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Trainer or Mustang?

Old 04-28-2005, 08:51 AM
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Firehawk153
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Default Trainer or Mustang?

All,
I need some advice from some experienced RC flyers. About 10 months ago, I went to the only hobby store in north Louisana looking for a good trainer that can take a alot of punishment and handle itself well. The guy at the store recommened an Aerobird by Hobbyzone, naturally, I opted for the Aerobird Extreme. After almost a year, I have to say that bird has held up very, very well. I have to put about 3 new tail sections and one new wing on it but I have really enjoyed that plane. I guess being from the "video-game" generation allowed me to jump right into it fairly easily; After only a few flights I felt like I had the controls down fairly well. After flying it for a while, I'm noew looking to expand my R/C airplane horizons some and I've been looking at the following two options:

1. Hangar 9 RTF Alpha Trainer

2. Parkzone P-51 Mustang

I have always wanted a nice, big glo-powered trainer to really get myself into the hobby and I've read nothing but good things about the Alpha. In fact, When I was buying my aerobird, the salesmen also recommened the Alpha but he said the Aerobird would be much more durabe and better to cut my teeth on. However, there's no one around where I live (I live in a rural area, no one I know has any experience with the hobby) that could give me some lessons so I would basically be taking what I learned with the Aerobird Extreme and applying it to the Alpha with no instructor to back me up.

The parkzone P-51 is something I've got my eye on as well. I'm going to wait until the reviews come out on it but it looks like a very sharp looking aircraft that has a reasonable price tag attached to it. However, I've also heard that those low-wing warbirds can be very hard to fly; expecially for a newbie like myself. Still its about $100 cheaper than the Alpha (more than that when I figure in the starter, fuel pump, fuel, etc) and I feel like it would be a nice step up from the Aerobird.

Any advice that anyone has would be greatly appreciated because I'm not sure which two of these aircraft (if either one) would be better to get.

Regards,

Firehawk
Old 04-28-2005, 09:31 AM
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Default RE: Trainer or Mustang?

You would be way ahead by going with the trainer or an advanced trainer. If you jump to a mustang, I think you will be very frusterated. They are not that easy to fly. If you go with the trainer, your chances of sucess increase a ton.
Old 04-28-2005, 09:39 AM
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RCKen
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Default RE: Trainer or Mustang?

Firehawk153,
You're probably not going to like what I'm going to say, but either way you go you're asking for trouble. Even though the Alpha trainer is designed to be "easy" to fly, you're still going to need an instructor. Although it is possible to take what you learned on the Aerobird and make a successful flight on the trainer, the odds are pretty slim against it happening.

I don't have any experience with the Park Zone Mustang, but I do know that all "warbird type" planes are a handful. Unless you want to spend a lot of money repairing/replacing this plane I would wait until you have some more air time under your belt.

Getting an instructor is your best be at successfully starting into full RC flying. Without an instructor your flight times will be measured in seconds with a lot of repair time afterwards. Check with the hobby shop where you are buying the trainer and see if they know of any clubs or flyers in your area, more than likely they will have instructors available to help teach you. You can also look on the AMA website for clubs; [link]http://www.modelaircraft.org[/link]. RCU also has resources for finding clubs and instructors in your area, check them out too.

Teaching you to fly is only part of what an instructor will teach. they will also teach you about how to setup your plane, spot problems in the plane, maintaining the plane, how to set it up properly, how to tune your motor, among other things too. The biggest thing that I can't stress enough is they will teach safety with the plane. While you can fly your Aerobird just about anyplace, you can't do the same thing with a glow powered airplane. You are flying an object that weights 5-10 pounds, travels 50-100 mph, and has a razor spinning on the front of at 10,000 rpm. The trainer needs to be flown at a site where it is safe to do so without endangering others.

This is a great hobby and I hope that you really succeed in getting into it. I see a lot of people try without an instructor and wind up getting frustrated and quitting the hobby.

