Student Training

 

Student Training

For sailplane and electric powered aircraft

Bill Brenchley 2004, Revision 1, A parting shot addition by Jim Faassen

The function of this handbook is to provide the sailplane and electric powered aircraft student with an outline to the basic knowledge of model aircraft piloting skills that your instructor will teach you at the flying field. The purpose of this flight training course is not only to teach you to fly but to teach you to fly safely with a basic understanding of your equipment and its limitations. This course is designed to provide an organized and progressive series of lessons that will enable you to gain insight and understanding in easy steps so that by the time you are ready to solo, it will be just another flight in the course—because you will be prepared for it.

How long is the course? That’s entirely up to you. Some people solo in one day while others might take weeks. People learn at different rates and it has nothing to do with whether or not they will become good and safe flyers. It’s just human nature. If your model and radio are in proper working order every time you come to the field for a lesson, you will not waste any time at the field and should progress rapidly. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. At one time every club member was a beginner and knows that you will have questions and potential problems. They are more than willing to help and don’t worry about how long it will take to solo; instead, focus your attention on the tasks introduced by your instructor. The following pages contain a summary of what your instructor will be teaching you in your basic lessons. If your progress and time permits, several lessons may be combined in one flying session. By the time you finish this course you will be armed with the basic knowledge to become a responsible and safe flier whom we can be proud of and enjoy as a fellow club member. More importantly, because you have availed yourself with the experience of one of our club instructors throughout this course, the chances are very great that the model airplane that you first brought to the field to begin your training will be the same one you take home after your solo flights.

LESSON 1: AIRCRAFT FAMILIARIZATION

In this first lesson, your instructor will show you how to pre-flight your model and identify any deficiencies that could cause a malfunction (crash) or safety hazard. He will also instruct you in hi-start launch equipment use and field safety considerations.

(Instructors Note) Electric Power

Stress the importance of aircraft restraint during motor start-up. Express the potential danger presented by the turning propeller.

LESSON 2: RADIO AND FIELD PROCEDURE

This lesson will consist of acquainting you with your radio, normal and abnormal operation, interference and conducting a range check. Your instructor will also explain the field facilities for the models and radios along with field procedures, field etiquette and field rules as they apply to our facility.

(Instructors Note)

Assure that your student understands the importance of “sharing: the frequency pin with other flyers.

Stress the importance of utilizing the pin for a “reasonable” period of time and the timely return of his pin to the impound board.

LESSON 3: FLIGHT FAMILIARIZATION

During this lesson your instructor will fly your model to verify its airworthiness and handling qualities. He will then explain the controls and what kind of reactions you can expect from them. He will have you take the controls after the model is at a safe altitude. Don’t worry about losing control of your model during this flight. That is what the instructor is there for. He will keep you out of trouble so just relax and get the feel of the controls. If you get nervous, which happens occasionally, tell your instructor and he will take the controls. Remember that all you want to do during this lesson is to get the feel of flying the model.

(Instructors Note)

Your student might feel more comfortable if you use the buddy-box system for the first several sessions. Introduce the function and the importance of transmitter trim levers.

LESSON 4: FLIGHT MANEUVERS

When you have become familiar with the flying characteristics of your model, your instructor will introduce you to the five basic maneuvers required to fly your aircraft around the sky.

1. Level flight

2. Banked turns

3. Straight climbs (electric)

4. Climbing turns (electric)

5. Gliding, transmitter trim adjustments

Your instructor will also explain disorientation. This is a problem that everyone experiences sooner or later in flying model aircraft. Basically, disorientation occurs when the model does something that your senses don’t anticipate. For example, when the model is flying toward you and you begin a left turn, the model will turn to the left but in your vision the model will move to the right your brain has told your hands left but your eyes are telling your brain, it’s going right! Result: disorientation. Experience will teach you how to respond to this problem. It’s similar to learning to balance when riding a bicycle (how does one explain the concept of “balance” to a new bicycle rider)? Your instructor will help you in this concept.

LESSON 5: ACCURACY MANEUVERS

Now that you can fly around and perform basic maneuvers, it’s time to start learning how to control your model so that it will do exactly what you want it to do. Again, you will be working with the five basic maneuvers, but now, any turn should be a turn of 90 degrees or 180 degrees. Your instructor will ask that you maintain a constant altitude during the turns. The reason for this lesson is to develop some precision and skills in your piloting ability.

LESSON 6: ORIENTATION MANEUVERS

During this lesson your instructor will have you fly a circular, (360 degrees to the right or 360 degrees to the left) pattern. He will be expecting you to maintain a more or less constant altitude above the ground and a constant radius of the circle flown. A rectangular “racetrack” pattern will also be included in this element. Your first attempts won’t be pretty! The purpose of these maneuvers is to discipline your reflexes and judgment in controlling your aircraft in more disciplined flight.

LESSON 7: STALLS
If you pull back on the elevator stick, the airplane goes up. Pull back some more and the airplane goes down! That’s a stall, but there’s a little more to it and in this lesson you will learn how to recognize and recover from stalls. More important, you will learn how to avoid unintentional stalls.

LESSON 8: TAKE-OFFS, LAUNCHES
Most models crash during take-offs and landings. That’s said not to frighten you—it’s a fact! Because the model is near the ground and if it’s not properly controlled, there is very little time to react and correct for the situation. So, during this lesson, your instructor will explain the forces that affect a model during launch and/ will assist you in making your first take off/hand launch (if electric).

LESSON 9: APPROACHES TO LANDING
In this lesson your instructor will discuss how to land your model (into the wind). You will fly a rectangular pattern again, and this time you will learn how to make a decent for landing. You’ll get to practice this maneuver up high as you become comfortable with it, the altitude will get lower. When both you and your instructor are satisfied with your progress, you will make your first landing.

