The best RC hobbyists have one thing in common. Their extreme attention to detail with their planes. They may still have had a crash, but they minimize the chances by following directions and best practices for the hobby. Many people waste money by not taking on board advice and slipping up on the small details. This doesn’t just apply to beginners either. There are plenty of common errors even experienced pilots make. Curious about what they are? Keep reading to find out how to avoid the most common RC plane mistakes.
Not doing a pre-flight check
First things first, would a normal pilot take off with an aircraft full of people without a pre-flight check? You know they wouldn’t. Therefore, you should have the same procedures for your plane, even though it’s considerably smaller.
The main things for your checklist here are equipment and safety. Here are some things you should run through before every flight.
- Does the motor sound normal, and is the propeller balanced and solid?
- Are the wiring and screws tight?
- Is the ESC (electronic speed controller) well ventilated and the plugs and wires secure?
- Is the battery fully charged and balanced?
- Is the battery secure – will it fall out if there is an accident?
- Have I checked the range for my receiver/transmitter?
- Are the servos the right size?
- Is the hinge line, servo wires and set screws in the horns secure?
Flying your RC plane with the tail too heavy
This problem is the easiest to rectify. Too-heavy tails on planes is the number one mistake pilots make. It’s advised that you take note of the plane’s center of gravity and balance it correctly. Look in the manual and see where the balance point is. If when you place your finger on that point the plane hangs low on the tail end, you need to fix this. You can balance it out by adding more nose weight.
Using the wrong propeller
The right propeller and positioning it correctly can also be an issue. The prop can sometimes be fixed backward, to avoid this look for lettering. Letters indicate where the front of the prop is. If you have a high-power motor, don’t use a slow fly prop. Get an APC style propeller for maximum output. You can also purchase a prop adapter if you are having propeller problems, instead of buying a completely new one.
Bad launching technique
For the perfect launch, look for that sweet spot when the wings are level and moving in the right direction. Don’t try to go too steep, all at once. Also, pay attention to how quickly you can start to control the sticks at the time of launch.
Remember the concept of prop torque so you can compensate for it. This means that the plane will roll opposite to the direction of the propeller. If you’re a beginner, you can get a friend to launch for you, so you keep control of the transmitter.