Six Keys to Success for New Pilots - Page 15 - RC Groups
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Aug 29, 2007, 02:45 AM
aka - DaveW

Rolling Takeoff

I have the same thing with the Wing Dragon. Full left rudder does the trick for me; I put it down to the undercarriage because the problem clears once airborn.
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Aug 30, 2007, 12:11 AM
Proud member of LISF and ESL
Adding rudder on take-off is quite normal.
Aug 30, 2007, 08:13 AM
Registered User
Originally Posted by Methusala
I have the same thing with the Wing Dragon. Full left rudder does the trick for me; I put it down to the undercarriage because the problem clears once airborn.
Airplanes are designed with asymetric thrust to counter the effect of slipstream at cruising speed. On takeoff, you're at full power with low airspeed, the asymetric thrust isn't really effective yet. Even in real aircraft, you generally need rudder on the take-off roll for the same reason.
Oct 11, 2007, 08:05 AM
Registered User

Park flyer frequency

Does any one recommend a crystal frequency for park flying ?

i am a beginner and about to purchase a Radio for a scratch built foamy and intend on using at the local parks Ballarat Victoria, Australia
Oct 11, 2007, 08:29 AM
Proud member of LISF and ESL
The best recommendation would be to get one of the 2.4 GHz systems so as to avoid ANY channel conflict with other flyers in the park whom you might not see. If two of you are on the same channel on 72, 27, 35, or 40 MHz, you will shoot each other down.

Spektrum DX6 is fine if you will be staying with small planes. If you a few more dollars, the Spektrum DX7, JR 7202 2.4 GHz or Futaba 6 EX 2.4 GHz would all serve you better if you moved into larger planes over time.
Nov 26, 2007, 01:08 PM
Registered User
u2builder's Avatar
I just taught myself to fly using FMS to practice, and then a Slow Stick for the real thing. The hard part, when learning, most would agree is when the plane is coming toward you and you get confused and put in the wrong control input and panic takes over. I made a "rule" for myself that "when a plane is coming toward me and I want to get it level, push the stick toward the low wing to lift it up" I practiced on the simulator and then took the lesson into the field. Flying is slowly becoming instinctual now, but I still find myself using that simple rule once in while.
Dec 08, 2007, 10:35 AM
Proud member of LISF and ESL
Not a KEY to success, but a good tip would be to consider one of the 2.4 GHz radios when you buy your first good transmitter. There are several available now and prices are getting quite reasonable.

With 2.4 GHz you can remove channel conflict from your list of concerns. The transmitters do automatic channel management. No more concern about shooting people down or being shot down by a flyer who is not within sight but is within interference range.

Depending on your budget you can get a nice, new 2.4 GHz transmitter/receiver from about $180 for a six channel computer radio. Or you can find used systems on the marked for $100 or less. For this price you have model memories, mixes and most of what you are likely to need for a long time.

Let's not turn this into a discussion about radios and radio features. However I wanted to provide a tip.

If you want to learn more about the2.4 GHz market or get some advice on radios on the 2.4 GHz band, this thread might be helpful:

A Broad 2.4 GHz Market Overview
Last edited by aeajr; Dec 08, 2007 at 11:01 AM.
Dec 09, 2007, 01:29 PM
Registered User
I found something else that was helpful for me on the supercub was intentionally putting the aircraft into bad situations to see how it would react. I did this after I had gotten used to the controls and was perfectly comfortable flying it (about 5 flights -I was attempting spins with this thing on my 10th ). I took it up high, probably 200 feet or so, and stalled it at different angles and different throttle settings in different directions (because of the wind) to see how it would react. Did the same thing for spirals and sharp turns. Doing this is great, it accomplishes a few things:
1) It builds condfidence -you know you cna recover from a bad situation if you get into it
2) It builds recognition -by seeing how and when the plane stalls and spirals, you will be able to recognise when it's in danger.
3) Quicker recovery -if you practise all kinds of recovery, you will be able to recover that much faster when the plane actually does get into trouble. At this point I don't even think about recoveries anymore, I just do them.

Like I said though, I wouldn't try this if you weren't completely comfortable with flying the airplane.
Dec 20, 2007, 01:56 PM
Proud member of LISF and ESL
by Ed Anderson

You have been practicing with your plane. You can fly reliably in low to
moderate winds. But those windy days are still giving you trouble. What to

Enter ballast, something I learned about from flying gliders.

By making the plane heavier, thus increasing the wing loading, it will be more
stable in wind. It will need to fly faster to stay in the air but on a windy
day, that is true anyway. More importantly, when you turn the motor off, or if
you drain the battery, it will glide faster too, giving you more control in
wind. We do this with gliders all the time.

BTW, you will typically use more throttle in the wind, so be prepared for
shorter flights. And practice your gliding in wind so, if you hit low voltage
cutoff, you don't panic... it will be just another glide.

How do you add ballast?

