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Where there's a will, there's a way

#1
What I'm trying to accomplish is to present a way to drastically increase our numbers. My plan has been proven and demonstrated many times from local club members to many I've trained, to high AMA officials including the late Dave Mathewson and Gary Fitch.

The give them credit, AMA had enough confidence in what I deem mass and rapid growth plan to add it to their web site several times, but I fear that they also ran into the club member brick wall that I've ran into for over 4 decades. I don't know if it's fear of change, arrogance, ignorance, fear of it working much too well for their liking. I always ask others, what would you do if you had the skill to literally instantly get people interested in RC flying and just as quickly train them to skilled solo status most in a couple of hours more or less? Or ask any club member how they would like to see their numbers double or even triple every season. That is what I'm proposing and can demonstrate. Locally my fellow club members know such a growth effort is all too real, which is why they are against my promotion technique. Hobby shop owners could have simulator kiosk and have someone who can use my method, give customers a positive taste of RC flight. AMA has a simulator trailer. Last year AMA had it at the Erie County Fair but failed to inform me that it was there. The trailer had 4 sim stations. Imagine if I were allowed to train people to use my method. The could persuade thousands of people to get into the hobby, guaranteed. You see where I'm going with this.

Many club members hate flying with more than 1 or 2 planes in the air at the same time. The Ragland Technique, as I labeled it, is a threat to local club members and I fear, everyone else. I ran a hobby shop several years ago and I kept it open, not as a result of local club members, but when anyone came in the store I strongly suggested that they fly my LT-40 trainer. We have a flying field 3 miles away and a simulator in my shop. That way I could give a sample of my promotion technique in the shop before I took them out to the field. At least, if they didn't buy right away, or at all, they would pass on their experience to others.

All I asked of AMA was for them to send someone to me so I could teach them my method. They then could go out and do the same, over and over and over. Creating exponential growth. We have a new YMCA, I explained to our club president that they could set up an aeromodeling S.T.E.M. program in the Y and out back there is a dozen acres or so they could teach flying outside during the flying season. He loved the idea and will be contacting the head of the Y soon. BTW, he loves what you guys are doing.

http://www.amaflightschool.org/clubs/ragland-student-training-technique

Take care,
Clarence C Ragland
AMA# 120734
Flight Leader Member
 

FDS

Well-known member
#2
I think sims in shops is a great idea. Stores need something you can’t get from a website and a real hands on bit of flying is certainly that. Plus sims are weather proof!
Taking sims into schools and colleges would also be great for inspiring more people to fly.
 
#3
Simulators are great learning tools, but there should be someone to show the newbie the correct way to learn on the sim. I ran a flight school many years ago and many who came to me had spent many hours practicing on their simulator. Problem is, they had been practicing wrong by using the sim like a video game, banging the stick back and forth. There was no one there to show them how to slowly move the control lever. Now they had to learn all over again and forget all the bad habits they taught themselves. The first thing is when I hand them the transmitter is not to do a thing. That's right, show them that the trainer will actually fly very well without any control movement, at least for the few seconds of straight flight. I then more or less suggest that the move the stick to the left or right a tiny bit and back to center. Then do nothing and wait for the plane to finish its turn. Then the opposite input back to level. Very simple and straight forward. I place my thumb and forefinger underneath their thumb on top of the stick. Can't really do this with them pinching the stick. This only last for a few minutes, total. After that, it's a one or or two word verbal instruction. Many had earned their skilled solo wings on the very first day. It's an excellent promotion method. Many who came in the shop told me they had no interest in RC flying at all. Once I got them on the sim and out to the field, after their 20 minute flying experience, suddenly they became totally interested. You know that saying: You never get a second chance at a first impression.

I've been doing this for over 45 years and not one, I repeat, not one crash in all that time. I've shown fellow clubs members how to do this, but I don't think they were all that enthused to spend much, if any time teaching, no matter how easy they found out it could be. I don't belong to any club anymore, so I don't know what's happening as far as their teaching program goes.

As I've said, all I need is one volunteer to come to my area so I can show them how well this works and possibly train them how to use it.
Now we have the FAA problem. I think fixed wing flying may be in serious jeopardy. If we could drastically increase our numbers asap, there just may be a chance to have enough clout to salvage something good out of this upcoming mess. Think of how much clout the NRA has.
 