(Instructors Note)

Explain to your student that as model airplane reacts to control input the same at 300 feet altitude as it does at 3 feet above the ground so no extraordinary control inputs should be applied. Explain and demonstrate the ‘flare’ of the aircraft just prior to landing touchdown.

LESSON 10: SOLO FLIGHT

This isn’t a lesson as much as a test. You will conduct a flight; starting when you get your transmitter from impound and ending after you fly and your transmitter is returned to impound. Your instructor will monitor this lesson and assist you when necessary. All you have to do is demonstrate good judgment, observe the field rules, and conduct your flight in a safe manner. In this solo flight you will be using all the skills that your have acquired during practice in previous lessons. You’ve done everything many times before.

Good luck…………and congratulations!

LESSON 11: EMERGENCY PROCUDURES (ELECTRIC POWER)

This lesson is designed to acquaint you with what to do in an emergency. If your model is capable of the maneuvers, your instructor will show you how to do loops and rolls, cross wind take-offs and landings and dead stick landings and will discuss any questions you have related to flying in these modes. The purpose of this lesson is to help you prepare for the unexpected. Hopefully, your instructor will be able to show or tell you something in your flight execution that will help in future flights. Experience and practice will teach you the rest.

(Final Instructor’s Note)

Instructors please leave your recently soloed students with these ideas.

* Ask your students to continue to include in their solo practice the maneuvers learned in their training sessions.
* Express to the student that their newfound knowledge of model airplane flight DOES NOT preclude their obligation for continued safety when flying their aircraft.

A PARTING SHOT – SAFETY AND DEPORTMENT

Any time an object is put in motion a hazard is created. Sometimes the hazard is insignificant, but with flying models, or even prop-driven ones on the ground, the hazard can be substantial. And so we stress the importance of safety precautions, many of which you have heard during the previous sessions of this course. Keep them in mind as a responsible member of the Silent Knights.

Have your frequency pin in your possession before you turn your transmitter on. If you shoot another plane down without the pin in your possession, you are responsible for the damage created.

When flying, know what’s in front of your plane – not just 10 feet in front, but at least 200 feet. When your plane is coming toward you at low altitude, that may mean sneaking a peak behind you at times to locate people, trees, planes airborne or on the ground, and other objects. Do not fly over the launch area at less than 50 feet altitude. Land at a safe distance from people and grounded planes.

When you graduate from hi-starts to winch launches with your sailplane, get help from an experienced winch user. The winch\retriever systems themselves can cause serious injury, not to mention the hazard from arrant planes after a pop-off.

Treat your electric plane with caution. Motors are subject to surprise starts at times, and it behooves you to make the assumption that your motor may kick in any time the power source is connected.

Be observant of the field boundary limit at Paper Mill Road. Don’t be the one to jeopardize use of the field by damaging a house or person in Middle Run Crossing. (Or by upsetting residents by overflights.)

As a member of SKSS you have a role to play in preserving the good relations with the State Park people which the club enjoys. Be observant of Park Rules. Have a Park Entry sticker or pay the daily fee during the fee season.

As a safe and courteous flyer, you will add to your own enjoyment, as well as to that of fellow members of the club. Happy Landings!

“Flying is one of the easiest things in the world to do. It is one of the hardest things to do well.”
Unknown.

Preparations for flying a model airplane begin at home!

Pre-flight check list: (at home)

A. Are ratio servos securely mounted? Rec., batt, protected in foam?………………… r

B. Is the receiver antenna routed away from wiring and fully extended?…………….. r

C. Check the integrity of push-rod clevis ends, (are servo arms secure?)………… r

D. Check the integrity of the control horns and the security of their screws…….… r

E. Check the control surface(s) hinging for security……………………………… r

F. Are the flying surfaces true and properly aligned with the fuselage?………………. r

G. Is the balance point, (c/g) within specified limits? (per plans)…………………. r

H. Is the motor mounted (secured) firmly on the firewall (mount)……………….. r

I. Is the propeller properly torqued (tightened) on the motor shaft (elect.)……….. r

J. Is the landing gear mounting secure and do the wheels rotate freely? (elect.)… r

K. Does the model “track” straight on its wheels? (elect.)………………………… r

L. Turn on the transmitter and receiver……………………………………………. r

M. Do the control surface(s) move in the proper direction in relation to the

Movement of the transmitter stick?……………………………………………………………. r

Before leaving for the field:

A. Is your field box stocked………………………………………………………. r

B. Do you have the tools required? Rubber bands, (if applicable)?…………………… r

C. Do you have extra propellers? (of the proper size)?…………………………………… r

D. Are your transmitter and receiver batteries charged?………………………………… r

E. Is your transmitter in the field box and does it carry the appropriate frequency

Flag and channel numbers?…………………………………………………………………….. r

F. Do you have your AMA license for the field x-mitter impound with you? r

At the field:

A. Are you familiar with the field rules and safety considerations?………………….. r

B. Do you know the proper runway and the direction of flight patterns you

Will be using this day?……………………………………………………………………………. r

C. Have you obtained the proper frequency pin from the transmitter impound

And have you signed your name to the log?……………………………………………… r

D. Have you performed a pre-flight inspection of your aircraft? [review{ at home}

Items above]…………………………………………………………………… r

E. Have you performed a radio range check?………………………………………………… r

Motor (elect.) Start up:

A. Will the prop-blast of your running motor be pointed away from the

Airplane or person in the next pit?…………………………………………………………….. r

Have a good flight!

Silent Knights Soaring Society

Student Flight Log

Student name _______________________________________

Date

Lesson

Number

Instructor

Comments and Recommendations

Solo flight sign off

Instructor_____________________________________________