If you’ve got an interest in flying radio-controlled airplanes, you’re in luck. You don’t need any special skills to get started. Your hand to eye coordination is going to be your most important quality. Here’s how to get started on this fun hobby.
Find an airfield
You are going to need help to get your first RC flights right. Your first step should be finding your closest flying field. Use the phonebook or internet, or a hobby store can also be a valuable source of information. There is probably a club or two in your vicinity that can help people new to the hobby. Find out which one is the best and join it. Once you are at the field, you can see the models in motion and get to speak to pilots. Don’t be afraid to ask questions! You can easily meet the members of the club who can assist you just by talking to people.
Get an instructor
Your instructor is going to be the single most important factor in your journey to becoming a great RC operator. Those who try to go it alone often end up frustrated, not mention with broken models. This is a waste of both your time and money, so find a great instructor that can help you. Before your model gets in the air, your instructor will carry out a pre-flight check. Usually, they are responsible for getting the model airborne. After this has happened and it’s reached level flight, you will get to handle the transmitter.
Sometimes a buddy box or dual control system is used. The system is two transmitters, connected but separate. This way you don’t need to hand over control if things get dicey. Mastering level flight is just the beginning. Your instructor will also teach you how to make basic turns, do circuits, and how to land. Occasionally problems come up, such as a model spinning or stalling. Your instruction should also cover how to handle these issues.
If you can’t get an instructor, you can always invest and go to a professional flight school. It will be pricey, but you’ll get qualified instruction, and improve your flying skills more quickly. You can also choose to purchase a simulator, a great option if you learn better on your own.
Your first model
Many people rush to buy the model first, then learn. This is completely the wrong order of things. Once you’ve talked to some pilots, you should have a better idea of what model suits you. Visit the store where you found the club and choose from the trainer aircraft there. The British Model Flying Association recommends a high wing arrangement as it provides more stability. You can ask the staff at the store for recommendations and get guidance from your instructor as well. Gliders are also a model that are very suited to beginners. This is because they are stable and don’t fly that fast.
Whatever model and school you choose, good luck on your RC journey.