Training Manual

RC airplane

Do YOU want to fly like this?

RC airplane

Then YOU should first learn to fly like this!

RC airplane

So YOU don’t look like this.


The Cape Coral R/Sea Hawks operates, under the guidelines of the Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA) and the by laws of the Cape Coral R/Sea Hawks.  An individual that does not belong to the R/Sea Hawks and AMA may fly, on a limited basis with an instructor, prior to joining the R/Sea Hawks and AMA.  If the individual wishes to pursue the hobby he/she must then join the AMA and become a member of the R/Sea Hawk Club.


Almost anyone can learn to fly a radio controlled model aircraft, with the help of a competent flight instructor.  This manual is intended as a guide to help the student understand the steps necessary to learn the art of flying a radio-controlled airplane.  By providing a somewhat standardized curriculum and an experienced instructor the pilot will achieve the necessary understanding and skills to be able to safely fly a radio-controlled airplane at a busy model field.


The following training program was developed to be a guideline to club members that are in flight training.  Its use ensures that all students receive training in the fundamentals of flight and ground support and that their progress is documented.


When an instructor is assigned to a new student, the instructor will make every effort to contact the student as soon as possible to make arrangements to begin the training process.  The instructors for the R/Sea hawks are experienced and competent, but a crash-free learning experience cannot be guaranteed.  The instructor is not liable for crash damage during normal training operation.


Inspection of model:

The inspection of the airplane and equipment is crucial for safe flight and effective instruction.

  • Make sure the wings are secured properly.
  • Check that all of the screws and bolts are tight.
  • The prop should be an appropriate size, free of cracks, and properly secured.
  • Control surfaces must be securely attached by an adequate number of hinges.
  • All control surfaces and the throttle should move freely with no binding or stalling of the servos
  • A screw must secure the servo control arms.
  • The push rods should be attached to the servo control arms and control horns securely.
  • Control horns and clevises should be properly attached to the control surfaces?
  • The receiver and battery should be securely attached.
  • The Center of Gravity should comply with the model’s specifications.
  • The control functions and the direction of the control movements should be explained to the student?

Inspection of Radio system:

  • Verify that the transmitter battery has an adequate charge?
  • The control surfaces must move in the proper direction and amount of travel corresponding to stick movements.
  • Range check the radio with the model initially, and after all component changes.
  • Confirm  buddy box controls and settings correspond to master transmitter functions..
  • The student must understand the buddy cord system.  Its function and limitations. (Crash avoidance is KEY)

Safety Procedures

  • The student should know the location of the flight line.
  • The student should understand the frequency board and its usage.
  • The student should know the necessary announcements:
  • On the field
  • Take Off
  • Landing
  • Dead stick
  • The student should understand the field and flight rules. (Flight courtesy by Example)

Starting Procedures:

  • During the starting process a hold down must be used.
  • The instructor should explain the starting process to the student.
  • For glow engines, after the engine starts, the proper starter removal and Needle valve adjustment method is from behind the prop.

First Flight Procedures:

  • The student should place the airplane on the taxiway.
  • After takeoff the airplane should be trimmed to both the master and trainer transmitter.
  • The airplane should be at a 3 mistakes high altitude when control is first given to the student.
  • The instructor should tell the student when control is transferred from one transmitter to the other.
  • The student should understand that very little control movement is needed to fly the airplane.
  • The first flight should be limited 3 to 5 minutes in duration at a 3 mistake high altitude.

Post Flight Procedures:

  • A debriefing of the flight by the instructor and the student should take place immediately after the flight.
  • The instructor should explain improvements that the student can make.
  • The training should proceed at a pace the student is comfortable with.
  • The student should learn to fly a figure 8 maneuver and rectangles.
  • The student should learn to do his or her first Loop and Roll.
  • The student should learn to fly in both directions.
  • The student should do a take off but not a landing.
  • The student should learn to become more comfortable flying closer to the ground.
  • Next will be landing attempts only by getting lower and lower on each pass while setting up for a landing.
  • Touch and goes can be attempted when the student is ready.

The Day of the Solo Flight

  • The student should be able to make an entire flight without any outside correction from the instructor.
  • Unplug the trainer cord and the Instructor will stand ready to assist if help is needed.
  • The student will fly about 3-5 minutes and then land in a counter clockwise direction and then repeat in a clockwise direction.  This sequence should be done three times.
  • The student should be presented with a Solo Certificate.