How do you teach a 4 year old to fly? - Page 2 - RC Groups
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Dec 04, 2012, 11:40 PM
Registered User
Originally Posted by easyrider604
Not saying your kid brother cannot learn to fly rc.

Teaching two thumbs is easier than learning to use all ten fingers and one foot, which is what Mozart did at three years.
Mozart was not exactly a typical example of childhood development. Unless you are really lucky a 4 year old will have neither the coordination nor the patience to learn.
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Dec 05, 2012, 01:25 PM
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Originally Posted by desertstalker
Mozart was not exactly a typical example of childhood development. Unless you are really lucky a 4 year old will have neither the coordination nor the patience to learn.
Exactly! That's what I meant. A naturally gifted 4 year old RC flyer will have no problem learning to fly at 4 yrs. Just like Mozart on the piano at 3.

Question is, is the 4 yr old in question an RC prodigy?

For us mere mortals, a more normal learning progression should work. Start with the foam gliders to get him interested in model airplanes. Then perhaps a simpler form of RC, like RC tanks (slow, yes, but will teach him orientation if nothing else), then to faster RC models, like toy-grade cars, then to Hobbyzone Champ when the time comes.
Dec 05, 2012, 02:05 PM
No place like cloud base......
SuperBarlow's Avatar
I have twin 4 Year Old brothers, and I was asking myself the same question-
Then I remembered a toy that a friend of mine used to have: A helicopter attached to a rod that was on a swivel. When you powered up the heli, it would fly around and around.

I decided to build one, but with a plane instead of a heli.

Long story short, I ended up with a basic throttle trainer for my brothers, and a Christmas present also!

Another thing would be a nice little glider, just to start him out.

Dec 05, 2012, 02:43 PM
ski bum in training
addictedtoplanes's Avatar
Originally Posted by fly wheel
"how do you teach a 4-year-old to fly?"

throw him off the roof?

(sorry, couldn't resist )
Dec 06, 2012, 12:50 PM
Registered User
Jim Buzzeo's Avatar
LOTS of good advice given so far...
I'm actually surprised, I'm no Mozart and I certainly don't consider myself 'gifted'...
but I started flying in 1967 at age 5.
(My Dad was a pattern competitor and both my older brothers were heavily into RC)
it wasn't until I was almost SIX (GASP!) before I was able to solo.
now I have a 10 year old son, he started at age 7 and soloed in 4 months....
(yes, he did spend time with me at the field, but never had a transmitter in his hands till he turned 7)
Your brother is too young yet (in my opinion). I know very well that my Dad simply wanted me at the field with him, and that the 'Training' I got at such a young age did NOT help me actually LEARN anything about flying model airplanes. as has been mentioned, get him INTERESTED..
hand launch gliders, 'Push Button Airplanes' (essentially a tethered single line Ukie)
heck, even paper airplanes should keep his hands and mind occupied and moving in the right direction...
Dec 06, 2012, 04:10 PM
Registered User
Hey JB, you don't realize it, but you are in reality, gifted with the genes. On top of that, you were raised in the "proper" RC environment.

IMO, if you soloed at age 6. you are a natural.

I understand where you came from. My father was an avid modeler as well.
Dec 06, 2012, 07:58 PM
Registered User
My son is 3 and he liked to crash on purpose on my fms sim. I found a Santa Claus in a sleigh model. Gave him the remote and told him not to kill Santa. He can do a little better now. He at least tries to fly without crashing......
Dec 07, 2012, 06:57 PM
Rocket Programmer
jasmine2501's Avatar
Originally Posted by wizard of odd
Get him a foam chuck glider like a Multiplex Fox. Around $20 and easy to repair...
YES! I am really glad I got a Fox before they discontinued it - the replacement is... well, not much of a replacement (but it is still better than a Wally mart glider)

Originally Posted by Rockin Robbins
It's like learning to read. A kid is completely incapable of even the concept of changing all those strange marks into words until his brain is ready. One day he is incapable of learning to read and the next he's ready. Trying to teach a kid whose brain isn't ready is impossible.
THIS. Most 4 year old kids aren't that smart - it isn't anything wrong with them, just different kids learn different things at different times. I learned to talk before I could walk, and my whole life has kinda been like that - I have an aptitude for mental things, not physical things.

Originally Posted by Jim Buzzeo
LOTS of good advice given so far...
I'm actually surprised, I'm no Mozart and I certainly don't consider myself 'gifted'...
but I started flying in 1967 at age 5.
Sure yeah, there's always an outlier... you're on the end of the bell curve, most 5 year old kids don't even grasp the concept of symbolic control. They only understand putting their hands on the thing directly. There is a simple test for this - give the kid a little Air Hogs helicopter, the tiny, cheap one. Show him how it works one time, then give it to him and let him do whatever he wants. Most kids of 5 years old will "fly" the helicopter in their hand by holding it up and running around the room. Some kids will understand that the controller can "activate" the helicopter and they understand it as an on-off switch - those kids are not quite ready to learn to fly but they are close.

There is nothing wrong with doing psychological tests on your kids. Give them something and see what they do with it - it's hard not to interfere, but it's important to just observe what they do. It will really help you figure out the details of your child's development, like RR said - it's not about leveling up, it's about specific things. Different kids develop different skills at different rates.

Give him one of these and if he can keep it from hitting the ceiling, he might be ready for RC... (but most kids that age will simply "turn it on" and let it crash)

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