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An Amusing Incident at a French Flying Field.

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David Davis27/05/2020 08:56:29
3745 forum posts
711 photos

The Chief Flying Instructor at my club is a man called Roger Aubard who has competed in the French National Championships with both aerobatic aircraft and gliders. He once finished tenth in the glider championship. Like 85% of French r/c pilots he flies Mode 1. He uses Futaba equipment exclusively and our club trainer is also guided by a Futaba radio.

There is a high proportion of novice pilots in our club and to take the strain off  Roger, once beginners have reached a degree of competence, I offer flight experience on either an ARTF i/c trainer or a "We Can Fly" foamie electric trainer.

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I use Spektrum equipment and I'm a Mode 2 pilot but I have the use of a Spektrum DX5e Mode 1 transmitter so that I can teach Mode 1 trainees. Between the two of us we are teaching a fifty-something Frenchman called Eric Ceyrat who has his own We Can Fly and a Spektrum radio.

Last Sunday was quite breezy, Eric had brought his model with him and had had a flight with Roger on club's i/c trainer and buddy box. He then had two flights with me on my We Can Fly. He is still very unsteady but he has reached the stage where I usually only have to take back control once or twice in a five minute training flight. He has not learned to take off or land yet.

He expressed an interest flying his model which he had already assembled. For me to fly it with him would have meant me binding my transmitter to his receiver so he asked Roger fly with him, old style, with only one transmitter between them. Roger took off and handed him the transmitter. Eric managed quite well most of the time then the model would suddenly plummet towards the ground requiring Roger to regain control and hand the transmitter back to Eric. This happened twice. I heard Eric say, "Il y a du vent!" ("Its windy." )

After the third incident Roger took hold of the transmitter and set up the model at a good altitude flying straight and level into wind. Then he put the transmitter on the ground. The model continued to fly steadily onwards for several seconds.

Then he said, "C'est toi qui fait ca!" (" It's you who are doing that!" )


Spectators fell about laughing!


PS. Eric has nicknamed me "Aile Plat," literally "Flat Wing" from the verbal instructions I give to French trainees after they've comleted a turn. Perhaps "Level your wings." would be a better English translation.

Edited By David Davis on 27/05/2020 09:19:41

Edited By David Davis on 27/05/2020 09:21:14

Martin Harris27/05/2020 17:25:37
9332 forum posts
249 photos

Reminds me a little of instructing in gliders. It wasn't uncommon for early learners to seem to find a need to chase and overcontrol every movement, real or imagined, resulting in the glider taking a most uncomfortable bucking course. The pupil would find trying to fly straight and level extremely hard work and blame everything but themself. Advising them to relax wasn't always successful and the best cure seemed to be to ask them to give me control. The glider would take on a smooth flight path and after several seconds I'd ask them to turn round [tandem glider] and they would be greeted by the sight of my hands resting on the top of the instrument panel, whereupon I'd inform them that they'd been there since they'd given me control.

It never failed to cure the problem. How was Eric's flying after the demonstration?

Alan Gorham_27/05/2020 17:34:52
1285 forum posts
145 photos

As well as being amusing, I think that it was actually good instructing. The practical demonstration of putting the transmitter down along with the humour should ensure that the lesson is well learned!

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