My Beginner flying Logbook - RC Groups
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Jul 03, 2009, 07:21 PM
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My Beginner flying Logbook

My first "real" RC-plane:


1. Maiden, far too much wind, but just had to try... Launched into the wind, but new to hand launching, and gave the plane too little speed, resulting in a speedy touchdown to the gravel, but the plane bounced back up, and I "flew" it into the wind, gaining height quickly.
Tried to turn away from the wind, had too little speed, and went down quickly 45 degrees - to the gravel. The crash looked ugly, but no damage, the wheels took the main impact probably.

2. Nicer conditions, flying ground maybe a bit worse. Some quick crashes from take-off again, and some ok flight with moderate crash-landings )..

3. New place to fly again in Ask°y, double football-field, and nice conditions. Had a couple of good flight, and even landed nicely - beginner's luck. Quit the flying while ahead !

4. Strange conditions at Stemmemyren, wind seemed to come from all sides. Resulted in a few moderate crashes to the gravel. Some strange behaviour from servos was also suspected, maybe causing one crash.

5. Flying at Storetveit, started out with another beginner-error, launched in side/back-wind, resulting in crash. Continued the successful day by getting the plane stuck about 6meters up in a bunch of trees. Got it down after a lot of work. Flew some more and crashed more than I could believe. The most unbelieveable part was that nothing seems to happen to the plane.

6. Storetveit again the same day in the evening. Emptied two packs without any real crashes, only some hard landings. The best flying so far, in really nice wind free conditions. Met some polish guys who had a couple of scratch built foam-planes that flew very well. Could go really fast maybe a 100 km/h, but also glide real slow. Really nice guys. And my brother flew his helicopter quite well as well...

7. Again at Storetveit at dusk, emptied one battery without problems, but had to keep crash-traditions up, and misjudged the position of some low branches of a tree - and the crash was a good punch on the nose of my cub, destroying the battery box a bit, and trying to compress the whole nose area. Could be pulled out again though, and no danage to prop or engine...
Another guy was there with a supercub, and that plane seemed superstable, and able to go quite a lot slower than my plane...

8. Got a few lessons again - do not send the plane up with wrongly adjusted rudder, so that you cant turn to both sides. Resulted in a turn that was impossible to recover from, and a hard hit to the ground, breaking the nose-cone, but nothing tape couldnt fix.
The plane also told me AGAIN that it needs a GOOD PUSH at takeoff, or will crash to the ground due to lack of airspeed.

9. Nice flying again at Storetveit, this time without any plane-destroying incidents. My father tried his new plane and looped it straight from take-off and to the ground, but the very soft ground saved it

10. Flying alone at dusk - some bad crashes before I realised that full speed ahead is what is needed to have more control. Low-speed is the enemy !!!
Unhooked the trainer jumper which mixed in some elevator-up in turns. Would say it made the plane easier to fly, the nose-up could quickly lead to stalls, and actually didnt help me much...

11. A couple of solid crashes today, once the plane went into an unexplainable spin, and straight to the ground. The other time the pilot failed by putting the plane between the sun and himself, and going off throttle in panic, resulting in heavy nose-in.... and pushed in front part of plane. But the plane seems to still be alive...

12. Just some tape was needed after last crashing. Came to the field with good intentions today. Dont do anything daring, remember all good advice from RC-groups, etc etc... full speed all the time in fear of the dangerous stall-speed.. There was a little bit of wind, but the flying went well, to the point when I started to think about landing. Damn did that tree come fast up against me !!!
Looked like a minor crash, but unlucky circumstances, and the wing took most of the impact, resulting in the plane falling on its back-end to the ground. So torn off wing-supports, and damage to elevator and link to elevator. The wing seemed a bit deformed, but definitely not broken.
It turned out all could be fixed almost to "good as new" with glue/tape, and some small balsa-pieces.

13. Was in a very nice place with beautiful scenery, and sent the plane up despite the obviously too strong winds. All landings were crashes which would have had no survivors, but I only did a few flights and quit before destroying anything.

14. Flied at my usual place, but this time in the middle of the day, with unsteady winds. Most of the flying went well, but crashed into a small barrack (is that the word??) with two guys inside. They rushed outside and laughed and asked if I was the owner of a big crashed plane they had seen in the area, I laughed back and told them no, hehe...

