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Beginner, Intermediate or Advanced

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Beginner, Intermediate or Advanced

Old 10-21-2005, 09:13 PM
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s_laclair
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Default Beginner, Intermediate or Advanced

I have a question about how you decide where your flying skills are, I fly on my own farm and am not associated with any club to asked other members or get their input so here's the question. I taught myself how to fly and right now I am successfully flying a couple Sig Kadets, a Hanger 9 Ultra Stick and a Dave Patrick Ultimate Bipe. I can take-off and land, fly boxes and figure 8s, do touch and goes, snap rolls and slow rolls, loops, Cuban 8s, Split S, Stall Turns, and fly inverted. So where do I fall still as a beginner or would I fall in the intermediate class.

The reason that I am asking is all the planes use these terms in relationship to their flying difficulties and I want to buy additional plane but want to be successful in flying them.

Thanks

Scott
Old 10-21-2005, 10:11 PM
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mirwin
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Default RE: Beginner, Intermediate or Advanced

Scott:

I spend a lot of time at my club's flying site, so I see lots of people flying. I think that where one's flying skills are in terms of Beginner, Intermediate or Expert is a purely subjective call. One may say you are Intermediate while another might say you are an Expert. So I wouldn't worry too much about it. Here's what you should consider.

(You didn't mention it but I will assume that your take-off and landing skills are competent as well.)

If you can fly those maneuvers safely and with finesse then I would conclude that you are capable of controlling your aircraft. If you can control your Ultimate properly and gracefully in all situations, then I would say that you can fly most any plane.

Having said that, here are some things that all pilots, regardless of experience level, must always remember:

1. Every plane is different, and therefore handles differently. Some planes, such as 3Ds or warbirds fly significantly different than other planes.
2. Any plane, no matter how well you think you know it, will get you if you don't pay strict attention, and maintain strict control. Stay humble.

It seems to me that you've done a fine job of teaching yourself to fly, Scott. Congratulations!

Go get the plane that you want, and open another forum if you want specifics on how that particular planes handles. I'm certain you'll get some good, friendly advice.


Mike
Old 10-21-2005, 10:44 PM
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s_laclair
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Default RE: Beginner, Intermediate or Advanced

Mike,

Thanks for the info.

I remain very cautious with what I am doing. I have read many books about flying so that is how I managed to teach myself. I did lots of practice flying 8s at a consistant altitude same with square boxes. Most aerobatics I am flying two or three mistakes high and practicing them on a straight line, a flight line down my main runway. I have taken this at very slow steps over the last two years trying to master one thing then move to the next.

What I want to do is move to bigger and gas, at this point I have flown glow and 40 size. I have an Extra 60 size built and was not sure if the tapered wing cord verses the constant wing cord would be any different. I am guessing that it's roll rate will be faster. I also have build a GP Sky Sport and want to fly it. All that I read about this plane it sounds stable for a bipe.

But I also have

Cermark Pitts with a G23, a GP 1/3 Pitts with a DA 50 and, SkyShark Christen Eagle with a Moki 2.10 sitting build in my hanger and I am dying to fly them.

I am sort of a biplane nut.

Thanks again

Scott
Old 10-22-2005, 05:34 AM
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The Raven
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Default RE: Beginner, Intermediate or Advanced

By your description our club would probably consider you intermediate but, we couldn't really say that until we've seen you fly.

If you can do reasonable take offs and landings on a regular basis, plus standard square circuits, then you'd be a skilled beginner. However, if you can confidently/cleanly execute the aerobatics you mention then you are well beyond the beginner stage and definitely an intermediate (by my standards...).

As already mentioned it's highly subjective. I know of many experienced pilots who tend to crash planes often. I know of experienced pilots who struggle with every flight. I've also seen relative newcomers quickly bypass some of our more experienced members.

Don't fuss over classifications too much, as long as you enjoy what you're doing and consistently improving (gradually pushing your boundaries) then your doing very well.
Old 10-22-2005, 06:34 AM
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Default RE: Beginner, Intermediate or Advanced


ORIGINAL: s_laclair

Mike,

Thanks for the info.

What I want to do is move to bigger and gas, at this point I have flown glow and 40 size. I have an Extra 60 size built and was not sure if the tapered wing cord verses the constant wing cord would be any different. I am guessing that it's roll rate will be faster. I also have build a GP Sky Sport and want to fly it. All that I read about this plane it sounds stable for a bipe.

But I also have

Cermark Pitts with a G23, a GP 1/3 Pitts with a DA 50 and, SkyShark Christen Eagle with a Moki 2.10 sitting build in my hanger and I am dying to fly them.

Scott
Don't be afraid to fly the big airplanes! I have a similar background to yours... taught myself to fly (Tower Trainer, SPADs, Zagi) and then flew a whole bunch of different .40-sized airplanes for a while. I assembled a 1/4-scale Giles 202 with an O.S. 1.60FX angine and let it sit in my shop for two years because I was unsure of my ability to fly it. I also started on a Dave Patrick Ultimate/Saito 1.50.

