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Psychology of RC flying

Old 12-06-2011, 12:59 AM
  #26  
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Default RE: Psychology of RC flying

I ride motorbikes as well as flying radio control planes.

One of my favourite rides is where I have a set of med to fast sweeping turns, it's a great feeling to power through those turns.

I get the same feeling when I take off my rc plane and bank to the left or to the right at the end of the takeoff circuit.

The smells also affect me. It's always great to smell the castor oil in the glow fuel mix. Recently I started flying a petrol model, the smell of that plane on take off reminds me of the smells when I have gone to the MotoGP championship races.

I don't think I want to talk about the psychology of the pain of a crash!
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Old 12-06-2011, 01:38 AM
  #27  
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Default RE: Psychology of RC flying

ORIGINAL: tonyob
The smells also affect me. It's always great to smell the castor oil in the glow fuel mix.
I find I'm very much affected by weather conditions. On certain days when the skies are particularly beautiful with great clouds and interesting light, I feel particularly "drawn up into the skies." I see the model in relation to background clouds and will even try to fly it into interesting lighting locations. Maybe that's the photographer in me. But I feel really alive at these times and the euphoria can last for the rest of the day. I don't feel like this either on overcast days of those cloudless (and windless) blue sky days.

Maybe this is getting too much into the touchy-feely side of things. But I will admit to taking photos of the flowers at my field.
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Old 12-06-2011, 04:19 AM
  #28  
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Default RE: Psychology of RC flying

This thread is too tame!

I'd contend that there is no such thing as a "natural pilot". There can't be, since many of the physical concepts of flight are just "un-natural" to we ground animals. Of course, some people learn more quickly than others; some are smarter; some are less risk-averse; some turn up with a better set of transferrable skills.


I'd agree with the notion that model flying is a very cerebral activity. ISTM that each pilot's brain creates a virtual world into which he transposes his model ... he keeps his simulation just a little way "ahead" of the reality which is being experienced by the model.



Here's the controversial bit. Your model flying can only be as good as your mental simulation. The simulation is created by the applied integration of both theoretical knowledge and experience. When either of those two components is deficient, the result is a poor pilot. Ergo, you can never be a good pilot via the monkey-see-monkey-do method of instruction ... unless you accumulate vast experience of every possible flight condition.

OTOH, some book-learning will give you the opportunity to anticipate behaviour which you have not actually experienced. And, model flying is very dependent upon "anticipation" of an aeroplane's behaviour.

In other words, you cannot properly program your mental computer, if you rely solely upon either experience or upon book-learning.
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Old 12-06-2011, 05:23 AM
  #29  
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Default RE: Psychology of RC flying

Too tame eh?

"When the living beings moved, the wheels moved with them. When they flew upward, the wheels went up too. The spirit of the living beings was in the wheels. So wherever the spirit went, the wheels and the living beings also went. When the beings moved the wheels moved. When the beings stopped, the wheels stopped. When the beings flew upward, the wheels rose up, for the spirit of the living beings was in the wheels"

In my opinion, one of the earliest descriptions of remote control flying in History. Ezekiel 1: 19-21

ZZ.

PS:

After all, isn't this an apt description of how we fly. Isn't our spirit in these small machines, (via modern technology after all) causing them to do our will. Ahem....hopefully, once we put dumb thumbs aside.
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Old 12-06-2011, 05:45 AM
  #30  
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Default RE: Psychology of RC flying

ORIGINAL: bogbeagle
I'd contend that there is no such thing as a ''natural pilot''. There can't be, since many of the physical concepts of flight are just ''un-natural'' to we ground animals. Of course, some people learn more quickly than others; some are smarter; some are less risk-averse; some turn up with a better set of transferrable skills.
Agree completely, with emphasis on transferable skills, Eddie Rickenbacker being a perfect example. Of course we could wonder what made him a great race car driver before the war.

I'd agree with the notion that model flying is a very cerebral activity.
Agree only to the extent that everything we do in life is ultimately a cerebral activity. In so many ways, the only world we know is the one we have created for ourselves in our heads. But I don't think that flying a model requires any more than average intelligence, certainly no more than driving a car. We have one guy in our club his is definitely mentally challenged to some degree. And he does have more than his fair share of crashes, but I'm always amazed that he can fly at all.

Here's the controversial bit. Your model flying can only be as good as your mental simulation.
This is a very good point. We all may be flying a mental model, but we've all each done our own programming to some extent. Most humans are incredibly gifted at being able to make observations and from those observations develop the ability to project real-world movement. We very rarely run into each other in stores and catching a ball is no great trick for most of us. But, inevitably, some people are going to be better at "programming" their own little mental flight simulators than others. And I have no idea who might have an advantage here.
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Old 12-06-2011, 06:56 AM
  #31  
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Default RE: Psychology of RC flying

We are singing from the same hymn-sheet, abufletcher.