15. Flied successfully in for me, strong winds, but in the end I got caught by a sudden shift that sent my plane straight to the ground maybe 15meters after takeoff. Bent the propeller-shaft a little bit.

16. Very nice flying at dusk, controlled flight and no damage for once...

17. Late flying again, but a little strong wind made me quit before I got unlucky and crashed.

18. Flied at a new place - Birkeland, a nice open field, and at dusk in good conditions with very little wind. The batterys hadnt been charged for a week, so the power was a bit low. I could barely stay airborne. But flying nice low turns just 4-5 meters over the grass was good fun. Except for the ever returning bad hand-launch, the flying went very well, and no crashes...

19. Flied at another new place, just a couple of brief flights, didnt have the power to get high in the air, and crashed due to wind. Soft field so no damage. Maybe propeller shaft is not straight enough, resulting in lack of power...

20. Flied again in the evening. Nice flying in a nice farmer's field at Birkeland. Definitely some wind, but as long as its steady I'm learning to handle it ! The plane really is underpowered, and sometimes it will struggle on a downwind leg, have to be real careful to maintain speed through the turns.

21. Some short flying in Estonia, the plane has survived the trip in the suitcase, and a kyosho cessna wing substitutes for the original wing. It seemed a bit out of power, and there were some problems with servos - but solved on the ground.

22. Same day, now in the evening, very nice flying, and the wing worked well... Tested with cardboard/tape extensions to wing - it flied, but not better than without... got some nice video and pictures as we were two fliers, one cessna and one piper, with the opposite wings...

23. The strongest wind I've flied successfully so far, maybe 5-6 m/s (10-12 knots) ... Went with brother-in law again, with piper/cessna. He had unfortunate crash were he couldnt keep airspeed in an upwind turn quite far away, and crashed nose to the ground, and bent propellershaft. But no disaster...will be bent back easily I think..
The control-horn for my elevator came off in one flight, but it was possible to control the plane down with low speed.

24. Flied 3 batterys through the cub, extremely nice flying just before the sun was going down. Perfect windfree conditions. Tried to do a loop, but the plane hasnt really got enough power, and one attempt ended with falling out of the loop, the other was more like a loop a bit to the side, a real clean loop seems impossible with the 280 engine... But with good height there was plenty time to get control again without crashing.

25-26. Sometimes its hard to see what is happening with my little plane. Yes the nose is quite soft from crashing, and sometimes the electrics go crazy. But after last successful flying I really didnt expect 2 complete failures on two consecutive flying-days... The plane just would not fly, at least not more than 20-30 meters. After the first time I glued and stiffened up the nose, but had the same problems next time.

Next attempt will be to repair the batterybox, and put some CRC on servo-contacts to receiver. Then lets see if it can fly again...

27. Cub still unflyable, it seems possible that I have destroyed/weakened my batteries (NIMH) by charging after only using some power.
Flied a friends plane, and it behaved a bit strange/was a bit out of trim. We managed to fly it and crash it quite well in soft grass, ended up with me bending the prop-shaft and damaging the gearbox - but we got some good pictures, had good fun, and the plane even got chased by a bird )....

28-29. Flied quite successfully in Estonia with brother in law, Erki, borrowing his Cessna/piper - cessna with piperwing, as mine is still out of commission. Successful, except for bending the propellershaft once hehe, mostly very nice flying.

30. Flied at home again, the plane flew very well now with new engine and battery. The only problem was the pilot, who managed to get himself into a too tight and slow turn = stall and almost a crash into water, but hit the soft grass instead... Flied another short run, and landed a few meters from myself, just to finish with a good feeling )...

31. Had to get some quick flying done again, at a small field, but with almost windfree conditions. Flied through one battery pack practicing to just do safe flying with no drama or surprises. It actually worked and I landed a few meters from myself. Went up again, and had the auto shut-off in the air, but managed to throttle down, and back up to half power, and bring the bird home to a landing a few feet from me. Really nice feeling.

Then went shopping while battery was charging, and back to the field for more uneventful flying, the only thing missing was the rush you get from crashing or almost crashing. But I decided I've had enough of that for a while, and just flied carefully and safely, the only drama was that the plane flipped over when landing in grass.

