Scott, shown next to his
full-scale Russian Sukhoi
Su-26MX, joins MA as the
“Flight Training” columnist.
With more than 14,000 hours
of full-scale flight time, Scott
competes in the Advanced
category at International
Aerobatic Club contests.
So what is the takeaway from
this story? For starters, get help and
instruction. If you don’t know the
answer to a question or correct way to
complete a task, never feel embarrassed
to ask for help.
The AMA is arguably the best
resource on the planet for getting
questions answered through
knowledgeable assistance at the field
or in the shop. Use the organizational
structure available to
you to help ensure your
success in this hobby.
There are multiple
other venues for
flying buddies, books,
this magazine, and the
RC forums. In today’s
digital age, there really
is no reason to “fly
blind” when it comes to
information. Heck, shoot me an email,
and I’ll be glad to help where I can.
For me, the other big takeaway from
this story is that as a group, we need to
treat the dangers inherent with operating
airplanes seriously. Overconfidence in
one’s skills and equipment is dangerous.
That overconfidence is dangerous
when driving a car, operating power
tools, and most certainly when flying
model airplanes. This applies to every
aspect of the hobby, including building
or assembling the model, rigging the
model, flight testing, and routinely
operating the model.
Do you ever fly at a park by yourself
while there are non-hobbyist spectators
present? I certainly have. It is fun to
show off and hear the oohs and aahs,
but without a spotter you’re putting
yourself, your model, and any spectators
at risk should something go wrong.
I recently had a power system failure
flying a model at a local school yard
and had to dump the airplane to avoid
striking a group of teens walking through
the area. Without a spotter, I wouldn’t
have known the kids were at risk until it
was too late.
This is just one example where
respecting the risks inherent to the
hobby and actively managing them pays
off. Know your limits, respect the risks,
and actively manage both.
Now that we’re focused on safety
first and foremost, I’d like to hear from
you which skills and/or maneuvers that
you need to work on. I’m happy to take
requests, and I love teaching RC flight
skills. With such a wide variety of flying
styles, the different maneuvers that you
can master are almost endless.
Please send your comments and
requests to email@example.com and,
as always, remember that learning is fun,
and fun is what this great hobby is all
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