We've All Got To Start Somewhere! - Diary Of A Newcomer

The Feel Good Factor...
By Rob Hanson

Dear Diary….
Bit of a break since the last instalment, what with Family Holidays to the Lake District, and the weather doing a passable impression of the Indian 'Monsoon' season, its been difficult to get any serious practice done.

Prop DamageIt seems that the traditional pastime for this time of year is preparing for next years flying season - repairing / building an aeroplane. Not wanting to be left out, I have been scanning the magazines and combing the Internet for some ideas. One subject crops up more and more - Electric Flight. I can remember a few kits being available when I was involved in 10th Scale Buggy racing, although they seemed expensive, slow (in comparison with i.c.), and had short flight times.

Developments in motor & battery technology have improved available power and dramatically increased flight times from the early days, and cleaner too. I'm keeping an open mind on Electric v IC at the moment, and can't really choose either until some building space is secured! We do have a 'spare room' but it seems to fill up with all manner of 'useful' items! So a thorough clear out is on the cards…

I did get a chance to 'take the sticks' a few weeks ago and didn't do too badly. Wayne (my instructor) got the plane airborne for me and handed over to me. Started with some left and right hand circuits, which were accomplished without incident and even managed to rescue myself from an over correction that left the plane pointing at the ground! - This got a 'well done' from Wayne, so felt as though I had really achieved something (amazing how even the smallest triumph whilst in the air makes you feel so good!).

Got a bit overconfident towards the end though, and asked Wayne if I could try a landing... he said 'it's your aeroplane' ... and I figured that if you don't try, you never learn.... famous last words! I was about 5 feet off the runway when a sudden gust caught me by surprise, and you guessed it, compensated the wrong way (it was flying toward me) caught the wingtip on the ground and executed a lovely cartwheel manoeuvre, straight into the potato field adjoining the runway!

Wing DamageVisions of collecting the aeroplane in several carrier bags flashed through my mind as I jogged to the crash site…thankfully not too many 'war wounds' - a scraped prop and wingtip - so consider myself lucky for a first crash. A recent member to the club lost control and his aeroplane went in vertically! Ouch!

And thank you to Peter & Flying Sites for putting me straight regarding which mode my transmitter is in after my Initial confusion (see August's article). When I bought it, it was in Mode 2, and has since been converted to Mode 1 - just seems more natural to me, even after using a left hand throttle on the cars & boats.

So, although not a lot of 'stick' time was clocked up, a valuable lesson has been learnt - don't try to land before you can fly!

Happy flying! (& building too!)


This page has been contributed by Rob Hanson