Go Back  RCU Forums > RC Airplanes > Beginners
Reload this Page >

New instructor question

Notices
Beginners Beginners in RC start here for help.

New instructor question

Old 06-01-2008, 09:29 PM
  #1  
overbored77
Senior Member
Thread Starter
My Feedback: (11)
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Galloway, NJ
Posts: 919
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Default New instructor question

I did my first 3 flights on the instructor end of the buddy box today. I only had to recover the plane 1 time in each flight. The last flight I
had to recover from inverted as my student banked too steep. I am wondering if some of the other instructors can give me a general
idea of when to the take the control from the student? I had to recover one time 40-50 feet up and falling knife edge, am I letting the student
get too far gone, or is there a rule that says to let the student try to recover until the instructor is no longer comfortable.

Thanks in advance
Chris.

Old 06-01-2008, 09:35 PM
  #2  
RCKen
RCU Forum Manager/Admin
My Feedback: (9)
 
RCKen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Lawton, OK
Posts: 27,712
Likes: 0
Received 27 Likes on 24 Posts
Default RE: New instructor question

I'm lucky that I will usually have my student from beginning to the end of their training. So as their instructor I learn gradually how much they can recover from. As the learn I become more comfortable in letting them have more time to recover the plane. But, in your case you should do what you feel comfortable doing. If you don't feel comfortable then by all means take the plane away and recover it. Don't worry about the student. Remember they asked you to help them. As you work with the student more you'll become more comforable in giving them more time to recover. But for now error on the side of caution and take the plane away.

Ken
Old 06-01-2008, 09:38 PM
  #3  
carrellh
Senior Member
 
carrellh's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Garland, TX
Posts: 6,544
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Default RE: New instructor question

When I had my first several flights my instructor took over pretty quickly and explained what was going on and what I needed to do. The more I flew the further he'd let me go before taking over. His thought was that a student needs the chance to get out of situations or they'll never learn how to recover. He did draw the line at the point he would no longer feel like he could recover.

Old 06-01-2008, 09:39 PM
  #4  
Dorsal
Senior Member
My Feedback: (17)
 
Dorsal's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Tracy, CA
Posts: 296
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Default RE: New instructor question

I think the only real guideline is your pucker factor. When you are nervous it's getting near the point even you can't save it, take over.
Old 06-01-2008, 09:53 PM
  #5  
overbored77
Senior Member
Thread Starter
My Feedback: (11)
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Galloway, NJ
Posts: 919
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Default RE: New instructor question

I had an advantage over most instructors as my student has been on the buddy box a few times before. His main problems
are when turning he either over banks and loses altitude and gets nervous, or underbanks and ends up very far away or
if turning toward flightline the plane goes directly overhead. I found that gentle coaching by telling him to "add elevator"
"You are banked too steep" or "too shallow", and he would respond by adding or reducing controls. Every now and then
he would get into a attitude that I could see I couldn't coach him out of, or the plane was too close to ground, so I would
take control, get back to 2 mistakes, and level out before returning control to him.

I did enjoy instructing him and he told me that he enjoyed my instruction because I wasn't as intimidating as the instructor
before me (the other instructor is my pattern coach, so I know what he means). It was rewarding to have a student tell me that
after his day of flying he felt more comfortable flying and that he felt he improved a bit today. Next week he will be back with the
other instructor but I will periodically be instructing him and other students to get my feet wet as an instructor.
Old 06-01-2008, 09:56 PM
  #6  
Campgems
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Arroyo Grande, CA
Posts: 4,465
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Default RE: New instructor question

Chris, I've no experience on the instructor end of the buddy box, but a lot on the other end of the cord.

As to how far to let the student go before taking over, it depends. If it is a new student, take it quick and anounce it every time. "I've got it" and "if you are ready, it's yours".. When I got to the point of trying to experment a bit. The "I've got it " wasn't always welcome. Later on, I would have loved to hear those words a couple times. I totaled out two planes while on the buddy box and did some sever damage a couple other times. The instructor appoligized for not taking it quicker, and I felt sorry for him. I learned something with the crashes. There are times also, that as an instructor, you just cant react soon enough. Take off and landings for example. I've never faulted the instructor when I screwed it up to the point of no return. I am always in debt to them for all of the saves they did.

