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Instructors Diary

Hai-Lee

Old and Bold RC PILOT
#1
On this thread I will list the progress of 2 of my students. Student A and Student K. This will be updated as they progress and provide me with a future reference as to their progress and speed of progress.

Student A has a motor glider, a Kinetic and a fully stabilised toy flier. The toy flier is currently out of action due to an crash and it needs a new or replacement motor.
The other planes are in as new condition and have been test flown.

Student K has a Havoc which is a Bixler 1.1 clone. The Havok is in as new condition ans has been test flown.

Whilst teaching them I mix in a few flights of a Tiny Trainer as well as a Simple Cub just to give a little wider experience, (or other planes I have as I see fit), and to prove that the same control movements can work on almost any plane and to broaden their learning experience.

More later
 

Hai-Lee

Old and Bold RC PILOT
#2
Student A

All training on FlySky Buddy Box setup. Instructor Mode 1, Pupil Mode 2.

12 June Today was effectively the first real lesson day. A has flown his little stabilised toy and crashed it so it is awaiting parts for repair. We have also had a single session on the Phoenix motor glider but A cannot look to far up due to injury and so it is no longer part of the training aircraft.

The Kinetic, (a gift), is too fast and nimble for the current skill set and so it is not being used to train. A Tundra is on order.

Today was lesson 1, which is "getting the feel of the sticks", learning to fly level and do shallow turns.
First was on a grossly underpowered TT which could not handle the wind and so it was retired, (see Student K for the reason).
Second I gave a flight of my FB Das Ugly Stick which whilst relatively stable flies very slowly and the variable wind made the experience a little unpleasant for student K and so it was retired from training duties at this time.
Finally we put up my old Simple Cub and with a bit of instruction and a bit of experience he was able to basically fly a rough circuit without causing a OOC event. Effectively went through 2 batteries!

15Jun19 Today A only had a single battery on the Simple Cub as I was showing how to control the ground run when it became airborne and I put it down again and it nosed over and broke the prop. I fitted a new prop but the motor was then overpropped and the motor was overheating in flight! After a single battery we moved to A's Kinetic. In plugging the battery into the Kinetic A reversed the battery polarity and melted the battery plug and socket. - End of A's flying day!

Kinetic is already repaired and ready for tomorrow! Total airtime to date is 30 minutes.

16Jun19 Only a single battery/flight on the simple cub today. A is getting to understand the controls rather well, (Has a professional drone licence). The simple cub was refitted with correct prop but it really lacked the power of the setup when overpropped. It also ran a lot cooler:whistle:. Total airtime todate 40mins.
 
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Hai-Lee

Old and Bold RC PILOT
#3
Student K

All training on FlySky Buddy Box setup. Instructor Mode 1, Pupil Mode 1.

History to date Student K has had a number of lessons so far and is progressing V Slowly. K has been introduced to Taxiing ans high speed hops. In addition K has about 5 batteries worth of actual flight time on the Havok and can do gradual turns and fly circuits with minimal assistance. K can also loop the aircraft without any OOC occurrences.

K also has a single battery charge in SOLO time on my 3 channel TT which unfortunately ended in a collision with a goal post, (that wasn't there in the beginning?). as a result the motor was bent and the prop broken. Fixed the motor but the prop will have to wait for my next RC gear purchase as my current alternatives are not adequate in dia or pitch.

May return the motor setup to the earlier and more powerful setup for next training day.

Next lesson will include approach for landing AND possible a ground take off.

15Jun19 Today K was introduced to the larger motor on the 3 ch TT and K loved it. Only had a single battery to suit so the free lesson, (do anything to get used to its feel), lasted for the entire battery. May need to get a few more batteries to suit!

Next moved onto the Bixler clone and practiced take offs and landings mostly. I nearly put it into a tree during a recovery because I left the intervention a little late but otherwise K is progressing well. K still reverts to thinking what to do rather than it being automatic but is getting better.

Total additional airtime about 35 minutes bringing the total up to 2 hours.
 
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Hai-Lee

Old and Bold RC PILOT
#4
Student K

All training on FlySky Buddy Box setup. Instructor Mode 1, Pupil Mode 1.

History to date Student K has had a number of lessons so far and is progressing V Slowly. K has been introduced to Taxiing ans high speed hops. In addition K has about 5 batteries worth of actual flight time on the Havok and can do gradual turns and fly circuits with minimal assistance. K can also loop the aircraft without any OOC occurrences.

K also has a single battery charge in SOLO time on my 3 channel TT which unfortunately ended in a collision with a goal post, (that wasn't there in the beginning?). as a result the motor was bent and the prop broken. Fixed the motor but the prop will have to wait for my next RC gear purchase as my current alternatives are not adequate in dia or pitch.

