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What to do

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Old 08-25-2010, 09:03 PM
  #1
OzMo
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Default What to do

Hi all,
I have a good flying buddy that keeps crashing... a lot. I have helped him set up his planes and have helped him replace planes. But he crashes. We think SOME of the problem is battered radio gear. Some may be nerves. But now the other club members are thinking of restricting his flying for safety reasons. He seems to fairly well when not to many are out worse if there is a crowd.
I recently set him up with a 60 size sweet and low stick. At least two guys checked it all over and it seemed to fly very well for the first three flights. It went in wide open last Sunday behind the flight line by the cars. Very impressive debris field and lots of concerned members.
He is a VERY good club member in all other aspects. Open for sugestions.
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Old 08-25-2010, 09:19 PM
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noveldoc
 
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Default RE: What to do

Spend some time with your best instructor and a buddy box. This may well diagnose the problem.

May also be a good idea to get an eye exam. I had cataracts for almost a year before I got to the doc and found out. And if one in one eye is more advanced than the other eye this can really trash your depth perception.

Some meds can change pupil size and cause a similar problem. Also diabetes, especially undiagnosed, can cause visual blurring and loss of depth perception. So maybe get a medical??

Tom
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Old 08-25-2010, 09:24 PM
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Default RE: What to do

Make some time during the week when no one is at the field and meet up with him, get him flying as much as possible during these times. If you honestly thinking he may have some radio issues then either have the system serviced or he needs to buy something more up to date.

He just needs stick time with no spectators, just his good friend. I have seen several pilots that had the same issue, they just needed to fly more than most until they felt very comfortable and proved to themselves they can fly.

Best of luck,
Steve
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Old 08-25-2010, 10:36 PM
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krashkart
 
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Default RE: What to do

Some people just cannot get the drift of hand/eye or whatever.
I have know people that have failed to learn for whatever reason.
And one was a retired pilot!
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Old 08-25-2010, 11:15 PM
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Default RE: What to do

Have you thought about putting him on a simulator, where crashes and crowds are not an issue? It may improve his confidence to the point where he will be less nervous at the field and be better able to concentrate just on flying.
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Old 08-26-2010, 12:31 AM
  #6
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Default RE: What to do

The sim will also likely build muscle memory. Set up the same or similar airplane on the sim and get him to fly at 40% or lower throttle on that. It sounds silly but with so little excess of power, he will have to react by muscle memory to tight situations and he wont be able to fly at much height on the sim. That will make him pick-up faster. That is the way I picked up during my training days.

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Old 08-26-2010, 12:52 AM
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Default RE: What to do

we have a similar problem with one of our members, he starts off fine but very shortly he starts following his plane instead of staying ahead of it, so what we came up with was a spotter/coach for him, otherwise he's all over the place, flying over the pits, flying against the circuit and so on, but with somebody standing next to him, coaching him, he's much better
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Old 08-26-2010, 02:24 AM
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Default RE: What to do

I'd guess that many of us know someone like this. I certainly do; a couple of chaps, in fact. They are simply "duffers". They just never seem to learn from their experiences ... not in 20-odd years.

The problem is that it's nearly impossible to address the issue without falling out over it. What I'm saying is that the real problem is a social one, rather than a technical one. With the appropriate help, these chaps would probably make competent pilots ... but how to get them that help?

I can't offer you any advice, only a bit of sympathy. If you are lucky, your pal will realise his weaknesses and ask for your opinions as to what should be his course of action. As long as he keeps on blaming his radio gear, you will both have a problem, unfortunately. But, once he asks of himself, "Where am I going wrong?", he will present the opportunity to address the problems.

I'll be interested to see whether anyone comes up with painless ways to deal with this situation.
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Old 08-26-2010, 04:56 AM
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Default RE: What to do

G'day all

I learned to fly at the age of 40. I was badly taught. Wrong plane, wrong teacher. It was all wrong. After a couple of months I could fly a circuit and about that time my instructor sort of lost interest in me and wandered off to teach the latest newcomer. As result, I was never taught to land, I was never taught what the rudder was for and I could only turn left.

After several years, many models and much distress I eventually came to the Sig Kadet Senior. The kit version with no ailerons. With a small four stroke (40 - 56) I had a model which I could fly and land and not be stressed out.

Yes, I know it does not like cross winds but with enough power ( and it does not need to be much) you can take off across most strips).

Yes, it does take a bit of building but it is not complicated and it is easy to turn out a good flying model.

Yes, it is not very aerobatic but you would be surprised what it will do.

It is very stable, will fly well in quite windy conditions, will recover its self if you get totally mixed up (so long as you have some height) and take off and landings are relatively easy and stress free.

Powered by a 40 four stroke it is very docile, a 56 is just about perfect and a 70 is just nicely overpowered. I currently have three which have 56, 70 and 82 engines in them though the 82 is just temporary and it will eventually get its 62 back.

I use my Kadets to teach old blokes like me. I also use them to give newcomers a taste of RC flying and a few flights until they buy their own equipment. I find that youngsters quickly get the hang of the Kadet but soon want something more. Middle age learners handle the Kadet well and appreciate it but eventually move on to more exciting things and older blokes like the Kadet for its relaxing style.

One of my older learners has recently built one from a plan so it can be done without a kit. It flies well too.