Hope this helps.
Old 04-28-2005, 09:46 AM
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Default RE: Trainer or Mustang?

The Aerobird is an electric and more of a park flyer than a real glow trainer. As such, the glow trainer will be faster and much heavier than the electric and will display different flying characteristics. You are much better off getting a good glow trainer and, if possible, get together with an instructor on the buddy box. That will save you lots of heart break and a lot of broken planes.

I trained on the NexSTAR Select which is an RTF (Ready To Fly) comes complete, engine, radio, a CD for putting the thing together (will/should take you about an hour) and, what is nice, the RealFlight simulator that uses the NexSTAR aircraft in the simulator. Great to practice on before you head out to the field. It also has the Automatic Flight Stabalizer built in to the Futaba receiver. This helps you when you lose orientation by putting the plane back on the straight and level as soon as you let go of the sticks. Other things it has is the wing tip spoilers that help with tip stall at slow speeds, and the speed brakes/flaps... both are removable.

One main reason for having an instructor handy is especially necessary for the first flight, or at least someone with a good deal of experience to go over the plane to make sure it is truly ready to fly (controls set up right, aileron right is truly right (easy to mix up), the throttle works right, elevator is centered, and so on. Then have someone take it up for the first time to get the trim right so it flys straight and level with hands off the control sticks. At least that will give you a fighting chance of success if you are unable to get an instructor... but try hard to get one.. will make you a much happier flyer.

Best of luck no matter what you choose.. but I would definitely go with the trainer for now, get the Mustang later on after you have had a couple hundred flights with the trainer.
Old 04-28-2005, 09:54 AM
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rimfirematt
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Default RE: Trainer or Mustang?

IF an instructor is hard to come by, I would by an RC simulator such as great planes real flight. Sit in front of that for awhile and get good at it. then go get your alpha.

I sat in front of my simulator all winter long, bought a extra easy 2 (just about like an alpha), put skiis on it and went to a frozen unoccupied lake. I soloed my first time without incident and so far the only thing I have done to my plane is crash it into a field hazard after landing.

The frozen lake is a good spot to learn. All you have to land on is THE lake and generally the whole lake is Smooth.

But also without an instructor there is going to be some trial and error on your part with setup.

By the way the mustang on the flight sim is about the hardest plane to fly (especially land)
Old 04-28-2005, 10:20 AM
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Default RE: Trainer or Mustang?

Normally, I would recommend a club, an instructor, and a simple glow-powered trainer, but this is a special situation and is an apples and oranges comparision. As noted, the Aerobird Extreme is an electric park flyer. So is the Parkzone Mustang. I can't say for sure without having actually flown the Parkzone plane, but it is highly likely that this particular Mustang is no harder to fly than a glow trainer. For one thing, it is a parkflyer with a reasonably low wingloading(I have to guess at this because only wingspan and weight are given), second, its only 3-channel(aileron, elevator, throttle). This is not a barn-burning heavyweight scale model with flaps, retracts, and the works. If an instructor is not available and there is no local flying club, I would recommend to stick to lightweight, smaller models to learn on. The Mustang should be under two pounds ready to fly and probably won't break 35mph in level flight; compare that to the Alpha at about 5 pounds and likely capable of over 50mph. The Alpha may be more docile overall, but it's faster, heavier, and really shouldn't be flown without experienced help. The Parkzone Mustang is a bit of an unknown as it's not yet available, but between the two, in your case I think it's the better bet. Better yet, if you're stuck on an RTF, look into the Parkzone Stryker. It would be a good intermediate trainer, speaking from experience. It can tear up pretty well, but it's well mannered and easy to fly. It's a little smaller and lighter than the Mustang, and will probably "bounce" better when you crash. If you're willing to consider ARFs or kits, there are LOTS of possibilities, just ask.
Old 04-28-2005, 10:35 AM
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Default RE: Trainer or Mustang?

