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Paid-for flying lessons

Any recommendations, Westcountry or S.France?

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Tony Harrison 208/05/2019 16:24:25
261 forum posts
3 photos

There always seem to be one or two ads in the aero-modelling mags for commercial tuition in r/c flying, never contacted any of them but I wonder if anyone has tried this and can recommend a teacher in my area[s]? Yes, I know all about joining a club for instruction, tried that more than once, currently a member of two, but there are difficulties - not to do with any reluctance on my part to follow instructions, I hasten to add! Got interested again in model aviation a few years ago but I still can't fly, very frustrating - and crashing lovingly-constructed (or expensively bought) planes when attampting solo flight is a bit depressing. Paying for lessons might be cost effective.

rgds Tony

Jon - Laser Engines08/05/2019 16:29:18
5067 forum posts
217 photos

This has always been a hot topic and i am firmly sat on the fence.

If at all possible, can you flesh out your problems? You say you cant fly and yet are attempting solo flights. The two dont really go together. Again do you know what went wrong to cause the various accidents, and what assistance have you currently been offered. I will be the first to admit that many club instructors are woefully inadequate, but equally there are plenty of good ones so its important to try and understand what exactly the issues are as you might find you can get the required assistance without having to sacrifice any folding stuff and you might also find you have paid for something and are left with the same issues for whatever reason. 

I have taught many people to fly and its not easy. Each student requires things explained differently and its possible that you have just misunderstood something, or its not been explained such that it makes any sense. Paying for tuition will not help if its a misunderstanding like this.

 

Edited By Jon - Laser Engines on 08/05/2019 16:31:29

Mowerman08/05/2019 16:43:06
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1544 forum posts
105 photos

A simulator would be a great help, not sure what is now available but a 'wanted ad' on here or in the mag may help or check Hobby King and other dealers.

I used FSM, a free sim about 18 years ago, sadly no longer supported.

SR 7108/05/2019 17:04:45
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335 forum posts
84 photos

What sort of models are you trying to learn on, a spitfire and the like are no good, get a wat 4 or similar

cymaz08/05/2019 17:26:27
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8906 forum posts
1179 photos

Have you tried a simulator to bolster the lessons you get at the clubs? You can experiment , crash as many times as you like and it’s not weather dependant.

Stick time and regular sessions are the only way I know to get a novice up to speed.

Frank Skilbeck08/05/2019 17:28:13
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4569 forum posts
101 photos
Posted by Mowerman on 08/05/2019 16:43:06:

A simulator would be a great help, not sure what is now available but a 'wanted ad' on here or in the mag may help or check Hobby King and other dealers.

I used FSM, a free sim about 18 years ago, sadly no longer supported.

You can download the free version of Multiplex's flight simulator from their website.

A simulator is OK, but the right model with an instructor and buddy box is the best way to go. The buddy box lets you learn from your mistakes without having to do a model rebuild every time.

SIMON CRAGG08/05/2019 17:29:57
521 forum posts
15 photos

I have had a lot of experience instructing, and have also known of people who have attended intensive weekend paid for courses.

To try and help:

Are you flying the right type of model? It needs to be a decent sized high wing trainer, which is big enough to see easily and does not get blown all over the sky.

Have you tried different instructors? They all try their best, but you will gell with some better than others?

Are you learning on the buddy lead?. If so, it might be a good idea to purchase a second TX, set it all up at home and turn up at the field ready to fly. No faffing about trying to find somebody to set up with. We do this and it works a treat.

Simulators are great, but have virtually disappeared apart from the expensive offerings.

Hope this helps.

Peter Miller08/05/2019 18:18:17
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10481 forum posts
1246 photos
10 articles

If ypu are trying to learn pn your own I suggest that you should start off with a vintage model.One that will sort its self out when you take your fingers of the sticks.

I base this on teaching people who have had problems learning to fly normal trainers. One member who is now tjhe best pilot in our club was trying to learn with another club. He was getting no where.

I gave him a couple of flights on my Super Scorpion. That was all it took for him to master basic flying.

Another member just could not his mind round landing approaches and crashed nine times out of ten.

I lent him a simple slow flying three channel model. I made him fly that until he was board stiff with it.

He never had a problem again.

Peter Christy08/05/2019 18:56:23
1666 forum posts

I'm with Peter on this! A lot of models sold nowadays as trainers would have been considered hot, aerobatic jobs back in the 60s!

What we need is someone to put something like the Veron Robot or Mini-Super back in to production. Excellent trainers and a handy size!

--

Pete

Bruce Collinson08/05/2019 18:57:03
444 forum posts

The answers are missing the point, apart from the venerable Miller P.

. I fell on my feet three ... or was it four? Years ago when I strolled up to Dales MFC with an Apprentice and a month later was buddied to an infinitely patient man called Nigel who refurbed a 90 high wing trainer of totally unknown origin and had me solo by the end of the first season. He and I have become really quite good friends as well as flying pals.