Catching a ball is pretty easy, 'cos its trajectory is predictable.

Now, catch a falling feather, when there's a few air currents around. Almost impossible to predict its path.

So, the challenge for the pilot is to make flight predictable. He who understands the greatest number of variables, will probably make the best prediction.
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Old 12-06-2011, 08:39 AM
  #32  
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Default RE: Psychology of RC flying

A few years ago I was at the field and a guy was there with an electric plane that had a video camera mounted on it. He wanted to try to get some air to air video with another plane. I had an old trainer with me so with my son acting as the spotter to help me get positioned I flew the trainer in formation with and around the camera plane. Afterward it occurred to me that during the entire flight I never once thought about flying the airplane or what inputs to make or planning ahead or any of those things; it was all about where the plane needed to be. That was a revelation for me. Flying became like riding a bicycle where the mechanics of keeping it going became subconcious.
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Old 12-06-2011, 09:20 AM
  #33  
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Default RE: Psychology of RC flying

Interesting topic. Agree that the more one flies, the more that flying becomes positioning the plane to a point in space and time without so much as what the fingers are doing on the sticks. Thats where muscle memory comes in. But, in some circumstances, it pays to be able to quickly transition to the sticks and specifically tune in to what you've previously commanded. Sounds silly but its something I kind of picked it up from the discipline of IFR flight. Goes like this... say I'm flying on a day when there's some overcast, or maybe I've got it a bit further out than I like. Suddenly, the color is gone and the plane is black. At that point I immediately transition to the sticks. Is it climbing left or diving right? For me, at that moment it does not matter what it looks like. If my sticks are neutral then I KNOW it will continue that path. If I was in a bank, I KNOW that, based on my sticks, I'm still banking and if I just hold it WILL continue on around. It can be a bit unnerving, but if you have confidence in your plane, meaning its flying, producing power and didnt see anything fall off of it, and '2nd attention' awareness of your stick postions, it does work. I've seen guys lose a plane because they got disoriented, didnt know what they were doing on the sticks, and end up getting the plane into a worse position or an unusual attitude which sometimes cannot be recovered from. Yeah sounds crazy, but the few times I've had to engage that way its worked for me.

The reference to IFR is your body may be telling you one thing, as in feels like your banking, (this being the RC plane), but the instruments are telling another, (this being the sticks). You kinda see what I mean...
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Old 12-06-2011, 09:23 AM
  #34  
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Default RE: Psychology of RC flying

What about the damage to one's psych when a crash occurs... some guys take it better than others... one guys is not seen for a couple of weeks after a crash.

Get it depends on the cause, but I sure hate loosing an aircraft.
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Old 12-06-2011, 09:28 AM
  #35  
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Default RE: Psychology of RC flying

Radical, that makes perfect sense. And in fact that's what I was doing on those occasions when I lost sight of my model. It was exactly like instrument flying. All I had to go on was the position of the stick...that and my last memory of the attitude of the model before it disappeared.

Worth pointing out here is that you don't have to actually look down at the sticks. You just shift your mental attention to the pressure on your fingers, which immediately tells you something like: "Your holding a bit of up elevator and some right aileron."
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Old 12-06-2011, 09:41 AM
  #36  
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Default RE: Psychology of RC flying

ORIGINAL: on_your_six
...but I sure hate loosing an aircraft.
I don't mind loosing the cheap ARFs I use (and use up) as practice planes...if I figure I've gotten my money's worth of flight training out of them. I had one ARF (a Kyosho me109) that just would not die. As it was coming out of a split S it did a sudden snap and went straight down at almost full throttle into a stand of trees. So off I went to collect the pieces. But after tromping through the woods for about 20 minutes looking for it, there it was just sitting there on the ground on its gear....COMPLETELY UNDAMAGED! This was all the more spooky since looking up all you could see was a thick canopy of branches. I carried it back to the field and flew it again.

I eventually flew the model until it sort of died of old age (and a cracked engine mount that I was too lazy to replace). It's still sitting in a corner.
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Old 12-06-2011, 09:43 AM
  #37  
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Default RE: Psychology of RC flying

I'm brutal with myself, if I damage a model.

Sometimes, I need several weeks of castigation and flagellation (metaphorically-speaking, of course ) before I forgive myself. That's probably a little too revealing for a public forum. Who cares; there's a whole Atlantic Ocean between us.

