View Poll Results: Should a 5 year old be allowed to fly at contests, fly-ins, or sanctioned events?
Yes 122 51.91%
No 113 48.09%
Voters: 235. You may not vote on this poll

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Sep 26, 2007, 09:48 AM
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P-51C's Avatar
Thread OP

Should a 5 year old be allowed to fly at fly-ins/ sanctioned events.

I was reading through the unfortunately closed Helicpoter accident thread and ran across this post:

Originally Posted by H&H
Allowing a five year old to operate such a dagerous machine in close proximity to so many people shows incredibly bad judgement, regardless of the outcome.

Quote: originally posted by Vintauri

In that case I'd like to start seeing the Drivers Licenses of many "older" people revoked for no other reason then thier age.

People are too hung up on the kids age and not his abilities. Other say it's maturity okay so how are we going to test the abilities of people flying at these events? I can tell you I've been scared being around all ages when they have been flying. Age cannot be the determinig factor.

After thinking about it, I thought a poll should be posted to get a snapshot of everyones viewnow that people have had time to settle down and think about the event.

As a backdrop, age is used as determining factor in many things in life. I am discrimated against when buying a house in florida...unless I get to be 55, I couldn't drive a care until I was 16, you can't buy beer until your 21...even though you can be shot at in the military.

So what do you think, does a 5 year old have the cognitive ability to make the decisions that may be required when flying RC. Or maybe you should think about it this way, if a 5 year old climbed into the cockpit of an airliner, would you be a passenger?
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Sep 26, 2007, 10:39 AM
I need a bigger garage...
ajreynolds's Avatar
As far as flying RC, if the 5 year old has been trained properly and follows the proper safety rules (not flying over people, etc), I have no problem with him/her flying at an event. The way a pilot learns can have a lot to do with it. We had an event a few months ago at our club field and there were some kids around 8 flying, no problems. The same goes for adults, if they don't follow safety rules I don't want them near me. At a school parking lot I sometimes fly at, there is a guy who sometimes shows up who flies RC like he's doing control line. He flies around himself and turns in circles! He also likes to dive the plane at himself. When he shows up, I pack it in and head home.

Now when it comes to a 5 year old flying a full size plane... I don't think so. He couldn't even reach the pedals! Also... "Hey, what's this button do?"

Sep 26, 2007, 10:41 AM
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andrew_c80's Avatar
It's not age, it's ability.

Does a 5 year old have the ability? Possibly.

Should a 5 year old fly unattended? Absolutely not.

Ultimately, the ability to fly is dependent on training and interest. Our club has a Wings program for new flyers, where the novice is trained in a systematic method using buddy boxes, through first solo and ultimately earning your Wings... the recognition that the person has learned the ability to fly RC unattended. In my opinion, age is not a factor.

Things get more complicated with park flyers and un-sanctioned (uncontrolled) flying sites. This is a potential free-for-all disaster (but again, age by itself isn't the issue. For example an umpteen year old can purchase an RTF kit completely unsuitable for novices, try to fly, and end up crashing into something or someone.
Sep 26, 2007, 10:43 AM
Suspended Account
It's a matter of ability not age. MOST 5 yr olds do NOT have the ability to handle a heli, plane or anything else and should NOT be allowed to fly around other people. However, I have seen videos of kids that can do it!

Why don't we have tests for the older people in our society (an hobby) to test their reflexes? I suspect a 5 yr old may have better reflexes than many 70 yr olds.
Sep 26, 2007, 10:45 AM
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P-51C's Avatar
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Wierd, I could swear I put this poll in the NEAT Fair Forum. It magically moved...
Sep 26, 2007, 10:46 AM
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P-51C's Avatar
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Originally Posted by ajreynolds
Now when it comes to a 5 year old flying a full size plane... I don't think so. He couldn't even reach the pedals! Also... "Hey, what's this button do?"


Why would the 5 year old pilot not know what that button did...if he was properly trained?
Sep 26, 2007, 10:49 AM
All Glory to HypnoToad!
osmenthe's Avatar
My GF's daughter is currently 5. Last month I started her on RC Cars (real ones RC10 and some Tamiya) and she is doing well. She is also doing well with a Picoo Z. She turns 6 in December and by next spring I'm going to have her put my HZ Super Cub in the air.

Teach them slow, safe and one step at a time and any 5-6 yr old could probably fly.


They have the abilities... but not the maturity...

Sep 26, 2007, 10:51 AM
Registered User
Ability works for me.
At what point is there a difference between a 5 year old and a 105 year old?
Sep 26, 2007, 10:51 AM
one game away...
PerfectStranger's Avatar
As others have stated, age should not be a limiting factor but rather pilot skill. If he can prove he has the skills and can follow the rules, no problem...but with a qualifier.

The qualifier would be that he/she has an adult at their side the whole time from start up to shut down. A five year-old can have all the ablilites and skills but does not have the capacity to make quick, mature decisions on the spot in the event that something goes wrong.

Of course, any parent/guardian that would send a 5 year-old out to the flightline by himself should be beaten mercilessly.

Sep 26, 2007, 11:00 AM
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andrew_c80's Avatar
Yup, never unattended, even if they have earned their Wings. For all the reasons stated in the last couple of posts
Sep 26, 2007, 11:06 AM
Tri-City park flyer
Backwing's Avatar
There's probably more 5 year old's that I would feel comfortable flying around, than some of the much older guys I've seen flying. I wouldn't even fly when they were, so I could keep my eye on their plane.
Sep 26, 2007, 11:32 AM
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P-51C's Avatar
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Good discussion starting here. For those that say "never unattended", what does that mean?

Does that mean:

-with an adult standing nearby?
-with an adult next to them?
-with an adult connected via buddybox?
Sep 26, 2007, 12:07 PM
Old School E-Flyer turned FVP
mcharles13's Avatar
If the 5 yr old has passed all the rules and regs that we had to in order to fly i dont see why not. Do i think all 5 year olds have the ability? Not one bit. Only the rare ones. And it is best if there is supervision.

I also agree with the above post that not only children but old people should be retested frequently. For example a large percentage of old people should NOT be driving yet they continue to get their license renewed with no question to their diminishing abilities. I've seen a few old guys who are rc pilots (some who were really good at one point) and they scare the living crap out of me when they fly.

Last edited by mcharles13; Sep 26, 2007 at 12:14 PM.
Sep 26, 2007, 12:11 PM
Wandering IT geek
ronin4740's Avatar
A five year old should be allowed to fly at an event if one of the following conditions are true:

1. He's in a chain link cage (Heli)
2. He's on the buddy box end of a pair of transmitters with a certified expert at the controls of the other sticks.
3. He's flying Airhogs.

I've read a little about the child prodegy who prompts this question and will not argue that his flying skills are far superior to mine. However he lacks the maturity and judgment which comes with age.

Now, next poll: should a 5 year old be allowed to learn to shoot a .22 pistol and be allowed to fire it at NRA sanctioned events? *chuckle*
Sep 26, 2007, 12:16 PM
Registered User
JWilliams2's Avatar
Of course! I believe in meritocracies, not arbitrary guidelines. If a two year old is capable with the controls, have at it. There are plenty of 25 year olds who shouldn't fly; age is nuts.

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