very popular plane, and very versatile...

Most important, one of the best tools that you can have in your shop is Wattflyer :cool: a place where you can get answers quickly, with great guys. RC plane forums are one of the few forums that you will find clean, nice and knowlagable guys willing to help. :)

AEAJR
10-23-2007, 01:26 PM
We spend so much time focused on our planes we may be overlooking some
important items that bring comfort and safety to our hobby. Here are a few
of mine. You add your own items to the list.

Many of the new flyers I teach do not think to bring these things. In fact some seem resistant, but eventually they come around as they realize the benefits.

Hat - I never fly without a hat. I keep my flying hat in my car so I never
forget it. The brim helps shade my eyes from the sun and it protects my
head, since there isn't much hair to do the job anymore. It is also where I
display my flying permit, as required by the county.

Sunglasses - I never fly without sunglasses. I even have a spare pair in my
field tool box. If I happen to fly too close to the angle of the sun, the
sunglasses help me keep the plane in site. More importantly they protect my
eyes from harmful UV rays.

When I am flying I am looking directly into the sky, with tons of UV A and B
rays raining down on my face and directly into my eyes. Whether I realize
it or not I am probably going to sunburn my retina if I don't wear
sunglasses. I even wear them on cloudy days since UV rays penetrate clouds.

CAVU Mark
10-26-2007, 11:22 PM
Thanks for sharing your knowledge. I am ready to go and fly!

Bob Vollaro
12-10-2007, 03:23 PM
I'm a beginner; great advice. I fly real flight G3.5.I consistantly fly the Electristar. I set wind @ 5mph coming directly toward the plane and take off. I make a180 and fly parallel to runway, make a 180 at~ 100 ft and set up for landing into the wind. Is that a correct proceedure. I'm now able to put the plane back on the runway most times.

AEAJR
12-10-2007, 05:12 PM
Good procedure.

Now get further out fly around for a while. Then set up for landing.

Crank up the wind to 10 mph and put it 45 degrees off to one side of the runway and practice that.

AEAJR
12-20-2007, 07:09 PM
USING BALLAST FOR WINDY DAY FLYING
by Ed Anderson
December 2007

You have been practicing with your plane. You can fly reliably in low to
moderate winds. But those windy days are still giving you trouble. What to
do?

Enter ballast, something I learned about from flying gliders.

By making the plane heavier, thus increasing the wing loading, it will be more
stable in wind. It will need to fly faster to stay in the air but on a windy
day, that is true anyway. More importantly, when you turn the motor off, or if
you drain the battery, it will glide faster too, giving you more control in
wind. We do this with gliders all the time.

BTW, you will typically use more throttle in the wind, so be prepared for
shorter flights. And practice your gliding in wind so, if you hit low voltage
cutoff, you don't panic... it will be just another glide.

How do you add ballast?

First, option is to go to a larger capacity, heavier battery pack. Or consider
adding a cell if your ESC can handle it. Or maybe you do both. This will give
you more power and more capacity which also helps in windy conditions. This is
not required for the next step but I would try it first if it is convenient.
Make those
ounces work! Besides, who doesn't like more power?

To add ballast, tape a large flat iron washer, or some other weight, right onthe
center of gravity. For stability, tape it on the BOTTOM of the fuselage. Inside
is best but put it outside if you have to. Just make sure it is secure.

I would start with about 5%-10 of the model's weight. So if it weighs 16 ounces,
somewhere between 3/4 and 1.6 ounce would be a good start.

By adding the weight as low on the plane as possible it will promote stability.
However, if you have to, put it on top. Inside is better than outside, but again, do
what makes sense. Just make sure it is on the CG. I have even put ballast under
the rubber bands that hold on the wing, as long as I can get it over the CG point.
Then I add some tape to make sure the ballast is secure.

You will need a bit more throttle, and you will have to land it a bit faster or
it will stall. Practice this in calmer air so you are prepared for the windy
stuff. This extra speed will give you more control in the wind as you land.

In strong wind, say over 15 mph, you might go as much as 25% of the plane's
normal weight. But add it gradually at first, until you know what it is going to
do. And watch for any excessive flexing of the wing.

I would not go more than 25% and I would limit high stress aerobatics in high
winds unless you feel the wing is very strong. The combination of added weight and
gusty wind might over stress the wings. I have seen $1000 glider wings break when a strong
wind hit them on too strong a launch. Respect the wind!

There is a reason why this is 40 posts into the thread. This is not something I
recommend to new pilots. But try it, once you are a
master of the
plane. I think you will find that windy day flying can be a lot of fun!

Alpea42
12-27-2007, 02:58 AM
Nothing is as satisfieing as once becoming totally familliar with a small foamy as successfully flying it in a stiff wind.But befor you are ready nothing is as dissastorus.When in doubt there is no doubt save the plane for a calmer day.

avirst
12-30-2007, 09:03 AM
what about defron parkjets does any know or is an expert on them
http://www.parkjets.com/free-plans.html

AEAJR
12-30-2007, 04:51 PM
what about defron parkjets does any know or is an expert on them
http://www.parkjets.com/free-plans.html

Avirst,

This is the wrong place to post this. It has nothing to do with the topic of the discussion. Please start a new thread on this.

As this is your first post, you might not understant how a forum works. This discussion is about the 6 Keys to successfully learning to fly. It is not about parkjets or any other airplanes.

No disrespect intented. Just trying to help you understand how to be a good forum participant. This post belongs in its own thread and would probably be best placed in the Parkflyers forum.

If you don't know how to do this, send me a private message and I will help you. You send a PM by clicking on my name, AEAJR in the top left of this post. Then select the option to send a private message.

Welcome to Wattflyer. :tc:

Airhead
12-30-2007, 06:10 PM
Plane Locators



SUMMARY

If you are trying to learn how to fly and you lose your plane, it can make it very hard
to continue your learning. ;) So consider putting one of these plane finders on your plane
so you can recover from that landing in the woods, the tall grass or on some roof somewhere.

Most new pilots don't know about these devices. Now you do!
Thanks Ed,
I had no idea there were items like this to help find a lost plane.. Appreciate the information..