Firehawk, welcome to RCU!. Add me to the list of those recommending instruction if you're going to go with a glow plane. Some people have been able to learn on their own, but many more give up in frustration after spending time and $ going through several cycles of fly (for a few seconds), crash, and repair (often by buying replacement parts). If you've already got experience with a park flier and on a simulator, you should be able to solo quickly. Even if you need to drive a few hours to get to a field with an instructor, you'll spend less time and money than crashing and repairing your plane trying to learn alone. You'll also make some new friends, and have a few people to call on when you need help with something.

You talked about reading good things about a plane, and waiting for a review on another plane. I suspect you are talking about magazine reviews. If so, take these with a grain (a huge grain) of salt. It's quite uncommon to see a negative review of anything in a magazine. Since the reviews are of their advertiser's products, it's hard to imagine them saying anything really bad about a product. The same thing goes for the guy behind the counter at a hobby shop. Many of them are genuinely interested in giving you the best product for your situation. Others are highly motivated to sell you what they've got. It's hard for a beginner to know which type they are talking to. The best way to tell the difference is to ask questions. Does the guy fly? If not, what experience does he go by to make his recommendations. What does he say when you ask about alternatives? If he immediately dismisses them, and just keeps pushing the same product, most likely he's just trying to move inventory. Of course it could also be based on experience that this package really does work well, combined with a lack of interest in helping new people learn. Some of the people in hobby shops are there to sell and others do it because they love the hobby. Sometimes the ones who love the hobby have been doing it so long they've lost touch with what it's like to be a beginner, and may not show as much patience as they should. Note, do not try to get information from the hobby shop when there are lots of customers lined up. Pick a time when it's not busy so they have some time to talk.

Anyway, the RTF setups are ok, although I personally dislike them. You can get just as good a plane with better components if you choose an ARF, engine, and radio by yourself. If you want someone else to make the choices for you, get an RTF. I'm also not crazy for many of the combo packages, quite often I've been able to price the same components for a lower price, or better components for the same price. This topic has been discussed in excruciating detail here in RCU. I encourage you to do some searches and read through the many threads you will find on this subject. Then you will be prepared to make the choice that's right for you.
Old 04-28-2005, 10:40 AM
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Default RE: Trainer or Mustang?

I have to agree with RCKen.

You WILL WANT the trainer.

The glow plane is going to fly about 3 times faster than your Aerobird AND you will be using ailerons which you have not used before.

You will also find that the glow trainer is going to respond MUCH FASTER than the Aerobird.

Next there is the "minor" problems of take off and landing. You are used to hand launching and bellying the plane in - you can not do that with the glow trainer.

A simulator will help, but as RCKen said, talk to your LHS AND also check the AMA web site. It certainly seems that there should be other people in your area that fly glow planes. Even if you need to travel a bit (at least initially ) in order to get used to flying the glow plane it will be worth it in the long run.

As for the Mustang. The MAJORITY of warbirds tend to be a handful to fly, and some are worse than others.

I feel that you will be disillusioned quickly by the Mustang and feel like you are in over your head if try the glow trainer without an instructor.
Old 04-28-2005, 11:01 AM
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Default RE: Trainer or Mustang?

There is nowhere in the continental US that you cannot not find help and a mentor if you do your homework. The little electrics both of them do little to prepare you for the conventional glow trainer. Its obvious you want to do the larger glow ships and fine do it but do it without a mentor and that airplane will be toast in short order.

John
Old 04-28-2005, 11:56 AM
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Default RE: Trainer or Mustang?

hi if i were you id go out and buy a cheap aeleron electric plane to get used to aelerons theres loads to choose from.gws easy starter by all accounts is an easy to fly plane,but hey if you like the war bird types from what a mate told me about the easiest to fly is the gws corsair or the zero!!theyre both cheap ,foam built easy to repair and would be a good step up from the extreme.if you do crash em they fix in no time and you can just keep on trying!!!.the mustang in any form is a handfull as is the spitfire!!.but dont be put off by people telling you you cant learn to fly a glow plane IT IS VERRY POSSIBLE especially if youve been flying the extreme for a while.
the cheap foamy electrics are the best way to go i think though then once youve got the hang of the zero or corsair try the mustang you could buy all three planes for the price of a glow trainer!!.just move the motor and electrics from one to the other as you progress!!!.
beleive me the gws spitfire and mustang really shift and will give any glow plane a run for theyre money!!.if you can fly either of them you can fly anything!!!.
Old 04-28-2005, 12:09 PM
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Default RE: Trainer or Mustang?

