How do you teach people how to fly? - RC Groups
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May 03, 2006, 12:11 AM
CheckMail's Avatar

How do you teach people how to fly?

Do you have methods, or things you tell people who you are trying to teach how to fly? When I try to teach people, they seem to...crash...So what are some things you do, or say to get them up in the air?
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May 03, 2006, 12:13 AM
The lift is out there....
barefootbass's Avatar
Flying's the easy part. Landing is entirely different....
May 03, 2006, 12:14 AM
trying to kick the habit
Give em the TX and chuck a Zagi off a cliff. See what happens

But seriously start the ultra newbies on a simulator. Then give them a really durable plane like and EPP wing.
May 03, 2006, 12:28 AM
Cho Oi! Hay Qua!
tomi's Avatar
forward stick is down, back stick is up. When the plane is coming towards you, the aileron is backwards. Keep the nose down. Aileron rolls the plane, not turn it.

That's what I teach...

May 03, 2006, 12:34 AM
characters welcome!
Mark Wood's Avatar
Walk them up to the cliff edge then give them a push.
Every one of them so far has got the landing down pat.

May 03, 2006, 12:36 AM
Goodpasture's FTW
Keith R.'s Avatar
um....i use a buddy box when i teach people to fly... It seems to work because none of my "customers" have never crashed their planes, or mine

May 03, 2006, 12:40 AM
Vice President at MultiGP
Admiral_Red's Avatar

Teaching to fly...

...power or slope (I assume slope?)

I have a friend that is a very accomplished power pilot. He used to get paid to show up to events all over the country to put on a demo flight or two. He flew IMAC legal planes through the routine, then would 3D them. He also put on turbine demos. Either discipline resulted in a 8 minute flight at most. Before every flight, he had a ritual of inserting a new toothpick into his mouth.

In the beginning, learning to slope, the toothpick was slightly dented if he flew less than 8 minutes and landed. If he flew more time than that, the pick became emaciated and splintered. He also had the habit that most power flyers have initially of pulling up instead of letting the nose drop and pick up speed. I constantly had to remind him that he had no source of power out of the left stick on a combat wing. After coaching him on the finer points of turns and maintaining energy, he got it.

The toothpick, once emaciated at 8 minutes now became a pacifier on longer flights. Once he "got it" and realized that sloping might mean 30 minute to 2 hour flights, he relaxed. Along the way, I also trained him to set his trim so that flying fast meant his wing out fly more level, and that flying slow meant adding up elevator.

Maybe the guy you are teaching is a total R/C noob? If so, I would suggest to him a cheap Radio Shack R/C car to learn reversals. A car will help someone recognize the thought of imagining themselves at the controls without overloading them with other direction axis. These type of students might need a buddy cord in the beginning to reduce the frustration level.

May 03, 2006, 12:40 AM
Mr. Innocent's Avatar
hehe mw. Make sure they're plane and transmitter is turned on, then grab their plane, give it a nice straight chuck and see what happens. Judging by they're reaction and how fast the plane hits the ground, give em a few pointers. A good one is to keep the plane on the horizon, point the nose down. A member here on RCG got me flying for over 2 minutes ( TARGET!! ) with the simple but wise advice to "let the plane fly".
May 03, 2006, 12:40 AM
around Colombia
ShredAir's Avatar
Use a plane which flies well, responds well and consistently, and doesn't go too fast; like the e-glider shown in the stand here: Even 8-year olds can fly that with just basic verbal instructions and without a buddy box.
It works on the slope too...

