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01-15-2009 09:45 PM  9 years agoPost 1
BigHarv

rrNovice

West Linn, OR - USA

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Having recently gone through a week of heli flying lessons with a professional instructor, I'm curious as to whether other newbies have taken that route and whether they thought it was worthwhile. It helped my flying and my confidence level immensely, but then I may have been more in need of help than others. :-)

What have others found?

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01-15-2009 11:42 PM  9 years agoPost 2
FlaG8r

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Florida

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I'd be curious how much it cost and after one week what you can do now?

Life is tough, it's tougher if you're stupid

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01-16-2009 12:15 AM  9 years agoPost 3
predatorman

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Falkland Islands

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I almost took that route myself, it would have been expensive though....travel to the UK and back and accomodation and so on...and then the course itself.

No one here in the Islands was that experienced with helis, there had been a couple of folk try to fly but only to bust them up...so they were a big mystery really.

I used a couple of flight sims to learn...I was using these to help learn fixed wing and it helped a lot...once I conquered the difficult sim helis I then bought all the gear plus my first nitro heli.

The hardest thing really is the setting up of the model, I found the flying easier than the sim and had a great time getting the air time...and getting more agressive in my flying too

I would say that if you can go the buddy lead route, after some sim time too...then thats a good way. A good instructor will talk you through what you are trying to achieve. There are one or two factors in real flying that a sim wont always replicate...plus an instructor should point out the safety aspect too.....VERY important because these are not toys.

Quality takes........time!

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01-16-2009 02:55 AM  9 years agoPost 4
BigHarv

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West Linn, OR - USA

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flag8r77, it's interesting that you are in Jacksonville since the instruction I took was with Robert Barnes at Eagle Miniature Aviation in Keystone Heights, pretty near you.

Robert's standard course consists of 20 hours of training (at least 10 hours in the air) over 3-4 days for $950. He also does hourly lessons.

Of course, since I flew out there from Oregon and stayed a week at a really nice Bed and Breakfast on Hampton Lake, it cost me a bit more than that - actually a lot more than that. But I still felt it was worth the money - it was my vacation this year.

What did I learn? More than anything, after several crashes while learning on my own, I learned to be less afraid to just relax and fly. Almost no one at the RC Club I belong to flies helis so I haven't connected with a mentor. Having Robert on the buddy box allowed me to test my limits and gain some much needed confidence without worrying about destroying a heli. I got comfortable with hovering at different altitudes, moving around to hover at different locations, tail in, and side in. And got into some forward flight as well.

Bear in mind though, that I'm an older guy and not terribly coordinated or athletic. I've never played video games. I'm sure most folks would progress further than I did with the same amount of instruction and air time.

I had the opportunity to fly both of my electric helis (Trex 450 and Blade 400) and I also put a lot of time on Robert's Raptor 30 (with an OS 50). That was important because I had never flown (or even considered flying) a glow engine before. What I found was that I really enjoyed flying the larger glow heli much more than my little electrics. In fact, I now own two Raptor 50's.

As with almost everything, "your mileage may vary". I'm sure instruction isn't for everyone. But for me, it really helped enhance my enjoyment of the hobby.

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01-16-2009 04:09 AM  9 years agoPost 5
bigdog714

rrVeteran

Rochester, MN U.S.A.

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50 class electrics fly just like a nitro, and with the right set up can be more powerful. Its nice to have electrics, I can fly anyware. Its nice to hear that you trip was a successful one, the force is strong with you Luke

MD 800
Logo 600SE
Logo 14/500 Carbon
Ballistic 700
HD 500V2
Hirobo 50E
Avant 90E

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01-16-2009 11:26 AM  9 years agoPost 6
predatorman

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Falkland Islands

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Sounds a success.

I can well understand the annoyance of crashing while learning, its a credit to you that you didnt pack the hobby in!

I bet there is a lot to be learned from an instructor, I would have readily accepted help when I first started out...but there was non to be had. I did find that internet forums such as this were a big help though...usually in mechanical terms...not the actual flying progress.

I like the Trex 450, mine copes well in a breeze. The added bonus is that its not large enough to be taken as a threat....so I get to fly mine where flying my gasser would require permission to do so.
Being electric its nice and quiet too. Sounds like a mini turbine

The Nitros are good helis, usually, the biggest thing to get over is tuning the carb. Once set they run like clockwork, save for a click or two on the main needle depending on the days temperature.

