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Old 10-11-2016, 06:11 PM   #1
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Student training difficulties

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After 50+ dual lessons with 2 different & very experienced RC instructors, I have not soloed yet. Lately I have done t/o's & ldg's with much difficulty. My A/C is an Apprentice with the safe mode receiver replaced with a normal receiver. I'm 73 years old & I flew Airliners for 40 years. I still have my Airline Pilots License & fly light A/C.
Recently we increased the expo. I understand expo...but I doubt it's usefulness for a student. I can't believe how much difficulty I'm having. More lessons??
Any suggestions.
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Old 10-11-2016, 06:28 PM   #2
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Re: Student training difficulties

Most us weren't pilots first before RC. When we learned we wired our brains for LOS.
Have you ever considered trying RC from the FPV perspective?
You might find it more natural and enjoyable.
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Old 10-11-2016, 06:34 PM   #3
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Re: Student training difficulties

+1 to what John said

Also... if you get used to flying the sticks via FPV then you may develop muscle memory in your fingers. It won't be a magic cure, but it will help.

The big thing is probably orientation... and thinking from the plane's perspective.

It may also help to get a simulator for your computer... then crashing is less dramatic and nobody else needs to know you did it. And you can sit there all day long trying until you finally just get it.

Hope these ideas help.
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Old 10-11-2016, 06:44 PM   #4
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Re: Student training difficulties

HI Gerald;

I have flown RC for over 40 years plus but made my career flying full size as you did. Converting your flying knowledge into RC is not quite as simple as you think.

First you have to let go of a lot of the full size concepts. We cant safely approach at 1.3Vs and the controls reverse when flying toward yourself for example. All stuff you can understand but translating it into reactions is not easily learned. I am sure you have had some good instructors but for me the issue is always practice and more practice. There are times when I cannot fly much and during those times I stay up to speed on realflight. You did not mention if you have or use one but my suggestion would be to practice on a good flight simulator often. They are quite good and you can fly even if the weather outside is terrible. The other benefit is that you can fly a host of different airplanes in one evening.

This is a fun hobby and I am sure with time and some more practice it will all gel for you. Keep at it!
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Old 10-11-2016, 06:50 PM   #5
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Re: Student training difficulties

First of all, congratulations to 50 flights and the plane is still flying.
I recommend getting a plane with a lighter wing loading and larger in size.
The one I recommend is the Sig Kadet Senior.
You can make it electric or glow power doesn't matter
And you are right, landings are important and you need to practice them.
And the instructor is right, some expo will help but too much isn't good either.

I'm quite sure that after flying for forty years, I wouldn't enjoy flying an Apprentice either
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Old 10-11-2016, 07:01 PM   #6
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Re: Student training difficulties

Please keep at it, and dont hesitate to share your frustrations with your instructors. As you made your living in full scale realize that not all students progress at the same rate. You also know that some dont make it in the program. Since this is just a hobby, I hope that you dont stress over your slow learning curve. Keep a positive attitude and the simulator idea is a great one. At 73 learning RC and unlearning your full scale skills while you fly RC is a lot on your plate. Good on you, and I hope you continue with training at whatever pace is good for you.

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Old 10-11-2016, 07:14 PM   #7
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Re: Student training difficulties

It is a bit difficult to really pin point your trouble from a distance but there are a number of things that may be against you. I hope I don't offend anyone here and especially you so will try not to.

Your age:
As we age picking up new skills becomes more and more difficult and it takes longer and longer to develop those automatic reactions. I know I'm not so far behind you and it is very discouraging to see the young guys show up at the field and pick it up so easily. Don't give up! In my experience( I have taught a number of older fellows to fly)you might be right on track!
Another thing that happens with age is our reaction times start to slow down and the choice of plane to learn on becomes much more critical. I'm going to ruffle a lot of feathers here by saying the Apprentice would not have been my choice for you, there are options out there that are much better suited to those of us that are past the prime of life. You have it now though and it will work for you, just take more time and patience.
Multiple instructors can sometimes be a handicap too if they have different approaches to teaching. Hopefully they have a common game plan communicated between them in your training.

Do you have a flight simulator? Do invest in one and fly it every moment you can spare, they are a huge help to develop those automatic reactions you so desperately need.

Maybe a bit of our experience here at our club might encourage you. We started with about 10 fellows, five over 70 and three over 50. In spite of that and the fact that none of us could fly, we all did it with time. I must admit that there was one fellow that went through three instructors from outside our club and myself and we all came to the conclusion he just was not pilot material. In spite of us giving up on him he persevered and learned on his own anyway!

The fellow I fly with most often now is a bit older than you, started 3 years ago with the same plane as you and he now successfully flies E gliders, Kadet Seniors, a Kadet LT40, a Lanso Bomber old timer and a pure glider. He still cannot handle his Apprentice on his own with the "safe" system off!

Hope this helps and keep on trying!
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Old 10-11-2016, 07:31 PM   #8
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Re: Student training difficulties

I too would recommend a PC sim program. That way you learn to tie what you see to your inputs.

I fly both R/C and full size and have instructed in R/C for many years. Here's my take on this: Although the knowledge of aerodynamics is helpful when it comes to what inputs will do to the plane and generally what your flight profiles should be, the part it sounds like you are having difficulty with is placing yourself on the ground, not in the cockpit. This can be especially difficult for some when the plane is coming towards you.

The PC sim would be a good investment as you can fly at your own pace, not worry about wrecking your investment if you make a mistake and restart again and again as many times as required. You can also alter your choice of craft and with some modify the environment and flight behavior of each model. Wish we had that when we started.
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Old 10-11-2016, 07:44 PM   #9
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Re: Student training difficulties

First off, forget about your full size flying in relation to models. there is very little relationship, other than looks.
Get yourself a flight simulator, some are free on the net, and learn to fly without worrying about breaking things. I've been instructing for the most part of 50 yrs. and at 79 I'm slowing down a bit.
Another point, when your plane gets beat up a bit with a few sticks of hotglue to keep it together, you won't be so concerned about its looks and you'll do more relaxed flying.
One of our club members got his wings this year and at 89 he's getting right into it. Keep at it and have fun.
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Old 10-11-2016, 09:04 PM   #10
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Re: Student training difficulties

Gerald, Don't stress yourself out.... You have a few year's on most of us, a good thing my friend.
I didn't get into the hobby till my late 40's ) Now in the "early" 50's
I started with Helicopter's, took a few year's to feel comfortable flying them, still remember the 450 size align's as dominating..... over the 130x I was trying to learn on.
Now have a fleet of several.... No I can't do the smack 3D, Nor do I think I will ever have the reaction time to perfect that...but I do still try Who knows
As for planes, yes have a fleet of them also, Can I Fly like the pro's...nope!!! Do I enjoy them...Yes....
I'm not out to try to impress other's of my abilities, I go out to have fun and watch/learn from other's, so I can try to improve what I know, So I can Improve.
The apprentice is a great trainer for a newbie...
But feel it has to much control for someone who has some inside on what the plane just did, and tried to correct, Have you flown it with the gyro's off?
Also agree with old prairie, get a flight sim and practice, practice, practice..
You're no longer flying by the seat of you pant's, you need to determine what is next when you feel that gust of wind hit your back...Having the gyro do it for you before you can correct don't really help!!!
That may be the issue as why ????
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