How does your club conduct its Novice/Wings Program? - RCCanada - Canada Radio Controlled Hobby Forum
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Old 05-15-2004, 09:04 AM   #1
Gary Maker
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How does your club conduct its Novice/Wings Program?

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We at the Flying Tiger's RC Club are about to begin our Wings Novice Training Program.

Our training program has been very successful in the past but we're always looking for good ideas to implement! I would like some input/ideas on how your club conducts its Flight Training Program. Do you have set nights/days for training or do you conduct training at any time? Do students just show up or do they make pre-arrangements for training? Do you allow anyone willing to be instructors or do you have a critera for selection of instructors? Do the students always fly with the same instructor or do you encourage students to fly with different instructors from session to session?

What has worked well for you in these and others areas? Do you have an advanced training program for the MAAC recommended classes of proficiency?...EG. A - Basic control, B - Intermediate, C - Intermediate advanced, and D - Advanced.

How do you conduct your "Wings Tests" Who does the test?

Thanks in advance for your input. I am sure this information will be of interest to other clubs as well who are looking for ideas for their Wings Program. Please feel free to add other ideas and comments other than the questions I have asked here.

I have a big pair of shoes to fill as the new CFI for the club and your suggestions, ideas, and comments will be very valueable to me and our instructors in helping us to orgainze our training program to the benefit of our students!
Stoney Creek Hawks RC
MAAC No. 43659

Radios used: Spektrum DX6i
Current builds: 1/4 scale J3 Cub & Neiuport 17 and KMP B-25.
Currently flying: Scratched Tele 40, Parkzone Stryker & 60" SPAD Debonaire


"Time flies like an arrow - fruit flys like a banana." Groucho Marks
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Old 05-15-2004, 10:04 AM   #2
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Hi Gary,
At oakville, we do it the following way.

Tue 6 to 9PM, Thu 6-9PM, Sat 9-12

2 ground sessions are held prior to start on Victoria day weekend, these ground schools are mandatory to attend. The club rules, plane checks and other things are discussed here to save time on the field.

When it is training time, we have a co-ordinator at the field who keeps track of students who came in first with their frequency pins on a seperate board other than the actual frequency board, As soon as he sees an instructor is available, he looks up to see who is next student and asks him to get set, once he comes back from flying back, his pin is removed from the frequency board and put back in line.

Students fly with different instructors.

THE CFI and directors decide who can be an instructor.

A buddy box is mandatory, student have to have his own.

The CFI conducts the wings test, normally when instructors see a student getting better, he is first removed from buddy box, then awarded a probation period where he can fly on his own as long there is an Instructor present on the field. Then the final test.

I hope that helps you.
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Old 05-15-2004, 10:22 AM   #3
Gary Maker
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Excellent Maqsood,

Thats exactly the type of feedback I am looking for. Thankyou for taking the time to share that with us, much appreciated!
Stoney Creek Hawks RC
MAAC No. 43659

Radios used: Spektrum DX6i
Current builds: 1/4 scale J3 Cub & Neiuport 17 and KMP B-25.
Currently flying: Scratched Tele 40, Parkzone Stryker & 60" SPAD Debonaire


"Time flies like an arrow - fruit flys like a banana." Groucho Marks
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Old 05-15-2004, 10:51 AM   #4
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What we have set up is it is up to the student to get together with the instructor to work out time/day for learning. Our club gives as much air time to the student flyer as the can. Our WINGS program reflects very closley with MAAC's and the Chief instructor usually is the one to issue the WINGS test both written and flight.

For the people that are designated intructors within the club, as far as I see, they must posses three critical things: paitience, personality and as always good flying skills. The worst thing you can have for a student is an instructor who yells instructions or talks down to the student.
Its great when your 3 year old knows the names of all your planes lol
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Old 05-15-2004, 12:06 PM   #5
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Our club, being a bit on the smaller side, usually has only 1 to 3 new students per year, if that. So we dont have to deal with many problems that a larger club may face.

That being said, currently, there are 4 or 5 of us that are "instructors" - generally the club as a whole with the officers of the club will decide who can instruct. Its a case of basically having a willing, capacle flyer who will donate some of his time. Personally, I like when one instructor teaches a student, rather than being taught by many different people. Once a particular student gets comfortable with a particular instructor's methods, its kind of hard to go to a different person IMO.

We have two club trainers, an Eagle and a H9 ARF, complete with radios and buddy boxes. We leave them at the field and they are used only for training new students (not for general use by club members). It works well! Some of us in the club donated the gear to the club and it is well looked after. That way the new guys can get flying without investing a lot of money right away.

We usually have Wed. night designated as student night, but since the traffic at our field is pretty low even on weekends students can fly anytime, as long as there is an instructor there of course.

