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HomeAircraftHelicopterMain Discussion › Sponsored pilots, can they be trusted?
01-25-2012 02:52 AM  6 years agoPost 21
dkshema

rrMaster

Cedar Rapids, IA

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So do you trust what a sponsored pilot says or "wears on his shirt" as being a good product?
Keep in mind he may fly for Brand X today, and Brand Y tomorrow. Does that mean Y is better than X? No, it may mean he got a sweeter deal, or might just be tired of pimping Brand X. Take a look back in time, these guys have flown for all the big names, just at different times.

It would be nice to have the skills of a sponsored pilot and essentially be able to fly any of the "top" brands any time you decide to make a change, and have some of the costs covered for you.

Besides, the majority of those sponsored pilots could make ANY heli look great in the air.

-----
Dave

* Making the World Better -- One Helicopter at a time! *

Team Heliproz

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01-25-2012 04:20 AM  6 years agoPost 22
Bikman

rrApprentice

msn

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if you work for Pepsi then it's better than Coke...
NO, I don't trust sponsored pilots, have never heard any complaint of their stuff.

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01-25-2012 08:24 AM  6 years agoPost 23
Wave

rrKey Veteran

Illinois

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It's the guys who have been around for a long time who you can really trust to tell you the truth.
....or maybe they are simply very good at kissing ass, and ego fluffing.

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01-25-2012 08:46 AM  6 years agoPost 24
3dgimble

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Rochester

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Straight answer would be; no I don't trust sponsored pilots. They are their for the companies best interest. Plenty of time they have led us a stray, for instance products such as Align 3G, Voltz lipos, CGY 750 when it just came out. Just like stars, sponsored pilots will say anything to sell products, Just because Tareq and Bert tested the Goblin does not mean it is any good.

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01-25-2012 12:39 PM  6 years agoPost 25
Noobyflyer

rrVeteran

Clearwater, FL

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I don't trust anyone period

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01-25-2012 02:05 PM  6 years agoPost 26
Bob Wales (RIP)

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Lebanon CT

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Fly what you want to fly and make your own judgements as far as to what is good and works for you.

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01-25-2012 02:13 PM  6 years agoPost 27
Nycatt

rrElite Veteran

New York

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Fly what you want to fly and make your own judgements as far as to what is good and works for you.
Very well said Bob.

Some sponsored and WANNABE sponsored pilots feel that because a heli, component or accessory works for them, it's the best. Everyone has their own views, feel and opinions to what works FOR THEM. And the best part is when you tell them, they have a hissy fit (spoken from personal experience). It's ok to ask questions and decide from the anwsers you receive, but don't listen to anyone except for yourself.....And the Mrs. ...well sometimes




Team Synergy
Rail Blades
MKS Servos
Thunder Power
Vteam

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01-25-2012 02:30 PM  6 years agoPost 28
bkervaski

rrElite Veteran

Birmingham, AL, USA

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I think most misunderstand how sponsorships actually work.

High profile pros aside, most field reps get varying levels of discounts on the products they represent, but still have to pay out of pocket for their gear. At most, it offsets the cost of traveling to events, which is more or less required. The money still flows one direction, out of our pockets and into the hobby.

There are very few full ride sponsored pilots, you could probably count them on one hand.

Most field reps (team pilots) I know really do love the gear they represent, which is why they were chosen as field reps to begin with. They've demonstrated expertise, a certain amount of professionalism, and excitement about a product.

Everybody should do their own research and draw their own conclusions but should feel comfortable relying on field reps and team pilots for hep and expertise on the products they represent.

Cheer leading aside, most know their stuff.

Team Synergy Factory Specialist / Scorpion / Thunder Power / Byron's Fuels

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01-25-2012 02:32 PM  6 years agoPost 29
Zaneman007

rrElite Veteran

Texas - USA

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No Faith, but don't discount
No Faith

Don't trust sponsored pilots to help with purchase decisions, period.

I got burned at a LHS by a sponsored pilot. Shortly, thereafter, (By thereafter meaning he was no longer sponsored) he admitted that he was just "selling" me.

I've also seen "sponsored pilots" fly one product and sell another. They just can't do it at fun-flys. To directly quote a sponsored pilot who posts on here a lot, "you caught me."

These guys get substantial discounts to "sell" a.k.a "push" a product.

Don't Discount

On the other hand, if you've already made the purchase. These are the "go to guys". They will help you. Look them up, call them, talk to them. Their names and phone numbers are posted by their sponsors.

Old Guys Rule!

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01-25-2012 02:40 PM  6 years agoPost 30
bkervaski

rrElite Veteran

Birmingham, AL, USA

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Don't trust sponsored pilots to help with purchase decisions, period.
I completely disagree with this.

(Zaneman007, sorry you had a bad experience with a rep, but guys like this are the exception, not the rule)

If you're new or uncertain absolutely trust a field rep to help with your purchase decisions because:

1) That's what we're here for
2) We want you to build a safe, reliable machine
3) You're going to need help, and if you buy something we're unfamiliar with it gets difficult and frustrating (we want to fly our helis too, not spend our Saturday's working on your stuff)
4) We generally have tried a lot of different things and know what works
5) We want you to have fun

Team Synergy Factory Specialist / Scorpion / Thunder Power / Byron's Fuels

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01-25-2012 02:57 PM  6 years agoPost 31
WannaBe4D

rrApprentice

AL-A-BAMA

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Maybe it's because I'm fairly new to this hobby (about 2 years), but I've always seen sponsored pilots kind of like a car salesman. When they're at your field, they're there endorsing/sponsoring their product. Do they have excellent flight skills? Absolutely. Are they usually a boat load of knowledge? Usually. Are they "fair and balanced?" The good ones are, some are not, and it's hard for me to tell the difference sometimes.