At some point, you have to let the student step on his Ah , you know what I mean. If they don't know how to recover a bad situation while on the buddy box, they arn't going to be able to do it without the cord. If the student won't accept this, let him learn on his own.

My first instructor told me day one. "I'll do everything I can to keep your plane in one piece" and "there will be a time that I'm not able to save it. You have to understand that before I agree to teach you" That is a good starting point. If your student want's a no risk training, tell them to buy a simulator. That is the only no risk training you can get, but then comes the real world later when they start the real engine.

Don
Old 06-01-2008, 10:08 PM
  #7  
Blazer1
Senior Member
My Feedback: (1)
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Knoxville, TN
Posts: 318
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Default RE: New instructor question

Make sure you explain the risk of letting the student have time to recover as opposed to you quickly taking control at the first sign of trouble. Some students may be willing to risk their plane and have the chance to save it their self while others may prefer you save the plane. I know during my training I reached a point in my training where my instructor and I felt it was necessary for me try and save the plane myself rather than relying on my instructor to always save it, thus putting my plane in jeopardy. My instructor made it a point to discuss this with me and make sure I understood the risk involved.
Old 06-01-2008, 10:21 PM
  #8  
Nathan King
Senior Member
 
Nathan King's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Omaha, NE
Posts: 1,727
Likes: 0
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
Default RE: New instructor question

Take control the moment before you feel the airplane or spectators may begin to be in danger. I sometimes get a new student that will tell me to take it, but I sometimes won't until they are truly in trouble. Most of the time I find that they can get out of the trouble themselves, and it gives them a big confidence boost. I try to give them the most leeway possible, but won't let them take it far enough that there's doubt whether I'll be able to save it.

At our club we typically have seven or so students show up on training night with around six instructors. The instructors are not paired to individual students. I have found that by far the most difficult aspect of instructing is remembering how each student best learns and being able to switch techniques every flight for the different individuals. It's actually quite tiring. All students are not the same and all benefit from different instruction methods different amounts. It is up to you to find out how your students best learn and to tailor you lessons to each individual. Some may show the best progress from multiple approaches to the same lesson.

Have you thought of giving students a short "debrief" after each flight? I have found this helpful and wish more instructors would do this. The flight line is a noisy place and can be stressfull for a new student. I try to give short explanations/demonstrations during flight and follow up with a more thorough critique in a more calm spot after the flight with the comfort of knowing their new favorite "toy" is safely on the ground. It can also be very helpful to pick up the airplane and demonstrate relevant topics/techniques with it (especially helpful for visual learners). You can't do that while you're flying.
Old 06-01-2008, 10:27 PM
  #9  
RCKen
RCU Forum Manager/Admin
My Feedback: (9)
 
RCKen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Lawton, OK
Posts: 27,712
Likes: 0
Received 27 Likes on 24 Posts
Default RE: New instructor question


ORIGINAL: Nathan King

Have you thought of giving students a short "debrief" after each flight? I have found this helpful and wish more instructors would do this.
This is great advice. I do this with all of my students. I also sit down with them before the instruction starts and talk to them about what we'll be doing that day so they know what they are going to do. One other thing I do applies if the student has a flight simulator. I will give them "homework". I will tell them what they need to work on with the simulator in between our training sessions at the field. I've found that this alone will greatly reduce the training time for a student, it lets them work out things they are having problems on without using a drop of fuel. I have an a copy RealFlight that I will loan to students if they don't have a copy of their own yet.

Ken
Old 06-01-2008, 10:35 PM
  #10  
Stick 40
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: quincy, MI
Posts: 1,205
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Default RE: New instructor question

I like what RCKEN says here, I have taken a student and showed him on the simulater how to fly and how too land. that seemed to help with him. He is doing much better afer that.
Old 06-01-2008, 10:41 PM
  #11  
overbored77
Senior Member
Thread Starter
My Feedback: (11)
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Galloway, NJ
Posts: 919
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Default RE: New instructor question

Actually, I did debrief my student. My pattern instructor does this to me everytime I fly, we also use a visual aid called
a stick plane (6" long profile plane with stick extending from rear). I found that my student was able to tell me what
he felt his problems were during the flight and I was able to explain what he could have done to not make those mistakes.