Most often, it's a case of, "I knew that I shouldn't have done that, even as it was happening ... but I still did it." Lack of discipline, I suppose.
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Old 12-06-2011, 12:01 PM
  #38  
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Default RE: Psychology of RC flying

Yesterday I was not in the mood of flying, I really dont know why. It was a perfect day and I had off after 2PM, so I made myself go.
I took off the first time and it was like the plane wasnot performing as well as usual, landed and check everything and all was good.
Took off again and the loops were too little, the rolls to slow, the inverted S almost didnt happen. Hmmmmmmm
After the third landing the tail wheel came off, that was my signal to pack and go home after only one hr and three flights.
I thought the next flight would be the crash. Psychology, instints or plain lazyness, go figure
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Old 12-06-2011, 01:11 PM
  #39  
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Default RE: Psychology of RC flying


The reference to IFR is your body may be telling you one thing, as in feels like your banking, (this being the RC plane), but the instruments are telling another, (this being the sticks). You kinda see what I mean...
[/quote]

This is similar to what I do when R/C night flying, sometimes visual feedback isn't enough. Sometimes the lights you don't see are as important as the ones you do see. As I mentioned before, sometimes you must rely on your thumbs (stick positions) for feedback information. It's amazing our brains can take all this data in and transform it into flight!
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Old 12-06-2011, 04:08 PM
  #40  
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Default RE: Psychology of RC flying

it's funny this thread comes up.... i get a strange connection to my planes while flying...ive been flying for almost 20 years and have only begun to experience this strange connection a few years ago... i can tell the difference between getting blown around by the wind and interference, some people cant.... when i lose that connection due to a radio lockout or control surface failure(ail or elev)the closest thing i cant relate it to is that feeling when you hydroplane your car/truck....
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Old 12-06-2011, 04:10 PM
  #41  
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Default RE: Psychology of RC flying

ORIGINAL: CanDo


The reference to IFR is your body may be telling you one thing, as in feels like your banking, (this being the RC plane), but the instruments are telling another, (this being the sticks). You kinda see what I mean...
This is similar to what I do when R/C night flying, sometimes visual feedback isn't enough. Sometimes the lights you don't see are as important as the ones you do see. As I mentioned before, sometimes you must rely on your thumbs (stick positions) for feedback information. It's amazing our brains can take all this data in and transform it into flight!
[/quote]

i remember i had to rely on my thumbs one time i lost a plane in the fog... and sure enough the plane was in the attitude my brain had predicted... this was about 15 years ago
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Old 12-06-2011, 04:55 PM
  #42  
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Default RE: Psychology of RC flying

Great thread. The amount of processing that our senses and brains have to to do to fly well is rather amazing to me. It certainly puts us into a zone that is akin to deep meditation and total focus.

Years ago when I was flying my avatar scale Twin Otter, the owner of the full scale version offered to let my fly it. I jumped at the chance and was amazed to find that its pitch and roll response felt very familiar to me. It was like my brain had the feeling already established in it. Flying the model after that linked me directly back to the full scale experience.
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Old 12-06-2011, 05:25 PM
  #43  
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Default RE: Psychology of RC flying

ORIGINAL: MetallicaJunkie
...)the closest thing i cant relate it to is that feeling when you hydroplane your car/truck....
I definitely felt that in a bad turn! I don't know how my brain creates this sensation but I feel physically weird.
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Old 12-06-2011, 06:42 PM
  #44  
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Default RE: Psychology of RC flying

ORIGINAL: lopflyers
I thought the next flight would be the crash. Psychology, instints or plain lazyness, go figure
Sounds like good common sense to me! I've lived with epilepsy my entire life and, like many people with epilepsy, have learned to recognize the feeling of a pre-seizure "aura." This is a sort of vague clustering of feelings ranging from mild nausea to a slight "haziness" or even just a vague feeling that things aren't right with the world. There's nothing mystical about it. These actually are the observable effects of mild seizure activity already occurring in the brain.