FlyWheel
01-09-2008, 10:43 PM
Yeah, and I have also found that handlaunching is a learned art, power on or off! I usually fly over long grass, so handlaunching is mandatory; however, two things interfere with my handlaunching, long grass (I am uncoordinated enough to find something to trip over on SHORT grass!), and old age (legs just don't operate the way they used to...) . Crashes are less traumatic though, both for me and the airplane.

Handlaunching big/heavy models can be tricky alright, and if it is big enough to require a runway, I have had success using the old high-speed taxi/short-hop routine. Most problems show up early on, like tail-heavy, control sensitivity and all that.

And there is no way I could bring myself to handlaunch a 3.4 Scale sailplane, Ed, indeed a challenge!

Maybe he's launching it off a cliff?;-)

FlyWheel
01-09-2008, 10:50 PM
Very well said....

(And help them put a label on the plane / battery with name - phone number in case the plane gets lost.)



Clint

The A.M.A. makes excellent "pre"laminated lables especially for this. I requested some when I sent in my membership application. A pack of 10 is only a buck or two and could easilly mean the recovery of a multi-hundred dollar plane.http://mescal.pixelized.ch/smilies/bounce.gif

cbatters
01-10-2008, 12:22 AM
The A.M.A. makes excellent "pre"laminated lables especially for this. I requested some when I sent in my membership application. A pack of 10 is only a buck or two and could easilly mean the recovery of a multi-hundred dollar plane.http://mescal.pixelized.ch/smilies/bounce.gif

I use Avery 8167 address labels with a piece of clear tape for waterproofing. ;)

(And don't forget to label the batteries and other gear that may get left at the field.)



Clint

AEAJR
02-24-2008, 01:54 PM
For those who may be interested, I have posted something .... different. I call it an e-book made up of a series of articles. It can be found here:

Everything you wanted to know about electric flight.
http://www.wattflyer.com/forums/showthread.php?t=31071

I hope you find it useful It will grow and expand over time as I add articles and perhaps reorganize it into chapters.

Bob Vollaro
03-09-2008, 12:02 PM
AEAJR, I've put your articles on my favorites & read and re-read.THANKS. I've been flying a SkyFly (pusher) on my G3.5 Sim. I plan to buy that plane & also a Nexstar EP RTF to fly with club instructor. However,I find it somewhat confusing going from 3 channels to 4 channelson on the Sim. Question: should I fly the SkyFly (actual field) before buying the Nexstar? Next, Why is it recommened to keep the model up wind for new flyers? As I've told you before, I fly a 360 degree course landing into wind 45 degrees off center line of landing strip. Is this still good proceedure? Bob Vollaro

AEAJR
03-09-2008, 01:43 PM
When you fly teh Sky fly you should move the rudder to the right stick if you are flying in North America, or any country where Mode 2 is the standard.

Your primary turning control is ALWAYS on the right stick. If you have the rudder on the let stick on the Sky Fly, that is wrong. You should move the rudder to the right stick. That is how the real Sky Fly is set up.

When you set-up in this fashion, there is no issue moving moving from 3 channel to 4 channel. Your main control is ALWAYS your right stick. Your throttle is always on the left.

While practicing with off angle wind is excellent, the rule is always to land into the wind whenever possible.

AEAJR
07-13-2008, 02:10 PM
KEEPING THE PLANE UP-WIND - TIPS

One of the skills you must develop at a new pilot is how to keep your plane up-wind. Regardless of how windy it is, unless it is dead calm, you will always be dealing with the flow of the river of air. When you are new, 5 mph may feel like a windy day. Then you become confident in 5 mph and that is a calm day. Then 8 mph is the challenge. Then you work on 10 and 12 and who knows. I fly gliders, no motors at all, in 20 mph winds.

Regardless of how much wind you feel comfortable with, you need to be able to keep your plane up wind. Most of the reports I read about new pilots losing their plane include how they let it get down wind. Once the plane is down wind from you it can be very hard to get it back, especially when your skills are not well developed.

Very often the plane gets down wind when we are flying a circular or square pattern. That is, you launch and fly out, into the wind. Then you are flying across the wind where the plane will tend to drift toward you. Going up wind the plane will move more slowly across the ground then when it comes down wind. When this happens the plane can get past you before you have a chance to react. Some pilots freeze when this happens and find the plane is way down wind in short order.

Here are some tips on keeping the plane up wind.

1) Plan your turns in advance. - Before you launch, plan where your pattern will be, in the sky. Use ground reference points, points that you do now want to pass. NEVER plan to have the plane fly over your head. Keep it at least 50 feet in front of you. Mark a spot on the ground in front of you and keep in your head that the plane must never come closer to you than that mark. If it does, you are on the verge of trouble.

2) Keep down wind runs short. - You might fly 30 seconds into the wind but the down wind leg of that circle or square may only be 5 seconds, depending on wind speed. Plan where you are going to make your turn. If it is a windy day, make the turn sooner than usual. As you fly the cross wind parts of that circle or box pattern, the plane will tend to drift down wind. So, turn sooner to keep the plane in front of you. And make sure it does not cross that 50 foot line from tip 1.

3) Use a figure 8 pattern rather than a circle. - Rather than using a circular or square pattern around the field, use a figure 8. The advantage is that the plane is flying into the wind most of the time which will make it easier to keep it upwind. A figure 8 is nothing more than two smaller circles, one clockwise and one counter clock wise. Using a figure 8 you can stay up wind more easily. It is also excellent practice for left and right turns.

4) Keep all turns into the wind. - Another approach is don't make any turns that put your plane on a completely down wind path. Fly up wind, then turn across the wind. As the wind tries to put the plane behind you, turn into the wind again.

How does this work? If we think of a typical circuit around the field, we might think of it as a box with 4 right turns; flying up wind, right turn across wind, right turn down wind, right turn across wind, then right turn up wind again to complete the box. Rather than doing that, try this pattern. Fly up wind, right turn across wind, then left turn up wind, then left turn across the wind, then right turn up wind. The cross wind legs will tend to bring the plane back toward you.

This is called an S pattern and it eliminates all down wind turns. This makes it much easier to stay up wind. It also eliminates all turns toward you which avoids the issue of getting confused about which way to turn when the plane is coming toward you fast and is about to get past you, going down wind.

Just a few tips on how to improve your windy day flying.

