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What Are "Minimum" Flying Skills?

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What Are "Minimum" Flying Skills?

Old 03-10-2008, 12:46 PM
  #76  
Montague
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Default RE: What Are "Minimum" Flying Skills?

If a newbie shows up, has never flown before, refuses help and still wants to fly, no problem. Land your plane, check his insurance, grab a trash bag, and watch the show. It's a rare person that refuses help when offered and willingly attempts to fly knowing he will look like a fool. We all know how long the walk is out to the carcass and back!
And don't forget the tow truck for when his plane goes through the windshield of a car. Or the body bag in case he hits someone chatting and not watching the plane at the time. Sure, I'm over-stating a little. But I've seen a .40 size model go through a car's winshield. And insurance is nice, but not having an accident in the first place is far better than paying off after.

When your club is small and you only get a small handful of guys out flying, and you have a low portion of newbies, then you really don't need rules. I've flown at place like that. But trust me, if you took that "common sense only" approach around here, someone would get hurt, and rather soon. I'm curious, how many newbies do you get in a year?

I know from traveling around and visiting fields, that there are a lot of clubs with very stable memberships. I just re-joined a club I used to belong to about 20years ago. When I came out to their field, most of the guys flying were the same guys from 20yrs ago, and they still have a membership cap of 30 people. These small clubs might get a handful of new members in a year, with maybe 1-3 of them actual new student pilots.

On the other hand at my usual club, we have something like 25-30 members who are listed as "student pilots" at any given time (I think, I'd have to double check that count with the membership guy if anyone cares for an exact number (some of them are either inactive, or flying with friends, so I don't wind up flying with them myself)). I solo 5-10 pilots a year, and often have as many as 15 guys actively learning to fly at once. One training night, we had 7 Alpha 40s on the field at one time, plus a few students had other planes. This area has a lot of people moving in and out all the time as well. I suspect we rollover about 25% of our membership each year. "no rules, just common sense" just won't cut it in these conditions. If it works for you, that's great. I prefer a laid back approach to things. Even at my club, I'm pretty casual with rule enforcement. You don't need a "rules cop", you just need someone who can address small problems before they become big ones.

BillyGoat, we are more in agreement than not, though it might not sound like it. I'm not in favor of a "test", and I solo students based on when I feel they are in control of the model. Part of that is being able to take off and land of course. More than once I've turned to a student after a flight and just said "congrats, you're good to go, have fun and be careful". They had no idea they were about to "solo". No "test", no stressing out over this or that, just flying. There are guys in my club that are very focused on things like tests, and some of them used to be club officers, but they aren't anymore, so I manage with a more laid back style where I can.
Old 03-10-2008, 01:03 PM
  #77  
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Default RE: What Are "Minimum" Flying Skills?

Because of a relatively small number of people willing to be instructors (comes and goes in cycles, just like the weather) we currently don't do the two certiification pilot not aassigned instructor bit too often right now. There are a number of us who feel a lot of newer flyers might be missing out on the sense of accomplishment we felt when we make that final demonstration landing, and the instructors make a formal show of getting in line to sign the certificate, shake the new soloees hand and congratulate him/her and be the first to give a handshake, and then the big announcement in the monthly newsletter. It really gives one a hightened sense of accomplishment. Also serves to some degree to strengthen the feeling of brotherhood in the club. Maybe that's why we're not so cliquish as some clubs seem to be.
Old 03-10-2008, 01:57 PM
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Montague
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Default RE: What Are "Minimum" Flying Skills?

Sounds like you encourage a student to work mostly with a single instructor? I prefer to get students stick time with as many different instructors as possible. That way the student gets exposed to different styles, differnet instructors will often stress different things and have different styles of teaching. I think the students do better when they get more than one viewpoint. Also, sometimes a student really doesn't work well with one instrutor's style, but works well with another, so giving them exposure to multiple instructors can help them find someone they can work well with. Obviously that only matters if you have enough instructors. Sometimes we have several, sometimes not so much.
Old 03-10-2008, 02:54 PM
  #79  
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Default RE: What Are "Minimum" Flying Skills?

Actually, we try to have one assigned instructor to monitor a student's progress, but usually any available instructor will be willing to take a student up if the primary isn't available on a given day. When we do have a group of instructors, they often will get together informally to discuss a student's progress. Or, at least it has been that way in the past.

We currently have something like 6 or 8 instructors signed up under the new AMA introductory program. Also maintain a couple trainers at the field for stud3ents and guests.
Old 03-11-2008, 08:06 AM
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Default RE: What Are "Minimum" Flying Skills?

Sounds like you've got you're act together. I would think being in you're club with be a lot of fun. Even with a bunch of rules, common sense still prevails.!! I know in some real busy clubs you have to have rules or it could be a very dangerous situation.I agree somewhat with all of the above statements about our hobby. The important thing is to remember; Safety, comes first, but next up is let's have fun!!! I feel that everybody wants that, we're just saying it in different ways.
Old 03-11-2008, 08:58 AM
  #81  
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Default RE: What Are "Minimum" Flying Skills?

Here are the official Club Rules for Rotors & Wings RC Club:

1) Don't be an idiot
2) Have fun playing with your toy aircraft

==========

IOE, those pretty much take care of any "problem" that's come up.
Old 03-11-2008, 12:22 PM
  #82  
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Default RE: What Are "Minimum" Flying Skills?

Jeese, gboulton, you guys have TWICE as many rules as we do. How do you keep track of all of those?[][&o]
Old 03-11-2008, 01:02 PM
  #83  
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Default RE: What Are "Minimum" Flying Skills?

