Originally Posted by xmech2k
Oh yeah, on your first flight, get up to a safe altitude and trim it so it flies straight and level without any inputs from you. Then, get it up high and chop the throttle and try to keep it level so you can see how she handles stalling and slow flight. This will help get you a sense of your landing speed. Don't slow down too much, and if you bounce while going slow, either goose the throttle to get back the airspeed you lost in the bounce, or firewall it and go around for another try.
This is VERY GOOD ADVICE. Planes are the opposite of helicopters in this regard, with the heli you just want to be high enough to get out of ground effect when you learn so when they drop the damage is minimal. With a plane you want to be 2 or 3 "mistakes" high when you are learning. I read, on this forum, that one of the biggest mistakes beginners make is flying too low - my most expensive Apprentice crash was becuase I was trying to figure something out while flying too low.
Find a huge open area and get the feel for the plane with lots of altitude to spare. You've got plenty of battery time to figure it out and practice a couple of approaches before you need to land. Also - it FLOATS big time so you'll want a wide open approach while you learn too. If you have room, you won't have any trouble bringing the trimmed airplane down.