Be Successful on your First RC Flight

Apr 22, 2010 2 Comments by

7 Easy Steps to becoming an RC Pilot

When it comes time to take your newly built RC trainer to the flying field, a whole new world opens up to you. These first unsure steps from the building boards to the flightline can be both exciting and frightening if you don’t have a plan. So, for that first trip to the club’s flight facility be sure you are ready, have the proper and required equipment and don’t forget to apply for your AMA membership card. To increase your chances of success, go to the hobby shop where you purchased your trainer and get in contact with the local club. Get to know the members and set yourself up with an instructor. Make sure your radio and power system are operating correctly and that you have a few spare props. Then get ready to commit RC aviation.

Here are the seven steps to a successful first flight.

When ever possible, make arrangements ahead of time to meet up with your RC instructor. The real secret to success is team work and practice.

Once you have successfully made that first flight, plan to practice a lot and work with your instructor until you are able to solo, and make your first unassisted flight. It is a great achievement and something you should be prouf of. Keep at it and work on the areas that give you the most difficulty until it all be comes natural and fun. One of the first areas of difficulty is when the model is flying back toward you. In this situation your control inputs and the model’s reactions seem backwards. You move the stick to the left and the model’s nose turns to your right. This is where most unassisted beginner pilots lose their airplane! To correct your model’s attitude, move your stick toward the low wing tip and it will level the wings.

If you do damage your trainer, don’t be discouraged. Get with your instructor and learn how to repair your model. It’s a lot cheaper than buying a whole new airplane. With lots of practice, you will quickly develop into a proficent RC pilot. Go for it! RC model airplanes is one of the most rewarding hobbies there is. Stay at it and watch how quickly you become a pilot and how fast you meet a whole buch of new friends! Flying buddies are the best! They’ll teach you a lot and encourage you all the way.

Have fun!

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About the author

Senior Technical Editor About Me: I have a lifelong passion for all things scale, and I love to design, build and fly scale RC airplanes. With 20 plus years as part of the Air Age family of magazines, I love producing Model Airplane News and Electric Flight.

2 Responses to “Be Successful on your First RC Flight”

  1. Moses says:

    Thank you for your article, it sound easy, but never the less I am having so much trouble landing! I am a beginner, been flying for about 6 months. If you watch me fly you would say I am doing well, not bad at all, if my plane is trimmed right, still working on that one. But if you saw me land you would laugh maybe or shake your head because it looks like I have it down! In short I can’t land properly, oh I land all right never on the runway and most of the time it’s a flop. I just can’t seem to get it right. They all tell me well you will get everyone has trouble with landing, I know, but I should be passed that. I try all the advice and still have trouble, it’s to the point no one wants to help anymore because its old hat to them. Just keep trying you’ll get! Here is some info that might help you diagnose my inability to land. First, I am extremely nervous when I fly; I think it’s more then normal. Example: In physiological terms “fight or flight,” I go into flight mode. The Doc said get a hobby it will help you, now I want to add landing to my therapist agenda! Second, I can not trim a plane in flight so when I go to land I am flying the plane while it’s un-trimmed, when it’s in flight I just accustom myself to the un trimmed plane, does that make sense? Another words I just accommodate to the plane instead of adjusting trim, works fine 500 hundred feet up, but not landing! So when I go to land it much harder? This is all theories I have I am not sure if these contribute to my landing issue. If trimming is a contributor I am just as bad at that, last time I tried to trim in flight I ended up in a tree! All in all I think I said an ear full. In short please help me better my landings!

    Thank You
    Moses A

  2. Gerry Yarrish says:

    The main thing to do to perfect your landings is to learn to fly slowly and find where the stall speed is. You do this with help and at a safe altitude. Then when you come in to land, you fly as slow as you can without stalling. Most beginners land way too fast and try to slow down. this leads to broken props and landing gear.

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