The Wings Program has been developed to assist people who would like to fly radio-controlled airplanes and to develop their basic skills so that they can enjoy this great hobby, in a safe manner. Once able to control a trainer type airplane, the student will be permitted to fly at the club field and, with practice, move on to more complex models.
The Blades Program is for helicopters and multi-copters and once the Intermediate flight level has been achieved, the new helicopter pilot will be qualified to fly on the main flight line.
There is no age limit, young or old, for these programs. Students wishing to participate in the Wings and Blades Programs must be members of BRCM.
An application form must be completed and sent to the Membership Director. The form may be picked up at the monthly Club meeting and both it and the Wings/Blades Program Guide, may be downloaded in PDF format from the website.
Ground School is done as a one-on-one session with the new student’s instructor and takes about ½ to 1 hour. New students will begin lessons with the start of the flying season, which can be as early as mid-March or as late as May, depending on the weather. Additional students will be started as time and instructors become available. The Wings/Blades Program Guide must have been read prior to the ground school, and the student is required to sign a confirmation, including an assurance that he/she will abide by all BRCM rules. Student do not have to have an aircraft to attend the ground school, but will not be able to work with an instructor until they have a model considered to be a suitable trainer by the Wings Director. It is strongly recommended that students discuss the suitability of a model with club member pilots or qualified hobby shop staff, but to contact the Wings/Blades director before purchase.
The instructor and student will arrange a training schedule that is convenient for both. It is important to note that all instructors are volunteers, who willingly give their time to assist students. They are all very competent pilots, but are not responsible for a student’s aircraft. If damage occurs, repair or replacement is the responsibility of the student.
The details of the flight training program are provided in the Wings/Blades Guide, but briefly the progression is:
- The instructor will examine the aircraft and, if satisfied that all is correct, will test fly and trim the model to ensure that it will fly safely.
- The first few flights will involve the use of a “buddy box”. This is a slave transmitter linked to the controlling transmitter by cable or electronically. This arrangement allows the student to fly the aircraft, but the instructor can take over at any time he feels that the student is in difficulty. This ensures safety and reduces the probability of a damaging crash.
- Once the instructor considers that the student has developed the capability of taking off, flying safely and landing, the “buddy box” will be disconnected and the student will continue to practice using the control transmitter, but with the instructor by his side to advise and comment.
- When the instructor is satisfied that the student is ready, the student will be required to take a Wings/Blades test flight, witnessed by the instructor and another qualified club member. If the student satisfies both, they will have graduated from the Wings/Blades Program and must have their Record Sheet (included in the Wings Program Guide) signed off and sent to the Membership Secretary.