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Pre-Flight Checks

So many times I see people do the standard "Stick Waggle" prior to taking a plane out to the flight line and they look to see that everything is moving! This only proves that the plane is connected to the TX, not that the plane will go the way the pilot wants!!

Well, this is not a true test. In the bad old days of 35Mhz (not sure what you guys over the pond used) it was possible to fly the one plane with the transmitter set up for a different plane, various settings can be reversed and this would lead to disaster. :mad:

In the days of 2.4Ghz it's not so much of a problem, but I have always thought that a proper surfaces check is always a good thing to do before a flight.

Here is what I was told to do.

1. Standing Behind the plane with it facing away from you, say to yourself the mantra "Right Up"

2. Hold both control sticks (assuming mode 2) all the way down (towards you), and all the way right at the same time.

3. Now say the mantra "Right Up" again and look at the plane The RIGHT AILERON should be UP, The RUDDER should be RIGHT and the ELEVATOR should be UP, see what I said about Right Up?

Once that's done you know the surfaces are going in the right direction, you can then do your waggle of the surfaces to check the throws are the same in the opposite direction (this checks for binding of hinges etc)

This may sound like nonsense, but it works for me, and I teach it to all my new RC students.

Ak Flyer

Fly the wings off
I agree. I always do the same test every time and I follow a routine. Now it's a bit different for different planes/helis but if you don't come up with a routine then it's very easy to miss things.


Master of the stock AXN
Ailerons: Righty, righty, lefty, lefty.
Rudder: Righty, righty, lefty, lefty.
Elevator: Up, down, down, up.
Throttle: Up, up and away! :rolleyes:

Everyday checklist.


Rotor Riot!
A friend crashed his Kinetic 800 because he only did the stick-waggling. His ailerons were reversed. Lesson learned!
I have one plane (now sadly beyond flying due to fuel rot in the nose area) that I TWICE took off with the ailerons reversed (there was a gap of about a year between these incidents!!)!! That was a 9 lives plane. I managed to land it using rudder & elevator (thankfully wired the right way round), But TWICE, I ask you how stupid was that!!
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Ak Flyer

Fly the wings off
I have a foam cub that I have heavily modified and when I pull the wing off I have to unwire the receiver. I once put it together and took off with the right aileron in the wrong port and it went straight down. I did manage to hold it with full right aileron and then rudder to bring it down. Talk about interesting. I just got in a hurry and didn't do my checks.

I notice that I never forget to do my checks on my helicopters but I will forget on my planes every once in a while. I think it's due to the fact that I'm more afraid that something will go wrong with a heli. There's not as much comfort there so I don't get complacent. I also tend to be more careful with my big balsa models. It's never good to forget or assume though as it will bite you eventually.


Junior Member
Hey guys! Id like to share my "easy to remember" checklist before flight. This is built upon experience(probably a couple of crashed behind each on the list :))


Control surfaces. Are they well attached? Trim, correct input? Servos alright?
Right CG. Not wrong CG. Check again. Have just changed battery making it heavier/lighter?
Anybody around i should avoid crashing my plane into? What if I need to land quickly, will there be children playing on the grasfield?
Sun location and wind direction. Sun in my eyes when landning? Landing in to wind?
Hardware. Is my plane in good condition? What about my TX/RX? Landing gear?