Radio control modeling is a fast growing, world wide hobby and sport that can be a simple as purchasing as pre-built plane and flying once in a while or as complex and time consuming as you would like it to be. The hobby involves electronics, radio, mechanics, aerodynamics. physics, mathematics, chemistry, and engineering of all types. It can be educational as well as lead to hours of fun and satisfaction for the whole family. From the casual Sunday flyer who built his plane on the kitchen table to the full time competitor that built an entire shop in his backyard. If you are thinking of starting in R/C here are some guidelines and things to think about.
Don't run out and buy R/C equipment without information-
Find a club in your area that specializes in your interest. Many clubs serve the whole range of R/C but many of them tend to specialize. Check with your local hobby shop or search the internet. The AMA site has links to sanctioned clubs. These clubs are usually filled with very friendly folks who love the hobby and would be glad to assist you. The radio frequencies that operate the models are controlled and regulated by the F.C.C. and there are different radio frequencies for land and air. These frequencies are also controlled at the flying field so only one person can be on a frequency at any given time.
If you are going to join a local club you will need an AMA card-
The Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA) provides many benefits to this hobby and is taken very seriously. One of these benefits is insurance in case you cause damage with your model. This an annual fee required by a sanctioned AMA club which protects all in the event of an accident. The AMA also offers special rates for multiple family members. For information, use AMA link.
Find an instructor who will take time with you.
If you are going to fly one of your greatest attributes will be patience. So, you've been watching those pilots flying like there's no tomorrow. They went through their basic instructions also. Some spent many nights doing repairs! Some probably were wondering if or when they could ever complete the solo program and earn their wings. But they did!
The people in a good club will not mind helping those who are new to the hobby. Some instructors use what is call a "buddy box". This is a radio transmitter (without batteries) attached to the instructor's Master transmitter with a cable. Your instructor can let you have control of the plane or take control back from you if necessary to demonstrate maneuvers. Remember, be patient and know the instructor has you, your aircraft and other pilots in mind when instructing you at the flying field. Remember everyone there was once a student, so don't be intimidated by other equipment or lose patience if thing don't go right on any particular day.. Some people learn faster than others, so just remember, practice and it won't be too long before you too will be really enjoying the hobby and then one day, someone may be asking you for some "how to" advice!