Flying & Safety-Tips & Hints
For the Beginner and Novice Pilot
- Roll test steering in a driveway or basement. If it doesn't roll straight
at home, it won't roll straight on a runway. Set control to the least sensitive
- Put Monokote (or otherwise) small marks
at the C.G. (Center of gravity) on the wing to
indicate balance location. Makes it easy to check at field.
- Balancing laterally (side to side) will help aircraft track better
in maneuvers. Hold at spinner and tail. Add wing tip weight as necessary.
- Check receiver battery every 2-3 flights. Make a chart of how long
you have flown vs. Voltage drop. Do not operate below 4.9 volts.
- Always turn on transmitter 1st, receiver 2nd. Always turn off receiver
1st, transmitter 2nd.
- Range check your system before 1st flight every time out. This should
be performed with engine running at both idle and full throttle.
- When using the buddy box system, make sure both boxes are identical.
Never turn buddy box power "on"!
- Remove transmitter neck straps when staring engines.
- If you don't have a starter, at lease use a "chicken stick".
Do not hit it against the propeller; start your flip with the stick next
to it. (Touching)
- Never jamb a running starter onto the spinner. Back up the propeller,
and place the starter cone against spinner before turning on.
- When you start your engine, look at your watch or start a timer and
keep track of time. After the flight, check fuel level to judge maximum
available flight time. You want to know how long you can safely fly before
running out of gas. No guesswork here please!
- Do not reach over propeller to adjust needle valve. Do it from the
rear. Do not position yourself (or others) to the side of a rotating blade.
It could fail on run-up or kick up debris.
- Taxi while holding "up elevator" on tricycle gear aircraft.
- Never practice maneuvers at low altitude. Fly 2-3 mistakes above the
- Most trainer aircraft will recover from unusual attitudes (mistakes)
by killing the power and pulling up elevator (depending on altitude). Be
ready to level out and apply power.
- Remember, unless you are "dead stick", you do not have to
land. If it's not right, go around. It's much easier, and safer, to do it
over rather than try to salvage a bad approach.
- If you get nervous for any reason, climb out and do some horizontal
figure eights over the field. When you calm down, try again. Don't' push
yourself to try again too soon. Take your time.
- Do not fly too far away as it is easy to get disorientated. This is
especially true when the sun is low on the horizon and the aircraft becomes
- On flat bottom wing trainer planes: Low speed handling (banking characteristics
can be improved by raising each aileron an 1/8"
or so. It makes the "up" aileron more effective.
- Installing larger (2 3/4", 3") wheels on your trainer will:
1) Make taxiing in grass easier.
2) Improve your visual orientation in the
3) Improve your landings as gear won't bend
- Maintain your flight path. Do not make any erratic maneuvers to avoid
faster, more maneuverable overtaking aircraft (experienced pilots etc.).
It is their responsibility to avoid you. However, make a conscientious effort
to not be a hazard either.
- If it is obvious that you are going to crash, kill the power to minimize
- If for any reason an aircraft is in trouble and headed for the pit
area or spectators: Do your level best to kill the power and ditch it. Don't
try to save it. Planes are cheaper than people. It's a small sacrifice to
- If your aircraft does go down in the field or trees-Don't move! Note
where you are standing, and pick a far distance reference point or object.
Follow a straight line in your search and rescue effort.
- If you are searching in the trees, listen to aircraft overhead to
orient yourself to the flight line and runway. It's a jungle out there.
- When you do recover a crashed aircraft, be sure to pick up every last
part, piece and splinter. You'll be glad you did when you decide to rebuild
it after the shock wears off. All those little pieces can be glued together
to make templates to create replacement parts.
Even long after you've soloed, don't be afraid
to ask for additional help or instruction. That's what we're here for.
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