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Instructors Diary

Hai-Lee

Old and Bold RC PILOT
Mentor
#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
Mentor
#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
Mentor
#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
Mentor
#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
Mentor
#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!