At this point in your training, you and your instructor should have a good feel of how much of a “natural” you are fro R/C flying. Most of our younger pilots have an easier time at it than those of us who barely grew up knowing what video game joy stick was. If you are not a natural, never fear; anyone can learn to fly if they are willing to put time into it.
One of my most recent students is a retired Air Force Captain who said that the B-52s that he flew for so many years were much easier to fly than his little trainer. With persistence, a simulator and a little time he was taking off like a pro.
When I originally learned to fly, simulators were not available. I went through all the typical problems that can be encountered when learning to fly. I also had more of my share of crashes mainly because there was no one available in my area to help me set up and fly my planes.
Much later, home PCs became popular and shortly after, the RC simulator was born. Since then, many manufacturers have come out with their versions. A couple of these will be presented later in this chapter. As an RC instructor, I have found the simulators to be an invaluable tool. The programs can be set up to allow a student to practice flying a ship that is extremely stable.
This is the perfect way to introduce anyone to RC flying. Everyone can use this easy to fly simulation to learn how to fly and perform simple flight and aerobatics. After this is mastered, increasing levels of difficulty can be used in order to stimulate what a real RC airplane feels like. Each level airplane is more unstable and more difficult to fly.
Many other parameters can frequently be altered in order to increase the difficulty of the simulation. Wind strength, direction and even gusts can be added if you wish. Obstacles on the ground are a frequent feature that can be added or deleted to the screen. If you crash while learning with a simulator, the program instantly restores your aircraft so that you can immediately begin practicing again.
To order the full text of Dr. Bob's book, "Safe and Easy Flying" or any of the many titles by Dr. Bob, call 1.800.390.HAWK.