PREFLIGHT AND FIRST FLIGHT PROCEDURES FOR PARKFLYERS
by Ed Anderson
aeajr on the forums
Here are some quick tips and a "check sheet" for preparing your parkflyer
for launch. If you are a new pilot, you really need to heed the wind
caution. If you are experienced, use your own judgment.
Here is how you prepare for your first flights. Skip a step and you open
yourself to problems.
Respect the wind - For new pilots, dead calm to 3 MPH is perfect. No more
than 5 MPH for early/training flights or you will be fighting the wind, not
flying the plane.
1) Make sure no one is on your channel BEFORE you turn on your radio. If
someone is flying on your channel and you turn on your radio, they will
crash! Check first! If you are on 2.4 GHz, you can skip this step.
2) Do a range check before the first launch of the day
3) Make sure that battery is fully charged just before the launch. Not 3
days ago. Not last week. I mean, last night or today!
4) Make sure all your surfaces are properly aligned and move properly before
you launch. Check the manual if the surfaces do not appear to be properly
aligned. Also make sure your wing is straight! Check the linkage
to be sure they are secure
5) CHECK THE TRIMS! Check the trim slides on the side and below the
stick(s). Be sure you have not bumped one out of position. A bumped trim
can cause the plane to crash. Make sure the surfaces are properly aligned
on the tail and the wings.
6) Always launch and land into the wind - ALWAYS
7) If you are hand launching, - good firm level throw or only very slightly
up. Never throw the plane upward - Typically you use full throttle. If
this is an e-glider, part throttle might be a better choice.
8) Let it fly out and gain speed. I would say a minimum of 50 feet, and 100
would be better. From a hand throw, it will drop a bit, that is OK. It
should start to climb all on its own. If you use the elevator, only use a
The plane must get up to speed before applying strong elevator. Apply the
elevator too soon and you will "stall" the wing, the nose will drop and you
IF THIS IS YOUR FIRST FLIGHT AND YOU ARE LEARNING ON YOUR OWN
If your field will allow it, launch, fly out 100 feet or so then come back
to about 1/4 throttle and let the plane drift down for a landing straight
ahead. Just before the plane touches the ground, cut the motor.
Use the rudder to keep it straight. Avoid turns. Do this a few times till
you understand how the plane launches and lands. Then you can go for climbs
I fly electrics and gliders. With my gliders, I ALWAYS do a test glide,
with a hand throw, straight out then glide to the ground before launching
off the hi-start or the winch. This confirms that the plane is balanced and
everything works right. Good idea for electrics as well using that straight
out launch, under power, then land. Saves much damage and embarrassment.
If the plane is properly trimmed, it should climb on its own at full
throttle or require only a small amount of up elevator.
Use the elevator carefully! Unless you are going for a loop, use small
elevator inputs. Too much up elevator with the plane flying too slowly will
cause the nose to rise, the wing to stall and the nose to drop. Do this
near the ground and you crash.
Keep your control movement smooth and don't over do it. Turn before you
need to so you can give the plane time to react. This is called thinking
of the plane. Plan you moves.
For three channel parkflyers that use rudder/elevator or two channels that
only have rudder, don't hold rudder commands for more than a couple of
seconds. On these planes, rudder commands will cause the plane to bank, or
tip over in the direction of the turn. That is good because that is how
they turn. However, if you hold the rudder too long, the
bank will continue to steepen to the point where the wing will lose lift and
you will go into a dive or spiral in for a crash.
Of course you read the whole manual several times and watched any videos
that might have come with the plane before you fly.
Here are some other tips you might find helpful: Six Keys to Success
> Throwing up will make you sick - read from the first post
Clear Skies and Safe Flying!