How do I get started in RC ?
The first step is come out to the field, watch the planes and ask questions. We fly most days during the good weather but the largest number of pilot's fly on the weekend. Don't be afraid to ask questions, most will be more than happy to discuss the hobby with you. Many weekends there is someone with a trainer at the field to let you try flying that day.
How much does it cost to get started ?
It depends on how much you want to spend. There are many kinds of RC airplanes, from small, light electric's to very large sophisticated gasoline powered ones.
A great way to start is with "factory-built" airplanes that are Almost Ready to Fly (ARF). Some of these sets include the airplane, engine (or motor if electric), and radio system. Electric ARF's start at about $100 and the gas powered ARF's can start as low as $300.00 and are an excellent starting point for a new pilot. Also if you plan on flying a gas-powered plane remember to budget some money for fuel and starting batteries.
If that amount is outside your budget there are a number of used planes & systems around. But no matter what your budget, first be sure to hook up with an experienced pilot to help in your selection. Just as flying full-scale aircraft, it's a learning experience and very important that you start out with the right equipment.
How long does it take to learn to fly ?
It will take about four or five days at the field with an instructor before a true beginner will "Solo". People who practice on computer simulators usually learn quicker. Many people find that simulators are harder to fly than the real thing, but crashes are easier to repair.
How high can they go ?
The radios we use can transmit over a mile. But before the airplane gets that far away, it's just a small speck in the sky. It's imperative to keep the plane close enough to be able to see & control it safely. New pilots usually keep their planes pretty close, then as you gain experience & confidence you can travel out farther.
How fast can they go ?
The fastest model airplanes can go over 200 mph but most of the models in our club are probably in the 75 to 125 mph range. The design of trainers usually keeps them in a much lower speed range so that there is more time to correct a mistake.
What are the club rules ?
You'll find our first rule is to have fun flying. But we are dealing with some fast moving, high power aircraft so the vast majority of the club rules deal with safety issues. We don't want anyone to hurt themselves or others on the field. Part of learning how to fly is learning how to fly safely. See our safety rules and the rules of the Academy of Model Aeronautics
We also have by-laws for the conduct of our meetings here.
Some general field rules are:
A. No flying behind the flight line
B. No more than 4 planes in the air at a time (Except for combat)
C. Landing aircraft and "dead stick" aircraft have the right of way
D. Do not fly over people or vehicles in the area
The sign at Reservoir Park says "Flying By Permit Only. How do I get a permit ?
The Niagara Parks Department requires each of us to have a permit issued by them. First you need to have insurance from the Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA). Then you can obtain a permit either one of two ways:
The first way, and we feel it's the best way, is to join either "Wing and Rotor" or the "Niagara Sunday Fliers". Both clubs fly at Reservoir Park, membership includes the state permit, and it's always more fun flying with friends.
The other way is to obtain a permit directly from the Parks Department by contacting Rob Fraser at (716) 278-1785. Rob is a great guy and if you call him he will give you the details and cost of the permit.
How do I learn how to fly ?
Finding a good instructor and working with the instructor on a regular basis is the key to learning how to fly. You need to be persistent in finding what works for you. It may take time to make friends and to find the right teacher, but it will save you a lot of repair work in the long run.
Many of the club members are willing and able to help train new pilots. You should feel free to ask around at the field to find someone who can work with you at the times you both are free. Most of our training is done with a "buddy box." which is a system that allows the teacher to take control of the plane very rapidly if the student makes a mistake.
Frequently Asked Questions For Electrics