How do you console your youngster when the inevitable happens to his planes? - RC Groups
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Jul 08, 2012, 07:55 PM
Registered User

How do you console your youngster when the inevitable happens to his planes?

I've explained to my son over and over that even the most experienced RC guys wreck a plane now and then and it's part of the hobby. I tell him a lot, it's GOING TO HAPPEN.

Still, he is crushed when he trashes one. And, to be honest he has really only trashed one that I suspect was junk the day it showed up from a cruddy internet dealer I won't mention as others may use/like them.

I always get them fixed, and to be honest he does pretty well for a 12 year old as far as inventory goes. He's got 6 planes here plus his DX6i. He got a new Stryker yesterday and it goes out for it's first flight tomorrow and I'm already afraid of how bad he's going to feel if it doesn't make it back home in one piece. That little thing looks as though it may be the fastest thing he has flown yet, so I'm a bit worried.

I need to find a way to teach him that these things are going to happen in this hobby. I just know how devastated he gets when one comes home with a broken wing, missing a nose-cone or the tail no longer attached.

Any advice from you guys with youngsters flying?
Last edited by AtGame7; Jul 08, 2012 at 08:07 PM.
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Jul 08, 2012, 08:46 PM
Registered User
You won't like my answer . You have warned him at least once, he's 12 , let him off your apron strings. ENJOY !!! RED
Jul 08, 2012, 08:55 PM
Registered User
Involve him in the fixing process, if you're not already.

Show him that half the fun of the hobby is taking a bunch of random parts and making it into something that can fly through the air... and that every broken airplane is nothing more than a complicated puzzle that you get to figure out how to put back together. And, if you do, you've accomplished something impressive.
Jul 08, 2012, 08:58 PM
Registered User
My sons don't fly them yet, but my 4 year old has gone out with me on 2 flights. First time I took off in my FMS C182, I didn't correct on take off and the plane turned sharp did a nose dive into the ground and, well took a really good beating. I had to explain to him the rest of the drive home and most of the day, no it's not supposed to happen like that, and YES it will be ok once we both work on it and put it back together. We got to go to the hobby store together see all sorts of cool cars, planes, parts and he was all excited to go there. We picked up the parts needed to repair the C182 and worked on it together.

Then just last night I crashed my SC and cracked the cow up. Again, on the walk home from the park I had to explain to him over and over that it's going to be ok and part of the hobby is tinkering with the entire plane. I'm also a plumber so he knows I like to take things apart and improve/repair them to get them back to working like they should. I tell him we will work together and enjoy this part of the hobby. He's only 4 so I let him hold the tape, or he'll get the screwdrivers for me, or something that makes him feel like he's helping and he really enjoys seeing it fixed up and running again.

I'm not trying to say I understand how it is to talk to the psyche of a 12 year since my aren't that old yet, but I would simply remind him this is a hobby. Hobbies are supposed to be fun. Flying the planes or driving the RC cars, boats, etc.. is just 1 side of the hobby, tinkering, upgrading, and REPAIRING them is the other side. Enjoy that you get to work together with him on fixing it up and seeing him smile when he sees it fly again after the work you both put into it to get it air-worthy again. Enjoy the time with him, they grow up TOO fast.

Happy Flying & Tinkering!
Jul 08, 2012, 09:22 PM
Registered User
All three of those posts are very solid advice. Thank you all.

I guess I just want this to be fun for him and not have him feel that disappointment. I honestly think he feels like he lets me down when one gets banged up. I remind him all the time that I can't fly a paper airplane and that he is leaps and bounds ahead of what would happen if I tried to fly one of those things.

I enjoy watching him fly as well as the others that gather at the local park. I own a Firebird Stratus of my own and a simulator and I am learning to fly myself. The key word there is "learning". I am getting very good at gluing things back together.
Jul 08, 2012, 10:44 PM
I think I'm inverted. Maybe.
acetech09's Avatar
I don't have a young one, so I can't comment on how to console him - but it might be helpful to get him a plane he can't break in the first place... some sort of EPP foamy would probably make you both a bit happier
Jul 08, 2012, 11:18 PM
"Landing" in a tree somewhere
Crashing is part of the learning process for those learning to fly on their own. Being a bit upset after crashing a plane is normal. He's just going to have to get used to it on his own.

An EPP foamy is a nice idea, I wouldn't say they're indestructible but after most crashes you often just pick it up, do a quick check and toss it back into the air. If he does manage to tear the foam it's pretty easy to glue back together.

If he's able to fly a 4-channel plane (which I'm guessing he can since he's got a stryker now) you might check out a 3D EPP foamy. Some you can buy in kit form or if you really enjoy building you can make one from scratch using plans. They don't typically cost too much, they can be flown in small spaces as you get better with them and they're a lot of fun.
Jul 09, 2012, 12:12 AM
An Ordinary User
I had a similar experience with my son when he was 6. A lot of crying when we had to stop flying due to having one crash too many. Small crashes bothered me more than him, but when the plane was disabled he would lose control of his emotions. I would do the repairs as soon as we got inside and ask him to inspect my work. Most times he thought it was even better than before the crash and would try again the next day.

