Flight Training Program
One of the most significant benefits of membership in the Denver R/C Eagles for new pilots is free flight training from qualified instructors. If you are a new pilot we encourage you to get in touch with our Chief Flight Instructor as soon as possible. He will assign an instructor to you. Your instructor can help you with recommendations on what equipment to purchase as you get into the hobby, tips on assembly and setup of your flight trainer, as well as provide flight training at Suhaka Field. You can also show up at the field and meet with any members present to ask questions about getting started in the hobby. The bottom line is that we want you to become a successful pilot and actively participate as a member of the Denver R/C Eagles Club. Learning to fly is a critical stage that you will pass through successfully if you have a good instructor. Without a good instructor, it is far more difficult and frustrating.
You can get started in this hobby for about $300. Before you make this investment, you can schedule an introductory flight with an instructor and the club’s trainer airplane. After one or two flights, you can then decide if this hobby is for you and buy your own trainer airplane. The general recommendation for a trainer is an electric-powered high wing airplane, tricycle landing gear, “full house” controls (the basic four channels of throttle, elevator, rudder and ailerons), and a Spektrum transmitter that is “buddy-box-compatible”. Size is important, larger planes are easier to fly. We recommend a wingspan of 45 inches or greater. The larger planes are not only easier to fly but less susceptible to upset by the wind. The best trainer package on the market right now appears to be the E-flight Apprentice S15e. This 59 inch wingspan plane comes ready to fly with everything you will need, including a buddy-box-compatible Spectrum transmitter, for about $300. It is made of “Z-foam” which is easy to repair, and spare parts are readily available. Even with good instruction, airplane crashes are an inevitable part of the learning process; therefore you will want an airplane that can easily be repaired.
If you are a beginner pilot we do not recommend you invest in an advanced plane until you develop basic flying skills with a basic trainer. Flying an advanced aerobatic or warbird-type aircraft requires much skill and practice. Without that skill and practice, you will very likely crash and destroy that beautiful aircraft and become discouraged. It is far better to take the hobby one step at a time, with the guidance of an experienced instructor. The joy of learning to fly a basic trainer like the Apprentice is highly rewarding.
If you purchase a trainer like the Apprentice and a modern 2.4 GHz “Spread Spectrum Technology” transmitter, you will avoid having any frequency conflict issues between your transmitter and other planes at the field. However, if you are using a 72 MHz transmitter, it is necessary to utilize the frequency control board at the field to insure that turning on your transmitter does not affect another plane at the field.
The Denver R/C Eagles requires that all its members and any visiting pilots obtain and display proof of current membership with the Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA). You can obtain an AMA membership in minutes at their website:
AMA Membership provides a series of benefits to pilots of radio-controlled airplanes. These include up to $2.5 million of personal liability insurance coverage, $25,000 of medical insurance, and $1,000 of fire, theft, and vandalism insurance coverage. This insurance not only protects the individual pilot, but it also protects the club in the event of a serious accident. In addition, AMA members receive the Model Aviation monthly magazine, access to members only sections of the AMA website, and the ability to fly at thousands of AMA chartered club sites with appropriate club membership. The AMA actively lobbies on behalf of the RC hobby with Congress and agencies of the Federal Government (such as the FAA) to insure that the rights and privileges we enjoy as hobby pilot are protected.
The FAA considers model airplanes, drones and helicopters as small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS). The owners of these aircraft must register with the FAA and place their registration number on their aircraft. Additional registration details can be found on the Denver R/C Eagles home page.
Chief Flight Instructor