Quality takes........time!

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01-16-2009 01:06 PM  9 years agoPost 7
adarsh_007

rrApprentice

Bangalore, India

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Classic Example
I'm from India and am flying planks since 12 years or so and got into helis say 5 years back.

In the intial stages my learning curve was pretty good (thanks to the realflight G2 simulator) i got over hovering in all directions and orientations and FF flights. I even practiced basic aerobatics like 540s, loops, rolls and after sufficients practice on the sim, i was able to do some good and low inverted hovering and slowly moving the heli too and also couple of flips. But after this I was stuck, there was no one here to tell or teach me more stuff.

Hence, i thought i should take some professional lessons from professionals. So I travelled to London and did 14 hours with Dave Fisher ( http://www.flyinfish.co.uk ) and from there i travelled to USA LA and did some 12 hours with Todd Bennett ( http://www.freestyle3d.com ). Also I couple of hours with Jason Bell (Team Pilot Avant Aurora).

These flying hours was worth every penny i spend, Now i fly with more confidence and my flying is smoothened out and looks more gracious not to mention the other 3d stuff these guys taught me like funnels, inverted circuits, moving flips, piro manuevers and many more.

My personal opinion is if you have the time and the money, you SHOULD get these professional guys hook you up on the buddy box and train you.

I guess for you guys (US & UK), its more practical to just travel few hundered miles and get trained. Imagine me, i travelled 1000s of miles and my visit to these countries was exclusively for learning to fly helis better.

Dave, Todd & Jason; Thanks so much.

Regards,

Adarsh
http://www.adarsh007.com

Straight & Level Flying Prohibited

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01-16-2009 01:16 PM  9 years agoPost 8
T-Rex-Flyer

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Panama City, Fl

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BigHarv - Congratulation, Sounds like you have had a very successful and rewarding experience.

If the wings are traveling faster than the fuselage, it's probably a helicopter.

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01-16-2009 01:25 PM  9 years agoPost 9
BarracudaHockey

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Jacksonville FL

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Interesting. I've lived here since 93 and never heard of the guy.

Andy
AMA 77227
http://www.jaxrc.com

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01-16-2009 01:30 PM  9 years agoPost 10
FlaG8r

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Florida

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I am now offering instruction for only $750 for 3 days!!!

Life is tough, it's tougher if you're stupid

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01-16-2009 01:58 PM  9 years agoPost 11
Dood

rrProfessor

Wescanson

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So for $950, what all did you get from it? It seems pretty pricey. I had a look at this guys website. Was this the whole package or was there more?


"This course will include: Helicopter setup, engine tuning, flight trimming, restricted hovering, side-to-side hovering, multi position hovering, altitude hovering 25-50 fL, controlled hover flight, tail-in recovery, power up recovery, and altitude recovery 25-50 feet."
What have others found?
What I have found, is that there are a lot of guys in this hobby that would have been more than happy to beat that guys price by about $950.

All you have to do is ask.

  ▲
▲ ▲

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01-16-2009 07:03 PM  9 years agoPost 12
jaxrotor

rrKey Veteran

Jacksonville FL

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Justin..you owe me alot of money!!!!

I to havent heard of this guy. I have heard of some heli flyers in Keystone Hieghts and a couple of them have flown with us.

Dang there are alot of guys that owe me. And some that I owe too.

http://www.jaxrc.com

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01-16-2009 07:27 PM  9 years agoPost 13
BarracudaHockey

rrMaster

Jacksonville FL

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I think this was the guy at the Orlando fly in with the mobile junk shop at the north end of the runway. Selling a bunch of Concepts and Ergos and such.

Andy
AMA 77227
http://www.jaxrc.com

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01-17-2009 12:06 AM  9 years agoPost 14
BigHarv

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West Linn, OR - USA

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Jaxrotor and Barracuda, not sure if Robert is the guy you're thinking of. I don't know that he ever sells equipment although he does build and repair. I do know he used to use Concepts for training.

He's a big guy and has a large white trailer filled with planks and helis. He used to teach out at the Keystone Heights airport but when the club went AMA he moved to a private field.

