Part 2 - Some questions for you.

Well done, you have cracked the basics!

A few questions you need to you to answer honestly before we can move on to Part 3.

  • Can you confidently turn the model (left and right) without the loss of height.? Maintaining the same height with the model not climbing or descending during the turn is most important. With the model keeping the same attitude in flight it will keep the speed constant. Practice your turns out on the slope. When you can turn left and right without much change in attitude then you are moving in the right direction. Try 'S' turning across the slope. this involves the model turning down wind and then returning into wind. Both these aspects may well cause the model's attitude to change. Keep practising these 'S' turns. get used to the model flying briefly down wind (towards you) but only briefly. You don't want the model hurtling past you and behind the slope. We need to get to a point where we can maintain a steady flying attitude constantly while manoeuvring your model around the sky. Generally a constant attitude will provide you with a constant flying speed. Flying speed and ground speed are two very different things as most of you will already know. You can sit your model into wind and it could be completely stationary but turn the model downwind (towards you) and your ground speed could be your flying speed plus the wind speed. Whoosh and its heading for somewhere behind the hill.
  • We now have control of our turns in both attitude and speed which will benefit us massively when trying to land. How about when the model is flying towards you? When the wing drops coming towards you it requires opposite controls to bring that wing back up than it would normally take when the model is flying away from you. This one caused me big trouble when I was learning on the slopes. I actually learnt how to fly a model coming towards you on the flat. I worked out that I could launch, fly around in a circuit and land back towards me with one good throw. repeat this over and over again and I had it. Move the stick over to the direction the wing has dropped. You are looking at the model and the left wing is dropping. You want to bring the wings level then move the stick over to left and the wing will come level. A simple but very effective way of learning. Again this exercise over time will become automatic and your subconscious will take over. Its when you have to think about it, it becomes yet another process to go through which in turn increases the pressure when trying to land.
  • This idea is to split your flying into bite size chunks. Master or at least feel confident with each chunk and then move onto the next one. Don't try and bring it all together without all the building blocks in place. Step by step and build up your experience and confidence in stages. If you miss out a stage or try and take too much on too soon then it may not turn out well. If you learn well at the beginning then you will be a better pilot later down the line.
  • Every time you go flying try and split your flying into the above chunks. Be self critical and try and work out what needs practice. If it all needs practice go back to basics and work up from there. Come and ask one of the club Instructors for some help. Again we have all been in your exact position and we have all experienced the problems you may be encountering. Subconsciously we are learning every time our fingers are on the sticks but is it planned? Each time you fly think of what you need to practice and do exactly that - PRACTICE! 
  • If you still encounter problems then as I've said already - come and ask. Let someone explain how things happen or maybe why things happen. We can suggest things to practice that can help.
  • Have a chat with the other guys who are learning on the slope. They may well be having issues with the same thing you are.  Share your experiences. See how they got over the problems.

Nobody expects you to be a master at the basics before moving onto the landings but the more experience you have will increase the confidence you have which will ultimately help big time when moving onto the landings !

Time to move on to Part 3 please.............

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