Six Keys to Success for New Pilots - Page 14 - RC Groups
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Jul 27, 2007, 01:48 PM
Fly safe, fly often!
Buzz_Man's Avatar
These are good thoughts but are a bit vague and vague means nothing to a newbie.

What is a light plane vs a heavy plane. How much does light weight? I got a lot of advice like this when I started. Good advice but I had no idea what it meant.
I'd suggest the lightest wing loading possible - you can buy RTF's in the 6 oz. per sq. ft. range - that's great.

Why is hand launching safer than ROG? I don't know that I would agree with this but I would like to hear your reasoning.
If you took a well balanced park flyer or trainer with a light wing loading and the control surfaces were "neutral", then with the motor off, tossed it horizontal - it should glide nicely across the yard, ball field, et cetera. If it doesn't, the plane isn't suitable as a trainer. Virtually any plane with a light wing loading (in the 6 oz/sq.ft. range, or lower) that is designed as a park flyer or trainer will glide very nicely without power if balanced properly and control settings are set to neutral and the plane is tossed briskly (not super-hard) horizontally. There are several more things that can go wrong when trying to ROG than occur when performing a simple, proper hand launch (as described). Another key to success is not trying to gain altitude too fast! Let the plane glide out "almost flat", gaining speed, then GENTLY gain altitude and blah, blah, blah.

When learning how to fly, any reasonable & experienced r/c instructor would suggest very little or no wind. Learning how to fly an r/c plane isn't rocket science - a little wind when learning how to fly is really no big deal. I teach people to think of the plane in the air like a powered boat traveling on a river: given constant engine speed, when the boat travels with the current, it goes a little faster - when traveling against the current, the boat speed decreases. The same is true with airplanes flying in the wind.

Everyone agrees that significant windy conditions should always be avoided during first few flights. But, wind is a part of life and eventually, if you fly outside, you'll have to learn how to fly in windy conditions. Besides, how often do "no wind" conditions exist?
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Aug 10, 2007, 11:14 PM
thanks for the help
Aug 15, 2007, 10:26 PM
Embargo lifted.
kenstogie's Avatar
Good stuff, I am a newbie (unless you consider the 5 AA Bipes w/mods) and read most of this thread (70&)
Aug 20, 2007, 07:30 AM

I am doing something wrong!

Hello everyone, to date I have destroyed 2 EasyStars, 3 Balanca Decathalons and working on a Wing Dragon. I have read alot of the material on line and I think I follow directions well. something is wrong. Is it possible some people just can't fly?
Aug 20, 2007, 10:11 AM
Proud member of LISF and ESL
Flying is not a natural thing. For some people it comes easier than others. I crashed plenty in the begining, but I did it mostly on my own. I also got pretty good at fixing things.

Tell us about the problems you have been having. Maybe we can help.

Look at the six keys, think about what problems you have been having and see if you can spot something that may be the primary cause of your issues.

Are you working with a coach?

Have you used a simulator?

What size field are you using?

Are your crashes consistant?

Does it seem to be the same thing all the time?

Don't feel you need to be embarrassed about anything. Chances are there is one thing that is not clicking and that is the issue. Once it comes out, everything will click.

We all went through it, let us help you.
Aug 22, 2007, 05:14 AM
aka - DaveW

Thank You!

I read this article and suddenly things made sense. I am a complete newby, I bought a Wing Dragon, have flown it three times - had seven crashes, four of which were into trees. Aeagr is quite correct when he says that newbys' fear height and, mistakenly, believe that the lower we fly the 'safer' we are.

My trouble, apart from not being able to fly, is that my plane does not want to climb quickly and I run out of room prior to clearing the trees. I have now sourced a new flying field with a bit more room and less trees

Now, the only part of the article that I could not get to grips with was the part about not allowing the plane to go behind you. I want to land (that will be a first!) fairly adjacent to me and not traipse across hill and dale to retrieve the craft, therefore, to land into the wind I have to fly the plane, past me, down wind then turn into the wind for final approach.

Is there anything I need to know a) about flying down wind and b) to turn and fly back into the wind for landing.

Thanks, David
Aug 22, 2007, 06:33 AM
Proud member of LISF and ESL
Welcome to our little thread of helpful hints.

When going down wind to prepare for a landing, remember that the air is like a river of water. It flows across things. Trees act like rocks in the river. As air flows over them, it becomes turbulant. As it reaches the tree line it has to drop and tumble, like water over a big rock.

That turbulance can play havoc with yoru plane. Try to stay away from the tree line as you get lower to the ground. In ohter words, STAY AWAY FROM THE TREES!

If the size of your field causes you to stand near the tree line, then try to move away from it when you land. Or, set yourself up so you have the clearest approach possible. You can do this by having the wind coming from your side. When you launch you launch into the wind by turning toward it. When you land you land into the wind. Picture a runway in front of you.

