1 Tip for New Beginner RC Helicopter Pilots

Check out this thread to learn tips and tricks about RC Helicopters from those with experience. Use it as a resource and be sure to share your knowledge with the group.

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Share Your Best Tips with New Pilots

This time of year we start seeing an influx of newcomers to the hobby visiting RCGroups. Some are finding out about this great hobby for the first time and wanting to soak up as much information as they can before starting their journey. For most of us, we've been doing this for years or decades and as a community, the knowledge we all have is an outstanding resource that should be shared.

I wanted to create a series of these articles for various RC categories so no matter if you got a new airplane, heli, drone, truck or boat, you'll have easy access to some of the best tips and tricks to help you be successful and enjoy your chosen hobby. This article is for RC Helicopters, so please hit the reply button below and share your favorite helicopter related tips and tricks.

I'll get us started with a cool resource you might not be familiar with. While it is possible to learn to fly with the right Heli all by yourself, you are going to have a better chance with the help of an experienced pilot. Plus meeting and flying with others who share the same passion as you is way more fun than doing it alone. Use the RCGroups Places Page to locate and find clubs near you and reach out for help. You'll be glad you did.

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Dec 18, 2017, 05:17 PM
KE Spins make me dizzy.
Even of its right out of the box, check your linkages.
Dec 18, 2017, 07:09 PM
Registered User
Flying Fiz's Avatar
Two tips;
1 Practice on a SIM. Pretty soon it will just " click"and you will be able to hover. This will pay for itself in no time at all due to you not having to buy smashed parts for your crashed heli.
2. Before self leveling micros my advice would be to go big, say a 500 size at least to learn on due to their stability and have an experienced heli pilot help you. But now I would recommend a quality micro heli that you can fly over grass and crash almost endlessly without damage. Once you can fly one of these a 500 (although daunting at first) will be easy by comparison.
Dec 20, 2017, 12:39 PM
AeroDan
If you can afford it, (unlike myself) a sim IS the way to go. PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE!!!! A Blade MSR S is a good first machine. REMEMBER, @Nose-In-Hover, the Cyclic & Rudder (Anti-Torque) are REVERSED!!!!!
Dec 20, 2017, 01:58 PM
Hail to the King, baby!
Dragonfish's Avatar
Find a heli with a lot of parts available locally. You will crash a lot.
Dec 21, 2017, 09:15 PM
Registered User
IF you found this forum, you are on the right track. now for the the tip.

Never jump into a heli based on info read in an ad. retailers want to sell a product! research it, forums, you tube, blogs.... someone has done a review somewhere!

Another tip... don't buy a big screaming 3d heli to learn on, buy a more timid 6g micro, or better still, a fixed pitch 6g or a 45 degree flybar fixed pitch for your first... it makes learning orientation SOOO much less expensive (and less dangerous!)
Dec 22, 2017, 08:54 AM
Registered User
Steve_'s Avatar
Great advice from everyone.

The biggest tip that I can add is that if you are not sure about something, ASK !

Better safe than sorry.

Some (most?) don't like asking for help, but in this hobby we don't judge. (usually )

On a more serious note, it benefits everyone in the hobby to offer assistance to new pilots.
Dec 23, 2017, 01:06 AM
=>] Smack 3D Head [<=
HeliSmith's Avatar
A lot of people will tell you that large helicopters are easier to fly, well duh. But the problem is the larger the helicopter the more expensive the crash and we all need to learn the ropes. We all think we can just cruise a heli around like an r/c car, left to go left and right to go right. This is not how flying a heli is at all you will crash your first time flying it.

450 helis are around 100 bucks to crash if you're lucky
500 helis are around 200 bucks to crash if you're lucky
550-600 helis are around 300 bucks to crash if you're lucky
700 helis are around 500 bucks to crash if you're lucky
800 helis are around 1000 bucks to crash if you're lucky

A simulator is no bucks per crash and teaches you everything you need to know. Best money ever spent! I recommend the Blade mcps and a nice sim
Dec 23, 2017, 01:55 AM
Rotor Controller
CaptJac's Avatar
Excerpt from the Phoenix Flight School thread with permission from the author:


If you learning to fly on your own - it's like teaching yourself golf - you whack at it a while and start realizing it harder than you thought. You get to a certain point - can't seem to make any more progress - hit a wall - or in most cases - crash into a wall (over and over again) - and eventually give up. Don't have access to a flying club or an instructor? Don't despair. Help is not only on the way - it is here!! The Phoenix Simulator Flight School is in its 7th year and hundreds of students have taken the course. How much does it cost? NICHTS - NARDA - ZILCH - its FREE!! No hidden costs. No unhidden costs. OK - one hidden cost. You have to do home work and you will need FAQs 102 for the study guide and homework assignments. Why am I doing it? I'm having more fun than my red fire truck when I was six!! I've been a teacher since (you don't want to know) and I'm just giving back a little what was given to me from some mighty fine people. Wanna climb aboard? Here's how it works: Install Phoenix to the latest version - it is 5.5l as of this update - install Skype for a crystal clear voice connection (it is also free) - we setup a time - plug in our headsets (you need a headset so you can talk and fly at the same) - I'll walk you through the settings on Phoenix - help you program your transmitter - answer any questions you might have about collective pitch helicopters (we'll be using the Trex-500 Sport and FAQs 102 for training) - connect to the Phoenix server - and meet out at the flying field! I'll be sending you a detailed info sheet so not to worry.