Excellent advice thus far, thank you all. I will be using some of the reccomendations the next time I have a student,
which will be soon, as I am getting my own student that has not flown before. Keep the ideas coming.
Old 06-02-2008, 06:16 AM
  #12  
CGRetired
My Feedback: (1)
 
CGRetired's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Galloway, NJ
Posts: 8,999
Likes: 0
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
Default RE: New instructor question

Hi Chris.

One thing that I've noticed is that often, they don't realize how much or how little input is required to do a maneuver. A turn is a maneuver. Demonstrating how much or how little movement of the sticks is part of the problem. They often add to much (as you said) or to little (again, as you said). Gradual movement of the sticks is an important part of the learning process.

Show him how to use the sticks, slow deliberate movement versus quick instant movements, jerky movements. Smooth reactions using the ailerons is important to learn so as not to overcorrect or over-steer.

I recall how quickly you realized this when you were first on the buddy box. You saw this immediately and corrected accordingly. I was a bit slower with Ron as my instructor, but soon figured out that I should 1. let the plane fly itself, which it will in straight line flying, then 2. slow deliberate movement for only enough bank and elevator to make the turn, but slowly input the movements.

Hope this helps.

Sorry I missed out yesterday. Did you get caught up in that quick storm? It rained like hell in Smithville for about 10 - 20 minutes then cleared up.

CGr (Dick).
Old 06-02-2008, 06:42 AM
  #13  
Steve Steinbring
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Homestead, FL
Posts: 584
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Default RE: New instructor question

Good Stuff Gents![8D]

I'm going to incorporate some of the info you all have presented. Thanks!

Old 06-02-2008, 07:16 AM
  #14  
bkdavy
Senior Member
My Feedback: (1)
 
bkdavy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: FrederickMD
Posts: 2,114
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Default RE: New instructor question

I've found that its important to have a goal for each training flight. At the beginning of training, its just executing level turns, both right and left at each end of the field. If the student strays to far from the path, I take the plane and get them back on track.

Once I'm convinced the student can safely keep the plane where they want it (on course and speed) we start working on approaches. If the student gets too far off the intended appoach path, I take.

Once we've learned approaches and can get lined up on the runway, we start working on landings. Again, when the student strays too far from the intended approach, I take it.

Now we get to the fun stuff. Once the student can safely land, they've got pretty good control skills, and we start working on recovery from stalls and spins. I do this before teaching them to take off. At this point, its usually pretty easy, and I'm not taking the plane back much at all.

Once they know how to recognize and prevent a stall, they're ready for take off, and this usually goes pretty easy at that point.

I generally tell the students that I'll take the plane when I get nervous. If I do take it, I explain exactly why, and give them a chance to understand what they should have been doing but weren't. I've never felt guilty about not letting a plane crash. When you get to the point that you're just standing there holding the trainer switch, its time to cut the cord.

Brad
Old 06-02-2008, 08:25 AM
  #15  
CGRetired
My Feedback: (1)
 
CGRetired's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Galloway, NJ
Posts: 8,999
Likes: 0
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
Default RE: New instructor question

You are absolute right, Brad. When I was learning, well, orbits was all I could manage, and those were real sloppy for the first tank or two. But, I gradually improved and graduated to left hand orbits then right hand orbits, then figure eights... and so on.

One thing that often is difficult for a new person is to make right AND left turns. They seem (as I did) to favor one or the other and can do, say left turns fine, but have some difficulty with right turns.

Even today, I find myself favoring one direction over another while on my first flight of the day. But, I intentionally do right and left orbits for that first tank, followed by right and left (originating) figure eights, followed by some simple maneuvers. It sort of limbers up the brain-muscle connection and prepares me for the rest of the day's flights.

It also helps sharpen my senses for the proper view of the plane... so I know what to look at to see if it's right side up or upside down, or whether or not the plane is doing what I intended for it to do. Even experienced pilots need that little limber up exercise. And, those first flights can often be the ones that we lose our planes.. so it behooves us to be extra careful and diligent during the first few minutes of that first tank of the day. At least it does for me.

And, I try to relate little tactic this to new trainees and even to those of us that have had some stick time.

