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To share or not to share

#1
Hi folks.

Over the past few years as I've been flying in local parks and fields, I've had people approach me and ask all sorts of questions.

Recently, I've had more serious inquiries like "How can I learn to do that" from a kid in the park with an Air Hogs foam glider. I've also seen others try and fail to fly--thinking, "I could help".

I've been contemplating posting pull-tab signs in my community to gather all these interested folks together. My major reservation is that I don't want to be responsible for helping someone into the hobby, then they go off and do something irresponsible or dangerous. I know I can't be responsible for their actions, but I would feel horrible if I had helped them hurt someone or cause damage.

Not to mention that flying would likely be banned in the parks and fields that I currently enjoy nearly unresttricted access to.

Should I just do it and see what happens? What are your thoughts?

Cheers!
Randall
 

xuzme720

Dedicated foam bender
Mentor
#2
I doubt most of the kids would have the same "nefarious" ideas you're thinking of in this age of terrorism, but the joy you can bring to another human by introducing them to a great hobby, I think, outweighs that risk.
If you are helping them out over time, you can get to know them better and instill in them our responsibility as model pilots. If it's just a quick one tip or trick or suggestion type of encounter, then it's probably not enough to make a difference in the long run, even if they had nasty deeds in mind.
I say help out, but make sure they know not to abuse the rules and ruin it for everyone...
 
#3
I had the same question myself but with my main hobby, Motorcycles. I have had several friends ask me to teach them how to ride and in the end I decided to go ahead and teach. You have the opportunity to start them from scratch, drill safety into their head, show them how fun it can be when done right and opening up a new world to them. The same would apply to RC. After you have taught them all that you can, you just have to trust that your teachings have prepared them well and send them out into the skies.

I'm far from being a good enough pilot to teach anyone as yet but I have found great personal satisfaction in being able to teach several how to ride and don't doubt that when my skills get good enough that I will be teaching others how to fly as well. It's how a hobby grows. If no one passes it on, it will die.
 

FlyingMonkey

Stuck in Sunny FL
Staff member
Admin
#4
I'm a bit on the paranoid side. In this age of liability law suits, it's hard to put yourself out there in the interest of helping others.

That being said, I'd say go for it. Personally I'd try to limit wording that would place any responsibility on myself. I wouldn't offer to be teaching anything. I'd just promote a gathering of likeminded folks interested in the hobby of RC Flying. Where topics of equipment, costs, techniques, safety and fun can be discussed.
 
#5
Thanks for your encouragement xuzme720, Jimmy and FlyingMonkey.

I was thinking (like FlyingMonkey wrote) more of a gathering of like-minded individuals, sharing skills and ideas. I don't want to specifically teach someone to fly, but I could certainly help someone avoid some of the mistakes that lead to a bad experience.

While I can go several months of daily flying without an incident, I still need to work on discipline before I'd feel ready teaching. I can do all the tasks in MAAC's WINGS training guides, but with no other experienced flyers in the area, I'm sure my technique is lacking.

Thanks folks, I think I'll do it.

Cheers!
Randall
 

RoyBro

Senior Member
Mentor
#7
And by becoming a mentor of sorts, you can make them aware of hazards that they may have not thought of, and introduce them to the safety guidelines of the AMA for park flyers. If they join the AMA they will have liability coverage in case the unthinkable does happen. There is a Park Flyer membership that costs less.
 

earthsciteach

Moderator
Moderator
#9
I like the idea of what you are talking about. But, I would want to teach people on my own property or on a property that is not accessible by the public and is away from structures that could be damaged. I wish you the best of luck with it, if you go forward. I think it is very admirable!
 
#10
It's not my intention to teach anyone (except my daughter in a few years). I am however, more than happy to give suggestions to those having trouble.

In the past when someone's asked me to teach them to fly my response has been, "I strongly suggest joining a club. I know of two that I'd be happy to put you in contact with."

That said, both clubs are an hour-and-a-half drive away and I don't think less anyone who wants to give it a go on their own (as I did). It would have been nice to have someone around to say, "Not that way, you need to ..." or, "You'll have more success if you ..."--and that's what I'd like to provide if I can.

Basically my sign would say, "Interested in RC electric flight? Want to meet others in the area? Grab a tab and send an e-mail."

There would be no allusion to being instructed.

Cheers!
Randall