Flying RC aircraft is a great way to spend some fun time. And as a hobby, this activity has seen substantial growth since the 2000s. If you are interested in flying RC planes and considering taking up flying radio-controlled planes as a hobby, questions like “Are RC planes hard to fly?” might come to your mind. And I’m here to help you out with that.
As a whole, RC planes are not hard to fly. The most difficulty to be found when learning to fly an RC plane is learning how the transmitter works and learning the laws and regulations that are involved to fly an RC plane in a correct manner. For beginners, a “Trainer” RC plane is ideal. These RC planes have technologies added to them to make flying easier and lower the chance of crashing.
In this guide, I will talk about how difficult it is to learn to pilot RC aircrafts. I will also share some tips for beginner pilots regarding these planes. If you are new to this hobby, learning these will help you to get started. So, without further ado, let’s jump right into it!
How Difficult Is It to Learn to Pilot RC Planes?
The idea of learning to pilot an RC plane can seem quite daunting, I assure you that it isnt that bad.
In general, learning to pilot an RC plane can be easy. With a few hours of practice, you will know the basics of flying an RC plane and feel confident when flying. Dont let the thought of crashing intimidate you. Familiarizing yourself with the manual that the RC plane comes with, a suitable place to fly and knowing which pre-flight checks to do before each flight are all major factors in learning to pilot an RC plane.
When you think about how hard it is to learn to pilot an RC (Radio Controlled) aircraft, it is not difficult at all. In fact, if you are focused enough, you will notice immense improvements in your piloting skills on your first day with just a few hours of practice.
If you are serious enough with learning a new skill and put in some effort, you can become an outstanding pilot within a month and an expert after your first year in flying RC planes. That’s pretty fast, isn’t it!
As far as learning to fly RC planes is concerned, the most difficulty you will face while learning about the transmitters, the rules, and regulations of flying such aircraft and ultimately complying with them to conduct your flights as a law-abiding RC pilot.
Apart from that, learning how to fly RC planes is pretty easy. However, in order to get good, you will need to practice a lot. Even if you keep crashing a lot or not feeling comfortable with a certain aircraft, don’t give up on this hobby. Keep trying to improve your piloting skills. Eventually, you will become a very good RC flyer.
Tips For Beginner RC Pilots
I know the feeling very well when something new piques your interest. You want to learn as much as you can so that you feel confident that you are ready to do this. That’s why I’ve shared some tips that can help you get started with flying RC aircraft.
Below, I’ve shared some tips that can be a starting point for beginner RC flyers. Lets have a look at them.
Start With the Right Kind of RC Plane
RC planes come in countless numbers of models. As a beginner, you can’t just pick one randomly and start flying.
For instance, if you choose scaled-down models of aircraft like an F-16 or Spitfire, these are not suitable for beginners. Such aircraft are really fast, way beyond the capability of new RC flyers. Not to mention they are very difficult to control. Even the most experienced RC pilots find it difficult to fly these aircraft from time to time.
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To learn to fly a radio-controlled plane from scratch, trainer RC aircraft are your best bet. These planes are inherently stable. And you can find lots of such planes in the market. Some of them are equipped with advanced technologies that prevent these aircraft from crashing. As a result, you can improve your piloting skills very quickly and move on to more advanced RC planes.
Find A Suitable Place To Fly
When it comes to flying radio-controlled planes, location is a big factor you need to consider. While you can fly RC aircraft in some residential areas, it is not recommended to do so. Ideally, it is best if you can find an RC airplane club near you with a large open field dedicated to flying radio-controlled planes.
If you don’t have an RC plane club and field near you, you can fly your aircraft on private lands that you or your friend/family member owns. Or you can conduct the flight in public areas like a park where there are clear laws in place permitting flying RC planes.
One thing to mention here, when you are flying your plane in a public space, stay away from other flyers as much as possible. Most RC pilots use the 2.4 GHz frequency for controlling the plane. And if two nearby flyers are using the same frequency, one’s signal can interfere with the other flyer’s frequency. And this can lead to crashing your plane in the worst-case scenario.
Also, be sure to comply with every federal and residential law regarding flying such planes. Otherwise, you will find yourself facing a whole lot of legal trouble.
Whatever place you select for flying your RC plane, make sure that it is a flat and large open field free of people and obstacles such as buildings or trees. The more space you have, the better. You will be really surprised at how fast an RC airplane can move through the air when you fly it for the first time.
Read The Manual Carefully
Reading your RC plane’s manufacturer-provided manual might sound boring, but it is very important. This manual contains all the information regarding the setup, assembly, and operation of your aircraft. What you might think is unnecessary can have a significant effect on your airplane’s performance.
For example, if you don’t secure your aircraft’s battery according to the instructions provided in the manual, this can result in displacing your RC plane’s center of gravity beyond the acceptable limit. And because of that, your plane will become uncontrollable. You can also check out my detailed guide about finding the center of gravity of RC planes for more information.
Take your time and go through the manual carefully. This will help you to avoid silly mistakes and prevent your plane from crashing.
Perform Pre-Flight Checks Before Every Flight
This advice is not only for beginner flyers but for all RC pilots no matter how much experience you have. Make sure all the components in your aircraft are how they should be before conducting a flight. This will ensure your RC plane won’t fall apart in mid-air.
As for performing a pre-flight check, you will need to do the following:
- Make sure the battery is fully charged and secured.
- Check the control surfaces for any damage or dirt buildup. If you find anything sticking to the control surfaces, clean it properly.
- Ensure all the servos and controls are secure and responding correctly.
- Tighten the spinner nuts and the propeller.
- The motor (or internal combustion engine depending on what type of power source you are using) is fully functional and not making any strange noises.
- Step around thirty to thirty-five paces away from your aircraft and check whether the battery and transmitter work or not. If not, do not take your RC plane airborne.
- Check the wind to find out if the environment is suitable for a flight or not. If it is too dangerous, do not fly your plane.
Don’t Get Discouraged From Crashes
“Fly, Crash, Repair, Repeat”, these four words pretty much sums up the entire RC aircraft flying experience. Even if you are an experienced pilot, you will crash your plane sometimes. This happens to everyone. But don’t let these incidents dishearten you.
Take every crash as a lesson. Try to find out what caused it so that you won’t make the same mistake again in the future.
Be Sure To Have Fun
For beginners, learning how to fly an RC plane can be very stressful. That’s because they are constantly trying to avoid crashing the plane. But if you don’t have fun doing your pastime activity, then what’s the point of doing it at all?
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Don’t stress about the thought of crashing your plane. Try to have some fun. Think of the crashes as an opportunity to learn some useful repair skills. And keep in mind, the more relaxed you are, the faster you will be able to learn.
Piloting an RC plane for the first time is a nerve-racking experience. So, don’t panic if your heart starts pounding like crazy during your first flight. Take your time, try to relax, and practice at your own pace. Follow the tips I’ve shared in this article and you will become a great RC pilot in no time.
Hopefully, through this article “Are RC planes hard to fly?” I was of some help to you. Thanks for reading the article till the end. Fly safe and have a great time!