Welcome back to part 3 of this series. Part 1 covered location and pre-flight check lists. Part 2 covered Resources to help you. This article will focus on the next step of learning to fly.
You have an established location and your plane and controls have checked out, and hopefully you have developed a relationship with an individual that can be your coach and keep you from crashing. So what is next? Your instructor may override what I am about to present but encourage them to allow you this experience as it is vital to proceeding to the next step.
Touch-and-Go Landings : Flying a remote controlled plane is very much like flying a real aircraft. The basic concepts apply. One of the first things (after flight school which you have not benefited from) is to practice Touch-and-Go Landing. This involves a maneuver that is common when learning to fly. It involves landing on a runway and taking off again without coming to a full stop. This is important because it gives you the confidence as well as experience to be sure that you are proficient with your air craft as well as proving out all the controls.
This process involves powering down the runway and slowly lifting off the ground. Remember that you must use the trim controls to ensure you plane is not drifting. Correct any issues here first by adjusting your trim or actual linkage. Also remember that if you are at full power (which is not needed for take-off) you may overpower the ability to land softly.
There is another technique known as Stop-and-Go where you lift off, then land and stop your plane. I recommend this approach in the beginning. You will move on to the Touch-and-Go next depending on the length of your runway. Power your plane down the runway and gently bring yourself to a flight mode no more than 4 feet off the ground. Power back on the throttle and gently adjust your aileron and rudder to put yourself in a landing position. Remember that flying the plane is the easy part, the hardest part is landing. This will give you experience that you will need when you come in for a real landing. You need to know the control sensitivity and this exercise will allow you to obtain this touch and relate your plane and controller together. There are always 2 devices that you have to balance. Do not over drive the servos of your plane … Gentle adjustments are the best way to become familiar with your controller and the response of the plane. Hard over adjustments of the controls are the best way to crash. Ensure you have a runway long enough to allow you some margin. If you do not, then you will most likely have to react to a difficult landing. You would be better off in this situation to climb and come back in for another chance.
Back to Touch-and-Go … Some resources that you may use may suggest that this is a step that is not needed; Instructors who favor the use of Touch-and-Go and Touch-and-stop offer the possibility for you to practice more landings per session. Remember, you can do whatever you want in the air but if you can not land without damaging your plane then you will end up buying a new plane. (Hopefully from Us)
Part IV in the series will focus on Flight (keep it simple).
Good luck (skill) to you and expect more to follow on this subject.