One day, I threw caution to the wind and took the Giles to the field. I was surprised to find it flew smoother and better than any of my .40-sized airplanes. Now, I'm finishing up the Ultimate so I might get in some flights with it before winter gets here.

Good luck with your big bipes,
desmobob
Old 10-22-2005, 09:59 AM
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Default RE: Beginner, Intermediate or Advanced

Scott, I think you'll find that, generally, the larger airplanes are easier to fly than the smaller one. The Extra is a great flying plane and I think you'll enjoy it. As for the biplanes, I love 'em too and the bigger the better.

Regarding your confidence level, if you've never flown with others, you might consider contacting a local RC club, and asking if an experienced pilot might observe and evaluate your flying techniques. Such a !QUOT!check ride!QUOT! could be beneficial in identifying bad habits you may have unknowingly picked and providing advice on improving your skills. An RC club is allowed under AMA rules to let a visiting pilot fly (if the visitor is an AMA member.)

As for nervousness about flying a new plane, one of our better club members has been flying fun fly and pattern competition for 30+ years and he gets very nervous anytime he flies a new plane. Same with me; after a maiden flight, my hands shake like I have the DTs! So don't worry about being nervous on those first flights. We all get that way.

Best of luck to you.

Mike


Old 10-23-2005, 09:04 AM
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carrellh
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Default RE: Beginner, Intermediate or Advanced

To add to what Mike mentioned, AMA now offers a 3 month 'trial membership' for 20 bucks. That would allow you to visit and fly at a chartered club. If you decide you like the club atmosphere and want to keep AMA membership, within the 3 months, they'll apply the 20 to the full year fee.
Old 10-23-2005, 08:16 PM
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Default RE: Beginner, Intermediate or Advanced

Scott, It sounds like you have done well thus far, but are still pushing to improve. I would guess that you will soon be an expert if you're not there yet. Things to consider:

Are you able to take-off and land from either direction? It's surprising how many have this problem. Cross wind techniques for both?

Do the rolls both directions?

Use the rudder all the time? Most well trimmed airplanes need a touch of rudder for loops, right for inside, left for outside. Loops take elevator and throttle management as well.

Do you coordinate the rudder in the turns, both upright and inverted.

The list could go on and on, but you get the idea. There is alway something new to learn and practice.

Oh yeah, tapered winged airplanes are not as forgiving as constant chord. They like to snap at high angles of attack if pushed too hard with the elevator. They have alway been my weakness.
Old 10-24-2005, 08:51 PM
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s_laclair
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Default RE: Beginner, Intermediate or Advanced

Hello,

Thanks for all your input. I have done most of your suggestions to this point with the exception of visiting(to fly) or joining a club.

(yes to the following - I learned quickly that different direction is really different!! Are you able to take-off and land from either direction? It's surprising how many have this problem. Cross wind techniques for both? Do the rolls both directions? Use the rudder all the time? Most well trimmed airplanes need a touch of rudder for loops, right for inside, left for outside. Loops take elevator and throttle management as well. Do you coordinate the rudder in the turns, both upright and inverted.)

I have never really been a organization person. There are two clubs in the area and I have visited the one just to watch what they are flying and they are flying. What is amazing to me is the two locations where the clubs fly, both seem to lay in a valley with stands of trees very close to their runways. I would actually like to invite them to my place. I have about 50 acres of nothing but fields, no trees and two runways cut in my hay fields.

I really want to thank you again for the help and info. I think my next step will be the GP Skybolt it is ready and just waiting a battery charge.

Scott
Old 12-23-2005, 10:21 PM
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Default RE: Beginner, Intermediate or Advanced

One question hasn't been asked... How often do you crash?
I have observed many fairly new RC pilots who don't crash
I have observed many so called "experts" who crash a lot
The guys are correct... normally bigger flies better (there are exceptions)
Most of the current crop of aerobatic monoplanes are fairly gentle (keep the cg toward the nose heavy side)
Some of the so called trainers are actually junk
There are no absolutes in this hobby
Enjoy and don't get too wound up in the minutiae [8D]
Old 12-23-2005, 10:43 PM
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s_laclair
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Default RE: Beginner, Intermediate or Advanced

Well as crashes go I have had minor incidents with most of my planes. Quirky things, losing a engine on take off and knocking landing gear off, running off the end of my runway and tearing some covering. One plane was really bummer, I purchased a Hanger 9, 40 size STIK and don't know if it was a badly desiged landing gear arrangement but even a slightly hard landing and they would come off. I got fed up and rebuilt that area and they have not come off since.

So as crashes go I am still flying all the planes that I started with a sturdy birdy, two sig kadets, Hanger 9 Stik, a generic ARF Extra 300 but I did destroy a Dave Patrick Ultimate Bipe.

I was really sick that is one of the nicest flying planes I have ever flown. Here is where the only problem came in, just a little over confidence. I just was too close to the ground doing aerobatics, go disoriented and well toothpicks....

No problems thought, they were on a closeout sale and Cermark so I have two new ones in different colors and plan to purchase a white 1.20 size one real soon.

Scott

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