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Dec 19, 2008, 06:17 AM
Registered User

Want advice on your second plane? You might want to reconsider who you ask.

I am an intermediate pilot that has been flying planes for oh let me see...8 months? Do I sound cocky? Maybe, to the more seasoned RC pilot. However, the purpose of this discussion is not to brag, nor sound cocky, but to offer you the new RC enthusiast with a different perspective. I have listened to far too many experienced RC Pilot put down the newcomer and belittle him/her by making cocky comments like you can't pick a sundowner as your second plane! You will surely fail and crash it within a month! Because YOUíRE not good enough! Now don't get me wrong, to be fair, there are a lot of good experienced RC pilots out there that genuinely want to help the newcomer and they offer great advice without being rude or holier-than-thou. My instructor was one who never put me down or told me you can't. After I soloed my trainer, and I told him the second plane I was getting, He simply said, wow thats a nice plane! And thank God for that because after I witnessed from him how you are supposed to treat people I tend to fall into the second group when a newcomer seeks my advice.
If you ask someone their advice on your choice of second plane, and they shoot down your choice with some rude statement that insults your intelligence, my advice to you is to find someone else to seek advice from because they are not giving you the right information.
Here is the truth. I bought a trainer in March of this year. I sought the help of a very good pilot to train me on the buddy box. After 1 week I soloed. 2 Days later I bought a giant scale supersportster and soloed it on the 2nd flight. My third plane was a Hangar 9 Sundowner about 2 weeks later (which quickly became my favorite plane this summer)
Now if I would have asked one of the so called more experienced pilots if I should buy a Sundowner 2 weeks after soloing, they would have not only laughed at me but would have immediately started gossiping behind my back to all of their friends with the belly laughs and all.
To the new RC pilot or "newbie" which is a very derogatory term in my opinion, I will give you the greatest piece of wisdom that so many in this hobby will not share with you.
Flying an RC plane is a lot like riding a bike. Once you are taught the fundamentals and you are taught CORRECTLY, Depending on how well you learn those fundamentals, your second plane can almost be anything that you want.
Thatís right. I said it. You see when you are taught how to fly your trainer correctly: Lining it up with the runway, where to cut your throttle, stopping the plane at your feet and not being lazy and using the whole runway to touch down, How to fly in the pattern (not just when your trainer is with you but every time) These traits will carry over to each and every plane that you fly, whether it is your 55mph trainer, or a 110mph sundowner. And the fun part is not how much different or hard each plane is to fly or that you cannot fly it, but how each plane, no matter what you decide to fly does the exact same things that your trainer did, but a little differently. You will notice cool things like how a giant scale plane goes a lot faster than it looks, or how you have to stay on the throttle just a bit longer to land a sundowner to keep it from stalling. You will also learn after a bit of frustration, that you can't stop it at your feet like your slower trainer did. But that's okay; at least you have been trained well enough to know why.
So the next time someone tries to limit your potential by limiting your choice of second plane, I can only say this: If you have learned how to fly your trainer correctly and I will repeat correctly, then your second choice in plane is only limited by your potential and imagination. Of course youíre not going to be able to 3D an extra right out of the gate (but who knows you might). My only advice is that with whatever you choose as a second plane, you fly it on the buddy box with your instructor until you learn it's new characteristics. Life is too short and the hobby is too exciting for people to limit your potential. I read an article in AMA Magazine where a 5 year old boy flies his dads giant scale 40% plane every weekend. Now imagine what would have happened if his dad would have said "you can't."
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Dec 19, 2008, 04:16 PM
Registered User
Not everybody progresses at the same rate, every learning curve is different. To advise someone to purchase a Sundowner just after they have soloed a trainer would put me in a position of liability, should that plane bounce, balloon, and cartwheel on landing. Or, flip over and nose in due to over banking and applying too much elevator. I am sorry, but I cannot put myself in a bad position by recommending something that a beginner might not be ready for yet. People have every right to know how a given model is going to act in flight. Being prepared for the inevitable will help them exercise more caution, and may even save their plane to fly another day after the initial maiden and trim. Anything can go wrong. Even the most experienced jet jocks have suffered their share of mishaps, with prop driven, reciprocating engine aircraft. Just go ask one of the guys at our field who lost his Sundowner due to excessive wing-loading.

And now a little more about the Sundowner: It has mild stall characteristics and is not prone to bad habits as long as it is powered and set up within the manufacturer's specifications. But once you load that wing up with too much weight using a huge, heavy engine and big lead weights on the tail, you're asking for trouble. It's already fast enough with the Evolution 26GT2.