I think I would recommend getting the Alpha and a simulator. You can practice on the simulator for a while while you do one of the following.
1. Do your best to track down local club or other GOOD help.
2. If #1 is impossible make a plan to fly the simulator until an upcoming weekend, I'm thinking of Memorial Day, and plan a field trip to the closest club(or best within range) and go there for a concentrated 3-day weekend of training. Using the AMA site or other sources, contact some clubs and explain your situation. See if they can help you on this basis. Hopefully they can get you soloed. the simulator will help greatly on this as well as your previous experience.

You will want to have your bird ready to fly and all supplies in hand when you arrive early Sat or even Fri evening.

Of course, you could pick any 2-day weekend if the holiday is reserved for the family.

Plan ahead and you can do this.
Old 04-28-2005, 12:10 PM
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Default RE: Trainer or Mustang?

ORIGINAL: martno1fan
but dont be put off by people telling you you cant learn to fly a glow plane
I don't recall anyone telling him he can't learn to fly a glow plane.
IT IS VERRY POSSIBLE especially if youve been flying the extreme for a while.
It's possible for some, difficult, or perhaps impossible for many others. Those of us who recommend an instructor do so because we've seen many people spend lots of time and money trying on their own, and eventually fail. We also do so because we recognize the many safety issues involved in learning how to PROPERLY handle a glow plane. What happens when the newbie, who goes to some remote field to try to learn by himself, severs an artery in his wrist because he didn't know needle valve adjustments should be done while behind the plane? Many who have learned on their own later admit it would have been easier and less expensive to get instruction.

So, one can be macho and go it alone, or they can listen to the voice(s) of experience and get help. It should be pretty obvious which way I recommend.
Old 04-28-2005, 12:12 PM
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Firehawk153
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Default RE: Trainer or Mustang?

Wow! Thank you guys so much for all the responses. I didn't know that there were available resources for finding instructors; I'll definatley look into that. As for the aircraft, I took a look at the nexstar .40 and that looks like it would be better for me than the Alpha; mainly because the simulator would allow me to practice as much as I can on my own.

Also, What about an electric trainer that was similar to the Nexstar or Alpha? Could I use that to get used to flying a plane with ailerons and more complex controls, but at a more manageable electric-aircraft speed? Or would it be better to buy something like the Nexstar or Alpha and pay an instructor?
Old 04-28-2005, 12:14 PM
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Default RE: Trainer or Mustang?


ORIGINAL: martno1fan

easy to repair and would be a good step up

if you do crash em they fix in no time and you can just keep on trying!!!.

you could buy all three planes for the price of a glow trainer!!.just move the motor and electrics from one to the other as you progress!!!.


if you can fly either of them you can fly anything!!!.

Kind of reckless advice for a new student don't you think? Your basically saying go crash and fix, crash and fix, instead of get a good instructor and don't crash? Sure he can buy 3 foamies that are a huge handfull to fly for about the same price, but they will no way fly like a good trainer. It will take at least that many for him to learn on by himself. The just keep on trying part is the best. Thats how people get sick of this hobby, they keep trying, and keep crashing. An instructor can take away all that frusterations so easy by teaching someone how to set up and fly without crashing.

The last line says it all. If you can fly either, you can fly anything. Are they that difficult?

I have taught on just about everything, and those little foam war birds are about the last thing I would want to teach on!
Old 04-28-2005, 12:17 PM
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Default RE: Trainer or Mustang?

