At WARMS we run a fixed-wing training programme to get new flyers solo as soon as possible.
Tuition is free and covers the following :
- an understanding of the model, its physical and aerodynamic structure, actions of control surfaces and its mechanical integrity and safety.
- safe operating procedures for the model, the radio control equipment, and the club and field where you are flying.
- the ability to take-off (relatively easy), control the model in the air (a bit harder), and land it safely (the hardest bit of flight training).
Your first flights will involve the instructor taking off and landing while you concentrate on learning the controls and gaining experience with orienting the aircraft. After this you will learn to fly basic rectangular circuits. Once proficient at circuits we start to fly low passes in the preparation for landing approaches. By then you will find taking off quite easy and will be left with the hardest task - landings!
Solo flight is achieved when you can demonstrate taking off, flying circuits and landing in a consistent safe manner.
After going solo you may wish to achieve a formal qualification in the form of "wings". Bronze (for flying models < 2kg) and silver (models 2kg and higher). Bronze/Silver wings are consider a minimal standard by the MAAA and provide a national recognition of competency that allows you to fly as a guest in most clubs within Australia. We don't require wings for members of WARMS but we do encourage it.
On achieving your first wings you may also wish to gain Gold wings which demonstrates competency at entry level aerobatics. After this you are eligible to apply for training as an instructor.
Checklists for wings examinations can be downloaded from the MAAA Forms Page
Our qualified instruction team currently includes:
- Ricardo (Rico) Renton - Chief Flying Instructor
- David Quin-Conroy - Assistant Instructor
- Alastair Waddell - AssistantInstructor
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I need my own plane to learn to fly?
No, the club has a small fleet of trainer aircraft and radio equipment for use by the club instructors. In fact we recommend you not purchase anything to start with. You will soon become aware of what equipment is recommended based on your experience level and interests.
We do suggest that by the time you are ready for landings that you have your own plane to fly.
But won't I crash the plane a lot to start with?
We use the "buddy box" system that gives both the instructor and student a controller. The instructor can give and take back control of the aircraft as required. Sometimes accidents do happen but that is all part of the hobby!
What should I buy for my first plane?
That is difficult to say because needs and interest do differ, how as a general guideline:
- A plane that is "high wing" and designated as a trainer. Leave that EDF jet or Spitfire for later on.
- Something with at least a 1500 mm wingspan so that it is easier to see
- A balsa aircraft is generally heavier than an equivalent sized foam model and is easier to fly in windy conditions
- Examples include the Boomerang 40, Boomerang 60 and Eflite Apprentice
There are often second hand and reconditioned models for sale by our chief instructor so do ask about this option.
Can I get help to put together or repair my plane?
Our chief instructor runs a regular build night on Wednesday nights at his home in Munster. This is a great opportunity to learn how to assemble a plane and learn skills in traditional modelling that are invaluable for doing repairs. Talk to Rico for the address and times.
How long will it take to go solo?
This will depend on ability and most importantly the number of hours of practice. Generally, younger folk take less time as they develop 'muscle memory' more quickly. As you get older it takes a bit more time for it to sink in but usually will with a lot of practice.
Unfortunately time with an instructor is limited based on availability, number of students and weather conditions. A good way to speed up the process is to practice with a simulator. These are available at RC hobby shops and we also have a simulator equipment at the club which is available most Saturdays or by prior arrangement.
Can I only be trained by a flyer with an instructor rating?
Only an instructor is qualified to award wings however any competent flyer can help you with instruction if they are willing and can provide equipment (or you provide your own).