LectricPlane
07-13-2008, 09:38 PM
LEARNING TO FLY IN THE WIND
by Ed Anderson
aeajr on the forums

Learning to fly in wind is one of the hardest things a new flyer has to
learn. You are trying to fly smoothly and under control, but the fluid you
are flying in, the air, is moving around.
...



Nice Post,
I have been out of RC for a good 10 years, getting back into the swing with a parkzone spitfire.

Guess what the hardest skill to re-learn is.. Flying in the wind!

I used to stay how when it was too calm... Now i get concerned when I see the trees move (anything more than a 5), its going to take a while.

cbatters
07-13-2008, 09:52 PM
Nice Post,
I have been out of RC for a good 10 years, getting back into the swing with a parkzone spitfire.

Guess what the hardest skill to re-learn is.. Flying in the wind!

I used to stay how when it was too calm... Now i get concerned when I see the trees move (anything more than a 5), its going to take a while.

How are you doing with the Spitfire? I got back into the sport with a HobbyZone Aerobird. If you find yourself crashing more than flying, consider an Aerobird 3 or a Supercub as a "re-entry" point.


Clint

LectricPlane
07-13-2008, 10:35 PM
Going great with the spitfire, I must admit I was a bit nervous about going low wing for a first one back but I didn't want to fly 5 flights and get board...

Have about 15 10min flights in with 1x crash... wind went from 0 to 12 while I was up, panicked a bit and tried to land, didn't work out 2 well. I made a few mods in the rebuild, re-maidened her this morning. Flies better, slightly heavier and a bit more rigid. Next time I'll stay up there untill I feel comforatble. The edges of the sky are always more difficult to fly in than the centre!

The rebuild if you would like a look.
http://www.wattflyer.com/forums/showthread.php?t=36852

I had been eyeballing the hobyzone planes before I saw the parkzone offerings, they just look more like "real" RC planes.

Zoo
08-10-2008, 12:57 PM
Yeah AEAJR has been a big help to me too...this forum should give him some kinda plaque or something for his contributions....no kidding.

cbatters
08-10-2008, 03:36 PM
Going great with the spitfire, I must admit I was a bit nervous about going low wing for a first one back but I didn't want to fly 5 flights and get board...

Have about 15 10min flights in with 1x crash... wind went from 0 to 12 while I was up, panicked a bit and tried to land, didn't work out 2 well. I made a few mods in the rebuild, re-maidened her this morning. Flies better, slightly heavier and a bit more rigid. Next time I'll stay up there untill I feel comforatble. The edges of the sky are always more difficult to fly in than the centre!

The rebuild if you would like a look.
http://www.wattflyer.com/forums/showthread.php?t=36852

I had been eyeballing the hobyzone planes before I saw the parkzone offerings, they just look more like "real" RC planes.

Congrats. Good indicator of correct level of plane is that you spend more time flying than fixing. HobbyZone Commander was a great plane for my son - only 2 channel but built is confidence and got him hooked on the hobby. AB3 is my current recommendation for trainer because in Beginner mode it automatically adds up elevator when turning but in Expert mode you can stand the thing on edge in a blink and carve up the sky. All based on a flipping a switch on the transmitter.

Supercub is also a great beginnner plane but I see more damage because of heavier weight and prop out in front.


Whatever gets and keeps you flying. ;)



Clint

easyflyer01
11-23-2008, 04:25 PM
First of all,WattFlyer is such a great source of information--thanks to all who provide much valuable information!
My question, which may seem silly to some, but, here goes anyway. I've noticed some flyers use the thumb for right stick, aileron and elevator, while others use a thumb and finger. Is there a "right" method or is it just personal preference?
I have flown the Sky Fly and Super Cub and have ordered the PZ Spitfire. I want to develop my skills using the correct techniques before I develop too many bad habits.
Thanks for any advice!

Airhead
11-27-2008, 05:09 AM
Going great with the spitfire, I must admit I was a bit nervous about going low wing for a first one back but I didn't want to fly 5 flights and get board...

Have about 15 10min flights in with 1x crash... wind went from 0 to 12 while I was up, panicked a bit and tried to land, didn't work out 2 well. I made a few mods in the rebuild, re-maidened her this morning. Flies better, slightly heavier and a bit more rigid. Next time I'll stay up there untill I feel comforatble. The edges of the sky are always more difficult to fly in than the centre!

The rebuild if you would like a look.
http://www.wattflyer.com/forums/showthread.php?t=36852

I had been eyeballing the hobyzone planes before I saw the parkzone offerings, they just look more like "real" RC planes.
Yup,
you are definately on the right track. Keep up the good work.:ws:

Airhead
11-27-2008, 05:14 AM
First of all,WattFlyer is such a great source of information--thanks to all who provide much valuable information!
My question, which may seem silly to some, but, here goes anyway. I've noticed some flyers use the thumb for right stick, aileron and elevator, while others use a thumb and finger. Is there a "right" method or is it just personal preference?
I have flown the Sky Fly and Super Cub and have ordered the PZ Spitfire. I want to develop my skills using the correct techniques before I develop too many bad habits.
Thanks for any advice!
Hi easyflyer,
I don't believe there is a right or wrong way to hold the sticks. Mostly for your comfort and the feeling of control. I now use the finger and thumb method. It allows my little brain to think I am actually in control. ;)

Talk with you soon..

AEAJR
11-27-2008, 11:20 AM
I am a thumb pilot, but I really don't think it matters. Whatever works for you.

I have never had my thumb slip off the sticks, and that would be my only concern.


Of more interest would be neck straps or trays.

Many pilots just hold the radio. I like to fly with a neck strap. I feel more confident in that, if I lose the grip I don't lose the radio. This is especially important to me when hand launching a plane. I only have one hand on the radio. Even my Aerobird radio is used with a neck strap. I glued a paper clip onto the radio to be an attachment point for my neck strap.

Some people use radio trays, which I understand to be more popular in Europe. This puts the radio on a shelf that is typically suspended from somekind of shoulder harness. In this case it would be like flying with the radio on a table in front of you.

easyflyer01
11-28-2008, 01:48 AM
Thanks for the good advice. I' ve decided to just put some more time in on the FMS and see which method seems most natural.

cbatters
11-28-2008, 03:29 PM
One more thought - If you use your thumbs on the sticks your index fingers are available to toggle other switches and the rest of your fingers are behind the transmitter to hold it securely.