I will say that he really takes teaching seriously. With every flight he carefully analyzes what is going right and what is going wrong and then comes up on the fly with specific exercises to address the weak spots. He was also very encouraging and supportive no matter how badly I was screwing up.

BTW, as the founder and former CEO of a major, national web development firm, please trust me when I tell you that the quality of someone's website has absolutely nothing to do with the quality of the product or service they provide. I wasn't very impressed with Robert's marketing efforts, but when I talked with him on the phone and called some of his past students, I was pretty confident that I would get my money's worth.

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01-17-2009 05:35 AM  9 years agoPost 15
GMPCOBRA

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oregon

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hay big harv what field do you fly at right now i live in molalla and am learning mysels currently flying at the molalla rc field but there are a group of guys flying at t-6 tomarrow if you want to come out and fly with us. some verry good pilots and some beginners so a large range of talent i think.
cobra

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01-18-2009 02:31 AM  9 years agoPost 16
BigHarv

rrNovice

West Linn, OR - USA

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GMPCobra,

I mostly hover in my office parking lot or occasionally at Mary S Young Park in West Linn (huge field when there are no soccer games going on). I belong to Barnstormers and sometimes go down to their field in Canby but there is very little heli activity there and I'm not comfortable getting in the way of the planes until I'm really comfortable with circuits more than 20' off the deck.

I've been down to the Molalla field and I like it and the club a lot. I plan to look into membership if they have spots open. It seems that most of the guys that hang around Coyote Hobby (where I seem to spend half my life) fly down there.

I'm working at SeaTac tomorrow (Sunday) but if the weather is decent I may try to make it out there next weekend. My new Raptor 50 should be flyable by then.

Thanks for the note.

Harv

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01-18-2009 08:09 AM  9 years agoPost 17
GMPCOBRA

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oregon

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hay big harv ya i know the guys at cyote hobbies and thay are there every sunday but there is not alot of activity on saturday out here and the guys out here are great i have heard many clubs try to discurage heli pilots but have never had that happen here well except for one of the oaner of cyote talking sack once but he has helis to so think he was joking. anyway i go out there every sundy for a bit in the morning and watch the big planes fly but will start flying my heli out there on saturdays when the field is not being used. at most i have seen 3 people out there on saturday and the cyote guys have membership forms.
chris

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01-18-2009 02:45 PM  9 years agoPost 18
BigHarv

rrNovice

West Linn, OR - USA

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GMPCobra,

That's good to know. I've only been out there on Sunday's. I'll definitely head out some nice Saturday soon. And I'm sure Russ must have been kidding about helis. Although he certainly favors planes, he makes too much money off of us guys breaking our helis to want to discourage them anywhere. :-)

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01-19-2009 09:31 PM  9 years agoPost 19
mferraz

rrNovice

Houston, TX

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Instructor
I've been working with Paul Rhodes from Rhodes R/C Heli Services, here in Houston. I've spent quite a bit of money with him, so I can tell you it's not the cheapest way to go, but it's better than repairing lots of helis, takes less time (well it's more on my schedule, let's put it that way), and cheaper than getting golf or tennis lessons.

That being said, I have gone from nothing to 360 degree hover, nose in, large and fast circuits, figure 8's, slow and low figure 8's, some loops and rolls, in about 4 months. I've also learned quite a bit about how to build and maintain my helis.

I started with a little MCX and RF4.5. Today I have a TREX 500, 2x TREX 600, and a TREX 700, so I've spent a bunch of money on this overall, but it's something I really wanted to do, and I'm really enjoying it.

Now that I can fly, I'm slowly seeing less and less of Paul (and the buddy-box), but when I want to try something new, or have someone there to push me outside of my comfort zone, he is extremely helpful...

Hope that helps, if you can find a good one... Once you can fly, you will never stop. You might take breaks, but you will always return to the hobby. Good luck!

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01-19-2009 10:34 PM  9 years agoPost 20
30636086

rrKey Veteran

Tacoma, WA

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What I have found, is that there are a lot of guys in this hobby that would have been more than happy to beat that guys price by about $950.

All you have to do is ask.
That's the truth!!! There are plenty guys that have the knowledge and experience and more than happy to help out. But that was what you choose to do and you learned and happy with it, its a good thing too. Congrats and have fun.

I dont suffer from mental iIlness, I actually enjoy mine!

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