FDS

Well-known member
#4
I agree sims need context.
I do quad flying sessions for young people as part of my job, we get them hands on and flying with guidance and instruction as much as possible.
Regulation is putting scores of people off and the more stupid it gets the harder it is to change anything. I am not sure anyone could add the sort of numbers needed to stop the corporate land grab of our airspace that’s happening right now, but I applaud you for trying and doing your utmost to grow the hobby.
 

BATTLEAXE

Well-known member
#5
I think a huge untapped market is girls and women. Usually at any hobby shop, airfield or even on these forums, 95% of the demographic in the hobby are males, how can this hobby appeal to the female side? How can it be marketed to close that gender gap?
 
#6
I agree. When men show up with their girl friends or wives, I insist that the ladies take a few minutes on the sticks. More times than not, they adamantly refuse. So I tell them it's not for them, but for the kids. If kids and men for that matter see more women flying, it may inspire the whole family to get involved. When I was training dad, I would see his family at the flying field and mom and her kids would be sitting around watching or reading.
So I would insist that everyone give the hobby a try. Ironically, females usually learn much quicker than males of every age.
A guy I used to work with had a full scale license and when he saw my Model Aviation magazines, he puffed up his chest and bragged that he flew REAL airplanes. I told him, big deal, I bet you can't fly my trainer. I finally got him out to the field and tried to teach him. He fought me tooth and nail. His 80 year old mother was there watching. I told him his 80 year old mother would learn much faster than him. He said his mother wasn't interested. She heard what he said and asked if she could fly. To make a long story short, within 10 minutes of instruction, I was confident enough to not pay much attention to her while she flew and sat down and chatted with her son. After that, he paid much more attention, shut his mouth and allowed me to teach him. lol

Yes, I say, come one, come all. Men, women and kids of all ages.

My plan is to teach members from all of AMA's 2500 clubs. Imagine if all clubs had just one instructor able to do what I've been doing for over 45 years? I can and have graduated many within a couple of hours. That I can prove if given the opportunity. If I'm full of it, that fact will show immediately. I still can't figure out what so many club members are so afraid of. We're in the FAA meat grinder now, so it might be too late anyway, Collectively billions of dollars are on the line, not to mention people who soon might not be able to fly on their own property.
 
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The Hangar

Well-known member
#8
I agree. When men show up with their girl friends or wives, I insist that the ladies take a few minutes on the sticks. More times than not, they adamantly refuse. So I tell them it's not for them, but for the kids. If kids and men for that matter see more women flying, it may inspire the whole family to get involved. When I was training dad, I would see his family at the flying field and mom and her kids would be sitting around watching or reading.
So I would insist that everyone give the hobby a try. Ironically, females usually learn much quicker than males of every age.
A guy I used to work with had a full scale license and when he saw my Model Aviation magazines, he puffed up his chest and bragged that he flew REAL airplanes. I told him, big deal, I bet you can't fly my trainer. I finally got him out to the field and tried to teach him. He fought me tooth and nail. His 80 year old mother was there watching. I told him his 80 year old mother would learn much faster than him. He said his mother wasn't interested. She heard what he said and asked if she could fly. To make a long story short, within 10 minutes of instruction, I was confident enough to not pay much attention to her while she flew and sat down and chatted with her son. After that, he paid much more attention, shut his mouth and allowed me to teach him. lol

Yes, I say, come one, come all. Men, women and kids of all ages.

My plan is to teach members from all of AMA's 2500 clubs. Imagine if all clubs had just one instructor able to do what I've been doing for over 45 years? I can and have graduated many within a couple of hours. That I can prove if given the opportunity. If I'm full of it, that fact will show immediately. I still can't figure out what so many club members are so afraid of. We're in the FAA meat grinder now, so it might be too late anyway, Collectively billions of dollars are on the line, not to mention people who soon might not be able to fly on their own property.
I love that story 🤣🤣
 

BATTLEAXE

Well-known member
#9
If you could get the women not only more interested but just get them on your side, even if it means getting the men out of the house so they get some quiet time lol. There is only one woman in our household and she loves it when I take the kids and the dog out flying cuz she gets to decompress for an hour or so. But I think as far as the younger plugged-in generation who would rather text friends then be face to face would really benefit from some outdoors social time with an activity that is cool, fun, and hands on learning, for both boys and girls. Buddy boxing the kids, teaching them about aerodynamics, building, flying crashing and fixing is nothing but valuable.
 