Dales’ successors in title, North Leeds, never turn anyone away as long as they can regulate the differential between ears and mouth. In my 2 (?) years there several beginners have arrived but equally, some have gone on and two in particular spring to mind, both had a lot of attention but just didn’t get it, both are flying elsewhere, both the tutors are close enough to me to admit that there were issues, both students would if pressed say that they had inadequate attention paid to them.

What lessons do we learn?

Never turn away any applicant or learner. Try to match the temperament of the tutor and student. Impress on the student that he or she will get further, faster by listening more and giving the tutor a bit of slack periodically to fly his own plane, uninterrupted. A club trainer is probably helpful but there’s another imposition on the club hierarchy, someone has to take custody of it and find room for it in the car unless it’s safe to store on site. Set some ground rules at the outset.

i strongly suspect the OP is in the wrong clubs but if any senior members of either recognise the points or people, I hope this gives food for thought.

BTC

Percy Verance08/05/2019 19:06:56
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8108 forum posts
155 photos

Maybe I'm missing something Tony, but what's the difference between paying club subscriptions and receiving tuition from a club Instructor or paying for someone to teach you at one of the few model flying schools there are now?

May I ask what the *difficulties* are you mentioned earlier?  People problems perhaps?

 

Edited By Percy Verance on 08/05/2019 19:11:10

SIMON CRAGG08/05/2019 19:08:28
521 forum posts
15 photos
Posted by Bruce Collinson on 08/05/2019 18:57:03:

The answers are missing the point, apart from the venerable Miller P.

. I fell on my feet three ... or was it four? Years ago when I strolled up to Dales MFC with an Apprentice and a month later was buddied to an infinitely patient man called Nigel who refurbed a 90 high wing trainer of totally unknown origin and had me solo by the end of the first season. He and I have become really quite good friends as well as flying pals.

Dales’ successors in title, North Leeds, never turn anyone away as long as they can regulate the differential between ears and mouth. In my 2 (?) years there several beginners have arrived but equally, some have gone on and two in particular spring to mind, both had a lot of attention but just didn’t get it, both are flying elsewhere, both the tutors are close enough to me to admit that there were issues, both students would if pressed say that they had inadequate attention paid to them.

What lessons do we learn?

Never turn away any applicant or learner. Try to match the temperament of the tutor and student. Impress on the student that he or she will get further, faster by listening more and giving the tutor a bit of slack periodically to fly his own plane, uninterrupted. A club trainer is probably helpful but there’s another imposition on the club hierarchy, someone has to take custody of it and find room for it in the car unless it’s safe to store on site. Set some ground rules at the outset.

i strongly suspect the OP is in the wrong clubs but if any senior members of either recognise the points or people, I hope this gives food for thought.

BTC

How are we possibly missing the point?

We are all trying to help the chap, by giving useful practical advice based on years of experience.

Perhaps you ought to re-read your post, which IMHO was more condescending than helpful.

Jon Robb08/05/2019 20:00:20
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36 forum posts
2 photos

I can second a lot of the advice already given looking back at when I learned to fly. I started off with a max thrust riot which is large enough to see easily, has enough mass to cope with fairly blustery conditions and can be set up docile with minimal throws. I also purchased RealFlight which seemed a large outlay at the time. However I think it saved many crashes and repair bills, by giving me confidence and muscle memory as a follow on from things I learned when flying with a club tutor.

 

I have also had the experience one time of paid tuition when I wanted to start flying helicopters. There was no one in my club flying helicopters outdoors thus no one to buddy box with and see whether it was something I would enjoy. I went to see Paul Heckles in Swindon who runs a fixed wing and helicopter flight school. By the end of the lesson I was hovering a 600 size helicopter and had the confidence to then try it alone with my own helicopter. So both avenues have benefitted me, however I would echo what others have said and if possible try again with a different club instructor and a simulator as there is a wealth of knowledge in clubs. Everyone progresses at different speeds so don’t give up.

Edited By Jon Robb on 08/05/2019 20:00:48

Edited By Jon Robb on 08/05/2019 20:01:41

G194008/05/2019 20:04:50
3523 forum posts
1 photos
Posted by Percy Verance on 08/05/2019 19:06:56:

Maybe I'm missing something Tony, but what's the difference between paying club subscriptions and receiving tuition from a club Instructor or paying for someone to teach you at one of the few model flying schools there are now?

May I ask what the *difficulties* are you mentioned earlier? People problems perhaps?

I don't know what Tony's difficulties are but in my case it was my reluctance to be a burden on club members trying to teach me. It was pot luck who happened to be there and flew mode 2 (my home built Micron transmitter was built like that because it seemed the obvious way) and had a 'B' certificate. I found all the members at RR(Hucknall) club very willing but I felt I was interfering with their own enjoyment.

There was a guy at Goosedale (Norman Hunt) who offered lessons at £5/hr plus £5 for day membership (I eventually joined the Goosedale club so avoided that). If you used his plane it was another fiver. I usually opted to use Norman's model (a Precedent Hiboy) rather than my own-built trainer because it allowed me to cycle the 15 miles or so each way (1995 was a hot summer). Norman gave great value and the hour wasn't accurately timed and I didn't feel I was being a burden so it suited all concerned. In fact I gave Norman my trainer after I passed my 'A'.