First, option is to go to a larger capacity, heavier battery pack. Or consider
adding a cell if your ESC can handle it. Or maybe you do both. This will give
you more power and more capacity which also helps in windy conditions. This is
not required for the next step but I would try it first if it is convenient. Make those
ounces work! Besides, who doesn't like more power?

To add ballast, tape a large flat iron washer, or some other weight, right on the
center of gravity. For stability, tape it on the BOTTOM of the fuselage. Inside is best but
put it outside if you have to. Just make sure it is secure.

I would start with about 5%-10 of the model's weight. So if it weighs 16 ounces, somewhere
between 3/4 and 1.6 ounce would be a good start.

By adding the weight as low on the plane as possible it will promote stability. However,
if you have to, put it on top. Inside is better than outside, but again, do what makes sense.
Just make sure it is on the CG. I have even put ballast under the rubber bands that hold
on the wing, as long as I can get it over the CG point. Then I add some tape to make
sure the ballast is secure.

You will need a bit more throttle, and you will have to land it a bit faster or
it will stall. Practice this in calmer air so you are prepared for the windy
stuff. This extra speed will give you more control in the wind as you land.

In strong wind, say over 15 mph, you might go as much as 25% of the plane's
normal weight. But add it gradually at first, until you know what it is going to do. And
watch for any excessive flexing of the wing.

I would not go more than 25% and I would limit high stress aerobatics in high winds
unless you feel the wing is very strong. The combination of added weight and gusty wind
might over stress the wings. I have seen $1000 glider wings break when a strong wind hit
them on too strong a launch. Respect the wind!

This appears 219 posts into this thread for a reason. This is not something I
recommend to new pilots. But try it, once you are a master of the
plane. I think you will find that windy day flying can be a lot of fun!
Dec 26, 2007, 11:14 AM
Aeajr, that was a great post. I'm new here and always looking for tips from the pros. Thanks so much for the tips!
Dec 26, 2007, 03:14 PM
Proud member of LISF and ESL
Originally Posted by angler-hi
Aeajr, that was a great post. I'm new here and always looking for tips from the pros. Thanks so much for the tips!
Glad to help, but remember ballasting is for experienced flyers. Those who can fly with confidence, who rarely crash and who have met all the criteria of a safe and confident pilot.

Only then should you be challenging higher winds and playing with ballast. But if you are ready, give it a try. I know you will like it!
Jan 12, 2008, 09:20 PM
cvoyles's Avatar
Originally Posted by aeajr
Whether you have a coach or you are trying to learn to fly on your own, you
will need to be mindful of these six areas if you are going to become a
successful RC pilot. After two years of working with new flyers at our club,
and coaching flyers on the forums, there are a few things I have seen as the
key areas to stress for new pilots. Some get it right away and some have to
work at it. They are in no particular order because they all have to be
learned to be successful.

Over Control
Preflight Check

1) Wind - The single biggest cause of crashes that I have observed has been the
insistence upon flying in too much wind. If you are under an instructor's
control or on a buddy box, then follow their advice, but if you are starting
out and tying to learn on your own, regardless of the model, I recommend dead
calm to 3 MPH for the slow stick and tiger moth type planes. Under 5 MPH for
all others. That includes gusts. An experienced pilot can handle more. It is the pilot, not hte plane that determines how much wind can be handled.

Let me share a story:

The wind was around 8 mph steady with gusts to 12. That was strong enough that some of the experienced pilots flying three and four channel small electric planes chose not to launch their electrics. This new flyer insisted that he wanted to try his two and three channel parkflyers. Crash, Crash, Crash - Three planes in pieces. He just would not listen. Sometimes you just have to let them crash. There is no other way to get them to understand.

Many parkflyers can be flown in higher winds by AN EXPERIENCED PILOT. I
have flown my Aerobird in 18 mph wind (clocked speed) but it is quite exciting
trying to land it.

Always keep the plane up wind from you. There is no reason for a new flyer to
have the plane downwind EVER!

2) Orientation - Knowing the orientation of your plane is a real challenge,
even for experienced pilots. You just have to work at it and some adults have
a real problem with left and right regardless of which way the plane is going.
Licensed pilots have a lot of trouble with this one as they are accustomed to
being in the plane..

Here are two suggestions on how to work on orientation when you are not

Use a flight simulator on your PC. Pick a slow flying model and fly it a lot.
Forget the jets and fast planes. Pick a slow one. Focus on left and right
coming at you. Keep the plane in front of you. Don't let it fly over your

FMS is a free flight simulator. It is not the best flight sim, but the price
is right and it works. There are also other free and commercial simulators.

The links below take you to sites that provide cables that work with FMS that
allow you to use the trainer port on your radio to allow you to fly the
simulator. This is an excellent training approach.

An alternative is to try an RC car that has proportional steering. You don't
have to worry about lift, stall and wind. Get something with left and right
steering and speed control. Set up an easy course that goes toward and away
from you with lots of turns. Do it very slowly at first until you can make
the turns easily. Then build speed over time. You'll get it! If it has
sticks rather than a steering wheel even better, but not required. Oh, and
little cars are fun too.