Overall a very nice experience, and maybe I'm moving out of beginner into intermediate already ?

32. Flied again with no problems, in very nice conditions. Even tried a new thing - the stall turn (Hammerhead turn), tried it a few times, and though it wasn't perfect, it was a very fun thing to try. Did not have any close encounters with terra firma because of it, so overall very happy

Also tried looping, but didnt have enough speed or was it skill, who knows ? I came close, so with a bit steeper dive I should probably have enough speed to execute the loop. Maybe I should wait till I get some carbon reinforcement for the wing.

33. Once again super flying, and no wind ! Did the stall turn a few times, and also finally managed a few loops. Probably I have been giving too hard elevator before, slowing the plane down too much.
I also practiced a few landings, but they were a bit jumpy. Did not have a proper runway, so did only a few to not damage the plane.

34. Flying again - two trips to fly in one day !
Maidened my Skyartec Cessna, and that plane was great to fly, it was a lot faster than my cub, but in some ways easier to control. The extra power also gives you that possibility to just hit the throttle, and nose up to get out of trouble...
Flied the cub as well, and let my brother try it as his first attempt at flying a plane. He flied ok for a while, then started overcontrolling like a fool, he should know better from heli-experience. I tried to talk sense to him, but he didnt give me the control before it was too late. A pity I dont have the buddybox stuff, or he would have "lost" the plane much earlier. It ended in a quite hard crash, minor damage to wing, broken batterybox, and some weakening of the body, oh well, if electronics arent killed it will fly again..

35. Morning flying just after breakfast on a sunday, that was nice ! The cub was not in the best shape, so more of a test flight there. Probably the wings were too straight, as it had a tendency to keep the wing down if it had gotten into a turn. Not good, made two small flights, and decided to have another look at the plane at home, instead of crashing it and damaging it.

Then I took the skyartec cessna out, and it flied exactly like it should - and was still the same pocket rocket... Maybe I should moderate my praise from yesterday a little, it's not that easy to land it, because of the high speed, even when gliding in for approach. But unlike the cub with a weak engine, this plane with the powerful engine can be saved easily from a bad approach by hitting throttle and nosing up... It was unusual to fly in the morning sun, and I just practiced my landing approach, and did a few grass landings, plus a couple of loops. Hit full throttle maybe twice, the speed is too much especially for the small field I was at, but so much better to have too much power compared to too little...

36. Flied again in the evening in perfect conditions. No wind, and good light, but not direct sun !
This time the cub went up and flied very well, after I had loosened up the wing struts (not connected the stock way), and taken the landing gear off since it had been crashed quite badly, and maybe twisted so it could affect plane handling.
The stall turn is good fun with the cub, and it seemed to fly a bit faster without landing gear. Did some good easy flying with it, and landed a couple of times in the grass.
Then it was time for the cessna, and I flied it with care, not taking any chances. Did some loops, and mostly just cruising around at maybe half throttle. Landing is still hard when you have a quite small place to land in. Ok, I can always get it down, but usually end up gliding much further than planned, so best to have a lot of "runway" or grassy hill in my case.

Once again nice to go home with no damage to the planes !

37. Short flight in gusty wind conditions, both the cub and the cessna were in the air. But I was sensible enough to don't push my luck, as the conditions were quite bad. No crashes, and of course, no damage, but not much fun, as it was a bit of a struggle just to maintain ordinary flight, and not much airtime. Oh well, another day...

38. Super flying at the best site I have - Storetveit. Practiced tight turns with the cessna, using aileron and elevator, instead of just sliding around on elevator only )... Did some loops, and some low passes and landings in the grass.
Flied the cub too, sent that one up first to test if there was some difference in wind high up compared to ground... Flied that one very lazily, and most of all SAFE ).. It was a very good flight day...

39. Flied at Birkeland again, farmer's field, and he had cut the grass now...
The cub was hard to control as there was quite a bit of wind, had a couple of small crashes with it, then decided to switch planes.
Up goes the cessna, and with the extra power and manouverability, the wind was no longer a problem. What a great flier it is. Does really tight turns, and just pulls out of them, and can do large open loops like nothing at all. I love this plane... Landings went nicely too, the cessna slided along the fresh-cut grass... Hmm, probably more flying tonight :-)

40. Flying at Storetveit again in the evening. The cub needed repair after transport damage, axel had snapped out of wheel inside gearbox, screwed it off, and pressed it back in, seemed ok - flied two batteries through it.. Only slow and easy flying with that one as usual.

