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Learn to Fly

The MARTIN COUNTY MODELERS take pride in their effective way of teaching. We the most thorough steps for a new student to accomplish his or her advancement to actually flying on their own. From the safety and technical aspects to the actual participation of flying.

The Martin County modelers instructors are dedicated in promoting the art of flying. Patience, time, experience and helpfulness are just a few of their credits in the passing of their talents to students. If you truly wish to experience this great sport of flying you will be given a private session of the safety factors involved. Then you will have a session of the mechanics of the craft you will be learning on. You will be shown how to set up your own equiptment and how to care for your equiptment.

You will have the good fortune of having EVERY MEMBERS' time to help you with any questions you may have.



How to Fly a Remote Control Plane - Steps to Success

Step 1

Decide :  Fly one of ours, or want to assemble your own? RTF stands for Ready To Fly and includes everything including controller and battery, while ARF is Almost Ready to Fly, which assembly and the purchase of all necessary electronics (servos, ESC, receiver, battery, etc.) separately. PNF stands for Plug-n-Fly, often requiring you to buy your own battery, receiver and transmitter separately. Do you want electric or glow (gas)? If you want to build the entire plane yourself, kits are also available.

LearnToFly step 2Step 2

Buy a remote control plane. Beginner planes are typically electric RTF trainers in the $50-$300 price range including battery and controller. A good Internet search is "RTF trainer. If you have a brick-and-mortar hobby shop in your area, be sure to visit it. The employees there will be extremely helpful and knowledgeable, especially if it's a reputable store.


LearnToFly step 3Step 3

Build the plane (if assembly is required). Most RC planes, even RTF ones, require a bit of assembly.




LearnToFly step 4Step 4

Pre-flight the plane. Turn on the transmitter, then the airplane. Check the direction of flight surfaces (have someone experienced check you).



LearnToFly step 5Step 5

Check which control stick operates which surfaces. There are different conventions about which stick does what. These are called "modes," and there are 4 main ones - Mode 1, Mode 2 etc. It is best to use a mode which is used by any instructor or the most common to other flyers in your area. Mode 2 is the most commonly used mode in the US.


LearnToFly step 6Step 6

Do a range check... with the antenna on the transmitter collapsed, walk 50–100 feet (15.2–30.5 m) away and check that your control surfaces still respond without chattering or unwanted movements.



LearnToFly step 7Step 7

Determine approximate wind speed by tying a ribbon to the end of the antenna of the remote and holding the controller parallel to the ground. Don't fly if the ribbon is parallel to the ground! Under 30 degrees is perfect.



LearnToFly step 8Step 8

Determine wind direction by throwing some grass clippings or other light material into the air. If possible, launch INTO the wind. If you are taking off from a runway and the wind is perpendicular to the runway, it is possible to take off, but not advisable for a beginner.


LearnToFly step 9Step 9

Slowly advance the power on your aircraft and wait for it to gain sufficient speed on the ground. If you're hand launching, advance the power to full and give the plane a straight level and firm (not too hard though) toss into the air and quickly grab the controls. If you are still learning, have someone else launch your airplane for you so you can keep your hands on the sticks.


LearnToFly step 10Step 10

Keep the throttle at 100% until the plane reaches a sufficient altitude for the size plane you're flying. I usually fly what we call 3 mistakes high, which is 150–200 feet (45.7–61.0 m) up, and then reduce the throttle to half power.



LearnToFly step 11Step 11

Use a very light touch. Just push the stick over for a split second and release. Simulator training will make you better at this.




LearnToFly step 12Step 12

Turn to the left or right by moving the appropriate control stick left or right. This will roll the plane slightly to the side. You will also need to pull back on the appropriate control stick slightly to pull the plane through the turn. To complete the turn, roll the plane parallel to the ground. Remember to always keep the plane upwind, this way it won’t blow away from you.(this only applies if you turn with ailerons.


LearnToFly step 13Step 13

Keep the plane as level as possible; if you raise the nose too much, it may cause a stall. If you do stall, recover by pushing the nose down until the aircraft is flying fast enough to generate lift again. This may seem counter-intuitive, but pulling back on the stick further will only make your situation worse in a stall.



LearnToFly step 14Step 14

Practice an oval shaped flight pattern, keeping all turns in the same direction. When you find yourself comfortable with this pattern, try flying an oval in the opposite direction (let other pilots around know what you are doing so they know to avoid you if you are flying an opposite pattern). When comfortable with both directions try a figure 8 pattern.


LearnToFly step 15Step 15

Land the airplane by first making note of the wind direction to land into the wind. Reduce power slowly (don’t touch the (elevator) stick - to descend, simply reduce the throttle). You want the plane to almost glide on its own. When the plane is about 5 feet (1.5 m) from the ground, cut the throttle.



LearnToFly step 16Step 16

Flare just before the plane comes in contact with the ground by raising the nose at the last second so all three wheels touch at the same time. Note that this only applies to aircraft with a tailwheel, tricycle-gear airplanes should touch down on the back two wheels first and then let the nose settle down onto the runway.



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