CGr.
Old 06-02-2008, 08:33 AM
  #16  
Don Pruitt
Member
My Feedback: (1)
 
Don Pruitt's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Lilburn, GA
Posts: 46
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Default RE: New instructor question

All of the previous posters have made good positive comments and I would like to address a couple of points that I like to emphasize.

I also do a preflight with the plane as well as a discussion on basic aerodynamics and how the controls work. Then I put strong emphasis on the two things that are likely to cause the student to get into trouble. First that when you roll the plane into a bank to turn, the nose will drop. The greater the bank the faster the drop and when the plane is in a 90 deg. bank pulling up elevator will not get the nose up but will just make the turn sharper. The second issue is that the roll control appears to reverse when the plane is heading toward you and will appear to reverse again as the plane passes by you and is heading away.

My mental attitude with all students is that they are going to screw up on every turn. I anticipate this and I am ready for the corrective action once I see that they are not going recover on their own. When flying with the student in control I am always on the sticks following their every move so that when I have to take over my sticks are always in the correct position to recover from an unusual attitude. The other important thing for the instructor to bear in mind is that pulling up is not always the best corrective action. More often than not pushing down when inverted is the best response. Or sometimes just rolling the plane back right side up is the correct action.

Anticipating what the student is going to do wrong and what you are going to do to recover will give you that faster response time that will serve you well during the training session.

If the student makes the same mistake two or three times in a row, I start talking him through the maneuver a few seconds before he starts. As an example I might say something like, “Start a left turn with a 45 deg. bank and keep the nose up”. Once in the turn I will prompt them to, “To recover, give it right to get the wings level” or just, “Stick to the low wing”. By prompting the student ahead of time keeps the student mentally ahead of the plane and gives him time to think about what he is going to do next.

Instructing can be fun and very rewarding when you see the big smile on the student’s face after they complete their first solo flight.
Old 06-02-2008, 10:38 AM
  #17  
bruce88123
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Memphis, TN
Posts: 11,703
Likes: 0
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
Default RE: New instructor question

I like to discuss my expectations and what I am going to try to teach them before every flight and review afterward. It take a bit more time but it's worth it IMO. Students seem to want to turn their planes upside down for some reason or want to fly off to the adjacent county. It can be hard getting through to some of them. You can tell them what manuever you want them to do for the first lessons and after a while let them tell you what THEY have planned and grade how well they execute it. ALWAYS have your recovery plan ready so it won't delay your response. And ALWAYS expect the wierdest things in the world so you won't be surprised too badly.[X(]
Old 06-02-2008, 12:54 PM
  #18  
Stick 40
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: quincy, MI
Posts: 1,205
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Default RE: New instructor question

This is good stuff, I like the input from the other side also.

I am getting back into rc after meany years and my friend is getting in with my help. I was the instructer when I left rc to raise my family and I was surprised at how quickly I picked up flying again. I am instructing two men now.


One point I would like to ask or share is , we always let the student go as long as possable and take it back at a safe level.

I try and fly with the student as he has control, that way if it does become critcal ( and it does ) I have a better chance of saving the plane. This is very important on take off and landings, I will have the sticks in the right position before I get control. I don't mean to say the plane will not crash, it just means I have a few seconds head start.

Reading this is a big help to me, gets me thinking the way I used to train and back up to speed on what people (students) need from me.
thanks
Old 06-02-2008, 01:28 PM
  #19  
bruce88123
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Memphis, TN
Posts: 11,703
Likes: 0
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
Default RE: New instructor question

A few seconds? I've seen plenty of takeoff and landing crashes where it took nowhere near 2 seconds from "OOPS" till "impact". Even with some experienced pilots.
Old 06-02-2008, 01:56 PM
  #20  
gboulton
My Feedback: (15)
 
gboulton's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: La Vergne, TN
Posts: 3,743
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Default RE: New instructor question

I cover this very topic...when will I take the airplane...with all of my students, and we cover it as follows:

1) I take the plane when I decide it's time.

2) My INTENT is to decide it's time RIGHT BEFORE I decide I can't save it.

3) There will be times when you fly, in a controlled fashion, PAST the point where I can save you from a mistake. If you make a mistake then, and crash the plane during one of those times, I will feel very sad, I will help you determine the cause of the crash, and will offer my shop, my tools, and my time to help you repair it...but it is not my fault.

