The flying monkeys got me...

Helis and fixed wing

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Thursday, November 18, 2010

My Newbies Advice

I posted this in a discussion on and think it bears repeating here.


I too just started last month, and am having more fun than I could have imagined. It has not been all happiness and joy, but all in all I am wholly addicted! A couple of recommendations from my own newbie experiences, so fresh I still have that "new pilot" smell and consider it an achievement when a heli goes up, stays up, and comes down in one piece for just a few seconds.

1) Visit with those folks at (your local flying club). Just walk right up and introduce yourself. You will be welcomed and encouraged to enjoy yourself asking questions, and maybe even find that mentor you are looking for. I wish I had a mentor, and hopefully after tomorrow's local club meeting I may have one.

2) By the Esky Sim kit, download the latest version of the free FMS RC Flight Simulator (Google both, easy to find. When you buy the Esky kit, really you are buying the controller as the FMS on the included CD is a bit dated). Have fun with it. If you think this is going to stick, buy Clearview RC Flight sim. Better graphics and more realistic flight (albeit still way stable) for a very reasonable price, with great customer support from Stefan. You can use the "transmitter" that comes with the Esky kit. I LOVE this sim, rather than the ones costing several hundred buck, which I am sure are more realistic and quite nice. Like others, I cannot overly stress how important sim time has been, continues to be, to my flying success and confidence. DON'T GET DISCOURAGED! Keep practicing on the sim, and you will be surprised how quickly you learn. Work on hovering tail in, tail out, circles, orientation, etc. I do it over, and over and over again.

3) There are lots of opinions about first aircraft out there, and really, they are all good ones. It just depends on what your resources are and how you want to approach this great hobby. I wanted to start inexpensively with helis that were easy to fly, and for which replacement parts were easily available. I watched several reviews at, and many, many vids on YouTube, read reviews, and asked questions on forums like HeliFreak. I decided I liked the idea of buying a nice fixed pitch electric like the CB180Z as a starter. Any similar one is likely to be fine. (I really don't like the tail situation on the UFLYS, but it is a really nice heli). It won't hurt so much when you crash...

I knew nothing about RC helicopters, other than they fascinated me. I was afraid of flying them, breaking them, being unable to repair them. I have learned not only can I, I love doing it all! Most of all, its fun being part of a community like local flying clubs, and HeliFreak. My wife, on the other hand, never sees me anymore...


I would now also add Radd's School of Rotary Flight at

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