First Time Flyers

Most veteran RC flyers will tell you that one of the most important factors in  learning to fly RC aircraft is having an experienced pilot to assist you and finding a place to fly that is safe, secure and a convenient place to learn all about this incredible hobby. At JOMAC, we’re fortunate to have both in abundance! While it is possible to learn to fly with the right airplane or heli all by yourself, you are going to have a better chance with the help of an experienced pilot.

Having made the decision to take up the hobby, there are a number of things to know that will make your experience an enjoyable one and we’re so looking forward to welcoming you at JOMAC that we’ve taken the time to set out a couple of these for you below. We hope you find them useful!

Preparing for your first day

RC flying is an outdoor sport. That means, like with any sport there are a couple of run-of- the-mill things you’ll need to pack on the first day. These include:

  • A Hat or Cap (we have some great branded JOMAC ones!);
  • Sunglasses;
  • Depending on the weather, a Jacket or warm wear; Older clothes (nitro fuel and Dust tend to ruin those Armani slacks…)
  • Food & refreshments for a good morning outing;
  • A roll of toilet paper or paper towels; and of course;
  • Bring your SAMAA membership card;
  • Check the weather! (Learning to fly in 150kph winds will likely NOT make for a great first experience)
Let us know you’re coming!

You can, of course, always decide to just join us at any time. However, to make that first day as enjoyable as possible though, let us know you’re coming! That way, we can ensure that there are experienced Members there to welcome you and assist you in starting on your journey.

Buying your first aircraft

Although all of us have dreams of tearing up the sky in a Mustang or Jet, like all hobbies, RC flying takes time to master and learn to crawl and then walk, before running. That means that your first plane is likely to be slightly ‘uglier’ than you would like. Having said that though there are so many RTF (ready-to-fly) models with everything you would need in the box available to you as a newbie to the hobby that the excitement of readying your first aircraft for flight, learning about important concepts like CG (center-of-gravity) and ‘trimming’ your plane will quickly rekindle that excitement! Advances in technology also mean that a lot of these planes come with features that are purpose-built to help you to learn to fly.

There are plenty of online resources available to read before committing your hard-earned cash to a purchase, and most hobby shops have trained staff more than willing to guide you in your first purchase. Our experienced JOMAC Members are, of course, also a valuable resource in helping you make that first, all-important, decision.

In general, new pilots benefit greatly from selecting a slow-flying plane, with a top wing and plenty of dihedral. A first transmitter is also a big investment and thus selecting one that has a buddy-boxing capability is also well worth the investment. This allows you to hook up your transmitter to that of an experienced pilot, who at the touch of a button can take over when your ups and downs become confusing.

Learning to fly an RC aircraft however, will quickly familiarize you with the old adage of ‘Fly, Crash, Repair, Repeat’. The best way to avoid spending large amounts of unplanned cash on learning this the hard way, is to invest in a PC simulator. Crashing a virtual plane and clicking the reset button is a lot less expensive, after all. A simulator remains invaluable later on in the hobby as you progress, as learning new aerobatic maneuvers is equally expensive until mastered.

SAMAA membership

The South African Model Aircraft Association is the governing body for all model aircraft activities and is therefore an inexpensive and mandatory membership required by all enthusiasts. Membership to SAMAA also provides us as pilots with a great insurance policy against accidents and incidents! SAMAA membership is mandatory to fly at any Club in SA and therefore also at JOMAC. To learn more, click SAMAA

Come join us to see before you decide!

Many new members join us, already mentally committed to pursuing the sport in the Club environment. If, however, you’re still not quite sure and don’t want to make the cash investment in an aircraft and membership as yet, then feel free to come join us just as a visitor to inspect the Club facilities, interact with existing Members and watch the flying activities at the field. The benefit of such a look-see-decide visit then also includes the ability to meet some of the Pilots who can assist you in learning to fly, discuss your first plane purchase with them and get invaluable advice and of course get a real sense of what RC flying involves!

We look forward to welcoming you at the Club and to an exciting, addictive and exhilarating hobby!