Clint

AEAJR
12-15-2008, 02:47 PM
Let's get some new tips from the experienced flyers in this thread. Or share how you mastered the skills discussed here.

If you are getting this notice, that means you posted here at one point.

What have you learned since you last post? What tips and advice can you share with the new pilots?

Share you experience! ;)

Don Sims
03-27-2009, 12:33 PM
Ed's Wattwikki entry:
http://www.wattflyer.com/forums/vbglossar.php?do=showentry&catid=1&id=28

AEAJR
04-19-2009, 02:33 AM
New pilots, are you practicing your glides?

No matter what kind of plane you fly, if it has a motor, that motor can fail, or the fuel tank can run dry, or the motor battery can run out, and now you are a glider. Have you practiced flying your plane this way?

One of the things I teach new pilots to do is to fly their planes with no motor. Better to learn this now, when you are ready for it, then to suddenly be faced with it and not know what to do.

Get your plane up high, then cut the motor. Now glide it around the field and take it in for a landing. Do this till it becomes routine, even fun. Then, when things go wrong, it will be no big deal.

AEAJR
05-06-2009, 11:25 AM
There is a new resource on Wattflyer to help new pilots. It is called Wattwikki. It is a collection of articles put in one place to make it easy to use.

You can find the link on the second blue bar, but here is the link, just to make things easy. http://www.wattflyer.com/forums/vbglossar.php

And don't forget to post you questions here too.

hungryjoe56
07-08-2009, 02:41 AM
Bear with me, my first post. Not sure where this reply will end up. Untill today, I had crashed by PZ J-3 Cub five straight times. So I rebuilt with new parts. Was worried where the receiver was to be placed so I strapped it to the back side of the structure that holds the battery, etc.. I tried hand launches all of which nosed down. Next, I know you'll start laughing here: I wired a small socket from my tool box and located the extra weight just behind the servos. In otherwords I was trying to move the CG backwards a bit. So I took off from a parking lot and to my amazement the plane shot almost straight up. I got control of it and gained altitude (thank you Mr. Anderson). I stalled it twice and saved it both times. Made a good landing which only damaged the prop. So what about the CG, is it trial and error?

Hungryjoe 56

AEAJR
07-08-2009, 03:13 PM
If your quesiton is about the PZ J3 specifically, I would suggest you start a new discussion in the beginners forum since that is unique to one plane and would not be appropriate to this dicussion.

However if you are asking about CG in general I can comment here.

Think of your plane as a boat for a second. It is a device that floats on a fluid. If you put too much weight in the tail, then nose will stick up in the air and it will run very badly. It might even sink.

If you stick too much weight to one side, it will lean that way and might even flip over as you are moving.

If you put too much weight in the nose, then the boat will have its nose too low or perhaps even under the water. Going forward could sink it.

However if you distribute the weight evenly, the boat will float level and will at least be stable.

As you become familiar with your boat you might find that if you move some weight forward or back it might get up on plane more easily or it may be able to handle waves better or the like. These are small adjustments that might involve where someone sits or where you stow some gear. And you might want to adjust a little based on conditions.

A properly balanced boat will atain more speed on less fuel than a poorly balanced boat. It will handle rough seas better and it will ride more comfortably. But you might change that balance slightly depending on conditions.

Now, boats are supported by water, a very dense fluid. And they don't sink if they stop moving. In this reaspect planes are not like boats.


Back to planes:

Planes are supported by a very thin fluid, air. And they depend on motion to have that fluid travel over the wings to support the plane. If you stop, the plane drops out of the air. So not quite the same as a boat.

However the balance principal does apply.

A plane that is slightly nose heavy tends to be more stable as it tends to "fall forward" more easily so it tends to maintian speed. Gusts or bumps in the air are less likely to tip the nose up too much causing the plane to slow down. But a nose heavy plane will also be less responsive as the elevator has to lift and move all that nose weight around in order to change the attitude of the plane.

A tail heavy plane will tend to be much less stable. It will raise the nose at the slightest bump and if it does not have enough speed, then it will slow down and eventually lose lift on the wings causing a stall. A stall occurs at the speed where the wings are no longer moving through the air fast enough to create the lift to support the weight of the plane.

Likewise, a tail heavy plane will be super sensitive to the elevator. Any input at all will move the nose a lot. In the inexperienced hand this will lead to stalls and loss of control.

Now, a properly balance plane is both stable and responsive. A properly balanced plane is predictable.

But what is properly balanced? That depends on the pilot, the conditions and the task at hand.

A very experienced pilot might prefer a his plane a little more tail heavy, a more rearward CG, because he likes it very responsive and knows what to do if it stalls. An aerobatic pilot might move the CG way back because it allows the plane to spin more easily.

A very new pilot would likely prefer a more nose heavy, a more forward CG, to have greater stability but the plane will not be as responsive. Too far forward and he may have trouble getting the plane to move in a timely fashion.

Most planes, whether RTF, ARF or kits, come with a suggested CG that is a bit forward, or slightly nose heavy. This favors stability. This is the "safe" starting point. As the pilot gains experience with the plane he may wish to move that CG back to make the plane more responsive. Or, in windy conditions he may prefer a more forward CG to help handle those gusts and turbulance.

Net net, there is a starting CG and then you tune to taste and purpose. Your prefered CG and mine may be a little different for a given plane. It might even change depending on what I plan to do during that flight.

CG is a tuning paramter that you can adjust over time.

The "recommended CG" is a starting point, not a law.

electricfoamie
11-03-2009, 02:51 AM
Nice content. The tips mentioned here probably hit home to everyone who has seen a lot of beginners fly. One that I would add as it relates to beginners is airplane choice. I've seen so many people just fail because they have some cheap toys-r-us hunk of junk to start with. It's sad to see people get so discouraged, because if they had a better plane to start with, they'd have loved it. I guess I'd also add lack of instruction. It's amazing what a few minutes with an experienced friend can do.

As for more experienced pilots, I actually have one to add. EGO. This one probably relates to some of those previously mentioned. For example, how many of us have chosen to fly when the conditions aren't right just because we have a croud -- only to crash...

