The flying monkeys got me...

Helis and fixed wing

AMA 957918
IRCHA 4345
AMA Intro Pilot Instructor

Sunday, August 26, 2012

That's how its done!

Out to Wingmasters again this morning, and it was a blast! I was the only one there for the first hour, which was what I hoped for. Last time I flew here was the first time. I was nervous, new field, new friends. Today I took the Alpha Sport 450, my first plane, my trainer, my go-to when I get dumb thumb and loss of confidence. She did not disappoint.
I flew five packs, one after the other, practicing basic airmanship, learning the edges of the field, working to conquer the ever present cross wind. It all came back! Again and again, takeoff, landing, basic maneuvers, some basic aerobatics. Crabbing and slipping into the corsswind for sweet landings. Loved every minute of it!
By then some guys had shown up, but no problem, my confidence was back. Took the newly repaired Pulse up and flew the crap out of her. I tamed my inner beast! I decided to go back to flaps with her after coming in with spoilers, and set what had been spoilerons back to flaperons, with much more success. I am getting used to finding the runway. And... I found out where the tree that stands out at the west end of the runway really is. I was turning in when bang, it reached out and grabbed the left wing with a loud crashing bang, turning her 360 in a flat spin. The guys yelled, "You got her! You got her!" and I realized I did! She was saucering down in slo-mo. I firewalled the throttle, leveled out the control surfaces and she was still flying, coming out from under the trees! I completed the turn between the trees staying focused and clamer that I felt, and took her up to altitude checking out control. Everything seemed fine. Brought her back around, away from the tree, and landed her perfectly. Taxied over, checked her out, pulling a stem out of the elevator. A few minor dents on the left leading edge, but no damage! Took her back up and kept on flying! Sweet!
I broke out the HK500cmt, realizing I had not brought the higher C 3S 3300's I connect in series, so threw a couple of the 25C 3S 2200's together. I started her up, took her to hover and made sure I felt comfortable. Gotta love the BeastX for stability! Perfect in line disk! A bit of a breeze, total control. Took her around for a few laps, figure 8s, hands shaking like crazy, then hovered her back in for a spot on landing as the batteries waned; short flight of about 5 minutes. I counted my blessings, and put her away.
All in all, a great second day! Got my thumbs back! Next time I plan to take the cantankerous Stearman out to play.


  1. I am looking at a flight simulator before I even think about flying a real RC plane. What flight simutator would you recomend ? I have always wanted to fly and build rc planes, guess its the kid still in me lol. I am currently working in Afghnaistan and thought while I was here I could practice flying on a simulator, so when I finally get back to the states I might be ready to do some real flying. Thank you so much for your time and have an awesome day. Phil Parker


  2. Hi, Phil! There are some free or low cost flight sims out there, but two really good ones are popular among RC fliers. They have their proponents and antagonists, but they are both excellent.

    Phoenix flight sim.
    - I like this one, its the one I use and its the more popular of the sims among heli pilots. You can use your own transmitter with it. As far as I know I get free automatic updates for the life of the product; I think I started with version 2 and am up to 4. Software plus a dongle that is required (acts as the pass code).
    - This one is also excellent. It is often sold with a budget Spektrum transmitter that isn't much for actual flying but is fine. This one you have to buy the updates when they come out. Don't know, but think this one also uses a dongle.

    Both can plug your transmitter into the computer. I also use a sim receiver called a Sim Stick ( that I love. This allows me to attach a budget 6 ch reciever (I have a Hobby King Spektrum one on mine) and I can fly with my transmitter without the wires. The dongle plugs into the sim, as does the receiver.

    Setting up the transmitter can be a bit tricky, but once you got it its set.

    Hope this was helpful!

  3. Thank you so much for the information. I will check out the Sims you have recomended. Phil Parker

  4. You're welcome! You will plug that dongle thingy into your trainer port on your transmitter. It uses a 3.5mm plug fro the dongle. You can use the transmitter you plan to fly with! By the way, you want a Mode 2 Transmitter (throtle on left).

    Some come with a Spektrum DX5 transmitter. Its a budget non-programmable 5 channel transmitter that will work with basic aircraft, but if you plan to buy a separate transmitter I would at least get a 6 channel programmable one. A DX6 or DX7 is a nice one. I fly a DX8, which has more channels than I use (think of channels as switched to control things; the more switches, the more things you can move/control on the aircraft). I like Spektrum as they have lots of receivs, and they are available everywhere. Another choice is Futaba. You want a good qaulity one, with easily available receivers. Your transmitter is the single most important piece of equipment, so spend your money here. More than 8 channels really isn't necessary for the overwhelming majority of pilots.

    Here are some reputable dealers. I have ordered from all of them.

    Horizon Hobby
    Hobby Lobby
    Chief Aircraft
    Red Rocket Hobbies

    Note that regardless of what version you buy, it will upgrade after you install it.