Originally posted by Ron Williams
The first is that if you hand launch it it will, most often, come down real soon which give a beginner great practice at making many landings and the confidence that comes from doing them.
The second is that if it's flown to make a circle or two you get a chance to get used to crossed controls as in when the plane is coming toward you
This is some good advice. Before putting the plane up on a hi-start, get A LOT of handlaunch time. Start with just a straight throw, practicing keeping the plane level and at a steady attitude. Once you get the hang of that, gradually progress to making turns..then complete circles. When you feel confident about your abilities and comfortable with the plane, THEN hook it up to the chute.
I'll probably get flamed for this, but I think a better choice for the beginner would be a Gentle Lady, or if you don't want to build, the Aspire...Sure they are not as durable as foam, but not much damage can be done from HL altitude, and if you practice HL before Hi-starting you should be OK. Not to mention both of these planes fly much better than anything made of foam, IMHO
Good luck and most of all, have fun!!