Geoff

Geoff

Percy Verance08/05/2019 20:23:53
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8108 forum posts
155 photos

Jon makes a valid point about people learning at different rates. Vastly different in some of those I have seen. I know of a chap whom has been trying to *get it* for 10+ years, although he doesn't devote a lot of time to actually learning. The biggest issue here was that he left it so long between his flying sessions, he'd "lost" what he'd learned by the time he appeared for the next session. That said he is 92 years old.......

One notable example I witnessed back in the mid 70's saw a newbie flyer take control at his very first attempt and fly several safe looking circuits. The second ever flight, he took off, and on the third flight he did the lot. Take - off, flying around, and then a not half bad landing. He became a regular flyer in the club, but then moved to Scotland on retiring, selling all his gear prior to the move.

Willyuk08/05/2019 20:34:49
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176 forum posts
22 photos

Based on my experience, using a flight testing school helped me enormously. I was in a club but found it hard to get regular tuition. I used Midlands flight training and was able to schedule sessions 2 or 3 times a week. That made a big difference, regular consistent flying with a good instructor. Used their planes also. One of the benefits is that Colin Chapman was happy to leave me to attempt to get out of trouble when I inevitably lost orientation. He only stepped in at the last moment.

It worked for me. It might not for others.

Cuban808/05/2019 20:41:08
2831 forum posts
1 photos

I retired from instructing a number of years ago after teaching dozens of people to fly over a thirty year period. I was happy to do it for nothing other than a thank you, but occasionally the odd bottle of whisky would come my way, and on one occasion a really nice kit that I eventually built and still fly the model now - Sig Zlin 526. It's a shame that people find it necessary to go for paid lessons, but I can understand the reason behind it, where a club is not particularly well geared up to help newcomers or any other number of reasons.

AFAIA, paid instruction is not cheap and I believe some schools charges are on a par with driving lessons, I suppose it all depends on what they offer (jets in particular) and naturally, they're looking to make a profit rather than just the good of the hobby for its own sake. Nothing wrong with that. My local club has a very efficient free training scheme, with regular organised evening sessions run by a few enthusiastic volunteers. My other and larger club has only an ad hoc arrangement now because of various reasons, but new flyers do get help.

wingcoax08/05/2019 20:55:29
65 forum posts

Approx 40 years ago i used to visit my in-laws who lived near a playing fields. When walking their dog i used to pass a group of men who were flying model aircraft. After a few weeks of talking to them i was able to buy a Roy Lever model and build it, obtain a Enya 35 and eventually buy a Sanwa Conquest radio set. I joined the club and was being instructed by one of the senior members(when he turned up) After a few weeks i was able to fly it on my own with only observation from my instructor, until one day it just went into a spiral dive and as they say "re kitted itself" due to a failed servo. Purchase of a "Chart Mascot" followed and after about 6 months in total i was pursuaded by another member to try a full flight on my own. After about 5 minutes of nervous flying he said "now land it" After a reasonable landing (it survived) i was chuffed to bits. Move on 2 years and i was flying aerobatics with the best of them and in possession of a "B" certificate and a club instructor myself. In my opinion it is all down to how the instructor and pupil get along and if the pupil can follow suggestions(not orders).

John Lee08/05/2019 21:29:52
686 forum posts
52 photos

Tony if you are able to devote a week or two consider a holiday at the RCHotel, Corfu. They have a full time english speaking instructor. Tuition flights are undertaken on ST Discovery models using a buddy box. Lessons are in batches of 3-4 flights at a time & you can do one or two of these batches each morning &/or evening.

Tony Harrison 209/05/2019 09:15:23
261 forum posts
3 photos

Grateful for the wealth of helpful advice & support here, and since I cannot reply individually, let me explain briefly. My difficulties in learning to fly are self-induced. First, I move between England and France – I spend much of the year’s best flying weather in the latter. In England, I’ve belonged to 2-3 smaller clubs; I looked around and didn’t like the larger, more intensively organised clubs: they would have offered me very organised tuition, but I found them a bit too organised, disciplined etc for my liking. And through no fault of theirs, very helpful people & friends (highly experienced, generous with their time, good instructors) were unable to continue lessons I started with them – I’m talking for instance about their having to move house, and in one case die… Aggravated of course by my confusing habit of switching countries a few times each year. Percy, those are the “difficulties”.

So, Jon wonders why I “cant fly and yet are attempting solo flights” – it’s because in the absence of an instructor, and because my light kit-built high-wing trainer (Carl Goldberg 54” span Mirage 550, not a Spitfire!) has flown a couple of times very nicely under supervision, and because I fitted an electronic stabiliser, and it was a very calm sunny day, I thought I’d have a go. Did some taxying trials first (long smooth airstrip) then sort of lifted off naturally but things went pear-shaped. My other self-built plane is an old electric glider, very gentle and stable but which I’ve also managed to crash/damage slightly – now repaired – since I commit basic errors such as not gaining enough height initially, over controlling, getting disorientated…

Thanks for the advice about paid tuition. Will continue to consider the possibility, and report back.

Best, Tony

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