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Old 01-03-2004, 11:50 AM
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shams42
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I am a former Aerobird pilot who just completed my first kit, a mountain models dandy sport. I probably had 30-40 flights on the Aerobird and was pretty good at controlling it and landing where I want, etc. (My last few Aerobird flights were hampered by lots of malfunctions with the plane's v-tail and control surfaces, which has greatly drained my confidence.)

I am wondering if I should attempt to fly this Dandy alone or if I should go ahead and join the AMA and go down to my local field and find an instructor. I am sure that having an instructor would be good for my flying, but the cost of joining the AMA plus the cost of paying for a year's membership at the field ($100) is prohibitive at this point. Plus the field is about 30-35 minutes away from my home and is grass only... I don't even know if the little wheels on the Dandy could function in that type of grass.

On the other hand, I've put a lot of money and time into building this kit, and I don't want to see it become kindling after one flight.

I do intend to join the AMA and fly at the local field eventually for the social atmosphere, etc. My next plane might be glow (although I've got my eye on a Formosa), and if it is I'll have to fly at that field. I just couldn't afford to do it right now.

What do you think? Should I try it on my own? Should I wait and find an instructor?

Matt
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Old 01-03-2004, 12:24 PM
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Default RE: the delimma...

The best way to get into this hobby is to have an instructor. Especially if you're worried about your plane. Although the Dandy is very tough for a balsa plane, a good crash will kill it.

If you're interested in saving money, spend another $35 and get a Slow Stick, move all of your gear from the Dandy to the SS, and fly it for a while. I think that when you're very comfortable flying the SS without crashing, you shouldn't have much trouble moving to the Dandy.
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Old 01-03-2004, 12:31 PM
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Matt Kirsch
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Default RE: the delimma...

I would recommend that before you pony up for the club membership, that you make sure you're a good fit for the club, and the club is a good fit for you. Hang out at the field for a while, get to know some of the people, ask questions.

AMA membership is a good investment in the future of this hobby, IMHO. Plus, it gives you a "free" pass to fly as a guest at any AMA club's field. You can take your plane with you if you travel, seek out the local AMA club, meet some new people and get some flying in.
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Old 01-03-2004, 05:55 PM
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I flew my plane today on a school soccer field without an instructor. The wind was blowing at about 7 mph. It was a blast. It took off in about 10-15 feet of rollout. It is a pretty slow flyer. Pointed into the wind, she just floats along. Much more responsive than the Aerobird, as expected, and a much better flyer. Even though it was much more responsive than I'm used to, it didn't feel touchy. (I kept everything set to low rates this time out.)

My first landing was as gentle as could be. I came in kind of hard on my second landing. This caused the battery tray to come loose from the supports inside the fuselage. Once I got home, it took 5 minutes to fix. Nevertheless, it was pretty scary to look inside and see a little bit of fractured balsa. It's repaired and ready to go now.

I love my plane and I can't wait to fly again!

Matt
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Old 01-04-2004, 02:15 PM
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Congrats! It's always good to hear of successful maiden flights.

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