Learning to fly

Some of our training planes

We offer training opportunites using Club owned trainer aircraft.  These are supported by a ‘Buddybox’ system to help you build confidence before risking your own aircraft. Photos of the trainers are above.

At Leatherhead Model Flying club you will find plenty of help and advice from members with skills and experience in building and flying models.  If you have not already purchased your first model, please seek some of that help and advice first.  This will help you avoid ‘difficult’ engines, ‘unsuitable’ trainers and radios that are incompatible.  We may also know of good secondhand equipment which could save you time and money.

To enable you to reach the BMFA  “A” certificate standard, which is a recognition of your ability to fly a basic model safely, we will provide training. We prefer to use a wireless buddy box using Spektrum equipment; this is the best way to start.  Our aim is to ensure that you succeed without hazard to yourself, your model, your colleagues and our neighbours.

Training really starts before your first model is ready to fly:  While you are building, make time to come along to the flying field during our flying hours if the weather is fine and there is little wind or make an appointment. It is a chance to get to know us, to see how we operate and to ask questions.  Also go on the BMFA website and make use of the documentation available there to guide you through all aspects of flying models including the legalities.

As your first model is nearing completion get some experienced comments. Bring it along to the field and get one of the experienced members to give it a good looking over.

When it is ready – take some time to check everything – then check everything again – don’t leave things to do on the field if you can avoid it! Then make sure that the batteries are fully charged before bringing it for its maiden flight.  “When ready, check, check again.”

When you get to the field get an experienced member to check it again – it is surprisingly easy to miss something very simple but completely wrong.

First flights need good weather conditions. If it is windy or wet you will have to be patient. Bide your time with a good book – We recommend “Up and Away” by John Long. It is full of good advice and you can get a free copy when you affiliate to BMFA.

You will need the help of an instructor to learn to fly safely and pass your “A” Test, please contact your club instructor before going to the field, this is in order to ensure he is there on your visit. We insist on this until you have passed your “A” test.  We have a BMFA Qualified Instructor, a BMFA Approved Instructor and several Club instructors, all of whom have a wealth of knowledge and experience to help you learn to fly and all the associated information you need to be aware of.

Remember that learning does not end with basic training and the “A” Certificate. When you progress to more challenging models, we will be there again to guide you past the pitfalls.

We make no charge for the Trainers time but if you wish to receive training using the club equipment (recommended) then a raining equipment maintenance/replacement charge will be made (for details check the Membership Fee page).  This compares very favourably with the outlay you would make purchasing your own trainer plane and batteries (probably in excess of £200).  If you are using your own equipment then no charge is made, though it must be compatible with the club Transmitters.

Looking forward to meeting you,
Happy Landings