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EddyKilowatt
10-24-2005, 11:35 PM
My 10-year-old son soloed his T-Hawk yesterday. We had a few minor crashes and one CFIT (Controlled Flight Into Tree), but at the end of the day the plane was in one piece, we'd emptied both battery packs twice, and he was able to consitently fly a basic pattern and land in the grass twenty feet in front of him. (FMS gets a bunch of credit for giving him a couple hours of virtual flying, before laying hands on the real thing.) He has wanted to fly R/C since he was about six, so he was a pretty happy camper yesterday on the way home.

Looking ahead, I'd like to feed him some excercises that build in difficulty and will help improve his piloting skills (not to mention keep his interest level high). Flying the pattern and tightening up his landings will keep him engrossed for the next couple of sessions, but... what would folks suggest after that? Anyone got some fun, game-like excercises that are an enjoyable challenge to try and then gradually master? What is considered a normal sequence of progression for an R/C pilot in terms of learning more advanced maneuvers?

regards,
Ed

paddyH
10-25-2005, 12:13 AM
You could do worse than looking at the BMFA site and following the patterns required for the 'A' cert and then onto the 'B'
Both can be found in the handbook pdf
http://www.bmfa.org/handbook/index.html

Doppelganger
10-25-2005, 12:21 AM
Have him fly figure eights. But make it interesting. Have him fly left circuits, then right. Then have him do figure 8's. Then right hand. then Left. This does two things. First, it's a good thumb eye coordination training. But it also keeps him comfortable with right hand circuits. Lots of people fly left circuits almost exclusively. Then when they "Have" to do a right circuit, it is very uncomfortable for them.

You could also have him do touch and go's. Those are always a blast.

Steve

paddyH
10-25-2005, 12:27 AM
yes, touch and goes. When confident these can be converted to low slow passes, models look great at this altitude and always force a grin on the pilots face.

Have fun, and try to stick with the same aircraft for as long as possible, this helps to make flying automatic, he can then think about other maneuvers

soarr
10-25-2005, 01:16 AM
When I was learning to fly gliders, a club member had me practice flat figure 8's, continuous flat left and right circles, and landing patterns. I fly at a relatively difficult field and that practice has paid off. I've never flown in a big empty field in the 4-months I've been flying in an urban setting. We have houses on two sides of our field, a high school football field with tall stadium lights on a third side, and 1-story temporary school buildings on the 4th side.

Doppelganger
10-25-2005, 02:17 AM
When confident these can be converted to low slow passes, models look great at this altitude and always force a grin on the pilots face.



I Love flying my Mini Sportster slowly past me at about eye level. It looks pretty cool. :)

Matt Kirsch
10-25-2005, 01:48 PM
The most important thing you can do is simply fly, period. More stick time of any kind can only serve to improve your son's skills.

By no means am I a child psychologist, and you know your kid better than anyone else, but my advice is to consider gentle nudging rather than structured drills. If all he's doing is turning left, and he looks bored, "Hey, try a few right turns!" instead of, "Hup! Two! Three! Four! Right Face! Hup! Two! Three! Four! Left Face!..." He may respond more favorably and with more interest if he thinks he's the one running the show.

flyranger
10-25-2005, 02:30 PM
yes, touch and goes. When confident these can be converted to low slow passes, models look great at this altitude and always force a grin on the pilots face.

Have fun, and try to stick with the same aircraft for as long as possible, this helps to make flying automatic, he can then think about other maneuvers

I'm a parkflyer exclusively, but both my current planes have functional landing gear and I practice "touch and goes" a LOT. I figure that landing is where I break the plane anyway and that's where my skills need to improve. I've progressed to the point that my "touch and gos" are no longer "crash and stays"!! Heh, heh.:D

Doppelganger
10-25-2005, 06:54 PM
The most important thing you can do is simply fly, period. More stick time of any kind can only serve to improve your son's skills.

By no means am I a child psychologist, and you know your kid better than anyone else, but my advice is to consider gentle nudging rather than structured drills. If all he's doing is turning left, and he looks bored, "Hey, try a few right turns!" instead of, "Hup! Two! Three! Four! Right Face! Hup! Two! Three! Four! Left Face!..." He may respond more favorably and with more interest if he thinks he's the one running the show.

It's called a challenge. The problem today is that people don't want to challenge their kids to achieve anything. The schools are like that also. Kids need challenges. The joy he'd feel after doing a couple maneuvers that he is unaccustomed to would benifit him. Especially if he was praised for it. And if he failed, praise him anyway for the effort. I don't think of them as "Drills".:rolleyes:

Steve

timocharis
10-25-2005, 09:56 PM
The T-Hawk is a very special plane in a number of ways. Knowing its tendencies, the figure 8 approach is a good goal. Another one (and particularly fun with that plane) is power-off target landing. It's _very hard_ because the plane glides so well and has such a pronounced ground effect. The thing about that is, it's a lot of fun.

However, the one thing I always encourage is to get used to flying the plane toward himself. Getting good control in that orientation is probably an extremely useful goal.

Of course, it can loop (and roll, but that comes a lot later). Learning to make the loop straight and reasonably round can be accomplished with the T-Hawk.

Congratulations! I think it's one of the finest starter planes available.


Dave North

Doppelganger
10-25-2005, 11:18 PM
Speaking of flying towards yourself, and orientation... When I do figure 8's inverted, thumb control comes naturally. I guess it's thumb memory.:confused: But sometimes when I'm mentally flying the plane in my head, I can't remember which way to push the sticks. I mean, I'll remember if in a sec or two, but when flying, you may not have those precious seconds.

I'm just glad my sub-concious fly's my plane for me. Some of it was flight sim, but most was figure eights, and changing up every now and then. You're lucky you can share that with your son, and that your son can fly with his dad.:)

Steve

Doppelganger
10-25-2005, 11:19 PM
Flyranger, is that yellow plane a kit, or an ARF? It looks great. Who makes it?

Steve

EddyKilowatt
10-26-2005, 12:17 AM
Thanks for the many suggestions, folks. Lots of good stuff to try; I think that touch-and-goes, spot landings, and figure-8s will all present fun challenges. All I gotta do is restrain my jealousy that he's the one doing [most of] the flying.

Speaking of flying toward yourself, we spent considerable time in FMS doing just that... actually trying to hit ourselves with the plane. Great fun, great visuals, great practice, and... suprisingly hard to do.

I know this is a ways off in the future, but... I didn't realize that a non-aileron plane could roll. How's that done?

If all he's doing is turning left, and he looks bored, "Hey, try a few right turns!" instead of, "Hup! Two! Three! Four! Right Face! Hup! Two! Three! Four! Left Face!..."

No worries... notice use of the words "fun" and "games" in my original post. Plus, he's up to Vivaldi's A Minor Concerto on his violin... this is a kid who is reasonably acquainted with the idea Results Out = Effort In.

Ed

Doppelganger
10-26-2005, 01:00 AM
No worries... notice use of the words "fun" and "games" in my original post. Plus, he's up to Vivaldi's A Minor Concerto on his violin... this is a kid who is reasonably acquainted with the idea Results Out = Effort In.

Ed

I applaud him, and you!:)