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.

Aircraft Preparation:

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.

Instruction Time:

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:

Chief Instructor
Tom Kerr




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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