Perhaps your friend should consider a nice gentle monster like the Kadet Senior?

But what your friend needs most is to recognise and accept his limitations. Only then will he start to make progress. Sadly, it is sometimes very difficult for some people to come to these realisations.
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Old 08-26-2010, 06:01 AM
  #10
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Quote:
ORIGINAL: OzMo

Hi all,
I have a good flying buddy that keeps crashing... a lot. I have helped him set up his planes and have helped him replace planes. But he crashes. We think SOME of the problem is battered radio gear. Some may be nerves. But now the other club members are thinking of restricting his flying for safety reasons. He seems to fairly well when not to many are out worse if there is a crowd.
I recently set him up with a 60 size sweet and low stick. At least two guys checked it all over and it seemed to fly very well for the first three flights. It went in wide open last Sunday behind the flight line by the cars. Very impressive debris field and lots of concerned members.
He is a VERY good club member in all other aspects. Open for sugestions.
We have a fellow that crashes almost every trip to the field. I am really dismayed. He is a kind gentleman and I simply hate to see him crash and yet, I know he can fly. I have watched him do some dead-stick landings and grease them. He went wide open as well and crashed into the pits back in the early part of the year and the plane just blew to pieces in front of a car. Man, talk about "heads-up." We were all not sure which way to run.

He has engine issues, plane setup issues, and just regular issues flying. I think most of his problems are plane and radio setup. I watched him closely to analyse what his problems are. I cannot imagine crashing almost every trip to the field. I would have given up long ago. He really enjoys the social aspect more, but I notice he does like to fly, but just cannot seem to get it together.

I have offered to help him and he does come out some more when I am there. Also, another buddy is out as well. We are hoping to help him more but he keeps his planes so torn up it is hard to assist him. I offered to let him fly one of mine and I could help him, but he is like me and won't fly other people's planes.

I think one way is to just hang closer and help him do things and then also work with him while flying. One thing I noticed the most of all is his landing approaches are all over the place and this has contributed to most of his crashes. If I can get him to practice approaches at the same height and location, I believe he will eliminate much of the crashing. Somehow, I plan to help this man in any way I can so he can enjoy flying more.

When he flys most people will stop what they are doing and watch, or will keep their heads up because they just know what is coming. [X(]
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Old 08-26-2010, 06:06 AM
  #11
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Default RE: What to do

A flying friend of mine just had his eyes redone by his doctor, and had a prescription change. He was wearing contacts that gave him distance vision in one eye, and the other was set for up close. Now, he has both his eyes set for distance, he claims that he now feels that he can see properly for the first time in a long time. He has had problems with depth perception and orientation while flying, he crashed 2 planes that way. (The 3rd one he crashed because he chose to fly at a construction site, the only obstacle was an outhouse, and yes, he tagged the outhouse).
Maybe your friend has a correctable vision problem? He could also be adversely affected by crowds, and just have to recognize that and not fly once he starts to feel uncomfortable, coming from your description of the problem.
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Old 08-26-2010, 02:45 PM
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Quote:
ORIGINAL: OzMo

Hi all,
I have a good flying buddy that keeps crashing... a lot.

He is a VERY good club member in all other aspects. Open for sugestions.
I assume that your buddy had proper training until solo.

The safety issue is real and serious, and it can be simply solved with a buddy box and some volunteer ready to take over control each time he messes up.
He seems to be overwelmed by the peer criteria of his flying.

He needs to deal with that fear that paralizes his brain when others are watching, one way or the other.
Building confidence with extra practice when the field is less busy and with the simulator is one method.
Switching to a less powerful and responsive model is other method (I suggest an electric glider).

Best luck to both of you,........and remind him that what other people think about him, is none of his bussiness!
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Old 08-26-2010, 04:11 PM
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Default RE: What to do

Thanks Guys,
Your input has been very helpful in this matter. Very good advice all around.
Unfortunatley he does not do computer stuff at all. This may relate to his "set up" problems.
Here is what I hope to do to avoid possible hurt feelings. I am going to fly in a few minutes with a mutual friend that is a proficient Giant scale 3d flier amd an electronic engineer. Between he and I will attempt to take him under our wing so to speak and rehab his equip and training. I was taught well, David McDonald was my instructor. He is and was a rudder guy.
I recall he disconceted my ailerons and had me fly, not take off or land, my CG Eagle trainer in rudder elevator mode. Tail dragger without a tail wheel also. I have mimicked his teaching methods and have soloed a couple dozen newbies. Another flyer at our field learned from D McD also its funny if we share a student they fuss because we make them do a LOT of low slow down the runway stuff.
Well, I have my trainer buddy box and stuff loaded so I am off to the field
Thanks, Ozmo
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Old 08-26-2010, 05:23 PM
  #14
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We have a fellow that wrecks alot of planes too. His problem is medical, the result of a stroke from years ago. The guys at the field buddy box with him which helps, but his stuff still gets broken from the instructor not catching a mistake quick enough or from repairs that don't hold up or bad servos. He hasn't been dangerous ever that I know of though. I think after an unexplained crash into the parking lot some restrictions are in order for your friend. He is violating the AMA safety code which your club has agreed to enforce if it's an AMA sanctioned club. Perhaps he needs to spend a season on the buddy box until an instructor believes he is in control well enough to be safe?
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