May return the motor setup to the earlier and more powerful setup for next training day.

Next lesson will include approach for landing AND possible a ground take off.

15Jun19 Today K was introduced to the larger motor on the 3 ch TT and K loved it. Only had a single battery to suit so the free lesson, (do anything to get used to its feel), lasted for the entire battery. May need to get a few more batteries to suit!

Next moved onto the Bixler clone and practiced take offs and landings mostly. I nearly put it into a tree during a recovery because I left the intervention a little late but otherwise K is progressing well. K still reverts to thinking what to do rather than it being automatic but is getting better.

Total additional airtime about 35 minutes bringing the total up to 2 hours.
16Jun19 The same as yesterday K warmed up on the 3ch TT and is really getting to enjoy its handling. Only a single battery though!
Then we transferred to the Bixler clone and flew a total of 4 batteries through it. Flying skill improving markedly and can now fly the majority of the battery without intervention. Still has issues with apparent control reversal when the plane is coming towards K but not as bad as previous days.

Had aircraft failure today where one of the control horns failed in flight, (ripped out the linkage stopper(. Repaired on the spot and on second flight the other control horn failed. Fitted alternate linkage stoppers at the filed and the lessons continued!

Can do a reasonable take off or hand launch and can handle the later stages of a landing BUT the final turn and the setting up of the landing is still to be mastered, (apparent control reversal issue). Another couple of flying days and K should be able to do a complete flight SOLO. Total stick time to date 2Hrs 50 minutes, (in all types of available wind).
 

mayan

Well-known member
#5
I like what you are doing here. Will keep following. Might suggest you add how you taught each one at least some points that you gave them.
 

Hai-Lee

Old and Bold RC PILOT
#6
Firstly I will say that each person has their own speed of learning and their own interests in what they want to fly. So I must tailor the somewhat unstructured lessons to suit the individual. Most want to fly the plane and do not care how it flies or even how to setup their aircraft. The learning aircraft must be something they have an interest in flying or the lessons stagnate and the desire to learn is lost!

I listen to the student initially to find out what and how they want to fly! The above students were very different. A wanted to be able to sit on a beach and just watch the motor glider cruise around the sky! K had no such ambitions and was generally vague in aircraft but just wants to learn to fly!

I gave a few recommendations on aircraft that they may purchase to learn on after a few quick experience "Buddy Box" sessions so they had a taste of what it was like! Student A went and obtained a Phoenix motor glider and Student K obtained a Bixler clone called a "Havoc". Earlier I actually gifted my stripped down Mini Scout as seen on another thread to K.

When they turned up at the field with their "Trainer" I help them assemble the bird and do a setup using my radio system. After a short "Maiden" the student is connected using my transmitters that are buddy boxed, for their first test flight. Normally I end up flying more than the student whilst I save their bird from crashing and give then the encouragement to learn to be "Gentle" on the sticks.

The setup I use is the basic maximum recommended control surface deflections with a moderate Expo setting of 30%. There is no rate reduction or large amount of expo because gentle stick movements are what must be learned first. Finesse is the key to a beginner learning to fly.

First lessons consist of the student doing the old flat and level straight flight with gradual and flat turns. (This must be done in all wind strengths we encounter)! Next is a simple loop function which can be a real thrill for the new pilot. Once the level flying is getting better and the loop is getting a little boring I start on take offs. Getting the plane to do its run straight and to get a nice and steady climb out angle is important.

Here is where we teach flying circuits and the training of the brain to accept aircraft coming towards you is really first encountered and it is the hardest part to learn. (The brain fights any new input as to where right and left really are). At the same time the landing approach is taught and the student, (using the flat and level flying), takes over the final part of the landing and gets used to the plane coming into contact with the ground safely again.

When I am confident that the student can fly a full battery unaided, they are allowed to fly solo, (still buddy boxed), and when no intervention is required I let them fly unaided for the first time!

After the initial maiden flight of their aircraft the students must assemble and pre-flight their own aircraft and after the days lessons they must pack away their planes without damage. Also there must be a break between flights with a debrief of the last flight and a discussion on what they did right and what they did wrong. The break lowers the heart rate and the anxiety level, (for the student and the instructor:eek:).

In addition between flights general flying theory is discussed so that the student starts to see the forces against which they battle.

My method is based upon the idea of a, (ZERO CRASH, ZERO DAMAGE), flight experience. Crashes stop people from flying and enjoying the whole hobby/experience. Using the FlySky radio equipment I have, students fly any mode they chose! Another thing I enforce is the flying of a few different types of aircraft, (mostly FT designs), as warm up flights so that any crashes only fold up FB and not an expensive retail foamie!

Basically I teach them to fly and not repair!

That's the idea!

Have fun!
 

