We strongly believe that learning to fly should be a fun and exciting experience for you as you start your new hobby. There are a number of pages on this website that get into the nuts and bolts of aircraft types, radios and regulations. These aspects will become important as you progress but in the beginning let’s start with the basics.
What you can expect
Learning to fly is in many ways like learning to ride a bicycle. Riding a bike for the first time can be tricky which is why learning to fly with an instructor is best particularly while you are getting oriented in the air. Instructors with the use of a buddy box can get you out of those tricky spots and prevent you from losing your plane. At CAMFC we have a team of experienced instructors who are willing and keen to show you the ropes so you have the best opportunity to learn and have fun.
Before looking to buy anything come visit our flying site. You can contact us via our chat widget or by the contact us page to arrange a day. Our instructors nearly always bring demonstration/instruction aircraft so you can have a go and try your hands at the sticks. There’s no fees, all you need do is turn up and have a go.
Once you arrive at the field an instructor will show you a model trainer plane. Trainers are usually high wing, self correcting, stable, tough and easy to repair so you don’t need to worry while you are learning.
On your first flight, the instructor will do all the tricky bits like starting the plane, takeoff and landing. All our instructors use a buddy box system where they hold a master controller and you have a training controller. This allows the instructor to pass control of the plane to you as simply as flicking a switch and take it back if you get into difficulty. This means there is virtually no chance you’ll break anything and it also means that if you need to take a moment to regain concentration while the plane is in the air you can do at any time.
So you’ve had your first flight. Want more?
After your first flight you’ll know if the hobby is for you – you’ll be buzzing and eager to have another go. As long as time and daylight allows, you should be able to complete several flights with an instructor to get you started.
There will become a point where you’ll need to join the club if you wish to fly and continue training with your instructor. Our club rules allow for three guest visits (separate days), before you’ll need to make that decision. Instruction is always provided for free as part of your club membership, there are no limits on how long it takes you to learn to fly and our instructors are available to help even after you go solo.
What goes up must come down!
We will show you the correct pre-flight checks and how to ensure your model is safe to fly, we’ll show you how to get out of sticky spots and how to handle the plane if your engine fails (deadstick landings). However, it’s handy to know early on (we don’t say this to put you off ), but there will eventually be a time even with the best of preparation, practice and skill the wind will catch you out and you’ll end up in a tree or a gloomy bit of sky ghosts up the model so you can’t see or you or lose orientation that sends you inverted without realising – and you crash.
Most of the time damage is light and repairable and those who enjoy the building usually don’t mind the odd prang or two so don’t get disheartened – all members have experience rebuilding their planes so feel free to chat when the time comes to repair your model.
After all the training and practice it’s time to take to the air on your own. The time this takes varies from person to person and depends on a few things:- previous modelling experience, how often you can commit to flying, whether you invest in a simulator (this significantly cuts down airtime needed to go solo), and of course the good old British weather.
CAMFC club rules allow solo flying at our site as soon as you can consistently and safely show that you can complete the pre-flight checks, take off, fly a circuit in both directions and land without help. This means that if you can fly already, it is possible to go solo very quickly as long as your flying and preparing your aircraft safely.
All members are encouraged to enter the BMFA achievement scheme and complete the fixed wing A certificate soon after going solo: more details about BMFA Achievements here. The A certificate is considered a minimum requirement for many clubs. Due to our training programme we don’t specifically require it however we do strongly encourage all members to go for the assessment as soon as possible because this demonstrates you as a pilot have a good basic proficiency and understanding of the important legal & club rules.