4) I presume ANY unexpected or unannounced behaviour by the airplane to be your fault, and will react accordingly. We may later find that something broke, or you may recover from a mistake in plenty of time, or whatever. But the INSTANT that plane does something I don't expect it to be doing will be the moment I begin examining alternatives and escape plans.

FWIW, humorous side-story:

A VERY good friend of mine decided he wanted to learn RC. So, around our 2nd or 3rd time up, he's got his Mustang PTS flying the pattern nicely at probably 75 feet or so, and says "I want to try something".

I thought "Ok, be on your toes here" and said "Alright, that's fine." PRESUMING that "I want to try something" would be followed by SOME sort of description of WHAT he wanted to try.

Er...not so much. he hammered the rudder over full right without warning, and we all KNOW how much the Mustang PTS likes to fly inverted with all its training gear still attached.

Thankfully, I got her back (at about .5' AGL).

That's why #4 is in the list now.
Old 06-02-2008, 02:28 PM
  #21  
Montague
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Laurel, MD,
Posts: 4,987
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Default RE: New instructor question

When I instruct, I tend to wait until the last second to take over.

I also talk to the student a lot, unless I find that a particular student doesn't process verbal instructions well while concentrating on the plane. Then it's "save now, talk later". Rare, but I've had more than 1 student that way.

Anyway, I'll be talking "right, right, sticks to the right, I got it". as things go.

Take offs and landings, though, things happen a lot faster. First sign of trouble, and I take it, when we talk about what went wrong. On take off, most of the time the problem is pulling up too soon and/or too nose high, and going left. If I see the plane depart early, or the nose pop up, I'm already correcting and taking control. Saves are hard enough down low.

I also "fly" the box, both hands, while instructing. Helps keep my brain in their airplane, and I can translate from my hands to my mouth faster than if I just try to watch and tell them what to do. And it does make the recovery a lot faster.

If I'm flying a plane that is new to me, I'll make sure to take over once early on to get a feel of the control response. Trainers vary a lot, so getting a feel for how much space a particular plane needs to get out of trouble is important. This is worst when working with a student who is pretty far along and doing their own take-offs. It becomes possible to get into a situation where you're trying to save a plane you haven't flown at all before, and that's bad.
Old 06-02-2008, 02:34 PM
  #22  
Steve Steinbring
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Homestead, FL
Posts: 584
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Default RE: New instructor question

I'm one who also flies along with the student on my box so I'm more on top making corrections as I see necessary. I don't relax to any great extent until the student can fly a good pattern. Then the main concentration is on takeoffs, approaches and landings.

I do slow flight with stall training well before the landing and takeoff stages as one would in full scale instruction. That way the student should have a handle on how the airplane handles at lower speeds on approach or takeoff.
Old 06-02-2008, 08:11 PM
  #23  
Spoofer
Member
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: dahpne, AL
Posts: 57
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Default RE: New instructor question

As a student I will throw my two cents in.

At times my instructor takes the plane up two or three mistakes high, and puts in into some funky position and says "you have control recover it" . I love this because I know I am at a safe altitude and it gives me a chance to learn how to recover and get the plane corrected without feeling stupid for putting in that position in the first place. I think this also helps my instructor better understand how well my skill is progressing for when I get into a little bind at a lower level.

For example yesterday I had a dead stick, he asked if I wanted to bring it in, I said yes. I turned toward the runway with a little too much altitude, but I handled it and brought it down on the runway safely and softly. Afterwards he said, you were running out of runway and I was going to take it over, but felt you could handle it. I am glad he did let me handle it because it boosted my confidence to make a safe dead stick landing (first), but I would have been fine if he decided to take it at the last minute too.

He also reminds me each day that during take offs and landings, his ability to jump in and successfully correct if needed is significantly less than higher altitudes and that I need to remember that.

Lastly it has been helpful to me that my instructor has repeatedly points out that I can cut my throttle back if I get into a bind to buy a few extra seconds. Of course there are some times that this wouldn't be appropriate, but it is very helpful when when I get a little out of whack doing a high roll or an immelmann, etc. It just makes it easier for me.

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell or Share My Personal Information -

Copyright © 2023 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.