Bottom line is, I'll trust the "RR communities" opinion about a new product more than I'll trust a sponsored pilot. The main reasons have been well detailed in earlier posts in the thread. Good luck!

Most of the time, I can be seen having more ambition than skill.

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01-25-2012 02:59 PM  6 years agoPost 32
jadams

rrKey Veteran

East coast USA

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Most sponsored guys I meet are great guys and I judge the equipment they fly on its own merits. It is really unfair to lump "all" sponsored pilots into your one bad experience. Not everyone is bad and their dedication to this hobby only benefits us in the end.

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01-25-2012 03:04 PM  6 years agoPost 33
BisonFlyer

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Winter Garden, FL

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I got burned at a LHS by a sponsored pilot. Shortly, thereafter, (By thereafter meaning he was no longer sponsored) he admitted that he was just "selling" me.
I've seen that happen too and its ridiculous. Normally its some new rep who suddenly thinks he's a big shot and doesn't really understand what being a rep or sponsored pilot means. Most sponsored guys don't do that, but of course there are a$$holes everywhere in the world, haha. The guy who did that is just someone who cant be trusted... period... regardless of whether or not they are "sponsored".

I've never recommended a product to anyone that I didn't think they'd actually benefit from flying. I've even told many people specifically not to fly a certain product that I flew because I knew it wouldn't be right for them and their skill level/experience. Most reps/sponsored pilots are really good guys that go out of there way to help other pilots in the hobby.

I got a ton of help from a few sponsored pilots when I was getting into 3d flight, and none of them ever tried to sell me anything. I personally go out of my way to help other pilots, regardless of whether or not what they fly happens to be made by a company I am fortunate enough to be sponsored by.

Art Hughes
SAB Heli Division~Byron Fuels~Mikado V-Team~Scorpion~Pulse~Xpert Servo~Kontronik Drives

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01-25-2012 03:17 PM  6 years agoPost 34
Zaneman007

rrElite Veteran

Texas - USA

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I completely disagree with this.
Bkervaski,
I see that we totally disagree on the same thing. That is exactly what I would have said to you, verbatim. We must think....somewhat... alike. I love it.

My point being that a Synergy rep will sell you a Synergy, a Thunder Tiger rep will sell you a Raptor, a Miniture Aircraft rep will sell you a...... Must I go on.

On the other hand, Fly what is at your field. If everyone is flying Synergy, go for it. You'll get more help and assistance than if you go against the grain and purchase... say a Logo.

We have a Synergy rep at our field, great guy. I cannot say enough about him. He is extremely knowledgeable, experienced, friendly, easy going and helpful.

It's not about people. It's about taking advice with a grain of salt.

P.S. Your sponsor needs to figure out the whole torque tube thing.

Old Guys Rule!

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01-25-2012 03:28 PM  6 years agoPost 35
unclejane

rrElite Veteran

santa fe, NM, USA

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I would say, just be sure and understand the phenomenon. What a sponsored pilot is going to give you is a mix of objective and subjective information about the equipment they fly. The only trick is to be able to pick these apart.

I.e. the pilot may choose a particular FBL unit because, say, a) it's very reliable in a high vibe environment and b) it makes the heli fly in a way they prefer. Well, a) is probably a decent piece of objective information and b) is more likely a more subjective preference.

This isn't just a phenomenon of helis, but of a lot of other products that have both objective and subjective appeals (i.e. "signature model" musical instruments are notorious for this).

So basically, you just have to be careful about what info you're using to base your buying decisions on. How objective is evaluation X? or is evaluation X just a matter of personal preference? If X is a matter of personal preference, does it jive with _your_ preferences? And so on.

I doubt there's a conspiracy among sponsored pilots to push bad wares on the heli market unawares - but I'm pretty sure there're a lot of folks out there who don't yet know what they want or need and aren't yet skilled in figuring that out.

That's ok, but it is what it is - it's just part of getting up to speed in the hobby.

LS

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01-25-2012 03:59 PM  6 years agoPost 36
nwmtech

rrApprentice

Bellingham, WA

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A good field rep is there for support when it's needed. He's there to answer technical questions and should be educated enough to help trouble shoot problems if and when they arise. He's there to provide feedback on production issues back to the manufacturer if issues come up. Nothing worse than a guy at the field promoting a brand who doesn't know his ass from a hole in the ground when it comes to technical stuff.

Past that, he should market himself ONLY enough to where people know who he is and how to get a hold of him if they need it. There's nothing worse then a guy out there shoving his brand down everyone's throat and making them feel like their helicopters are sub-par if they're not flying his brand. I have personally NOT bought certain brands in the past because of individuals and I also HAVE bought brands in the past because of an individuals.

As a rep you should "sell" with honesty. A heli doesn't have to be perfect out of the box to be an awesome heli. But a good rep can help the average customer make it one!

Team pilots tend to be a bit different. They're the ones out there to "sell". Fly the tar out of the heli, smile, shake hands, wow the crowd, and promote the brand.

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HomeAircraftHelicopterMain Discussion › Sponsored pilots, can they be trusted?
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