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Old Sep 18, 2012, 12:33 PM
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United States, MI, Farmington Hills
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Whoops!
First Flight - Calling All Rookies

I want to share my first flight experience with the Hobby Zone Champ RTF.

Here are somethings I did no know that would have helped me, the difference in "High and Low rate" transmitter mode.

1. The manual explained how to change the rate, but did not make clear that "high rate" makes the plane very sensitive to control movement and the potential to over control. (The Champ is delivered in the high rate mode.)

2. I missed the fact that if you get disoriented, or the plane starts to get too far away, that simply releasing the or cutting the engine off will allow for a safe gliding landing.

3. Do not try to fly this small very light plane in any wind, for a first flight.

My lack of knowledge of these three factors caused me a broken wing and a sinking feeling before I had 10 minutes flight time. (The wing repair went well, now I am waiting for the winds to calm, so I can give it another try, in the low rate mode.)

Hobby Zone has some very informative videos on their website, short and to the point. Worth watching if you are a rookie, like me.

Happy Flying
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Old Sep 18, 2012, 01:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Porsche Driver View Post
I want to share my first flight experience with the Hobby Zone Champ RTF.

Here are somethings I did no know that would have helped me, the difference in "High and Low rate" transmitter mode.

1. The manual explained how to change the rate, but did not make clear that "high rate" makes the plane very sensitive to control movement and the potential to over control. (The Champ is delivered in the high rate mode.)

2. I missed the fact that if you get disoriented, or the plane starts to get too far away, that simply releasing the or cutting the engine off will allow for a safe gliding landing.

3. Do not try to fly this small very light plane in any wind, for a first flight.

My lack of knowledge of these three factors caused me a broken wing and a sinking feeling before I had 10 minutes flight time. (The wing repair went well, now I am waiting for the winds to calm, so I can give it another try, in the low rate mode.)

Hobby Zone has some very informative videos on their website, short and to the point. Worth watching if you are a rookie, like me.

Happy Flying
I wish you the best and better luck next time.

Rule of thumb (for me at least anyway) always READ the manual for all the important information. That is usually where you will find all CG info and much much more needed and required tips and directions.

Hang in there, everyone started somewhere and somehow. I'm still fairly new at this myself.

Regards,
Josh
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Old Sep 18, 2012, 01:41 PM
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United States, VA, Virginia Beach
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Definitely RTFM!

Most high wing trainers (if there's dihedral in the wings) will correct themselves if you get into trouble, as long as you have the altitude.

High rates and low rates, I'm surprised since the manual didn't really explain them in detail that you didn't play with it on the ground to see what it did. You have a valid point though. If you contact HH and suggest that as a starting pilot you may find your suggestion ends up in a reprint of the manual.

I'm also very sorry to inform you that you are now hooked. Welcome to the hobby!
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Old Sep 18, 2012, 03:06 PM
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From the manual:

Quote:
Note: HobbyZone STRONGLY recommends using the LOW- RATE setting for conducting first flights .
It really couldn't be any clearer.
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Old Sep 19, 2012, 08:34 AM
buyer of the farm
United States, FL, DeLand
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It's just one thing we miss when our enthusiasm overrides our caution. You survived it, have three good observations and now can continue on your road to addiction. God help you. There is no known cure.
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Old Sep 19, 2012, 09:48 AM
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Thank to all who commented and provided support and "welcome". Thank you for pointing out the note that I obviously missed. In the short run the value of the Champ is to be forgiving to new flyers.

I am still grounded for weather, but hopeful. Thanks again!
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Old Sep 19, 2012, 10:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dedStik View Post
Definitely RTFM!

Most high wing trainers (if there's dihedral in the wings) will correct themselves if you get into trouble, as long as you have the altitude.
There's almost never enough time for the self-correcting properties of significant dihedral to right a plane that is in a extreme configuration. Not on model planes that fly relatively close to the ground.

I'm not a fan of all the dihedral that is put on trainers, it rarely helps a new pilot out of serious mistakes, increases difficulty flying in wind and couples yaw to roll such that normal yaw correction during approach and landing is annoying.
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Old Sep 19, 2012, 01:20 PM
buyer of the farm
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Originally Posted by jsipprell View Post
There's almost never enough time for the self-correcting properties of significant dihedral to right a plane that is in a extreme configuration. Not on model planes that fly relatively close to the ground.

I'm not a fan of all the dihedral that is put on trainers, it rarely helps a new pilot out of serious mistakes, increases difficulty flying in wind and couples yaw to roll such that normal yaw correction during approach and landing is annoying.
Well THAT was........incomprehensible! A trainer with dihedral can fly itself. It doesn't even need a pilot. What's a newbie doing if he tries to fly in high wind anyway? How is normal yaw correction during approach and landing annoying? I caught my Radian on just about every landing. Yaw correction was about as annoying as breathing.
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Old Sep 19, 2012, 01:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jsipprell View Post
There's almost never enough time for the self-correcting properties of significant dihedral to right a plane that is in a extreme configuration. Not on model planes that fly relatively close to the ground.