3) Too Much Speed - Speed is the enemy of the new pilot, but if you fly too slowly the wings can't generate enough lift, so there is a compromise here. The key message is that you don't have to fly at full throttle all the time. Most small electrics fly very nicely at 2/3 throttle and some do quite well at 1/2. That is a much better training speed than full power. Launch at full power and climb to a good height, say 100 feet as a minimum, so you have time to recover from a mistake. At 100 feet, about double the height of the trees where I live, go to half throttle and see how the plane handles. If it holds altitude on a straight line, this is a good speed. Now work on slow and easy turns, work on left and right, flying toward you and maintaining altitude. Add a little throttle if the plane can't hold altitude.

4) Not enough altitude - New flyers are often afraid of altitude. They feel
safer close to the ground. Nothing could be more wrong. Altitude is your
friend. As stated above I consider 100 feet, about double tree height where I
live, as a good flying height and I usually fly much higher than this. Fifty
feet, is minimum flying height for new flyers. Below that you better be lining up for landing.

5) Over control - Most of the time the plane does not need input from you.
Once you get to height, a properly trimmed plane flying in calm air will
maintain its height and direction with no help from you. In fact anything you
do will interfere with the plane.

When teaching new pilots I often do a demo flight of their plane. I get the
plane to 100 feet, then bring the throttle back to a nice cruising speed. I get
it going straight, with plenty of space in front of it, then take my hand off
the sticks and hold the radio out to the left with my arms spread wide to
emphasize that I am doing nothing. I let the plane go wherever it wants to
go, as long as it is holding altitude, staying
upwind and has enough room. If you are flying a high wing trainer and you
can't do this, your plane is out of trim.

Even in a mild breeze with some gusts, once you reach flying height, you
should be able to take your hand off the stick. Oh the plane will move around
and the breeze might push it into a turn, but it should continue to fly with
no help from you.

Along this same line of thinking, don't hold your turns for more than a couple
of seconds after the plane starts to turn. Understand that the plane turns by
banking or tilting its wings. If you hold a turn too long you will force the
plane to deepen this bank and it will eventually lose lift and go into a
spiral dive and crash. Give your inputs slowly and gently and watch the
plane. Start your turn then let off then turn some more and let off. Start
your turns long before you need to and you won't need to make sharp turns.

I just watch these guys hold the turn, hold the turn, hold the turn, crash.
Of course they are flying in 10 mph wind, near the ground, coming toward
themselves at full throttle.

6) Preflight check - Before every flight it is the pilot's responsibility to
confirm that the plane, the controls and the conditions are correct and
acceptable for flight.

Plane - Batteries at proper power
Surfaces properly aligned
No damage or breakage on the plane
Everything secure

Radio - Frequency control has been met before you turn on the radio
A full range check before the first flight of the day
All trims and switches in the proper position for this plane
Battery condition is good
Antenna fully extended
For computer radios - proper model is displayed
All surfaces move in the proper direction

Conditions - No one on the field or in any way at risk from your fight
You are launching into the wind
Wind strength is acceptable ( see wind above )
Sunglasses and a hat to protect your eyes
All other area conditions are acceptable.

Then and only then can you consider yourself, your plane, radio and the
conditions right for flight. Based on your plane, your radio and local
conditions you may need to add or change something here, but this is the bare
minimum. It only takes a couple of minutes at the beginning of the flying day
and only a few seconds to perform before each flight.

If this all seems like too much to remember, do what professional pilots do,
take along a preflight check list. Before every flight they go down
the check list, perform the tests, in sequence, and confirm that all is right.
If you want your flying experience to be a positive one, you should do the
same. After a short time, it all becomes automatic and just a natural part of
a fun and rewarding day.

I hope some of this is useful in learning to fly your plane.

this is great aeajr!!! i'm new to this and am trying to read up on everything i can to try to minimize the chance of completly totaling my SC. thanks for all of your input and thoughts you 've shared with us!
Jan 12, 2008, 09:36 PM
Proud member of LISF and ESL
I presume the SC is a HZ Super Cub. That is an excellent first plane for a self trainer. Just follow the six keys and you will do fine!
Jan 13, 2008, 12:27 PM
cvoyles's Avatar
Originally Posted by aeajr
I presume the SC is a HZ Super Cub. That is an excellent first plane for a self trainer. Just follow the six keys and you will do fine!

i'm sorry yes it is a hz super cub. i really haven't flown it because the throttle slide on the tx broke the day i bought it (12/31). the LHS still haven't got it fixed yet!!! im getting a little upset with the LHS over this matter
Jan 15, 2008, 04:30 PM
Texas Buzzard
Texas Buzzard's Avatar

Dwn Wind turns

Originally Posted by aeajr
Glad people are finding it helpful!

aeajr, do you have anything to say about the "down wind turn"?

Lately I have seen two beginners crash while making a down wind turn at about 20 ft altitude. Looked like a high speed stall.

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