Another thing: We have a 16 year old member who routinely flys a 25% 3D edge to its maximum capability. He really wrings that plane out every time he sets it up. And I have seen a 10 year old flying an Extra about the same size. Simulators are a marvel, aren't they? But they still had to start out with a trainer and their parents have to be present. Allowing a kid to get injured by a giant gasser swinging that huge knife would be criminal.

Dec 19, 2008, 05:34 PM
Registered User
I couldn't agree with you more. It is not our place to recommend a Sundowner as a second plane any more than it is our place to prohibit it. The decision rests soley on how well the new pilot has learned the basic fundamentals of flying their trainer and if he/she has learned them CORRECTLY. And the only person who is qualified to answer that question is the person who trained them. The question should never be IF the sundowner should be the 2nd plane, but WHEN. I have a huge amount of confidence in my flying ability after only one summer of instruction because I was taught correctly. And my instructor requested the only form of repayment be that I offer another new pilot the same quality instruction that was given to me. My Sundowner was built correctly because of those same fundamentals that I was describing above. As a result, it balances perfectly without my having to add any lead weight to the tail or anywhere else on the plane which makes the wing loading tolerances a non issue for me I have the pleasure of knowing and being instructed by a gentleman who is not only a very experienced rc pilot, but a Top Gun competitor, and even he has had his share of crashes. A crash does not neccessarily define a pilots ability. Knowing why he crashed does. I'm not sure of the point that you're trying to make here.
Dec 20, 2008, 03:10 AM
Registered User
After going through two trainers (the first one became unflyable due to the extra weight of all the repairs ) I fancied the idea of an aerobatic biplane (.60-powered Flair pulsar, no longer produced) as my second model. As with the OP, my instructor simply said it's a good model, so I went for it. When I brought it to the field the first time my instructor simply briefed me on what different characteristics to expect -- especially the steep glide angle in a deadstick situation -- and away I went. The Pulsar became my favourite model for many years.

I think what I'm saying here is that this forum can only give suggestions and advice about a newbie's (I don't think it's derogatory) second model; only the instructor and/or qualified fellow flyers at the field can give recommendations. So I'm basically agreeing with the OP
Dec 20, 2008, 05:36 AM
Registered User
You solo'd in a week..I've seen folks take over a year to learn what you did in a week.
To come on this forum and tell new people that they can fly a giant scale P-51 with retracts and flaps right after they solo is wrong....
Most pilots I know are in more danger of crashing right after they solo than any other time in their flying careers. When desire over comes abillity...
Now I agree with you that there are those pilots that belittle newbies. that is a sin in my opinion..Just like if you ask enough people you'll eventually find someone to agree with you on anything.
the best thing to do is ask the guy that trained you what he have a choice to follow what he says or not...
Now you are a very sharp guy..easy to teach, and a fast learner, with good hand and eye cordination. you are the exception.
you very well may have been able to go to a P-51 with flaps and retracts.
most people could will see what I mean if you ever start to teach
New guys, ask your instructor what he thinks. Before you buy that second airplane.
Last edited by jetmech05; Dec 20, 2008 at 01:59 PM.
Dec 20, 2008, 09:17 AM
GunnyGlow's Avatar
I think if you take what someone posts on the intramaweb as "gospel"....plane choices are the least of your worries.
Dec 20, 2008, 09:44 AM
Promoting Model Aviation...
Murocflyer's Avatar
Originally Posted by GunnyGlow
I think if you take what someone posts on the intramaweb as "gospel"....plane choices are the least of your worries.

No doubt!

Is there a latin phrase for "Beware of internet wisdom?"

We need to make one up if there is not.

I'm stuck with the word internet in Latin.

So far it is "Caveat Sapientia Internet"

Dec 20, 2008, 10:46 AM
Registered User
Originally Posted by bluemillion
If you ask someone their advice on your choice of second plane, and they shoot down your choice with some rude statement that insults your intelligence, my advice to you is to find someone else to seek advice from because they are not giving you the right information.
Gotta disagree here. You're mixing apples and oranges.

Let's pretend for a minute that I post the following question, asking for advice:
Hey guys, I solo'd last week, with virtually no time at all on a buddy box and can already grease my landings every time. I found this neat full composit A-10 for sale on EBay, powered by a couple of Jet Cat turbines. It's a great buy, and given how good I am with the Nexstar, making this step should be a piece of cake. What do you think?

I get two answers back:

1. "What are you some kind of idiot? There's no way you're going to be able to handle that aircraft, and your flight time will be measured in seconds. If you think you can handle that aircraft with your level of experience then you have your head somewhere the sun won't shine."

