Radio controlled planes can rack up quite a bill when you consider all of the different things you have to buy in order to enjoy the hobby. You have to buy the plane model itself, as well as all the radio and motor equipment to keep it in the air. Then you have to buy gasoline, or pay for electricity to charge the battery. All in all it can be a very expensive venture. After you spend all of this money, nothing is worse than seeing your investment crash to the ground and erupt into a huge fireball (well, maybe not the fireball part; however, you can expect all of your components to be smashed beyond any working state). So when you fly your plane for the first time, you have to use extreme caution in making sure that you don’t ruin your plane and consequently waste your money.
The most important part is to choose the day and the place carefully. On the ideal day, there are perfectly clear skies, with little to no wind. Hopefully it is also warm, but if it is not that will not jeopardize your mission (unless you are shivering so much that you cannot effectively control the plane). You should go to a place that offers some sort of good take-off point. Sidewalks and roads are perfect for this. You should also try to look for an area that is low on houses, trees, and preferably doesn’t have many people around.
First you need to check all of your equipment. Even if you are a pro at handling radio controlled planes, nothing can save you from faulty equipment. Check and double-check everything before you send the plane up. Be sure to pay special attention to the landing gear. Make sure it is secure, and that it will be able to withstand the force of impact when the plane touches the ground after you are done flying. Also check all of the connections between the motor and the fuel supply or batteries. Test all of the radio equipment to make sure that mostly all motion is interpreted by the plane. Hold it in your hand as you or a friend tries all of the levers and knobs.
Set your plane on some sort of surface that will act as a good runway. If you’re in a park with sidewalks, find a large strip of sidewalk that will give your plane plenty of room to roll, gather speed, and take off. Just make sure there are no people walking in the way. Get up to speed, and if everything goes right you should lift smoothly in the air. Hopefully you will have read through the manual that came with your plane. Every radio controller is slightly different, so I cannot give you detailed instructions on that aspect of the flight. You will have to read your manual to find out how to do it well.
After the flight you need to do yet another inspection of the equipment. If it was in good shape at the beginning of the flight and the flight went by without a hitch, it is not likely to have some sort of new problem that has suddenly shown up. However, you should always investigate anyways, and save yourself some grief in the future. If you notice something wrong, you can take the plane directly home and take care of it, rather than wait until you notice it the next time you come out to fly.
Follow all of these procedures, along with any local laws or regulations that may affect your flying session. Flying is a fun hobby, and if you are able to follow all of the guidelines that I have provided, as well as any other factors that may affect you personally, then you will find it to be a very enjoyable and worthy pastime.
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