So it is with the "gut feelings" that we often have. If I start to feel like I'm "behind" the model, I pack it up and head home.
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Old 12-06-2011, 07:47 PM
  #45  
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Default RE: Psychology of RC flying

   I too have experinced that feeling that I'm flying "behind" my plane .   Just feeling a little dis-connected  is what it was  . Came back to fly the next day ... and it was one of the best flying days ever , but as for the topic of being a natural , yes they're out there . But i've only seen a few of them in certain "sports "   That being wing shooting , trap shooting  team roping . There  are those people out there  who  pick up   some thing (like rc fliying )  and make it seem so easy .  Is it superior eye hand coordination that does it ?
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Old 12-06-2011, 08:03 PM
  #46  
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Default RE: Psychology of RC flying

ORIGINAL: flyntruk
Is it superior eye hand coordination that does it ?
I think my son's video game skills transferred well to RC flying. He certainly seemed to be a "natural" and immediately got the "instinctual" feel of working a controller to make stuff happen in the "real world." Sadly, he just never got the bug for RC flying. I've kidded him that it'll kick in when he's 40 and starting to go bald!
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Old 12-06-2011, 10:40 PM
  #47  
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Default RE: Psychology of RC flying


ORIGINAL: flyntruk

I too have experinced that feeling that I'm flying ''behind'' my plane . Just feeling a little dis-connected is what it was . Came back to fly the next day ... and it was one of the best flying days ever
ive had days where i felt like i ve lost my mojo and cant seem to do anything spectacular, or even dare push the envelope... then there are days where i can push and reach a higher level of flying, and grow as an rc pilot. ..... Some people reach a plateau and just seem to fly in circles after they have mastered take off and landings , to each his own and i respect that.... then there are those who strive to improve, so i go home and watch on youtube the best 3d and IMAC pilots out there and try to replicate some of their moves next time i go flying/


this guy is one of the latest and greatest new comer http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature...fg7Ig2ZE#t=43s
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Old 12-06-2011, 11:18 PM
  #48  
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Default RE: Psychology of RC flying

AFAIK, stick position has no relevance to instrument flight. I mean that "stick position" cannot be used as a determinant of the aeroplane's attitude.
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Old 12-06-2011, 11:34 PM
  #49  
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Default RE: Psychology of RC flying

That's true of course. The position of the sticks is not an any real way tied to the position of the aircraft (as opposed to say an altimeter reading). I just meant to say that we can use stick positions to make educated guesses about the attitude of our models if visual feedback has failed us.

I don't imagine it will be too long until we RC pilots have something like heads-up displays with altitude and heading readouts. With the advent of GPS some guys are already putting data recording devises into their models. Just the other day one of the guys at my field demonstrated a module that measures altitude to within half a meter. It's not much of a leap to imagine having that sort of data being transmitted from a flying model to the transmitter...and to have "smart sunglasses" that display that information without us having to glance down at a screen on the Tx.

BTW, is there currently any huge technological obstacle with having, say, a 2.4 system transmitting information both ways (Tx to the flying model and then data from the flying model to the Tx). Obviously you'd need Tx/Rx capabilities on both ends. But is there currently some barrier to doing this?
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Old 12-07-2011, 05:42 AM
  #50  
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Default RE: Psychology of RC flying

In this vein, I would also mention pre-flight mentality as being a big source of assistance in achieving the proper "mind frame" for flying. I often find myself becoming distracted by other life issues (or just trivial things) before flying, and those are the times when I seem to be the most out of touch, and have the worst performances. In addition, when I have thought about the machine I'm going to be flying a bit, before I take her up, (wrap my brain around it in essence), I find the outcomes are always much better. Almost like a proper pre flight check if you will. You re-aquaint yourself with that particular plane and truly mentally put youself in that particular pilot seat.

I definitely felt that in a bad turn! I don't know how my brain creates this sensation but I feel physically weird.

You mentioned this Abu, as well as feeling stick pressure at one point, and it reminded me of one occasion when I was flying a smallish Focke Wulf 190 A8, and having a good bit of fun wringing it out. It was one of those days when I was "in the groove", and your mentality is wrapped well around the plane....an almost out of body state. So I'm coming down hard from a very high loop, augur a few times and then straighten out while still diving nose earthward, when I hear it......a buzzing sound. Now I don't know where it came from, cause in the moment I really don't feel I could've connected the dots that quickly as this had never happened to me before, but instantly the words flashed across my mind...."high speed flutter!" I quickly chopped all throttle and eased back on the elevator a touch, ( It really felt as though it were lead....perhaps it felt that way due to the lack of results from inputs)....but nothing....still plummeting. The ground is rushing up.....more severe elevator added....slowly.....the buzzing ceases....the nose comes up ever so slightly. More altitude gone and not much left.......almost full up elevator now, but not too much as there could be a snap! She starts to level as if in slow motion....but the ground is in high speed......she levels off at inches above the ground skimming the grass, and I ease her back out into the sky. All I can say is that it was a good thing I was in the zone that day, otherwise I would have been digging that particular 190 out of the ground to take what was left home.

It truly did remind me of all the bomber movies you see where the pilots are in a dive for some reason, and trying frantically with all their might to pull her out..... although we all know there is no force feedback present. Truly an odd sensation.

ZZ.
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