Once a student feels (and the instructor thinks he/she is ready) ready to try the wings test, two or three instructors must be present and make the call. But again, you usually get to see the person flying often enough you get the feeling when someone is ready to go for their wings even if they are not your student.
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1/2A to giant scale, IMAC, SAM, R/C sport, turbine jets, Heli's...
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Old 05-15-2004, 03:16 PM   #6
I am: Boolean21
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Our club the Sun Parlor RC Flyers of Windsor Ontario with a membership that ranges between 80 and 100 members each year has had a Wings program for years. It’s a fairly simple one with no different classifications for proficiency beyond making sure the graduate can safely fly his trainer in a club atmosphere. We also use runways the widest being about 50 ft so the students have to learn to deal with crosswinds as well. Students, like full size pilots fly at the same time as everyone else. Wednesdays and Sundays students are given preferential treatment and there usually are a greater number of instructors available on those days. Students will have instruction any other day’s dependant upon the availability of instructors. Instructors are recommended by the CFI and the executive approves them. This is the beginning of the season and I count 17 instructors so far.

When a student joins he is given a heavy card stock page called “Sun Parlor R/C Flyers Student Training Schedule”.

One side of the card contains the information for a complete “Airplane Check” and the student is shown what to look for when inspecting his airplane.

1. Wings
-center re-enforcement
-proper attachment
-control horns

2. Fuselage
-rudder and stabilizer attachment
-engine area fuel proofing
-radio installation
-pushrod installation
-control horns
-landing gear (operation)

3. Engine
-proper alignment (no left thrust)
-fuel tank installation
-check throttle linkage operation
-check condition of propeller and proper installation

4. Overall Aircraft
-check the center of gravity
-overall alignment of wings to tail

5. Range Check
-as per the manufacturers instructions or 100 ft with antenna collapsed

6. Noise Check
- no more than 90 DBA at the test area, waist level and thru 360 degrees of rotation.

The second side are the training objectives and what the student has completed to date up to and including the unassisted wings test. The instructor signs off and dates each objective when the student demonstrates proficiency in that skill or level.

Students Name: ______________________ Airplane Type: _______________________

1. Transmitter Impound Procedure:
Int. Date
Field Rules __________ _________
Range Check __________ _________
Pre-flight Check __________ _________
Start & Set Engine __________ _________
Ground Taxi __________ _________

2. Maintain altitude in the air while performing straight
flight and gentle left and right turns for a minimum of
two minutes unassisted __________ _________

3. Fly Figure Eights in both directions while maintaining
altitude. __________ _________

4. Use of throttle while maintaining direction and control
within the speed envelope of the airplane. __________ _________

5. Use of trims. Must be able to correct an out of trim aircraft. __________ _________

6. Simulated landing patterns both left and right patterns
down to a 50 ft altitude. __________ _________

7. Unassisted take-offs __________ _________

8. Progressive landing patterns to ground level in both right and
left hand patterns until acceptable landings are achieved. __________ _________

9. Simulated engine failure procedures. __________ _________

Wings Test

This is a proficiency test where the instructor is present but the student must perform unassisted.

1. Take-off
2. Fly figure eights in both directions while maintaining altitude.
3. Land on an active runway with both left and right hand approach patterns,
4. Dead stick landing (simulated)
___________ __________

Instructors Signature:_________________________ Date:_____________________

Most of the time new students are referred to me as the CFI and hopefully I get a chance to inspect their equipment before they end up out at the field. I find it’s easier to fix any problems this way and when the student does make it out to the field he will see his plane fly and have a chance at the sticks rather than be sent home to make some repairs.

In most cases I am the one who takes the student up for the first time that way I can place the student with the instructor I think will give him the greatest chance at success.

This year we have some new upgrades to our training system. We visited the Ajax club and observed their buddy box system and have adapted it to our system. At present through donations and purchases we have 2 radios and buddy cords for each of the 4 major brands. Students fully integrate with the regular flyers from the start and fly together and use the same frequency board and pin out system so they learn the accepted method from the get go. When the sky gets busy we fly circuits and so do the students that way once they get their wings there is nothing new they have not been made familiar with.

Dennis Pratt
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Old 05-15-2004, 04:08 PM   #7
Chris Cann
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We have a board where student put their pins and a sesonal flyer confident with training or a instructor will come up and as the person if they want to fly and then everyone moves there pin forwards once that persons is off the pin and onto the frequency board.
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Old 05-15-2004, 05:04 PM   #8
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We instruct Wed eve 6 to sundown, Saturday 9 - 1:00pm

Only students are permitted to fly at this time and we have guaranteed instructors on hand.

The club supplies the buddy boxes for students for Futaba, Airtronics and JR.

Instructors are selected by the Wings director and sent to the exec for approval. We also have a Chief Flight Instructor position. Either of these two positions, normally with an additional pilot on hand, walk the student through the Wings test.

We have a sequential post where pins are placed, we call the name on the bottom, they fly and then put their pin back on top. Everyone gets the same amount of flights this way and get to meet various instructors.

Bob D.
Ajax RC Club
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Member of MAAC since I joined

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