Until you've actually repaired one or watched someone do a complete repair a few times, a crash has a sense of finality to it. A finality to a good looking model, a finality to the fun of flying it, and maybe a finality to the approval from Dad. All you have to do is instill in your son that "it aint over till it's over" attitude and show by doing.

It made my son feel better about it when I explained to him that I enjoy fixing them when I know he enjoys flying them and if he didn't crash it would take away some of my enjoyment.

Nowadays, it's me who does the crashing and coming in depressed. He's now 7 and occasionally asks if I want him to land it for me. Of course not.
Jul 09, 2012, 12:17 AM
Drone offender FA377YHFNC
Disappointment is part of life that it is very valuable to learn how to handle. It doesn't seem reasonable to him just now but keeping your head about you when the disappointment hits is the killer app for catching the opportunities that always pop up just when you're unprepared for them. Teaching him to expect the opportunity even when bad things happen is a huge part of producing a happy son.
Jul 09, 2012, 12:17 AM
I think I'm inverted. Maybe.
acetech09's Avatar
EPP again is an answer. I'm surprised EPP isn't such a prolific material in building trainers. Build a EPP foamy that flies like a slow stick, and coat it in heavy lamination film. Give it a pusher prop so that won't break - and securely insulate the interior components. Sounds like that would save a lot of grief.
Jul 09, 2012, 12:44 AM
in the beginning...
bm2thirsty's Avatar
IMO your missing the biggest point, that he's dissapointed that he's damaged it, to me that says that everything your doing is right. If he could care less or just shrugs it off as oh well, then i'd be worried. How he's going is fine, it shows he cares about his stuff. Thats great.

The other side of the coin is that he's 12, of course he should be upset, that will change with age. Give it time, let him help fix the planes and all will be well. The way your teaching him is fine. I dont think you need to find a different approach to consoling him about things that are going to happen.
boats (father of 4)
Jul 09, 2012, 01:47 AM
I think I'm inverted. Maybe.
acetech09's Avatar
Originally Posted by bm2thirsty
IMO your missing the biggest point, that he's dissapointed that he's damaged it, to me that says that everything your doing is right. If he could care less or just shrugs it off as oh well, then i'd be worried. How he's going is fine, it shows he cares about his stuff. Thats great.
I originally had a second paragraph addressing that, but removed it before posting. I, paraphrasing, explained that, if he's not to the level to be able to keep a plane together for more than a week, he should be learning on something a bit spongier anyway, even if that just means more flight time to learn.
Jul 09, 2012, 09:19 AM
Low'n Slow is safest, right?
KaiWE's Avatar
I guess my 11-year old gets a fair share of "education" regarding how to handle crashes by observing his father

We always fly together, and since he is flying his Champ/Super Cub/Firebird Stratos while I'm trying to learn 3D, most crashes are done by me...

See me handling the immediate disappointment in an adult fashion( ), joining in on the post-crash analysis to see what can be learned from the episode, and assisting in getting the plane airworthy again has made him quite capable of coping with his own crashes (which are few and far between compared to mine...).

I also thinks that he has gotten the concept of having to push the limits a bit to learn faster. Playing it "110% safe" all the time does not makes for the fastest progression, all within limits of course.

The key factor in my opinion is to analyze whats happened, and see what is to be learned from that particular experience - even if the lesson learned ends up with being "that was an incredibly silly thing to do with a plane like that, expensive and hard to repair...."

This is of course just my 1.23 norwegian kroner (2 cents according to the recent exchange rate ), but it works for us

Greetings from Norway,
Kai W-E
Jul 09, 2012, 09:44 AM
Rocket Programmer
jasmine2501's Avatar
If the disappointment becomes a mental block, then I would say do something to help them deal with it, but otherwise, let them go through a healthy depression cycle. Too many kids these days are growing up never knowing what it's like to fail, and they end up with their moms calling the boss to complain about their working conditions when they are 25 damn years old... true story. Let the kid figure out how to deal with it.
Jul 09, 2012, 01:12 PM
Redacted per NSA "suggestion"
dedStik's Avatar
Originally Posted by Rayne
Crashing is part of the learning process for those learning to fly on their own. Being a bit upset after crashing a plane is normal. He's just going to have to get used to it on his own.
While true, not entirely accurate. Crashing is part of flying. The best pilot in the world can not prevent the unknown, wind, mechanical failure, etc. At that point gravity will take over and win.

Explain there is no reset, there are no do overs, gravity is a force and while planes are designed to fly they aren't immune to it's effects.

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