Anyway, I'm new to the forum. Thanks for the good topic.

typicalmale78
04-15-2010, 01:34 AM
Hi,
I am new to the hobby and just wanted to say this is fantastic information you are providing. Unfortunately, I didn't find this before purchasing my first aircraft. I ended up with an A-10 which is way out of my league and not at all a beginner plane. After crashing twice and using who knows how many glue sticks, I can see where I have been wrong thanks to the previous posts. I see this site will be a wealth of knowledge and I look forward to the countless hours I will be spending soaking it up.

AEAJR
04-15-2010, 07:17 AM
Glad you found this helpful.

pattern14
09-01-2010, 01:19 AM
Hi Ed, great advice and feedback as usual:ws:. As in some of my previous posts, I have mentioned the difficulties of r/c flying in Tasmania. The two biggest problems are the weather (read gales), and lack of support. So after some months of trial and error, it looks like success is at hand. The club scene here is primarily glo powered "real" planes,;-), with edf, scale, combat etc in very limited circles, and mainly based around the the two big towns on the Island. So learning to fly alone is the only real option unless you are prepared for lots of travel. 3 people have asked me recently for flying lessons, so this is what I have come up with- I built two trainers. The first is based on a set of Radian wings I bought at the nearest Hobby shop, very cheaply at an end of year sale. I made an EPP fuse for it out of scrap, and a tail out of a coreflute real estate sign. Left-over electronics from old combat planes and a spare 3 channel futaba single stick radio that was not being used completed the package. The construction method is the same as my combat planes, with taped wings and tear away components that are fixed in minutes after the most incredible collisions. It flies really well, and has a great glide and can maintain height on minimal throttle. The style is the same as the easy star, with an above wing mounted powerplant. Not as pretty though, so i have called her the "uglystar":Q All up cost was about $80.00 AUD. It flies in the wind, can land hands off, and is much tougher than the radian or easy star. The second is the advanced trainer, a flying wing that can handle 40 knot winds, based on a very successful, indestructable, all EPP combat plane. Single vertical fin and under fuse skid protect the pusher motor and prop, reduced elevon throws removes the instant responsiveness and risk of over correction, and it also makes a great glider in high winds. If you don't learn to fly in 20 knots plus, you don't fly,period.:p>. Gave it to an 11 y.o who had never flown before and he managed to circle it on his first attempt, but was scared of " wrecking it". I crashed it into the fence, and ground, deliberately, and then relaunched it for a series of rolls, loops etc; HIS FEAR VANISHED. So now I have two aircraft to try and encourage more people to fly, without the fear of unrepairable damage. Will post some photo's when I can , cheers:D:D:D

AEAJR
09-01-2010, 03:58 AM
Pattern, great post. Thanks for sharing your trainer designs.

AEAJR
11-14-2010, 02:24 PM
ESTIMATING BATTERY RUN TIME

Since this comes up so often with new pilots, it is worth posting here.

CALCULATION METHOD

Note that a 1300 mAH pack = 1.3 AH pack

Capacity in AH / amp draw X 60 = minutes of run time.

m = mili which means 1/1000. Just to ways of expressing the same number.

1.3 AH / 8 amps = .1625 hours

.1625 X 60 = 9.75 minutes at 8 amps.

This assumes you use up all the useful battery capacity, not that you are running the battery to zero voltage. It also assumes that the battery can actually deliver its total rated capacity before the LVC, low voltage cut-off, kicks in to keep you from running it too low.

Normally you don't run at full throttle all the time. For mixed flying that is probably more like 15 minutes. I usually estimate mixed flying time at 150% of the calculation but your actual experience will differ based on how you fly.

When estimating useful flying time out of a pack, be conservative, then watch it over several flights to get your true number. This calculation is for planning purposes.

If you are sizing a power system for a plane, part of that sizing should include the duration of the battery pack vs. weight and size.

Electrolight
06-10-2011, 07:27 AM
Thanks for your insight :)

AEAJR
12-31-2011, 11:36 AM
This discussion continues to get a lot of readers but you can as questions too, so don't be shy. Jus keep them on topic..

JohnnyB
01-17-2012, 02:11 PM
Great advise! Thanks

AEAJR
01-17-2012, 02:29 PM
SETTING GOALS



Before you can select a power system you should set a goal for what you want from the power system and the aircraft.


If this is a pylon racer, then you need speed. I don't race pylon, so I don't know how important acceleration is.


If you are flying a slow flyer then weight is very important. You need enough power to keep the plane in the air but you want everything to be light. By minimizing the draw of the power system you can reduce the size of the ESC and the battery which reduces weight.


If you are flying an e-glider then you probably want to focus on climb less than speed. The goal is usually to get the glider to an altitude, say 600 feet, in an acceptable amount of time, say 30 seconds, then you power off and the motor/battery become dead weight. So you are setting up for short run climb rather than long runs. So you are sizing to that goal.


Sometimes you have to build around the prop. Ground clearance on the runway may limit your prop size. While a hand launched plane has no prop size restraints.


Space in the aircraft can decide whether you go with an inrunner or an outrunner. That outrunner needs more room so that outer can can spin without touching anything. An inrunner can lay right against the sides of the plane as long as there is enough air flow to cool it. If you have to use an inrunner but need a large prop, then you add a gearbox.


Weight can impact your decisions. If your aircraft was designed when speed 400 or speed 600 motors were the main power plant, then going to a light brushless motor may not save you any weight. Take out a 3 ounce speed 400 and put in a 1.5 oz brushless will mean you have to add lead to balance. OR, you can look at moving the battery forward to help balance without adding weight.


Consider where you will put things in order to obtain the proper balance with the least added weight. The shape of your battery may matter a great deal. For example, you may have decided that you want to use a 3S 2500 mah pack. But they are not all the same shape. Which one will fit? Or maybe you have to change your motor choice because the battery you need to support it is too big for the plane.




The point? Think about your goals for the aircraft and the power system. You and I may have the same aircraft, but we have different ideas of how we want to fly it. We will then come up with different power systems, yet both will be right for what we want to do.

AEAJR
06-08-2012, 04:59 AM
Here is an index of some key informational posts in the thread.