2. "Well, it's a great plane, allright, but it's much faster and more complicated than your Nexstar and you are likely to have some real problems trying to fly it successfully. I would recommend something more along the lines of a Sig 4* or a H9 Pulse XT, as you are much more likely to be successful with it. I'd really hate to see you spend that kind of money, and then lose it due to a crash from inexperience."

The advice is the same in both cases, and it's valid advice. Good advice, whether it's given in a supportive or insulting manner remains good advice.

Also, it seems to me that if you post a question asking for advice or an opinion on your second plane, that it's counter productive to simply reject the advice because you don't like it. It boils down to whether you are really asking for advice, or just asking for validation of a choice you've already made. They are not the same thing. It's an important distinction and one I've seen on boards more than once. If one has already decided that the Sundowner is going to be their second plane are they really looking for advice, or someone to just reinforce that they should "go for it"?

Also keep in mind that those being asked for advice really don't know much at all about the asker. From that standpoint it seems to me that all one can really offer is generic advice, that seems to work well for most of the population. That generic advice is based on a lot of history with RC pilots going through a learning curve. That curve typically remains smoother if one graduates to a fairly mild sport plane before moving on to faster, heavier and more complicated equipment.

All that said, I couldn't agree with you more that there is no valid reason to belittle someone who is asking for advice. It's just rude and inconsiderate.
Dec 20, 2008, 11:48 AM
Registered User
<<<All that said, I couldn't agree with you more that there is no valid reason to belittle someone who is asking for advice. It's just rude and inconsiderate.>>>

har har .....
Any advice, given on any forum, (I read and contribute on several) should always be taken with a lot of thinking afterward. (Read, have a bag of salt with you. A grain is sometimes not sufficient).

Also take into account that certain posters are a bit rougher on the edges than other.

So, in the end, if you get upset about the answers you have received, then all I can say is, take it the way YOU like to take it. Feeling bad is not going to help you and ranting and raving is not going to change the style of some of the *rough language* some posters have.

So far, I have found this particular forum to be especially helpful compared to other, with actually very little *belittleling* (??)
Dec 20, 2008, 12:21 PM
Deletedfor proving Nauga wrong
When giving advice without having actually seen the person fly, we need to give conservative recommendations about what plane might be appropriate.

Yes, 1 in 200 or so beginners can move direct from a Nexstar to a Sundowner. But for most, getting the Sundowner as the second plane would be stupid.

The best place to get advice on what would be appropriate to your flying skills is from an experienced model pilot who has actually been with you when you are flying.
Dec 20, 2008, 09:02 PM
Resident giant scale guru
my c210's Avatar
Omg, these posts are waaaaaaaayyyyyy too long. My brain hurts. I am 13, and after 3 months of flying my trainer, i moved right on up to a funtana x 100. after a few weeks with it, i am now wringing it out with torque rolls, rolling harriers, etc. I say, if you are confident enough, GO FOR IT.
Dec 20, 2008, 09:39 PM
GunnyGlow's Avatar
Originally Posted by my c210
Omg, these posts are waaaaaaaayyyyyy too long. My brain hurts. I am 13, and after 3 months of flying my trainer, i moved right on up to a funtana x 100. after a few weeks with it, i am now wringing it out with torque rolls, rolling harriers, etc. I say, if you are confident enough, GO FOR IT.
I'd like to see some video of that.......

EDIT: Just cuz you can fly it...doesn't mean you are ready for it.
Last edited by GunnyGlow; Dec 21, 2008 at 02:44 AM.
Dec 21, 2008, 04:03 AM
Registered User
blue million and my c can teach yourself to fly, but I think you'd agree its not the thing to do....just like you can fly anything after you solo..can be the few, but not by many...not the best option...would you be willing to turn over your favorite airplane to a newly solo'd pilot?
Dec 21, 2008, 06:19 AM
Registered User
A Funtana X-100? Sure, no problem. I've had people tell me that it's more forgiving and easier to land than a some low-wing trainers. I'd like to see someone do the rolling harriers and helicopter landings with a Top-Flite P-51.

Dec 21, 2008, 09:05 AM
Resident giant scale guru
my c210's Avatar
ok, gunnyglow, you officially burned me!! But, if you read closely, the cause of the crash was the RX. pack coming unplugged, NOT PILOT ERROR!!!!!!!!!!!! And jetmech05, on the third flight of the funtana, i handed it off to a fellow (just soloed) pilot, and he handled it fine. Corey out-->

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