Dieter Mahlein, ShredAir
May 03, 2006, 12:42 AM
Crikey never leave beer behind
steve wenban's Avatar
I run them through a little ground school lesson first explaining the effects of control ... The basics of the first flight is getting them used to concentrating on just keeping the wings level with shallow S turns always away from the slope .. once they can keep the wings level without over controlling then they move on to figure 8 turns again ensure they understand turns are made away from the slope. I also brain wash them with a simple statement when the aircraft is coming at you with one wing low push the aileron stick towards the low wing ...Its worked On numerous occasions when they get totally disoriented with a quick yell stick to the low wing
May 03, 2006, 01:38 AM
Si Vis Pacem Para Bellum!
Doubletap's Avatar
This is a lengthy subject and everyone has their own opinions including myself. I think much of the problems I see nowadays revolve around the wrong type of plane to attempt to learn on. It seems the consensus among newer generation fliers (foamie) out of familiarity is to recommend the rank beginner start on some type of foam wing; rationale being that EPP wings are practically indestructible. Well, the problem with this theory is that the importance of the airframe's durability is placed above good flying qualities in priority, so the result is frequent and constant crashing of what is essentially a too responsive and relatively unstable platform during the early learning phase. Personally, I don't think this is the most efficient way to learn. Although this method may eventually work for some, I believe frequent and constant crashing while learning is a disruptive obstacle which only serves to lengthen the learning period and may potentially discourage new flyers from eventually advancing to proficiency. Also, it can be argued that this style of foam "crashing" may ultimately limit a pilot's ability to learn to fly and LAND properly because when there is no consequence to crashing, why strive to improve your skills?

EPP has it's place and is a great material for learning but wings are probably the most difficult designs to fly for many reasons (including but not limited to: extremely short tail moment makes CG placement and proper setup highly critical, thin generic profile makes visual orientation difficult especially during loss of control, aileron/elevator control scheme is far less intuitive than rudder/elevator control, etc.) which complicates and may retard the learning process.

With that said, instead of re-writing what I've written before, I'll provide you with the links to my previous posts on this subject outlining my opinions based on my many years of experience in this fantastic hobby.

May 03, 2006, 01:58 AM
Striving to Rip the Bring
raptor22's Avatar
I think that the small obstacle of learning to fly a wing isn't of very large concern for many pilots. Most people I have recommended wings to "get it" within the first day. After that original obstacle, having a more responsive plane helps wean them from the all too common mistakes of overcontrolling the airplane and relying on the aircraft's self levelling tendencies.

May 03, 2006, 02:23 AM
ZIPPER's Avatar
Originally Posted by Mark Wood
Walk them up to the cliff edge then give them a push.
Every one of them so far has got the landing down pat.

Donít you mean "down slat"

I tell the new flyers that when the plane is coming toward you, turn your back to the plane and look over your shoulder, that way nothing is reversed. I also believe that the harder the plane is to fly or the more difficult the conditions are then you will learn quicker "sink or swim". But the buddy cord is a must.

Who has never stopped learning, because if you havenít learnt something new every day, then you go to bed dumber
May 03, 2006, 02:49 AM
Tu ne cede malis
MtnGoat's Avatar
buddy box
fair amount of expo
reduced travel on all axis
trimmed with light pull up in dive test

i emphasize that the airplane must continuously fall, or it will not fly. not to fly too slow, to look at the pitch angle it cruises at and gently use the elevator to always keep that angle.

i also emphasive that climbing is accomplished by finding climbing air, and not by pulling the nose up, all gain is acheived with the plane in the same crusing attitude

that lift will push the nose up and they need watch for this and use it as a signal to trim angle back to neutral

also it's important they realize that most of flying is having a goal, or else you are always behind your plane and what it is doing. if you are going over there, get the plane pointed there and then manage pitch and roll while it's pointed that direction. wether it's a good idea to go there, is another matter.

so i start em off pointing straight into the lift and pass over control. straight and level into the wind. that's it. they get used to how the plane flies at it's easiest, straight away with no control reversal. when they get out, take it back and park it in the lift for another go.

then you work up to drifts, but not full turns and they learn to turn into the wind. progress to full turns and figure 8's. so on and so forth
May 03, 2006, 03:01 AM
Vice President at MultiGP
Admiral_Red's Avatar
Originally Posted by ZIPPER
Who has never stopped learning, because if you havenít learnt something new every day, then you go to bed dumber
You must have meant "If you haven't learned something new each day in a while, you might as well die"?

Once you stop learning, you might as well call it quits in my book.


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