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Middle aged beginner debating going to Flitefest solo....

#1
Hey guys. I've been following Flitetest for years now. I would never have gotten into RC flight without them. I started with an Explorer XT and have been trying to scale down to a plane I can fly locally ever since. I really don't have any place big enough to fly anything bigger than 24". Between finding a field, lack of experience and having to adult, after 4 years and a lifetime of desire I finally took my little Radian out and more importantly brought her home again in one piece! As dumb as that may sound that's a big deal to me.

So my wife has offered to send me to Flitefest for my birthday. It's 5 hours away. I'll have to get an AMA license, (hope that Park Flyer one applies!) get my ticket and a spot for a tent. I'd be coming alone. I can barely fly a plane (though I can rip a brushed micro quad), and I don't know anyone. I think I want to go, volunteer and make lots of new friends. Anybody feel like taking an old bird under their wing and teaching them how to fly?
 

Hai-Lee

Old and Bold RC PILOT
#2
Why are you debating? Take the chance, it is an experience others around the world would almost die for.

Even if you don't fly the time spent living it would be will you for the rest of your life!

If you are willing to accept advice i advise that you GO!

Have fun, (I know you will)!
 

makattack

Winter is coming
Moderator
Mentor
#4
Heh, that future plan of yours for attending FliteFest sounded like my actual plan in 2014 when I attended my first ever RC event as a beginner... which was FliteFest!

I had just gotten into the hobby, thanks to a friend who couldn't attend with me, and had only just started building FliteTest planes. That was it. I caught the bug. I was kind of getting discouraged at the time with the hobby, and saw via FliteTest that I could easily build inexpensive planes that were not only fun to build, but flew great for a beginner!

For the first one, I signed up to volunteer, since I knew I was coming as a solo beginner with the idea that I could learn a lot about this hobby by just watching and helping out when I could. I'll say that was an understatement, so say the least. It honestly felt like I got so much out of that experience, I've been volunteering and attending whenever I can, to give back and learn at the same time.

My milestones in the hobby from the first flitetest:
  • Learned to always check things before trowing a plane in the air
  • Learned how to setup a buddy box system
  • Learned how to buddy box a new pilot
  • Learned how useful a UMX Radian is for teaching new pilots (which included me) how to fly
  • Learned to get a bit more comfortable with flying alongside other people and the etiquette to do so safely
  • Learned how perseverance and a bit of trial and error coupled with the collaborative nature of this hobby can accomplish great things
That was all from helping a young fellow I met in the build tent with getting through his FT Old Fogey build and watching Josh Bixler buddy box him on its maiden flight. While there, I bought what seemed like the hottest RC product on the market, at the time, which was the UMX Radian, and pretty much only flew that the whole time, and also sharing that with a passer-by and his young son walking down the flight line who hadn't flown a plane before (the father had only flown the micro quads up to that point). Giving both the dad and son an opportunity to fly a plane was such a cool thing to witness.

The perseverance and trial and error was mostly from watching a crew of volunteers build and fly a giant FT Flyer. Going through a smoked motor, in the process.

Hope to see you there! Look for me, I'll be one of the volunteers!
 

sprzout

Knower of useless information
Mentor
#8
Getting ready to register... can anyone confirm the Park Flyer license is enough?
So, I'm going to say no. I haven't seen anything OFFICIAL from Flite Test saying that Park Flyer is enough, BUT, if you go to the FAQ page for FliteFest and click on the link about the AMA license, it takes you here:

https://www.modelaircraft.org/joinnew.aspx?s=flitetest

This only shows the $75 membership ($65 if you're a senior). If I have to make an assumption (and I apologize if I'm wrong, because we all know what happens when you make assumptions!), I'm going to say that you need to have a full AMA membership. Also, looking at the restrictions on the Park Flyer membership, it only allows you to fly slow flyers - things like an FT MiG-3 or Mustang, Sea Duck, or quadcopter would not qualify as a slow fly park flyer.

I understand the need for the Park Pilot program, and its discounted rate for those who only fly a set class, but for this, I'm afraid they may want a full on AMA membership.

All that said, it's worth it, especially if you find a local club that you want to fly with at home; then there's no question of "Park Pilot" or full membership status. :) And you get the monthly magazine too, which is cool.

Back to the original topic at hand - GO. GO GO GO GO GO. So what if you're going solo? You will be speaking the language of flight with everyone there. I am perhaps one of the world's biggest introverts when you meet me face to face; I have to warm up to people. Put me in a spot where I know there's a common language, and I can geek out with others with my interest? I'll open up and talk, chat, share information, give my opinion, and may even offer $0.02 and tell you, "Hey, it's the perfect amount of nose weight for most chuck gliders!"

Go forth, and prosper! LOL
 
#9
Also, looking at the restrictions on the Park Flyer membership, it only allows you to fly slow flyers - things like an FT MiG-3 or Mustang, Sea Duck, or quadcopter would not qualify as a slow fly park flyer.
This say's less than 2lbs and less than 60mph.
http://www.modelaircraft.org/parkflyer/pp-faq.aspx
The largest plane I own (Explorer XT) weighs a little over a pound without it's battery. Currently I can't imagine wanting to fly anything more than that.
 

PsyBorg

Wake up! Time to fly!
#11
Just get the full membership..I GUARANTEE if you go to Flite Fest the adrenaline from that will last at least a few months and you will be building and flying your fingers off. That way you are covered and have insurance and all that. Even though I am not in agreement with some of the politics and agendas for AMA the benefits make it worth it all.
 
#12
Just get the full membership..I GUARANTEE if you go to Flite Fest the adrenaline from that will last at least a few months and you will be building and flying your fingers off. That way you are covered and have insurance and all that. Even though I am not in agreement with some of the politics and agendas for AMA the benefits make it worth it all.
I heard back and they said the Park Flyer membership is plenty but I think I'm going to take @donalson 's advice and do the trial membership. It's $20 for 90 days. That way I can re-evaluate my stoke level after Flite Fest. ;)

I've got 5 airframes in varying stages of completion/disrepair. I'm going to try to get them all mostly airworthy. I'd love it if someone would be willing to help me maiden my Baby Blender while I'm there. I don't know how hard buddy boxing is going to be with either my Graupner or Walkera running Deviation however.

I signed up for setup and teardown as well. Why go halfway right? Now to figure out how to stuff all my gear in an old 2 seat Chevy....
 

sprzout

Knower of useless information
Mentor
#13
Just get the full membership..I GUARANTEE if you go to Flite Fest the adrenaline from that will last at least a few months and you will be building and flying your fingers off. That way you are covered and have insurance and all that. Even though I am not in agreement with some of the politics and agendas for AMA the benefits make it worth it all.
On this, go for the full. :) If nothing else, it gives you the Model Aircraft magazine too, in which the bug will bite you all the harder. And as Psyborg said, while the AMA may be looking out for the AMA and not necessarily the modeler's interests, they are the only recognized community based organization right now that covers section 336 for pilots.

And you're going to find that 3 months is NOTHING when you get back from Flite Fest. You're going to be looking for other like minded people to get involved with, people who want to fly, who want to build, who want to push you to the next level. :)
 
#14
BicycleWrench,
Follow up please.
Did you get to see the 10' Nutball?
Or the squadron of RC Blue Angels?
Did you see the USAF (full scale) F-16s
That just so happened to be ""flying over""