That is the major landing tip I can offer beyond what has been posted before.
Aug 23, 2007, 03:53 AM
aka - DaveW
...Or, set yourself up so you have the clearest approach possible. You can do this by having the wind coming from your side...

Do you mean for me to fly in cross-wind and then turn into the wind at the last moment to land? Rather than to come in, into the wind, over the top of the trees.

Thanks, David
Aug 23, 2007, 04:43 AM
Proud member of LISF and ESL
Assume you are at a power field. There is a runway in front of you. In this setting you stand at a pilot station facing the runway.

The ideal situation is for the wind to be coming straight down the middle of the runway, which would typically be from your left, but could be from your right.

In this set-up you launch/take-off into the wind with the plane traveling from your right to your left rather than you facing into the wind and the plane flying away from you.

Now, if you hand launch, you typically face into the wind and throw. In this situation you face into the wind to launch, then land from the other side. Or you launch into the wind and land from behind you .... more or less.

It all depends on your field arrangement.

In any case, regardless of your field set-up, if your set-up puts trees close to your take-off or landing path, watch out for the turbulance over and around the trees or buildings.

As a side note, on a typical glider field, which is where I do all my flying of my electric planes, you launch away from you, directly into the wind. The winch or hi-start faces into the wind. Electric are launched parallel to the winch or hi-start direction.

There is a designated landing area off to the side with an approch into the wind. In fact, in contest situations, where we are spot landing gliders, you actually land with the plane coming straight at you. But that is gliders, not powered planes.
Aug 23, 2007, 08:44 AM
Registered User
The_Fuzz's Avatar
Oops, just posted in the wrong thread. . .
Aug 25, 2007, 04:34 AM
aka - DaveW

Wing Dragon Down!

I decided (against my better judgement) to return to the cricket pitch where I do my flying. I thought I would give hand launching a go. The launch went well but I was too enthusiastic on the controls, lurching about the field until I ran into a fence. A small bit chewed off the leading edge of one wing but nothing to worry about. The second launch went a little better, I tried a short bunny-hop, cut the power and dropped in for a landing, a heavy landing, but a landing.

The third and final launch went well and the plane was climbing nicely until I realised that it was actually doing a slow(ish) turn to the right - towards my nemisis, the trees; I tried to do three things at once and I failed with all of them. 1) I worked out that the plane was not in trim as I thought and that the rudder trim needed adjustment. 2) My 'slow-flyer' was doing about 80mph towards these trees - not true, but it seemed like it was! And 3) Although my brain was in warp mode my hands were light-years behind.

I cut the power. I believed this would allow me more time to do something about my impending brush with the trees. I tried to adjust the trim, but the plane was still travelling at light speed and so I kicked the rudder over in an effort to turn away from said trees.

I had cut the power and so it didn't want to do anything! None of the controls seemed to work - the plane was gliding along and not losing any height, nor was it turning. I stood and admired the lines and gliding abilities of the Wing Dragon, right up until the moment it settled into the top of a 25' tree. I had to leave the plane overnight - I haven't had a good nights sleep, but today I shall return to the field and try to work out a method of retrieval. I do not do death defying stunts at my age, nor do I like the idea of waving my weight about at the top of a ladder. If I can't think of something, I shall cut my losses and buy a new one.

I have a question. Why is it that I can fly my model, without mishap, on my FMS simulator - but do it for real and I become Mr. Clutz with fists for fingers?
Aug 25, 2007, 11:30 AM
CA mechanic
blackearthfd's Avatar
With regard to orientation, that is, keeping track of left and right....

A trick my dad taught me some 30 years ago when I was flying 1/2 A planes with him, is to ALWAYS keep the antenna pointing in the direction the plane is going. If the plane is coming toward you, face the plane, but hold the TX on your side with the antenna pointing toward the direction of flight.

It looks kind of weird, and bystanders might ask what you are doing, but you will never lose track of left and right.

Pointers like this, learned from Dad so many years ago, have allowed me to take up this hobby again with some success.
Aug 25, 2007, 07:12 PM
Proud member of LISF and ESL
I like the antenna idea. I am teaching now. I thnk I will add this idea to my tool set.

Aug 26, 2007, 04:53 AM
aka - DaveW

Good tip!

I like the tip re. the antenna. I have filed that one away.

Re. the Wing Dragon. I have given it some thought and may have a solution to enable me to rescue it. I shall give it a go.

27 Aug - plane retrieved, new parts (tail section) ordered; I should be flying by the weekend.
Last edited by Methusala; Aug 27, 2007 at 09:31 AM. Reason: update
Aug 27, 2007, 08:19 PM
Registered User

Rolling take off

At the moment I'm flying a SuperStar with ailerons. After starting with a PZ Cub this seemed like a natural next step. Both the Cub and SuperStar seem pull to one side during rolling take-offs. All take-offs are from pavement.

Is there some technique to maintaining a straight take-off?

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