New Pilots Flight Training Guide
Safety is always our greatest concern. Please be mindful of these safety guidelines. We don't want anyone getting hurt.
Flying Area - No flying at less than launch altitude over the parking area, the launch area and Wilson Park.
Frequency Control - Dont turn on your transmitter without the frequency pin. You are responsible for a shot down plane and any damage you cause.
Landing Area - The main landing area is the mowed area east of the winch pads. Dont walk in front of another pilot whos on final. Planes on final have right of way.
Winch & Retriever - You are welcome to use the club's equipment. However, do not operate either the winch or retriever until you have received proper training.Ground Hazards - Beware of the holes made by our indigenous burrowing wildlife.
Aerobatics - All high speed and aerobatic flights are confined to the area of tall weeds north and east of the mowed area.Preflight
Range and Battery Check - Test the range of your transmitter and receiver. Check the condition of your batteries.
Controls - Make sure all servos are working and that control surfaces are responding in the correct direction.Launching
Launch Tension - Learn how much tension your plane needs by using a high start. This will be useful when you start using the winches.
Control - First learn to control your plane on launch while your instructor "taps" the winch for you.
Winch - Second learn to tap the winch while your instructor controls your plane.
Solo Launch - Combine what youve learned and launch on your own.Flying
Straight Line - You should first become proficient at controlling you plane when its flying straight and level. Its highly unlikely youll be able to do much with all the dynamics involved in thermaling until youre able to control your plane in straight and level flight. Flying straight and level is essential to maximize your air time as you search for your next thermal.
Reversed Control - Your responses should be automatic when you plane is flying toward you. Remember that half of the time when thermaling and all of the time when landing you are flying reversed.
Figure Eights - Figure eights are a good way to test your abilities at controlling you plane while turning.Landing
Landing Zone - Plan your approach and landing in the landing area east of the launch pads.
Wind Direction - Constantly be aware of the prevailing wind direction.
Face Downwind - Turn until you can feel the wind directly at your back.
Position - Place your plane in the sky directly downwind from you.
Straight In - Fly your plane slightly to one side of you on final. Fly beyond you if necessary to land. Dont make any abrupt turns once you are on final. A walk is always better than a crash.Thermaling
Detection - Lift is most easily detected when your plane is flying straight and level. Watch your plane in relation to the horizon. A change in the flying attitude is an indication of a disturbance in the air. It could be either sink or lift. Think of a thermal as an invisible bubble of rising air. When the plane begins to rise, indicating a thermal, continue flying straight for another second or two, to get to the center (core). Then begin a series of smooth flat circles. Watch your plane carefully and continually adjust your circle to the location of the strongest lift. While searching for thermals, one thing to remember is that is unlikely you'll find lift in an area that produced nothing on your first pass. Don't bother flying through the same "dead" air twice.Mark the Spot - As you begin your first turn, glance at the horizon and find a landmark. Make a mental note of your position relative to the horizon. This is the area in the sky youll want to return to in the event you fly away from the thermal.
Drift - Allow your plane to drift with the prevailing wind direction to maintain your position in the thermal.
Repeat - After you've reached a comfortable altitude fly upwind in search of another thermal and do it all again. Resist the temptation to "speck out". Loss of visibility is a sure way to lose your plane. A better challenge is to descend to launch altitude and hook up again. Catch and release.
Help - SVSS has designated flight instructors to help you learn the art of motorless flight. Just give them a call. More often than not, you'll also find someone at the field who's willing to help you. All ya gotta do is ask.