#10
Out of 10 women I asked to give it a try, maybe one didn't give me a hard time. 9 women said they're not interested. I said you don't have to be interested, just take the sticks for a minute or two and I will take over. The majority of these ladies ended up taking much more than 2 minutes.
You just have to make it a pleasant experience, which is what I do. Sometimes, I go out on a limb and challenge them. I say when they refuse, that's ok, women can't learn to do this anyway. Dangerous, I know, but sometimes it works. lol

The link below is why it's been so hard to attract anyone. Make it quick, fun, safe and easier, then getting people into the hobby is a piece of cake. Funny thing, when I had a hobby shop, a couple would come in. With excitement, the lady would look at the planes I had hanging on the ceiling. Her mate would make it a point not to look at the planes. What's going on here? lol
 

Attachments

#12
You have to consider the fragile male ego may get deflated. I have had men bring out a trainer and never let me or anyone else get in the air for him. Fear of failure is the deal. lol I'm as guilty as the next guy. When someone is attempting to teach me how to use my computer, I do more thinking of how stupid this guy must think I am instead of me paying attention to what he's trying to teach me. lol
 

The Hangar

Well-known member
#13
I’ve gotten 1 guy into the hobby so far, and have introduced foam board to another guy. There is also another guy very intrested and has a sim, but doesn’t have time to build a plane until school gets out. Then you bet I’ll go buddy box with him!
 
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basslord1124

Well-known member
#14
I never really think much about it that sort of thing when I fly...to me flying is my decompression time and sometimes I like to fly alone for that reason. I get people overload sometimes.

I will say though, that I keep this in mind as a focus for my youtube channel. When I first started it, I probably had other intentions for doing my youtube channel, but as time has went on I look at it more as hoping that someone can benefit from it whether to be entertained, taught, or what have you. And I'm a firm believer in showing as much as I can...even unfortunate crash events. I used to be afraid of crashing, now I have come to expect it and it's a part of the hobby too. I feel showing the crashing side of things can help people understand that it's not the end of the world when that happens and not be afraid of the hobby for that reason.

I had tried to get my wife to join the RC club I go to...which she did for a little while but something there made her upset so she lost interest. She's more into camera drones more so than planes (which I have tried to get her into planes with little success).
 
#15
Whether we want to admit it or not, fear comes into play when we are faced with learning something new. We don’t want to push ourselves and face the pressures that come with stepping out of our comfort zone. We don’t want to fail. We don’t want to find out we can’t have it, if we want something. We don’t want others to find out we aren’t as strong or capable as we want them to think we are. Fear comes in all forms and it is what holds us back from stepping up to the blackboard and exposing our struggles at learning something new.

I've had absolutely women refuse to fly my trainer. They didn't need a reason, no way in hell would they touch the transmitter. They had their mind made up that they were not going to fly, full stop. This seldom happened, but I pushed and pushed and some of the ladies got quite mad at me, but their husbands didn't. Interesting. You see couples doing all sorts of things together, like fishing, hunting, running, mountain climbing and sky diving for example, but both flying RC airplanes is very rare.
 

BATTLEAXE

Well-known member
#16
I never really think much about it that sort of thing when I fly...to me flying is my decompression time and sometimes I like to fly alone for that reason. I get people overload sometimes.

I will say though, that I keep this in mind as a focus for my youtube channel. When I first started it, I probably had other intentions for doing my youtube channel, but as time has went on I look at it more as hoping that someone can benefit from it whether to be entertained, taught, or what have you. And I'm a firm believer in showing as much as I can...even unfortunate crash events. I used to be afraid of crashing, now I have come to expect it and it's a part of the hobby too. I feel showing the crashing side of things can help people understand that it's not the end of the world when that happens and not be afraid of the hobby for that reason.

I had tried to get my wife to join the RC club I go to...which she did for a little while but something there made her upset so she lost interest. She's more into camera drones more so than planes (which I have tried to get her into planes with little success).
Whether we want to admit it or not, fear comes into play when we are faced with learning something new. We don’t want to push ourselves and face the pressures that come with stepping out of our comfort zone. We don’t want to fail. We don’t want to find out we can’t have it, if we want something. We don’t want others to find out we aren’t as strong or capable as we want them to think we are. Fear comes in all forms and it is what holds us back from stepping up to the blackboard and exposing our struggles at learning something new.