Hai-Lee

Old and Bold RC PILOT
#7
I have been ignoring this thread of late but that does not mean that the instruction has ceased.

On Sunday the first of my students did his first 3 solo flights, (still connected "Buddy Box"), and I did not need to intervene on at least one flight.
A total of 5 flights were performed and on 2 of them the take off was at too slow a speed and I had a real job saving the plane and once was a case of loss of orientation but that still leaves 2 full flights without intervention.

It won't be long before we break the umbilical and he can be assessed for competency and his qualification! Not bad considering he was off flying for a month through appointment confusion and illness.

The second student has been seriously battling illness and over commitment but it looks like this coming weekend is her day of destiny!

Have fun!
 

BATTLEAXE

Well-known member
#8
I have been ignoring this thread of late but that does not mean that the instruction has ceased.

On Sunday the first of my students did his first 3 solo flights, (still connected "Buddy Box"), and I did not need to intervene on at least one flight.
A total of 5 flights were performed and on 2 of them the take off was at too slow a speed and I had a real job saving the plane and once was a case of loss of orientation but that still leaves 2 full flights without intervention.

It won't be long before we break the umbilical and he can be assessed for competency and his qualification! Not bad considering he was off flying for a month through appointment confusion and illness.

The second student has been seriously battling illness and over commitment but it looks like this coming weekend is her day of destiny!

Have fun!
In this you say qualification, is there a certification of experience and knowledge that goes along with club membership or registration?
 

Hai-Lee

Old and Bold RC PILOT
#9
In this you say qualification, is there a certification of experience and knowledge that goes along with club membership or registration?
Our club is a local "Friendly" club where membership is a nominal fee which just pads the club bank account! Each member carries their own insurance so the club expenses are minimal.

As for the qualification, there is a set knowledge and control-ability requirement. When the student is able to demonstrate the appropriate knowledge and control through a formal evaluation process, the result is forwarded to the insurer who amends your insurance certificate. This is nice I suppose but it gives you a written proof of adjudged competency, Adjudged by your peers, (senior club members/committee members).

Whilst competency is the first step along the road to full Fixed Wing Drone licencing, our local club teaches to fly, (for free), so that each member can build, repair, and fly almost anything they may come across. We do it for the joy of what we do and for the expansion of the club.

Have fun!
 

Hai-Lee

Old and Bold RC PILOT
#10
Just a long overdue update! It has been hectic here of late as summer approaches. Repairs new projects and builds.

Anyway met student K at the field on monday morning for his flying instruction time/appointment. The weather was marginal with heavy dark clouds and a 20KPH south-easterly which at our field means turbulent and gusty conditions in the extreme. After the usual ground talk and a few last minute repairs and adjustments for a few of his planes he pulled out his latest acquisition, a Walrus motor glider.

After about an hour of assembly and setup it was ready to go and the issues with the kit were minor but annoying! K requested to have it bound to his Tx and for his first attempt at a maiden. The first flight was a motor off test glide which proceeded without an issue and this was followed by a few launches with half power which also went OK though the landings were getting a little rough due to the gusty nature of the wind. His final flight for the day was an attempt at doing a full circuit which went OK until he broke above the windbreak effect of the trees whereupon the wind really grabbed and pushed the bird rapidly across the sky. The circuit was completed but this time the wind caught it upon landing and a cartwheel ensued. A couple of creases was the limit of the damage.

Now it was deemed to be my turn and so I took off and did about 3 or 4 full circuits and the wind was making the bird appear to be flapping its wings in the gusts! We went through the slow speed requirement for the use of rudder and ailerons together in a turn with a few in air demos. Landing was OK but not the gentle settling I prefer but the gusts were really getting savage.

It was great to see my student solo and that he had the determination to fly in the abysmal weather to actually complete his true first maiden!

One more student to solo before the next trainee intake!

Have fun!
 

Hai-Lee

Old and Bold RC PILOT
#11
Today was quite windy/gusty here but I had a few gliders to test so the students were informed and turned up. One of the students brought along her HAVOC, (Bixler clone). The gliders are covered on another thread but both students flew their gliders.

The thing of note was the Student flying the havoc, (NO BUDDY BOX), and she was doing quite well until she attempted to do some gliding. As the bird slows the Ailerons lose effectiveness and so rudder assisted turns become necessary.

Anyway during the gliding exercise the wind dragged the bird over the carpark where her partner was sitting and watching. He started screaming out in alarm claiming that she was trying to kill him! Well the student started laughing so hard that my instructions and her control operation became too hard and so the control was shoved into my hands and she said that I had better take it!