Post 1, the 6 keys to success
Post 24 – Learning to Fly in the wind
Post 25 – what to practice
Post 26 – a good tip
Post 33 – The 7th key to success
Post 35 – Thoughts for beginners
Post 36 – Plane Locators
Post 39 – hat and sunglasses and more
Post 42 – using ballast for windy days
Post 50 – Everything you wanted to know about electric flight
Post 53 – Keeping the plane upwind
Post 76 – Estimating Battery run time

Flywhat2
06-11-2012, 02:23 PM
Recovery tips
Where can I find piloting tips for recovery when I get in trouble flying.. Like recover from an unintended spin or a stall at low altitude, etc. If not recovery to straight and level flight, at least to minimize damage?
Thanks much, fly

pattern14
06-11-2012, 11:55 PM
Recovery tips
Where can I find piloting tips for recovery when I get in trouble flying.. Like recover from an unintended spin or a stall at low altitude, etc. If not recovery to straight and level flight, at least to minimize damage?
Thanks much, fly I'm sure there are many others with good advice as well, but this is what I usually do..........Height is you best friend for a stall, as is a good headwind, but if it is a nose up stall very close to the ground, some times applying a burst of power can pull you out of it to enable some height to be gained and another attempt at landing. A powerfull motor can get you out of trouble if used correctly, but you also need to be carefull of a torque reaction/roll at very low speed as well. A tip stall can be alleviated by down elevator until some speed and lift is restored, but again, you need some height. As for flat spins, I've tried everything, and so far to no avail:eek:. My scale warbirds are prone to spin out if I turn too tight, especially downwind, with almost no hope of recovery. All I do is shut down the power and hope they land nice and flat like a frisbee:rolleyes:....hope that helps:)

AEAJR
12-04-2012, 11:04 AM
How to select your first radio.
http://www.Wattflyer.com/forums/showthread.php?t=68741

Pks4life420
12-21-2012, 04:29 AM
This was very helpful for me as a newbie

Fishbonez
12-21-2012, 12:31 PM
Cool,
The best advice I read from AEAJR was keeping your plane up-wind. I was ready to give up this great hobby until I read that part and have been hooked ever since. Ed is a wise man and I still keep the manual with me :-)

AEAJR
12-28-2012, 06:12 PM
Yes, staying up wind is a skill that must be developed.

I am one of the flight examiners at our field. Until you pass your senior pilot test you must have a senior pilot flying with you. This is to help you learn, to reduce your crashing and to protect the safety of others.

I won't pass a pilot who can not keep the plane up-wind as it demonstrates that they do not have command and control of the plane.

rcers
12-28-2012, 06:27 PM
Yes, staying up wind is a skill that must be developed.

I am one of the flight examiners at our field. Until you pass your senior pilot test you must have a senior pilot flying with you. This is to help you learn, to reduce your crashing and to protect the safety of others.

I won't pass a pilot who can not keep the plane up-wind as it demonstrates that they do not have command and control of the plane.

I remember one field with strict requirements like this. Even though I had been flying for 25 years that didn't matter. I was a better pilot than the "sign off" members too. The issue was nobody was ever around to "pass" me off.

What I giant PIA. I was annoyed to say the least. I finally managed to "pass" the test - including with some of the test inverted - thankfully the examiner had a good sense of humor and singed me off immediately. But it left such a nasty taste in my mouth - and the club had a very elitist attitude and shunned newbie's so I knew it was not for me.

How do your "Senior" pilots reduce crashing? Do they have to stand next to you or do you put everyone on buddy boxes?

What do you do for guests?

That said - our field has a couple of guys that when they go up - we ALL land. Just not worth it. One refuses to fly any pattern the other can't! It is funny I asked him if he could actually fly a right hand pattern. He could not. I am like what do you do when the wind is blowing that way. Well he he does left hand turns at the end of the runway! YIKES!

So I get the reason but I have seen that create a real class level in the club.

I do get the safety element though, we had one event our toy drive in early December and I had a rooking pilot crash behind me (about 6 feet) in the back of the pilots box. Normally when we have an issue - folks start hollering but not this time - the first thing I hear was the crash. I was FREAKED out and thankfully I didn't crash my brand new airplane. I wanted to encourage him - and could tell he was new at it all. Just told him next time - just YELL out! :)

Mike

AEAJR
12-28-2012, 07:24 PM
I remember one field with strict requirements like this. Even though I had been flying for 25 years that didn't matter. I was a better pilot than the "sign off" members too. The issue was nobody was ever around to "pass" me off.

What I giant PIA. I was annoyed to say the least. I finally managed to "pass" the test - including with some of the test inverted - thankfully the examiner had a good sense of humor and singed me off immediately. But it left such a nasty taste in my mouth - and the club had a very elitist attitude and shunned newbie's so I knew it was not for me.

How do your "Senior" pilots reduce crashing? Do they have to stand next to you or do you put everyone on buddy boxes?

What do you do for guests?

That said - our field has a couple of guys that when they go up - we ALL land. Just not worth it. One refuses to fly any pattern the other can't! It is funny I asked him if he could actually fly a right hand pattern. He could not. I am like what do you do when the wind is blowing that way. Well he he does left hand turns at the end of the runway! YIKES!

So I get the reason but I have seen that create a real class level in the club.

I do get the safety element though, we had one event our toy drive in early December and I had a rooking pilot crash behind me (about 6 feet) in the back of the pilots box. Normally when we have an issue - folks start hollering but not this time - the first thing I hear was the crash. I was FREAKED out and thankfully I didn't crash my brand new airplane. I wanted to encourage him - and could tell he was new at it all. Just told him next time - just YELL out! :)

Mike

Sorry you had some bad feelings about how your club conducted itself. As far as I know it has not been a huge problem for us, except for one guy who kept telling us about how great a pilot he was but could not seem to perform the simple tasks we ask him to do for the senior test. He failed a couple of times. He finally passed, but he had a much higher opinion of himself as a pilot than any of us. I have run into this before but never to this degree.

Remember this is a glider club. The senior test is a piece of cake.

Guests are hosted and are the responsibility of their host.

How can a senior pilot help a novice? I would think this would be obvious, but let's review. First of all he can help the Novice understand the field rules, where we can fly and where we can not fly. How the flight line is conducted and how to understand the field layout.

A senior pilot can help a novice when he gets in trouble or can take over. He can teach technique or make suggestions on how the Novice can improve his flying. And he can help he novice prepare for the flight test.

Buddy boxes are optional. I don't usually use one. But every once in a while I get a student where I insist on one. Some of these guys take a while to "get it", but most eventually do.