The skyartec cessna was the main fun of the day of course, and it flied very nicely as usual. Tried multiple loops, which was no problem, and for the first time I also tried rolling, which was also not difficult, but obviously I need practice to make nice clean rolls. They seemed to work best going full throttle and a little up. Will try some rolls in FMS, and see how they can be improved. If only I had a plane in the simulator that flied like the cessna...

41. Flying alone at Birkeland in windy conditions. Had a bad situation where I lost control of the plane due to putting it too much between the sun and myself - and losing orientation. Luckily I had it a bit up in the air, and managed to get my orientation right before mother earth could grab the cessna...
Most of the flying went very well, practiced rolls, did loops, tight turns... and just staying in level flight in the wind. Landings were a bit difficult because of the wind, and had to land far away from myself to get a good flightpath (not in the sun, and against the wind) into landing...

Tried filming with a ground-based camera, I don't think that was much of a success...

42. Flied at Storetveit alone in daytime, the propeller was a bit bent, so the unclean sound came, and it was not as efficient as it should be. This has developed over time, so after today's flight I changed the prop. Should probably have done it before, but everything was ok, so the vibrations didnt destroy anything.
The flying itself was good, no problems except making the really good grasslanding at the chosen spot, and not 20m away

43. This blog stops here - as I'm not really a beginner anymore, not when it comes to the flying anyway... Batteries and electronics are another story...
But have had many successful flights since last post, and no crashes, so this story about being a beginner, and so many of the typical mistakes/lessons I've had, will stay here as an inspiration for other beginners.
Last edited by Cubber1; Sep 06, 2009 at 04:31 AM.
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Jul 26, 2009, 01:46 PM
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Getting a plane #2

Choices choices....
Have been considering now for a while to get a plane #2 after my Kyosho Cub.
With less than 30 times flying, I cant exactly go for a very advanced plane, but am considering both 3 and 4 channell candidates. Probably one of my best choices would be the supercub with lipo power, but havent been able to decide yet.
Would love to have the more advanced "glitchfree" electronics of spectrum technology and 2.4 ghz, but wonder if it is worth the investment...

Have also considered the decathlon ARF from hobbycity, and a cessna that is almost RTF, from the same dealer. And even a Radian with dx5e, at a quite expensive package price, but "real" equipment.


Plane #2 was shipped from HongKong/HobbyKing on the 29th July, so now I'm awaiting the arrival of my new Cessna 182 Skylane with brushless setup.

This plane:

I've had the cessna for some time now, and think it is an absolutely super-deal for a challenging, yet easy plane to fly. Challenging if you want to take it to the limits, and maybe also because it is very fast, but easy if you just cruise around at moderate speeds... Slides in quite fast for landing with throttle off, but just glides and glides, almost impossible to stall it.
Last edited by Cubber1; Aug 14, 2009 at 09:16 AM.
Mar 05, 2010, 10:25 PM
On the Edge of Space
dLdV's Avatar
I enjoyed reading your journal about learning to fly RC. The video you posted of the motor glider was also very entertaining. The view of the countryside was quite nice to see. Feel free to delete this after reading, no insult will be taken.
Mar 06, 2010, 06:03 PM
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Cubber1's Avatar
Originally Posted by dLdV
I enjoyed reading your journal about learning to fly RC. The video you posted of the motor glider was also very entertaining. The view of the countryside was quite nice to see. Feel free to delete this after reading, no insult will be taken.

Thanks for the nice comments !
My latest beginner-mistake: I'm new to propeller-savers, and tried flying with a bad rubberband as replacement. It almost ended with the plane in two pieces, but luckily just almost :-)...

So advice to other beginners - when using prop-savers check the rubber-bands, and only use correct ones.
Mar 07, 2010, 09:34 AM
On the Edge of Space
dLdV's Avatar
I could never find the trick of using prop savers. I now use collet type or hex screw type prop adaptors and accept the occasional broken prop or bent motor shaft as part of the cost of flying.

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