I've had absolutely women refuse to fly my trainer. They didn't need a reason, no way in hell would they touch the transmitter. They had their mind made up that they were not going to fly, full stop. This seldom happened, but I pushed and pushed and some of the ladies got quite mad at me, but their husbands didn't. Interesting. You see couples doing all sorts of things together, like fishing, hunting, running, mountain climbing and sky diving for example, but both flying RC airplanes is very rare.
The real question here is how do we overcome that? Does the Hobby need to be easier? Like for example, going hunting is fun for the average person because learning to shoot a gun is a lot of pot shots at soup cans, till the trudging around outside, camping and mosquito's gets in the way, then it isn't fun anymore. Not to say that is the way in every case but there are aspects in anything you try that are uncomfortable for one reason or another. Really it's just like anything in life. Getting a new job is exciting, until you mess up in your first few days and then the nerves start balling up.

My woman has seen my frustrations and confusions in this hobby but I decided to stay focused on the goal, only because I want it bad enough, and I am not done by any means. She has even told me to switch to boats or crawlers seeing me crash probably about half a dozen planes before I even got a semi coordinated flight that lasted more then 60 seconds. And there have been many more fatalities since then trust me. Took me all summer to get a plane down to where I could fly the same plane multiple times. That's the hump people can't get their heads around until they actually see success. I think it's the personal one on one attention that most people are looking for when being taught, plus the celebratory high fives when the little success's are achieved.
 

basslord1124

Well-known member
#17
I think a problem nowadays too is the newer generations want that sort of "instant gratification" from doing something. They don't want to have to work for something. So the idea of going through building, research, sim time, instructor help, and possible multiple crashes and repairs turns the young folks away. I'm kinda thinking this was the reason Horizon Hobby has went the route of their gyros, SAFE systems, and planes that almost practically fly themselves.
 

BATTLEAXE

Well-known member
#18
I think a problem nowadays too is the newer generations want that sort of "instant gratification" from doing something. They don't want to have to work for something. So the idea of going through building, research, sim time, instructor help, and possible multiple crashes and repairs turns the young folks away. I'm kinda thinking this was the reason Horizon Hobby has went the route of their gyros, SAFE systems, and planes that almost practically fly themselves.
Yea but then they will sit for hours trying to level up on Halo... go figure
 
#19
The hobby should not be easier, just the learning process. Nothing worthwhile is easy. I've trained many people who went through the same frustrating process you went through. Some came to me trying to sell their equipment because they had such a difficult time trying to learn. So I checked out his plane and got it in the air. I asked him if he would like to fly his plane one more time before he sold it? He looked at me like I insulted his wife. BTW, his wife was there and smiled, because she knew what I was up to. lol I finally got him to take the radio and before he took it, he said that he couldn't fly because I didn't have a buddy-box. I smiled and said that we didn't need a buddy-box. I gave him the tx and told him to put his thumb on top of the elevator/aileron lever and I put my thumb and forefinger underneath his thumb. No, no, no hugging. I stood next to him on his right side and told him not to move the stick at all. The trainer will fly straight and level by itself for quite a while. To make along story short, he didn't sell his plane. I said that I would continue his lessons until he can safely fly on his own. That only took 3 or 4 days. He still had the fear of crashing monkey on his back. So he had to relearn how fly and not be as nervous. That's why it took me so long to finish his training.

I won't go any further of my training process, but you should get the picture. Most of those I trained became skilled pilots, many on the same day of their first ever RC flying experience. Locally, those I trained never crashed, at least not from pilot error. I know because they still have the same plane when they started. Maybe a little hanger rash and holes in the wings, but still in one piece.

What I'm trying to do is teach others how to teach using my method. I ran a professional RC flight school a couple of decades ago. I had people coming from all over the US and Canada to finally learn how to fly. My master plan is to train others how to use this method. AMA has 2500 clubs, so imagine if all 2500 clubs had someone able to use my method. Talk about mass and rapid growth. Although some members might take exception of suddenly being inundated with so many newcomers in their club and on their field. I call it a threes a crowd syndrome.

Since I'm the only one (not sure) who can do this, obviously, many people cannot afford to travel to my area to learn how to fly. That's why I am available to show others how to use this method. It might only take a veteran flier a couple of hours of my instruction to learn this method. Problem is, not too many veteran fliers are interested in learning a new method to teach.
 

BATTLEAXE

Well-known member
#20
I like the training idea, and judging by what you have said so far, I am guessing you don't need to be a professional sponsored pilot of 20 years to get someone comfortable enough to fly a trainer plane on their own. Do you have any resources one could read, watch, or look at to be that trainer to get the experience out there?

My experience was because I was pretty much self taught, trial and error, process of elimination till I got it right. Other then getting verbal advice here on the forums and from YT there was no one there to guide my sticks for me. That's one of the reason I had to build so many planes, might have some stubbornness in there as well :p