Instruction is not required. If you can walk onto the field and pass the test you get your Senior status and can fly on your own. We have 6 flight examiners and they are among the most active members of the club. All you do is request a test and we set up an appointment. If someone approaches me when I am at the field I am more than happy to oblige. Only takes about 15 minutes.

If demonstrating basic flight control is too much to ask then it would be best for all parties concerned if they were to find somewhere else to fly. It has nothing to do with their skills and everything to do with their attitude.

When I have visited other fields I ALWAYS contact the club before I come, to understand their rules and procedures. I have offered to demonstrate my skills to the field controller or whoever is at the field. Typically this has not been an issue. Sometimes they accept my offer and sometimes they wave it. Either way I am a guest at their field and I behave like a guest. Seems only right to me. If I cause a serious problem I could cost them their field.

If I were to join another club I would fully expect to be asked to demonstrate my skills, just as a matter of safety. Why not? I have nothing to fear.

In case you are interested, here is our flight exam check sheet. If you can't pass this you must be a pretty poor pilot and should be supervised for your own safety and the safety of others. This sheet is given to every new member when they join the club so they know exactly what is expected. If you are an experienced pilot you can just ask to be tested and you are all set.


LISF Senior Pilot Examination Report


Flight Examiner ________________________________________ Date ___________


Tested Pilot _______________________________________ AMA #

Oral Test – Based on the new member packet Pass ____ Fail _____
1) Describe the type of flying that is permitted at the LISF Field
2) Describe the field layout and safety guidelines
3) Describe where pilots should and should not be flying
4) Who may fly at the LISF/Stillwell field
5) Describe the flight plan for the flight test.

Airplane Check – Preflight ------------------------------ Pass ____ Fail _____

Pure gliders may take multiple launches to complete test. All others should be completed within one launch.)

Electric ___ Glider ____ Meets LISF Guidelines ______

Frequency control properly completed ______

Does airplane appear air worthy? _____ Battery charged and well secured _____

Control Surfaces operating properly _____ Successful Range Check _____


Flight Examination ------------------------------------------- Pass ____ Fail ____

Safe, controlled launch _____ safe, controlled climb to 50 feet minimum ______

Left circular flight with good altitude control _______ right circle ________

Safe, controlled flat figure 8 in center of the field ________

Safe controlled flight toward pilot exiting left _____ exiting right _______

Safe, controlled glide – power off for 30 seconds minimum _______

Safe, controlled set-up for landing ______

Safe, successful power off landing within a designated landing area ____________

Plane flight worthy after landing ________

Flight Examiner’s Signature

rcers
12-28-2012, 11:52 PM
I really like a great deal of that test stuff - shows they know the in's and out's of the field and that certainly is wise.

Not heavy on flight skills (that is where most go WAY overboard). You are right if you can't do that - you really are still "learning" to fly.

I like that you check BOTH directions - something we have pilots that can't do.

Really like the field particulars - we have a noise issue at ours and that is a constantly violated rule (we are in a city park surrounded by million dollar homes). Under my breath (and I am not alone) we are hoping to have enough issues that we become "E" power only. :)

I like it Ed - thanks for sharing. Sounds like your focus is on safe models and field rules - smart. I am so lucky to be in a club that has helpers and since we are in a city park - we get a LOT of people walking up. There are about a dozen of us you hope are there - so we can make that first experience a good one.

Mike

Fishbonez
12-29-2012, 08:05 AM
In case you are interested, here is our flight exam check sheet. If you can't pass this you must be a pretty poor pilot and should be supervised for your own safety and the safety of others. This sheet is given to every new member when they join the club so they know exactly what is expected. If you are an experienced pilot you can just ask to be tested and you are all set.


LISF Senior Pilot Examination Report


Flight Examiner ________________________________________ Date ___________


Tested Pilot _______________________________________ AMA #

Oral Test – Based on the new member packet Pass ____ Fail _____
1) Describe the type of flying that is permitted at the LISF Field
2) Describe the field layout and safety guidelines
3) Describe where pilots should and should not be flying
4) Who may fly at the LISF/Stillwell field
5) Describe the flight plan for the flight test.

Airplane Check – Preflight ------------------------------ Pass ____ Fail _____

Pure gliders may take multiple launches to complete test. All others should be completed within one launch.)

Electric ___ Glider ____ Meets LISF Guidelines ______

Frequency control properly completed ______

Does airplane appear air worthy? _____ Battery charged and well secured _____

Control Surfaces operating properly _____ Successful Range Check _____


Flight Examination ------------------------------------------- Pass ____ Fail ____

Safe, controlled launch _____ safe, controlled climb to 50 feet minimum ______

Left circular flight with good altitude control _______ right circle ________

Safe, controlled flat figure 8 in center of the field ________

Safe controlled flight toward pilot exiting left _____ exiting right _______

Safe, controlled glide – power off for 30 seconds minimum _______

Safe, controlled set-up for landing ______

Safe, successful power off landing within a designated landing area ____________

Plane flight worthy after landing ________

Flight Examiner’s Signature

I am really glad you posted this. I have not joined a club here in Wyoming but when I enquired about one. I was asked if I could pass a test being new to the hobby I was unsure of what kind of test he was referring to so I replied "I dont know would this be something I had to study for" :) I smile at this because after learning to fly "farily well" I can see why he may have thought I was being sarcastic, however he got a bit cross with me and said "if I had to ask then I had no business joining." Ever since that conversation I have often wondered what kinda test would I need to perform or pass to join or be a good memeber of a club. This gives me an idea as to what a club is looking for in a pilots skills.

A controlled figure 8 in center of field kinda has me thinking and maybe I am overthinking it but is that at say 3 mistakes high?

rcers
12-29-2012, 02:03 PM
I am really glad you posted this. I have not joined a club here in Wyoming but when I enquired about one. I was asked if I could pass a test being new to the hobby I was unsure of what kind of test he was referring to so I replied "I dont know would this be something I had to study for" :) I smile at this because after learning to fly "farily well" I can see why he may have thought I was being sarcastic, however he got a bit cross with me and said "if I had to ask then I had no business joining." Ever since that conversation I have often wondered what kinda test would I need to perform or pass to join or be a good memeber of a club. This gives me an idea as to what a club is looking for in a pilots skills.