"beleive me the gws spitfire and mustang really shift and will give any glow plane a run for theyre money!!.if you can fly either of them you can fly anything!!!."

Now here is a guy who can really pile it up deep. What kind of glow planes do they fly over there?
Old 04-28-2005, 12:22 PM
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Default RE: Trainer or Mustang?

Firehawk153- If you can find a club to join, most of them have instructors that will teach you for free. I personally IMHO believe you will be better off with glow power. There will be dissenting opinions but that is mine.
Old 04-28-2005, 12:27 PM
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Default RE: Trainer or Mustang?

ORIGINAL: Firehawk153

Wow! Thank you guys so much for all the responses. I didn't know that there were available resources for finding instructors; I'll definatley look into that. As for the aircraft, I took a look at the nexstar .40 and that looks like it would be better for me than the Alpha; mainly because the simulator would allow me to practice as much as I can on my own.

Also, What about an electric trainer that was similar to the Nexstar or Alpha? Could I use that to get used to flying a plane with ailerons and more complex controls, but at a more manageable electric-aircraft speed? Or would it be better to buy something like the Nexstar or Alpha and pay an instructor?
The AMA club locator is one of the best places to find an instructor: http://www.modelaircraft.org/clubsearch.aspx

If you want to fly glow, get a glow trainer. If you want to stay with electrics, get an electric with ailerons. Using a more advanced electric plane as a bridge to a glow plane is just going to cost more time and money, and delay your eventual transition to glow.

And this thing about paying for an instructor, the only ones I've ever heard who would even accept payment were those running special R/C schools, where they supply the field, plane, and intense instruction, or perhaps people teaching advanced flying. I'd say 99.999% of the instructors out there teach for free.
Old 04-28-2005, 02:45 PM
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Default RE: Trainer or Mustang?

ORIGINAL: Firehawk153

Wow! Thank you guys so much for all the responses. I didn't know that there were available resources for finding instructors; I'll definatley look into that. As for the aircraft, I took a look at the nexstar .40 and that looks like it would be better for me than the Alpha; mainly because the simulator would allow me to practice as much as I can on my own.

Also, What about an electric trainer that was similar to the Nexstar or Alpha? Could I use that to get used to flying a plane with ailerons and more complex controls, but at a more manageable electric-aircraft speed? Or would it be better to buy something like the Nexstar or Alpha and pay an instructor?
I really can not recommend the NexStar.

IMHO, it is very over priced considering you can D/L a free simulator from FMS http://n.ethz.ch/student/mmoeller/fms/index_e.html All you need to add is a $15 cable from your joystick or transmitter to the computer. FMS IS A PRETTY GOOD SIM.

The next thing I object to with the NexStar is their AFS.

All this will do is teach you bad habits. For instance, the plane gets in trouble. You "let go of the sticks ?" to correct the problem - I don't think so.

In addition the AFS WILL fight you on all your movements. The people who have the NexStar typically wind up taking the thing out. Now you have paid a premium price for a gimmick.

By some careful shopping, for the same money (or less ) you can get a 6 channel COMPUTER radio, a decent ARF trainer and a USER FRIENDLY ball bearing 46 engine.

Stick with the Alpha. It is a very good trainer.
Old 04-28-2005, 02:49 PM
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Default RE: Trainer or Mustang?

Not to sound like a record but: Alpha and a club are your best bet and the sim will help.
Old 04-28-2005, 03:55 PM
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Default RE: Trainer or Mustang?

