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Flight Instruction for Novice Pilots

The club has an active training program to encourage newcomers to the sport of radio control flying. Training is given under the guidance of Kerry Eisenbach, who is Chief Instructor. There are two levels of instruction:

Introductory Pilot Program

This program is designed to introduce non-members without AMA membership to aeromodeling. AMA membership normally provides liability insurance. Under the Introductory Pilot Program, the following instructors are listed with the AMA and are authorized (and insured) to supervise non-AMA members.
Kerry Eisenbach (Chief Instructor)
Ron Sorg
Bob Freukes, Jr.

Instruction for Club Members with AMA membership

The following are listed as instructors at St Louis RC
Ron Colatskie
Skip Delius
Kerry Eisenbach (Chief Instructor)
Bob Freukes, Jr.
Len Grosso
Tony Salt
Bob Scheppele
Ron Sorg
Joe Thompson

Please note that instructors are not paid for their services and sometimes like to fly their own planes too. Please don't demand an instructor's full-time attention for the entire day. On the other hand, don't be too timid. Make sure the instructor knows you are "ready and waiting" and are not there just to watch!

Students should understand that the instructor should not and can not be held responsible for damages resulting to the student's airplane or property or other people's property as a result of this instruction. Circumstances may arise that are unpreventable. Your instructor will do his best to guide you through the teaching process. However, it is not possible for your instructor to control all unforseen possibilities. This document is intended as only a guide and is not offered to be the definitive manual for flight training. Under NO circumstances should a student attempt flying without the assistance of an instructor. In the event a listed Club Instructor is not present at the field, new members are encouraged to ask any club member for assistance. Do not make the mistake of flying without assistance.

In order to qualify for SLRCFA Solo Certificate and Solo Pin, all beginning pilots must be approved by any of the Instructors listed above. Chief Instructor, Kerry Eisenbach, shall verify the final Solo.


Ground School

1. RC safety instructions
a. Instruction and familiarization with AMA safety rules and St Louis RC flying field rules.
b. Proper engine starting
c. Proper radio check
d. Use of transmitter impound stand and frequency control board
e. Familiarization with field flying boundaries and pit area
f. Instruction on the use of voice signals on takeoff, landing, deadstick, low passes and touch-and-go. (see below)
2. Basic explanation of airplane aerodynamic principles (how control surfaces affect flight).
3. Explanation of transmitter controls and how they relate to airplane movement.
a. How to trim an airplane for level flight (use of trim tabs).
4. RC airplane safety inspection
a. Engine and prop mounting
b. Aircraft balancing and trimming
c. Control surfaces structurally sound and properly functioning
d. Radio installation and range check
e.Proper installation of landing gear
f. Check general aircraft flying surfaces for air worthiness
5. Engine adjustments (setting high end and low end throttle adjustments and trim tab kill adjustment for engine)

Flight School

1. Instructor should test fly and trim airplane prior to allowing student any access to airplane
a. Use of a buddy cord is hightly recommended
2. Instructor should ensure that the student become proficient in the following areas:
a. Ground control - taxi in a straight line
b. Level flight with level right and left hand turns and figure 8 maneuver
c. Gain proficiency in controlling the direction and altitude of the aircraft, i.e., student should be able to fly from destination to destination as directed by instructor and including the ability to positively control the aircraft when flying towards him/herself.
d. Learn principles of aircraft stalls and how to prevent and recover from a stall.
e. Learn simple manuever of a loop (optional maneuver of a roll)
f. At a reasonable learning altitude, the student should be instructed in the proper technique for making approaches for landing, i.e., this should include a downwind baseleg, and final approach which aligns airplane with the runway.
g. Only after gaining proficiency in the above points, should takeoffs and landings be attempted.
h. Taxi and takeoffs with rotation techniques (takeoffs should turn away from the pit area)
i. Landing approach and safe landings. Landing should be attempted only if proper runway alignment is achieved. Student should be instructed in the use of throttle and rudder controls to gain alignment with runway and with flaring techniques.
j. Emergency landings (deadstick maneuvering)

Student must solo fly to graduate.

Runway Communications

Vebal announcements should be used between you and any other pilots anytime you or your aircraft enters the landing zone*.

"Coming out" as you prepare to place your aircraft on the runway.
"Taking Off"is pretty much self explanatory.
"Setting up to land" as you begin your downwind leg gives others time to clear the area for you.
"Landing" as you are on final approach.
"On the runway" if your aircraft stops dead on the runway.
"Off on the far side" if your aircraft veers off on the side away from the pilots'stations
"Crossing the runway" Anytime you have to cross the runway (in either direction).
"Runway clear" after you have retrieved your errant aircraft, or if it has been taxied off the runway on the pit side.
"Dead stick" when your engine dies while in the air. Other pilots will pass this armouncement down the line as it is a signal for everyone to immediate clear the landing zone*.
"Touch and go" or "Slow fly-by" (note that high speed low passes and acrobatics in the landing zone* when other pilots are on station are forbidden-these may only be performed out past the crop line).
"Aircraft down..... ''(followed by the general area).
"I ain't got it !!" If a pilot will announce that he has a problem as soon as possible, other observers may be able to get a fix on the plane if it goes down. If you do get a fix, such as a certain tree, etc., do not move. CalI for another person to come stand beside you and show them the point you fixed on. Even turning around and back can lose the fix.


1. A declared dead stick landing has priority over all other flight activities. The runway and landing zone* must be cleared for him. If more than one happens at the same time, well ... y'all be careful y'hear. Generally, the first declared has the right-of -way, or he may yield to a lower other aircraft at his discretion.
2. Second is an aircraft with a declared equipment problem and needing to land .
3. Next priority is a declared normal landing.
4. Next priority is a touch and go.
5. Next priority is a declared take off.
6. Next priority is a declared slow fly-by.

*(The landing zone is a rectangular box with the near side being the flight line, the far side being the line between the grass and crops, the ends being the North and South ends of the runway, and the height being 50 feet above the ground.)