A controlled figure 8 in center of field kinda has me thinking and maybe I am overthinking it but is that at say 3 mistakes high?

That is the kind of club I was talking about! Proud and VERY unfriendly to newcomers. They want to exclude rather than grow the hobby - sad.

Mike

dahawk
12-29-2012, 02:06 PM
Fish,

We had to perform a high speed low pass then snap roll to inverted at 5 feet AGL to an outside loop to vertical , go straight-up through a 400 foot cloud layer allowing the plane to disappear then perform a tumble until it became visible again. - Just kidding !

There should be some sort of basic competentcy test to measure what type of training is needed and if helmuts are required. But not to exclude from membership.
Our club offers and encourages free training and we also have a safety officer. The guys know who are newbies and watch with a careful eye.

Happy New Year !

-Hawk

AEAJR
12-29-2012, 03:49 PM
I am really glad you posted this. I have not joined a club here in Wyoming but when I enquired about one. I was asked if I could pass a test being new to the hobby I was unsure of what kind of test he was referring to so I replied "I dont know would this be something I had to study for" :) I smile at this because after learning to fly "farily well" I can see why he may have thought I was being sarcastic, however he got a bit cross with me and said "if I had to ask then I had no business joining." Ever since that conversation I have often wondered what kinda test would I need to perform or pass to join or be a good memeber of a club. This gives me an idea as to what a club is looking for in a pilots skills.

A controlled figure 8 in center of field kinda has me thinking and maybe I am overthinking it but is that at say 3 mistakes high?

We have no specific height requirement. But the pilot should be able to do a figure 8 while maintaining smooth control as well as altitude. If the plane is all over the place he is not going to pass.




That is the kind of club I was talking about! Proud and VERY unfriendly to newcomers. They want to exclude rather than grow the hobby - sad.

Mike


That is not an example of a club's attitude, it is an example of an individual attitude. I am saddened to hear you would judge an entire club by the behavior of one person.

And yes, to pass our test you do have to study, some, in order to answer the verbal questions. You see, by rule of the land owner, we are allowed to fly sailplanes/gldiers, electric gliders and small electric planes in a glider like fashion.

Until we required that verbal section we had people join the club and showing up with planes that would have gotten us thrown off the field. We gave them the new member packet but they did not read it. So we added the verbal part to be sure that the person understood the restrictions placed upon us.

rcers
12-29-2012, 04:11 PM
That is not an example of a club's attitude, it is an example of an individual attitude. I am saddened to hear you would judge an entire club by the behavior of one person.


Not in my experience. It is a disease in a club. One infected member can spread the disease to others and ruin the entire club. I have seen it happen!

Certainly one individual can be the ONLY example but I have not found that to be the case in the clubs I have visited. Many have a heir of exclusivity.

Don't pretend you have not seen that - I am confident in your many years you know exactly what I am talking about. I have seen it over and over again.

Thankfully my local club is a good one. Since we are in a city park we rarely don't have visitors wonder over to the pits asking about the hobby. The bulk of us invite them in - talk to them and let them see and feel the models. I actually grab them from the visitor parking lot and invite them over to talk about the hobby. Some of them just might be our future after all.

Sure - I hear you don't judge by one person. But I can tell by a few visits exactly what type of club they are. Mine rocks, but some are "exclusive" and full of the disease.

Mike

Fishbonez
12-29-2012, 04:32 PM
We have no specific height requirement. But the pilot should be able to do a figure 8 while maintaining smooth control as well as altitude. If the plane is all over the place he is not going to pass.

And yes, to pass our test you do have to study, some, in order to answer the verbal questions. You see, by rule of the land owner, we are allowed to fly sailplanes/gldiers, electric gliders and small electric planes in a glider like fashion.

Until we required that verbal section we had people join the club and showing up with planes that would have gotten us thrown off the field. We gave them the new member packet but they did not read it. So we added the verbal part to be sure that the person understood the restrictions placed upon us.

Good Stuff. I may just look into it again sometime.

Not in my experience. It is a disease in a club...

Ooops had no intentions of kicking of a club debate here

Fish,

We had to perform a high speed low pass then snap roll to inverted at 5 feet AGL to an outside loop to vertical , go straight-up through a 400 foot cloud layer allowing the plane to disappear then perform a tumble until it became visible again. - Just kidding !


Happy New Year !

-Hawk
Now that would be impressive. I can just now see Darth Vader saying "Impressive...ObI One has taught you well" ;)

AEAJR
12-29-2012, 04:44 PM
OK, enough about clubs. Back to the 6 keys to success.

1geo1
08-11-2013, 11:56 PM
Great advice on the flight simulator, you just saved me a ton of money and embarrassment ! If anyone is old school and returning to the hobby beg, borrow or
steal a flight sim..........Thanks !
Also realized I was a "jabber" at the sticks- sim is great for becoming 2-finger
each stick pilot.

1geo1
08-12-2013, 12:17 AM
Now on another note- I quit a long time ago because of the only "friendly" club in
the area. Sure, 1 or 2 went out of there way to encourage- I tried to stay out
of way knowing I was a newbie. When I asked if the club was accepting new members
and the requirements I wasd told the meeting was first Thursday of every month at...
So, I show up, NOBODY talks to me, except the couple that took pity-saw it in there eyes.
2 hours later- end of meeting- new business- shall we accept new members- NO
I tell ya' I coulda cried.....now its years later, Ill do with a club or without, like to
find a good one, anyway/either way Ill display my AMA #'s proudly- sorry to get so long winded.

AEAJR
10-08-2013, 04:26 PM
Here is a resource that will help new pilots.

Things to check on an RTF
http://www.wattflyer.com/forums/showthread.php?t=26372

Many new pilots start on Ready to Fly packages and still have problems. Why? Well sometimes that RTF is not quite ready to fly. Read the article.

AEAJR
10-23-2014, 09:50 PM
I was recently reminded of the frustration a new pilot feels when he has put his plane in the woods and can't find it. My friend has been looking for several weeks. I have spend some hours out there with him with no luck.

For as little as $5 you can put a locator in your plane that will help you find it if you put it down in the trees, brush, tall grass, corn field, .... wherever you can't find it.

There are more capable and more expensive options as well.

This article is written for glider pilots but it applies to power planes just as well.

Plane Locators
http://www.flyesl.org/forums/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=237