R/C FLIGHT INSTRUCTION PROGRAM
for Student Pilots
The student pilot program is designed for an individual who has his/her own airplane, radio system, and related flight equipment and has not previously been trained and certified with a sanctioned AMA club. The student pilot must be a member of AMA and Flagler County RAMS prior to the beginning of flight training. A student pilot is not allowed to fly without the assistance of an instructor.
The intention of the program is to teach someone new to our great hobby how to successfully fly their airplane in a safe manner. The amount of time it will take to learn to fly varies significantly with individuals. Some may become proficient enough to solo in a few sessions at the field. Others may take much longer. Most people can learn if they persevere.
Each step in the training must be completed successfully before beginning the next step. The instructor is responsible for determining if the student understands the information and can perform the various maneuvers required. The program is based on four keystones:
SAFETY Properly built and flown radio controlled aircraft present no great risk to anyone. However, in the hands of an inexperience pilot, an airplane can cause considerable damage and/or injury. Safety will always be the primary consideration in the training program.
SUCCESS Learning to fly R/C aircraft is a challenge but one that can be met by almost everyone. Without an instructor, the beginner is virtually guaranteed of several crashes. It is the intention of the RAMS training program to get the student through the training to solo without crashing. Of course, there are no guarantees. R/C flying is inherently risky.
ORDERLY PROGRESS The program is a set of orderly steps ending with a solo flight.
FUN The whole point of this hobby is to have fun. Each time you master a new skill, if you are not excited then you need a different hobby.
Please keep in mind that the RAMS instructors are not responsible for your aircraft. The individuals that volunteer their time for the purpose of teaching you to fly are competent pilots. They will, to the best of their abilities, check out your aircraft, radio etc., and instruct you in the safe operation of your aircraft. A Buddy Box¯ provided by RAMS will be used during your training sessions. It is the safest way to learn how to fly R/C. If for some reason there is a mishap, the repairs and associated costs are up to you. Your instructor and other members will be happy to provide you with advice on how best to complete any required repairs.
Use the information with your airplane to be sure it is properly set up before coming to the field. Be sure all control surfaces operate properly and the surface throws are as recommended by the manufacturer. Make sure your CG is within the bounds defined by the manufacturer. Use the information provided by the engine manufacturer to select an appropriate propeller. Acquire all the necessary field items to fly your airplane, such as fuel, igniter, tools, etc. The more time you spend getting familiar with your airplane and the items you will need at the field, the more likely you are to have a fun and successful training session.
Prior to starting training, the student pilot must read the safety code on the AMA site and the safety notice and field rules on the Flagler County RAMS web site.
The instruction program starts with an inspection of your aircraft at the club field, to ensure that it is ready to fly. Any suggested adjustments or modifications can and must be done prior to commencing training.
If you cannot or face difficulties performing the suggested adjustments or modifications, any of the clubs experienced pilot members can assist you with the set-up.
Your instructor may also re-inspect the plane, before the first flight but this will reduce his instruction time. He will however give it a final check before performing a trim flight.
The Buddy Box System:
The buddy box¯ system almost eliminates risk to your aircraft and provides an enjoyable learning experience. Two transmitters are used; one for the student and one for the instructor. FC RAMS has buddy box¯ transmitters and cables for the more popular radio brands. The instructor controls the aircraft to a safe altitude using the primary transmitter. He depresses a switch on his transmitter, transferring control to the student, who then flies the plane. If it gets the plane in an unsafe situation, the instructor releases the switch and saves the plane to fly it back to a safe altitude. The instructor also lands the plane until he feels the student is able to do so safely.
Weather permitting, instructors may be found at the field at any time however they will give priority to instructing students that have made an appointment with the instructor. If a student just shows up and hopes to get some instruction hopefully there will be another instructor that is free and willing to do so.
As you progress, we encourage you to work with 3 or 4 instructors. You will get different perspectives and you may feel more comfortable with some instructors, based on your and their personalities.
To make your time as a Student R/C pilot more enjoyable:
Inspect your aircraft at home to the best of your ability.
Get your model aircraft inspected and corrected if needed before every flight session at the field.
Consider getting flight simulator software for your PC, if you have one. Any time spent on an R/C flight simulator will greatly reduce the learning curve. A Flight Simulator is available to FC RAMS members. This is an older version of the Real Flight software and the graphics may not be as up to date as the current generation, however, it is a good tool to start developing hand eye coordination before or during flight training at the field. It is also a great opportunity to see if the purchase of a simulator is for you.
Read the instruction manual for your transmitter. Instructors cannot be expected to know how all the transmitters on the market function. Especially understand how to enable the trainer function on your transmitter.
Glow Engines: Read the instruction manual for your engine. Perform the break-in EXACTLY as instructed. Any break-in opinion expressed by a club member is exactly that: an opinion. It may a good one, but it may not. If breaking-in the engine at the field, be considerate and do so where the noise will not intrude. (Behind the south shed if the U-control area if is not being used), or well away from the pit area. Do not adjust the idle mixture until the engine has consumed about 10 tanks of fuel, unless the engine just will not idle. Expect to have a slightly higher idle rpm while the engine is new.
Electric Motors: Read the instruction manual for your ESC and know how to set its parameters. Read the instructions for your battery charger and know how to charge your batteries.
Bring to the field, the instruction manuals for your radio, aircraft, engine, ESC and Charger as applicable.
Review all pertinent instructions so you know what to expect.
If you make ANY changes to your aircraft between instruction sessions, inform your instructor.
The Instructors volunteer their time. Remember that they like to fly their own planes too Through the instruction process and beyond, the more you put into the club, the more you will get out of it. Join in as many of the activities as your time permits.
R/C aviation is enjoyable and you will enjoy both the learning process and club membership by following the guidelines above.
Flagler County RAMS Instructor List
The following is a list of the current RAMS instructors. Contact one of them for more information, and an appointment:
Once you and an instructor agree you have the confidence and ability to fly safely, he will sign you off as an R/C Pilot.
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