I'm not a fan of all the dihedral that is put on trainers, it rarely helps a new pilot out of serious mistakes, increases difficulty flying in wind and couples yaw to roll such that normal yaw correction during approach and landing is annoying.
Actually, rudder/elevator/dihedral trainers stop people getting into a bad attitude to begin with. True, you can't land as effectively in a crosswind, but that is for advanced 4ch trainers.
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Old Sep 19, 2012, 01:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jsipprell View Post
There's almost never enough time for the self-correcting properties of significant dihedral to right a plane that is in a extreme configuration. Not on model planes that fly relatively close to the ground.
The only times a plane should be flown close to the ground, especially by novice pilot is on take off and landing. Otherwise they will correct themselves. There's a reason high wing trainers with dihedral have been the suggested first plane for decades.
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Old Sep 20, 2012, 07:26 AM
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Ditto that for reading the manual. Trouble is that this newbie didn't get one with his Decathalon!

Result - two prangs, two broken props...oops. I'm going to try a test glide, and then a hand launch in the long grass next time!

BTW if you have a DX6i, you can set for 'EXPO/DUAL RATE' which decreases stick sensitivity in the middle area 0-100%. I tried 10-15% on the sim, and it really does make a difference if you're ham-fisted like me, but I haven't figured out the dual rate bit yet - the manual isn't very clear?
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Old Sep 20, 2012, 07:32 AM
Bye Bye VP Aug 2010 - Aug 2012
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Originally Posted by FlyBoy20 View Post
Ditto that for reading the manual. Trouble is that this newbie didn't get one with his Decathalon!

Result - two prangs, two broken props...oops. I'm going to try a test glide, and then a hand launch in the long grass next time!

BTW if you have a DX6i, you can set for 'EXPO/DUAL RATE' which decreases stick sensitivity in the middle area 0-100%. I tried 10-15% on the sim, and it really does make a difference if you're ham-fisted like me, but I haven't figured out the dual rate bit yet - the manual isn't very clear?
The manual in taped to the bottom of the foam tray. Also, all the manuals are downloadable in PDF format.
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Old Sep 20, 2012, 09:50 AM
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United States, VA, Virginia Beach
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FlyBoy20 View Post
Ditto that for reading the manual. Trouble is that this newbie didn't get one with his Decathalon!

Result - two prangs, two broken props...oops. I'm going to try a test glide, and then a hand launch in the long grass next time!

BTW if you have a DX6i, you can set for 'EXPO/DUAL RATE' which decreases stick sensitivity in the middle area 0-100%. I tried 10-15% on the sim, and it really does make a difference if you're ham-fisted like me, but I haven't figured out the dual rate bit yet - the manual isn't very clear?
Dual rates will lower the control surface throws. Some sims you may have to set extra settings in order for the DR's to work.

Set your elevator rate from 100% down to 10%, flip the switch while holding full up or down and watch what happens. Make sure the plane is on the ground.
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Old Sep 20, 2012, 11:03 AM
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United States, CA, Oceanside
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Welcome to the hobby Porsche. The Champ is only the first step to this additction of ours. Pretty soon you will be getting up really early so that you can beat the wind just to fly your Champ for a little while. Then you'll think, " Wow, I can fly this thing pretty good. I wonder if a bigger plane..........." and on and on it will go. Have fun flyin' and be safe.
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Old Sep 20, 2012, 03:18 PM
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Wow! Lots of experience among the comments, some I understand others I think I need more time in the saddle to grasp.

Since my last post I have spent some serious taxi time, which has revealed a rudder trim or rear wheel issue that I am trying to deal with... it wants to turn left, with enough space at low throttle, it goes in circles, I centered trim, an tweeked the rear wheel, but the winds kicked up so I have to go back at that.

Hand launchings seems to be the key for now, but winds continue to be a problem, I will probably be getting up early in the AM this weekend to see if I can get some calm air. Winds speeds have been low, but the gusts are killing me and my wing (enough said..I am a pro super gluer...working hard to keep the spare wing in the box).

I am really looking forward to calm winds so I can experience that excitement that everyone is talking about...I hope it come soon I need it. I have not found a local club to lean on and the simulators do not seem to be mac computer friendly.

Those of you who have warned about being hooked...I fear it has already happened. If for no other reason that I am driving for the first sustained flight.

Thanks for all the words of wisdom and encouragement.
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