What's interesting is what different people interpret as "Common Sense". One of our rules about flying over the pits came from an incident at our previous field. Guy felt there was no problem flying even past the pits and over a neighbors property. It was just "Common Sense" that there's no problem if you don't crash. Eventually, he did, while the farmer was having a family picnic. Right in the farmer's yard. Over 40 people, including kids. Luckily, a couple more level headed people went with the flier to recover the plane, including our club president. Kept things from getting out of hand.

He felt he was using "Common Sense!"

For a couple years after enacting the rule, we had to occasionally get a little heavy handed with enforcement. Same as when we started requiring, and then lowering the engine size for mufflers. And a couple other rules we had to enact as development increased in the neigborhood.

As the area around a flying field gets more congested, common sense becomes less reliable as a guide.
Old 03-11-2008, 05:15 PM
  #84  
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Default RE: What Are "Minimum" Flying Skills?


ORIGINAL: JollyPopper

Jeese, gboulton, you guys have TWICE as many rules as we do. How do you keep track of all of those?[][&o]
[link=http://www.cafepress.com/rawrcc.233380744]We have them printed up on t-shirts.[/link]



ORIGINAL: 50+AirYears

As the area around a flying field gets more congested, common sense becomes less reliable as a guide.
You problem isn't the area's congestion....it's the fact that "common" sense isn't common. *heh*
Old 03-11-2008, 05:26 PM
  #85  
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Default RE: What Are "Minimum" Flying Skills?

Right. Common sense tells people not to stick their hand into turning props, but they manage to do it anyway, don't they!

Since I've done that, I feel completely justified in comming out and saying it.
Old 03-11-2008, 07:13 PM
  #86  
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Default RE: What Are "Minimum" Flying Skills?


ORIGINAL: 50+AirYears

Right. Common sense tells people not to stick their hand into turning props, but they manage to do it anyway, don't they!

Since I've done that, I feel completely justified in comming out and saying it.
Indeed, indeed. I think we've ALL got "that story"...I know I sure do.

Hence the need for Rule #1, see? Since common sense ISN'T common, it's people like me what need a reminder.

Old 03-12-2008, 07:53 PM
  #87  
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Default RE: What Are "Minimum" Flying Skills?

OK, I got a question. And please keep in mind that this doesn't refer to student pilots. Let's say I show up at your field and ask to fly. I have driven over 150 miles(in town visiting relatives) and for whatever reason, I drove the van I haul my planes in. I am told of the requirment of a flight check and happily agree. Here's the catch; the only two planes I brought are a 1/4 scale Corsair and a 33% Extra. Let's also assume that your club has no club trainer available. Would you consider either of these plane suitable as a test aircraft? If your really that worried about how safe a pilot is going to be, wouldn't it be bad to find out they won't cut it after one of these monsters has taken to the sky? What if I show up as a guest and some one in your club vouches for me? I'm all for a set of minimums for student pilot to meet to get soloed, but if someone shows up and says they are experienced and has thier AMA, brief them on any field specific things they should know and then let them have fun. If they do something that is inappropriate for your field, politely let them know. I could fly the requirements given here with either of the planes mentioned, execute them flawlessly, and then go on to scare the living hell out of everyone.
I've known several people who could pass a test and still scare the heck out of me. Two finally left, being sick of our rules. The others got better and I will now fly with them.
Old 03-13-2008, 11:07 AM
  #88  
Roby
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Default RE: What Are "Minimum" Flying Skills?

Darkbird

If you showed up at my field with your F4U and asked
if you could fly, this is what I would do.

1. Welcome you to our field and intoduce myself
and anyone else who was there.

2. Ask to see your AMA card

3. Give the plane a very quick glance and mybe ask
a couple of questios. (how much does it weigh etc)

4. Ask you how many times you've flown it on your own.

If the answer is more than once ,that's good enough for me.

Typically Corsairs have a heavy wing loading and if you already
got past the 1st flight in one piece then you should be ok.

Besides almost 50% of the time I'm alone and I'd enjoy
the company. If your ever up in the southern NH area
look me up.

Regards,
Roby



Old 03-13-2008, 12:34 PM
  #89  
Montague
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Default RE: What Are "Minimum" Flying Skills?

Darkbird,
That kind of thing is pretty common, and it's not really an issue. You can usually tell at a glance if the plane has been flown more than once or twice, and talking to the person will quickly tell you if they know anything about the model (vs. if they just bought it used or something). In our case, it's just a matter of a quick run down on the no-fly zones and making sure they understand our pin board, then we just sit back and watch.

Personally, if you're new to the field and you do something that I (or other club members) find annoying or scary once, it's no big deal. I'll wander over and we'll talk about it in a friendly way. I don't hold doing something iffy against someone if it's just once. It's the continuing pattern, an obvious disregard with how someone's actions are messing with the other people at the field that is a problem.

So I give visting or new-to-the-field guys the benifit of the doubt and worry about the details later if necessary. (usually, it's not necessary).
Old 03-13-2008, 09:00 PM
  #90  
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Default RE: What Are "Minimum" Flying Skills?

Sounds good. I was just wondering how some of you would react in this situation. Was asking mostly to see if anyone thought something like this would be a problem. At our field we would don something similiar, check AMA, ask a couple questions, then let 'em tear it up. Of course we have a pretty relaxed field and our overfly areas are darn near out to sight limits in every direction, with the exception of one farmhouse which would still be a very long way to go to hit anything. We have far more problems with the "plane eating swamp". And in my case, if I did have my van it would be rare for those to be the only two planes I brought. I usually only unload the aircraft so I can load the ATV, and I'll have a trailer for those soon. I'm glad to see people can still use common sense.

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