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Old 02-24-2013, 01:05 PM   #11
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Talking Re: What method do you use

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I very much prefer the buddy box as it allows me to park myself in a nice, comfy chair while instructing....
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Old 02-24-2013, 01:24 PM   #12
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Buddy Box has save many potential crashes in my experience.

I made sure that when I took over the learner knew about it.

My new radio has a Bluetooth interface which I think is really cool. Trouble is not many others have this brand. Oh well...

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Old 02-24-2013, 04:57 PM   #13
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Re: What method do you use

I have only worked with the buddy box system, so I cannot relate to the hot potato scheme. When I was learning, I knew I was getting close when my instructor started bitching about his thumb getting tired.
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Old 02-24-2013, 06:30 PM   #14
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Re: What method do you use

In the end, I learned to fly on my own. I was 13 with my first plane, a Sig Kadet Jr. I had one guy take it up, trim it out and hand me the box. I did a few circuits, had one little incident in which he took back the box and straightened it out. After a while, he landed it for me. Unfortunately, it was racing practice that day and that was the only flight.

As a new member, I participated by going to club meetings, volunteering to call members to remind them about meetings, even went out to help with field maintenance. Even with all of that, it took TWO MONTHS before somebody was willing to take my plane up for me again. Well, he got about 10 feet in the air and crashed it, handed the box back to me, causually said sorry, turned his back and walked away. I never went back. Eventually sold everything.

7 years later, I saw there was a group of helicopter flyers. I was actually more interested in heli flying anyway and picked one up. Helicopter is a bit different, one caan give you advice, but you can't really buddy box or toss a box to somebody. With practice and encouragement from the other heli flyers, I learned how to fly. We had our own field at the time and they advised me that the airplane flyers at the main field didn't really like the heli flyers, probably because they couldn't fly helis.

During my time with helis, I built a Sig Kobra. A friend who flew both heli and plane was going to take it up for me. I was out at our field waiting for him to arrive and I thought I would try some high speed taxi runs figuring that it it took off, I would throttle back and let it settle back down. Well, it took off, I throttle back and it kept gliding towards the creek surrounding our field, so throttle up and take a stab at it. The only problem I had was it took 4 passes to get it low enough for a landing. I was too used to a heli where you could put it where you wanted. Well, when my friend showed up, he took it for the second flight LOL. I think he stole the box from me a few times every time I took it up.

5 years later, with the arrival of my daughter, I had to give up the hobby again. Just couldn't afford it. Many financial ups and downs, but I'm back again. I haven't been to the field where I first had my bad experiences yet, I guess I'll see how it goes this summer, find out if they are heli friendly or not. The field where I used to fly helis is now gone after a 72KV power line went up right beside it. There is another field nearby though, from what I have previously heard, they don't care what you fly, just come and fly, so I'll be checking them out too.
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My Heli: Futaba 18MZ 2x(JR GSR260Z Sports FBL, Zenoah G26H, Futaba CGY750 Gyro, Futaba BLS-351 cyclic, BLS-251 tail, Futaba BLS-451 Throttle. Gryphon voltage regulator).
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Old 02-24-2013, 07:08 PM   #15
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Re: What method do you use

Last weekend I watched the buddy box system at work: very successful. However, I wondered why the learner hadn't had more time on a SIM.
Then there are buddy box systems whereby a single control is given to the learner; having master that channel he/she goes to another... and so on. Then combinations of controls, until he/she has complete control over the entire system.
Me. I flew helis. And never needed an instructor when I first tried a plane, an Extra 300.
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Old 02-25-2013, 08:17 PM   #16
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Re: What method do you use

Trial by fire...the only way to go!! You stop crashing as frequently after a while. Good ol' Supercub, very forgiving starter plane. The bonus to the teach yourself technique is that you get fairly proficient (relatively quickly), at repairing your planes. Which we all know, will always be necessary no matter how proficient you get as a pilot.
Anyways, good luck to all the rookies, whichever method you chose to use. Later...
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Old 03-01-2013, 01:22 PM   #17
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Re: What method do you use

For over 4 decades I've been extremely sucessful using a "third method".

No, I don't reach around anyone, all I do is hand the tx to the student, tell them to put their thumb on top of the aileron/elevator stick and then, don't immediately move the stick.

This lets them know that the trainer will basically fly by itself, that is if it's properly trimmed out. I used the buddy-box many years ago, but it seemed that most students wanted to bang the sticks around. So, with the buddy-cord attached, I reached over with my right hand and put my thumb and forefinger underneath the student's thumb, which was on top of the stick. That way I could show him exactly how to move the stick and at the same time keep him from doing anything dangerous, right down to landing, even if it was his first time on the sticks. I've had many learn to fly very skillfully on their own after only less than an hour of their first time RC flying experience.

Notice in the video how windy it is. This is this youngster's first time ever flying a RC trainer.
I assisted him land after only 10 minutes of his first lesson. Notice the second youngster flying with his head down looking at the tx. I use this as a training drill. It works very well everytime.

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Old 03-02-2013, 09:36 AM   #18
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Re: What method do you use

Originally Posted by HAL9KPCM View Post
Helicopter is a bit different, one caan give you advice, but you can't really buddy box or toss a box to somebody. With practice and encouragement from the other heli flyers,
Again, there is a third way to teach people to hover helis. I can usually get people able to hold a sustained hover within an hour of training. No one has to have any sim practice, in fact, I would rather they didn't have sim experience, because they tend to teach themselves too many bad habits. I have no trouble handing my tx for heli training or simply just to give anyone heli hovering experience. No, I don't ever have to take back the tx. If the student go totally brain dead, all I have to do is reach over and bring the collective stick down. I've been teaching this way for decades now.

I learned how to do this many years ago and later on, I read how someone else was doing the same thing in an article in Flying Model magazine. He called it 2 pilots - 2 sticks.
What I do is hand the tx to the student and then show them how to move the throtlle/collective/tailrotor lever, while I fly the heli using the other stick. I have them bring the heli up about a foot or two and promptly bring it down again. I have them practice this a few times so they know how to safely get the heli down. There is a little more to it than this, but you should be able to get the gist of it.

Any hobby shop owner who wants to sell more helis, it would be a good idea to at least let them know that there is a way that they can safely and quickly learn to hover.

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