captJac
Dec 25, 2017, 08:57 PM
Love my scale Whirlybirds
Keyrigger's Avatar
No matter what your background in RC has been, helicopters are in a world unto themselves. No amount of experience flying aircraft or quads will ever prepare you for that first tentative jump up in the air with a helicopter. My own experience has been that baby steps did the job once I took the advice of a helicopter pilot, in a hobby shop near me, which was to start with a co-axial helicopter that you can get local parts support for. It doesn't matter what brand it turns out to be but it should be one that uses four channels to control elevation, left and right, and forward and reverse. Those mall copters (best way to describe non-hobby grade 3 channel or less toys) do not cut it as they can't hover in one spot, turn, move left or right, etc. unless there is a good wind blowing. I now have more helicopters than I know what to do with from micro co-axial types right up to 800 class F3C monsters with a number of large sized scale machines thrown in for good measure. I still fly those little co-axial helicopters to keep my skills sharp and they still have lessons to learned with as time goes on. Have fun.

Don
Jan 06, 2018, 02:09 AM
Registered User
Quote:
Originally Posted by HeliSmith
A lot of people will tell you that large helicopters are easier to fly, well duh. But the problem is the larger the helicopter the more expensive the crash and we all need to learn the ropes. We all think we can just cruise a heli around like an r/c car, left to go left and right to go right. This is not how flying a heli is at all you will crash your first time flying it.

450 helis are around 100 bucks to crash if you're lucky
500 helis are around 200 bucks to crash if you're lucky
550-600 helis are around 300 bucks to crash if you're lucky
700 helis are around 500 bucks to crash if you're lucky
800 helis are around 1000 bucks to crash if you're lucky

A simulator is no bucks per crash and teaches you everything you need to know. Best money ever spent! I recommend the Blade mcps and a nice sim
Wonderful advice. I'll add if it hasn't been reinforced enough, two key points. First, yes you'll in all likelihood crash your first flight but will ALSO continue to crash your entire flying lifetime as long as you stay in the hobby of CP helicopters. (Unfortunately or in my case greatfully there is no known cure once you've been bitten by the CP bug and the model has time to incubate in its host as you'll carry this for life. ) The key to the first point is being able to reduce the damage amount while increasing the length of time in between crashes. (Crashes being defined as a total loss to simply knicking your blades from foreign objects. ) There are many resources, tools and paths you can explore such as panic button features, self leveling, changing settings or model sizes, etc. with no one course being perfect. Second point, the Sim investment, with the right Sim program and accessories you "may" very well be able to use your TX. For myself this was a priceless tool because I built muscle memory and had the same feeling in my hands when at the field learning to fly in real time. (I was told and believe to this day that the best investment in the hobby one can make is a quality TX.) Learning on a Sim with my actual TX I flew in the field was only second in value to having other pilots here in this forum. The knowledge I gained from reading and asking questions was the most valuable assest to start with. I've never asked a question here and been shot down, so ask if you can't find an answer, that is the BEST TOOL of them all.

My actual initial intro after learning fixed pitch was a Blade Nano CPS $90 BNF, Spektrum DX7s (discontinued and on sale) $200 with a RX I sold for a hundred and the Phoenix Sim with TX cable $100. So $300 with a couple extra batteries.

I crashed that Nano dozens of times probably near a hundred being tiny and jumpy. But never spent more than twenty bucks ever to fix what hotglue couldn't. I still have it, not airworthy but bought another. However i learned to fly, fly inverted etc cause if you can learn that model then you can fly a 450 nearly blind folded. I remained with the DX7s for a long time up thru 450 sized+. NOT the best course for all or easiest, just my route.

Happy flying, be persistent. Semper Fi.

DocBull
Jan 07, 2018, 03:49 AM
Rotor Controller
CaptJac's Avatar
The ole CaptJac isn't around quite as much any more although his waistline may have a different opinion. The books that he wrote for beginners - FAQs 101 and 102 and 103 - are all chapters of the past but his legacy lives on with all the threads and concepts he has weaved into the fabric of this forum. Perhaps the best of the rest on his list was and still is the Phoenix Simulator Flight School where hundreds of beginning students were taught how to fly with one-on-one training. The connection was made using Skype for voice communications and the Phoenix Simulator Multiplayer Mode where he could see his students flying on his computer screen along with the movement of their sticks and provide them immediate feedback to correct their mistakes. Each of the sessions last an hour or longer and students came from all over the world from where he made many close friends and even met a few of them. The reason for the being of the flight school at his own out of the pocket costs came from a defective gene that could never be fixed and this was from being a professor for many years and his students teaching him more than he taught them. His purpose behind all this wouldn't take Sherlock Holmes to solve and that was to give back to the world what was given to him from some truly fine people.

CaptJac
Jan 07, 2018, 08:09 AM
Registered User

New RC Helicopter Pilot


Hi all-I too am new to RC helis...I'd like to share something I came up with as a new pilot....practice, practice, practice is excellent....I'm 63 & came from a different skill set that those who say simulator...I have simulation software on my home computer (may be different than using TX, still works for me)...if you have room, try to set up an area to practice fly....I set up a heli practice area in my basement after using a spare bedroom (12 X 11)....I used old bed sheets suspended from ceiling to act as 'catch nets' to keep out-of-control helicopters from suffering too much damage...the total area is 15' x 20' which is big enough for my Blade mSR S, Nano & mCP...thanks for letting me share!
Jan 09, 2018, 09:03 AM
AeroDan
Here’s what’s NOT in the instruction manual: Hovering is a constant, yet minute correction of controls. Eventually, this constant correction becomes as second to nature as using your eyes for vision. Once hovering’s mastered, other maneuver’s will come naturally.


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