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Newbie help

This is my first forum post, and I am looking for some advice. I am new to flying planes and recently totaled my simple scout. It had a tendency to roll hard right and flew with a nose-high attitude, even after I moved the CG far forward. Is this likely a build error or a flying error? If anyone has any tips, they would be greatly appreciated. I am planning on flying either the 3-channel explorer or the FT cub next.


Legendary member
Hello and welcome to the forums. Scout is a good choice for beginners, the wing surface area makes it a gentle plane to handle and can be very maneuverable as your skill grows into it. I actually had the same issue when I maidened mine and it cartwheeled hard and tore the tail feathers clean off. I did fix it and like you I sought help in the forums.

Here is the trick, now this is the theory but it's what I stuck with and I got it to work on the second maiden flight. Judging by the way you described it you are hand launching it, the plane has the power to fly, and you need to use it. It also needs airflow over the wing and control surfaces to maintain level. Because the wing is almost level with the horizontal stabilizer it feeds the dirty air backwards right into the tail feathers. Which means it needs airspeed to compensate. Run the throttle up to 2/3rd to 3/4 to let the prop feed enough air back, it should feel like it really wants to pull out of your hand. Then give it a solid toss at a 30 degree pitch upwards. It should leave your hand, climb a bit, turn left and drop a little. This will give you time to get you right hand on the stick to EASE back and right pressure on the stick and it will gain enough speed at this point to lift and level out. Your golden.

I know you said you totalled the Scout but this will work with most tractor style (props that pull from the front) planes. As far as the Explorer goes this is a fantastic trainer plane as well. Its a pusher style (prop pushes from the back) so it will launch a little differently, tends to drop more. Same throttle and hard toss but a bit more up angle on the launch. The Cub is a bit of a different monster altogether, it's tricks are in the build. I haven't built or flown one myself but the consensus on the Cub is the same across the board. It's a good trainer as long as you don't stick with absolutely stock building plans. Do some research on that one in the forums here.

As far as a beginner plane for 3 channel here is some last advice for you, whatever plane you decide to build as a 3 channel do it as a bank and yank. 3 channel has two main configurations, AET is aileron/elevator/throttle (bank and yank), and RET as rudder/elevator/throttle. The latter is the one you want to avoid for the sake of your learning curve. Even thought the RET config. seems like it would be easier it actually causes more problems trying to fly and correct mid flight then the AET style, and AET will help you transition into 4 channel a lot easier and quicker. RC flight instructors usually tend to teach new pilots on either a 3 channel AET or a 4 channel and will 99% of the time avoid RET planes. Just a thought.

Good Luck and have fun, your in a great hobby and in a great place for information.


Legendary member
Is this likely a build error or a flying error?
It could be a build error and/or flying error. I always use 2 yard sticks as "Winding Stick" to check for a twist in a new wing. I have never build a wing without some twist but a wing with a lot of twist will cause a roll as you have described. It could also be that you plane was simply out of trim. All planes will fly much better once they have been trimmed out.

If you have a flying club near by, you should have an experienced pilot fly and trim your plane. They will also be able to give you much advice.

Ihichi Bolls

Well-known member
Sounds to me like the power pod was built backwards and it has upthrust and aids rolk not counters it.

Ask me how a quad brain like me guessed something like that.

Because i did it on my se5 build....


Elite member
Also they can have a slightly “high Alpha” angle in flight at high throttle, there’s plenty of thrust and you can get the plane nearly hanging off the prop, so if the nose goes up, throttle back a bit.
Trimming is also important, you won’t build dead straight the first few times, so you will always have to trim the plane. Careful ground work before flying, so checking the control throws, rates, make sure the control surfaces are “neutral” at centre sticks, that type of stuff, can make a big difference to how a plane flies.
When you maiden I always advise a good hand launch, followed by climbing to at least 60ft, compensating if there’s trouble but avoiding turns, then correct Elevator, Aileron, Rudder (EARs) with trim.
If you can have a more experienced buddy trim the plane for you, that’s a good option on the first few maidens.
Thanks for all the advice! I used landing gear for most of my flights, but it was modified from the plans due to a rougher field I fly at. It sounds like I should fly the Explorer with the 4-channel wing based on the forum threads, and check my wing warping and throws more carefully. Thanks again!