We hear on a regular basis, sadly, people recommended this to me, people recommended that to me or I went out and bought this now I want to learn to fly it. It is disheartening for you to be told to put it all away as it is not suitable for you at the moment. You will get to the stage that you can use it in all probability but just not to start out.
So how do you start out in the model flying hobby to a level we deem ‘properly’?
This is our view, others may differ. The first thing you need to do is find a Club that is as local to you as you can. You always start with the local one as it is always nice to put your equipment in the car drive for the least time and then get flying as quickly as you can. Starting through a Club will cost you more money to start but will hopefully save you money with your models lasting longer.
So visit the BMFA Club Finder page and find your local club. All Clubs should have a person to contact to make enquiries, give them a ring and set out what you are looking for. The benefit of this is when you go to the field there should be someone there to meet you. If the Club has a Trainer and a Buddy Box and the weather is okay you may even be able to get your first flight and see if you enjoy it. It is daunting to start with and you will have a lot of information thrown at you all at once, this is the main reason you cannot just jump in and fly a model aeroplane on your own. Your instructor will be able to take over control through the Buddy Box if things go awry. You will see and experience this on your first flight.
Normally you will be given a couple of flights to make up your mind if you are going to pursue the hobby. If you decide yes then you will be advised on the equipment and model you require to start model flying under the Clubs tutelage and learning scheme. Again these differ from Club to Club, some will require a level of competence, some will require you to achieve a BMFA ‘A’ Certificate before you can fly on your own. This is simply down to Club policy.
If you are given a selection of items to buy we recommend that you stay within that list of items. There are important reasons for this, the main one is to save you money. We will tell you what radio to get so that you can buddy box with your Instructor. We will tell you what model to get in the first, second or third instances as needed. Usually we structure this so you start out with a decent radio that should last you and a cheap model to get started. There will also be ancillary bits to keep everything going and checked.
As you are learning things will go wrong, sometimes they are recoverable, sometimes they are not. It is an inevitable fact of the hobby - You WILL write off models, some will be repairable others will not. This will continue throughout your time in the hobby, this we can guarantee.
The simple rule is - ‘Don’t try to run before you can walk’. Take it at a steady pace absorb the knowledge being passed to you and practice everything over and again. The more you practice the more your thumbs and fingers learn where they should be and what they should be doing. In the hobby this is called ‘Thumb Memory’.
Our Club tutelage will get you to a level where you are deemed safe enough to fly solo and off you go. You need to keep on practicing what you have been taught, eventually it will become second nature, like everything else in life, riding a push bike, driving a car.
The main thing is it is a hobby, enjoy it.