blah blah blah i think it was he who said he had no instructor near him and i was giving him my opinion!!!.as for the severed artery lololol i think anyone with any sense and it seems to me he has plenty would know to stay behind the prop lol.
and while im at it id like to say that crashing and fixing is THE BEST WAY TO LEARN ,so whos gonna tell me he wont crash his plane?instructor or not?.yes if he has an instructor by all means use one but he said he couldnt find one?.HANDS UP WHO HASNT CRASHED THEN???,didnt think so lololol. it seems to me some of you try to put people off a lot telling em how hard it is to fly!!!!, and i thought you yanks were all action?,maybe not !!!where would we be if the wright brothers had had the same negative attitude?.but hey the worlds all about opinions!!!!.as for my advice on the gws war birds i think youll see i said IF you really want a war bird then get one of the easier ones ie corsair or zero neither of which are difficult to fly from what my mate tells me .as for a trainer i think my choice of the easy starter is a good one flies slow and stable . when you consider a foam plane costs about £30 over here you can afford a few crashes !!! not that i think he will if hes flown the extreme!!!.my advice stands the e starter then the zero or corsair !!!.
Old 04-28-2005, 04:01 PM
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Default RE: Trainer or Mustang?

I would go glow. I wouldn't leave it at that, though. I would get a glow trainer to only fly with an instrutor till solo, but have a simulator and electric with ailerons to fly at home. I plan to get na electric when the money comes in. Right now I am working on the new bird and don't have time or money. But get a glow plane and simulator.

Oh and make sure to get an instructor.
Old 04-28-2005, 04:10 PM
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Default RE: Trainer or Mustang?


ORIGINAL: martno1fan

as for the severed artery lololol i think anyone with any sense and it seems to me he has plenty would know to stay behind the prop lol.
Martno1fan,
you advice is just plain reckless. I have seen people that have been flying for 20 years get involved with a prop. It's just more than reaching over the top of the plane. Think about this, what happens when he goes out alone to fly? Who's going to hold the plane while he starts it? Tie it down? ropes break and slip. My point is that accidents can and do happen.

Yes, all of us have crashed. But why crash when it can be avoided by getting an instructor. You obviously are independently wealthy and can afford to buy a new plane whenever you crash one, but the rest of us have to actually work for a living and like to protect our investments.
Old 04-28-2005, 04:13 PM
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Default RE: Trainer or Mustang?

I went from a aerobird challenger to a sturdy birdy 2. In makeing the transition I had to learn the ropes w/glo eng. not to bad, I'm a mech. 15 = years. With that said I still researched and learned about these eng. proper use break in safety ect. I still seem to learn something every time I go on line. My sturdy birdy 2 is a ARF kit + os.fx.25 built w/airlons. once finished had exp. flyer at hobby shop check it over, point out problems + give corrections also reviwed eng tunning tech. I ve managed many sucsesful solo's w/ only minor problems. I fly in remote area , no pun intended. I treat my plane like a loaded gun this works for me, I had one 1 hr flight sesion w/ a inst. who said I was doing great take off landing's ,orientation. I rec proceding carefuly if you must learn on your own, I highly rec. the sturdy birdy 2 54$ + wheels, gas, tank,eng,field gear most of wich can be used on future planes. I have a hanger 9 arrow trainner I havent flown yet dont know if I,m ready yet like i said I take it easy.
Old 04-28-2005, 04:23 PM
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Default RE: Trainer or Mustang?

hey ken im not reckless lol but give the lad a break !!!,of course safeteys important but anyone strarting out in this hobby should allready be reading up on all that?.of course accidents happen but dont try telling me you wont crash using a tutor?.he said he didnt have anyone near him so i suggested the cheepest and easiest way of getting into this hobby.if he lives in the country he should have plenty of space!!!.the rest is common sense.i dont see which part of my advice was reckless? hes allready flying for starters!!.isnt this fun lol?
Old 04-28-2005, 04:53 PM
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bruce88123
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Memphis, TN
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Default RE: Trainer or Mustang?

But we also told him ways that he didn't know of how to find an instructor so now he is going to try to find one. As much as I don't personally like them, he could fly a SPAD too. That too is an opinion, mine. Others love them, that is why they are sold. It's like Chevy's and Dodges ya know? Naturally nobody buys Fords, that goes without saying. Oh all right, the mentally challenged do. Our club President cut his arm artery last year, one moment of carelessness. If he had not been at the field WITH friends he may have bled to death, it was that bad. One of the fliers was also a Dr and that was really a good thing.

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