Apparently at one point the bird was diving directly down towards him and was so close that he could no longer see the tail, (it was obscured by the plane's nose). Sorry that I missed it but the laughter went on for a good ten minutes!

have fun!
 

mayan

Well-known member
#12
Today was quite windy/gusty here but I had a few gliders to test so the students were informed and turned up. One of the students brought along her HAVOC, (Bixler clone). The gliders are covered on another thread but both students flew their gliders.

The thing of note was the Student flying the havoc, (NO BUDDY BOX), and she was doing quite well until she attempted to do some gliding. As the bird slows the Ailerons lose effectiveness and so rudder assisted turns become necessary.

Anyway during the gliding exercise the wind dragged the bird over the carpark where her partner was sitting and watching. He started screaming out in alarm claiming that she was trying to kill him! Well the student started laughing so hard that my instructions and her control operation became too hard and so the control was shoved into my hands and she said that I had better take it!

Apparently at one point the bird was diving directly down towards him and was so close that he could no longer see the tail, (it was obscured by the plane's nose). Sorry that I missed it but the laughter went on for a good ten minutes!

have fun!
Sounds like an epic moment to me, how did you miss out on it?!
 

Hai-Lee

Old and Bold RC PILOT
#13
Sounds like an epic moment to me, how did you miss out on it?!
Actually it was easy to miss as I was watching the students stick movements while at the same time trying to get her to use the rudder and ailerons together. I only turned around, to see what was happening, after the screaming, and laughing had started.

Pity I missed it as a good laugh is hard to find.

Have fun!
 

mayan

Well-known member
#14
Actually it was easy to miss as I was watching the students stick movements while at the same time trying to get her to use the rudder and ailerons together. I only turned around, to see what was happening, after the screaming, and laughing had started.

Pity I missed it as a good laugh is hard to find.

Have fun!
I think even if the plane did crash no one would care :).
 

Hai-Lee

Old and Bold RC PILOT
#15
Had the club AGM today and my committee position was renewed. In addition I am now an official trainer and volunteer member support person/engineer, (someone who mentors and repairs planes for those who cannot repair themselves). In our club that is near a full-time position! I was gifted, (so to speak), 2 planes to use as additional CLUB trainer aircraft, I just need to identify one of them so I can download the manual! If anyone is an expert on old laser cut ARF planes let me know and I will post a pic for identification purposes.

Yesterday there was a fun moment with one of the students. He was flying his repaired Phoenix motor glider which had the usual motor burn out. I had replaced the motor and ESC with the same as used on the FT spitfire. We test flew it on 2S and it was flyable though climbs were slow. When we put a 3S battery in the bird it really climbed well and had a good turn of speed.

Anyway the member/student is gaining experience but he tends to be a little lacking in confidence. During one of our flights he was up fairly high in clear air but lost orientation and started saying, YOURS! Indicating that he wanted me to save it from crashing. I firstly ignored his requests and after many frantic repeats I answered NO! The look I was given was priceless:LOL:. He recovered it quite quickly when he realized that I was not going to intervene.

After the flight I gave him the usual debrief along with reminding him that the first step to saving the plane or recovery, (if not inverted), is to give UP elevator! This stops the earthward plunge and gives more time to regain control. He actually thanked me for not intervening but only after he had time to digest what had happened and how he was actually able to save it himself!

OH! The joy of being an instructor:rolleyes:!

Have fun!
 

mayan

Well-known member
#16
Had the club AGM today and my committee position was renewed. In addition I am now an official trainer and volunteer member support person/engineer, (someone who mentors and repairs planes for those who cannot repair themselves). In our club that is near a full-time position! I was gifted, (so to speak), 2 planes to use as additional CLUB trainer aircraft, I just need to identify one of them so I can download the manual! If anyone is an expert on old laser cut ARF planes let me know and I will post a pic for identification purposes.

Yesterday there was a fun moment with one of the students. He was flying his repaired Phoenix motor glider which had the usual motor burn out. I had replaced the motor and ESC with the same as used on the FT spitfire. We test flew it on 2S and it was flyable though climbs were slow. When we put a 3S battery in the bird it really climbed well and had a good turn of speed.

Anyway the member/student is gaining experience but he tends to be a little lacking in confidence. During one of our flights he was up fairly high in clear air but lost orientation and started saying, YOURS! Indicating that he wanted me to save it from crashing. I firstly ignored his requests and after many frantic repeats I answered NO! The look I was given was priceless:LOL:. He recovered it quite quickly when he realized that I was not going to intervene.

After the flight I gave him the usual debrief along with reminding him that the first step to saving the plane or recovery, (if not inverted), is to give UP elevator! This stops the earthward plunge and gives more time to regain control. He actually thanked me for not intervening but only after he had time to digest what had happened and how he was actually able to save it himself!

OH! The joy of being an instructor:rolleyes:!

Have fun!
Happy to hear that you didn't intervene great job!