1ST IN R/C FLIGHT - DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA RADIO CONTROL CLUB, MONTGOMERY COUNTY MARYLAND - ESTABLISHED 1951

Welcome to DCRC Flight School!

The DCRC Flight School programs are very popular and grow in popularity every year. Since 2012, over 250 people received formal flight instruction at DCRC’s Walt Good Field, and most became DCRC Certified Pilots. For 2017, Flight School training sessions are planned starting in April and ending in October. DCRC Flight School training sessions take place on Saturdays according to the published schedule, and students may begin flight training on any scheduled training session throughout the year. Students participating in Primary Flight School operate electric powered aircraft using Spektrum radio equipment - provided by DCRC. To be eligible to participate in the DCRC Flight School, simply become a member of the Academy of Model Aeronautics and DCRC by submitting membership applications and paying dues. Sign up online today, or at the field on any training day. Then, simply sign up for Flight School on any training day.

 

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Flight Training Programs

 

1.    Primary Flight School, Fixed Wing (PFS)

All DCRC Flight School student pilots start in Primary Flight School. For the 2017 season, we can accept 12 students per training day. Sign-in on training day is first come, first served - so get to the field early and sign-in to ensure you have a spot in the rotation. Standby spots will be available for anyone arriving after the 12th student. We often have students with other obligations leave early, at which time the standby students take their spot(s) in the rotation. DCRC Flight Training volunteers will teach you how to operate a model aircraft safely. You get to fly a lot, and learn the primary flight techniques except take-off and landing. Your take-off and landing instruction begins once you "graduate" into Secondary Flight School. DCRC provides Radio Controlled flight training using DCRC-provided fixed wing training aircraft. Students DO NOT take-off or land aircraft during Primary Flight School and DCRC provides all equipment and supplies. Course elements include:


•    Radio and Field Procedures
•    Aircraft Preflight
•    Flight Basics
•    Flight Maneuvers
•    Flight Accuracy
•    Orientation Maneuvers
•    Stalls and Recovery
•    Landing Approach


The program is run on specific dates, found on the training calendar at the bottom of this page. Training sessions start at 9:00AM and end at 12:00PM, during which time the field is exclusively used for training.

Each training flight lasts about 7 minutes. You and your instructor will fly the plane with a dual control called a buddy box. The instructor radio and student radio are connected and operate independently with overriding controls available to the instructor. When a student encounters difficulty, the instructor will operate his control switch and instantly take control of the aircraft.

As you progress, you will take more and more control over the aircraft until you are able to perform all PFS course elements with little or no instructor intervention. Members attend as many training sessions as necessary to qualify for Secondary Flight School, and each student is trained at their own pace. Students should plan to procure a personal aircraft and field equipment during PFS in preparation for Secondary Flight School (ask your instructors when you should procure your own aircraft). Upon achieving proficiency in the PFS training course elements and procurement of a personal aircraft and equipment, it is time to qualify for "Secondary."

A Student Packet containing training material, including instructional material on flight basics, field rules, and training day procedures is provided to every Primary Flight School student pilot.

 

 

2.    Secondary Flight School, Fixed Wing (SFS)

Secondary Flight School, SFS, is a fast-paced program designed to prepare advanced Student Pilots for solo flight, DCRC Pilot Certification, and a firm foundation for a lifetime of safe model aircraft operation. Students enrolled in Secondary Flight School must demonstrate intermediate or higher proficiency in all eight Primary Flight School course elements through a qualification process involving a student flight skill demonstration performed during Primary Flight School. See the Training Handbook for qualification details. Student Pilots use and maintain personal aircraft and equipment throughout SFS training – DCRC can provide buddy boxes, otherwise club assets are not utilized. Here are the SFS course elements:


•    Basics (Safe execution of the PFS course elements) 
•    Take-Off
•    Approach and Landing
•    Supervised Solo


The program is run on specific dates, separate form Primary Flight School. See your instructor staff to arrange dates.

SFS students enjoy a training rotation separate from and in addition to Primary Flight School. You can attend Primary and Secondary Flight School, once you qualify for Secondary Flight School.

As you progress, you will take more and more control over the aircraft until you solo. When you solo you must be able to consistently take off, safely fly the aircraft through specific maneuvers and land without instructor intervention. Members attend as many training sessions as necessary to become proficient, and each student is trained at their own pace. Upon achieving proficiency in Secondary Flight School course elements and executing at least three consecutive successful solo flights, a flight instructor will recommend the student demonstrate their ability through the Pilot Proficiency Test and become a DCRC Certified Pilot.

 

 

 

 

4.    Informal Flight Training

Informal Fixed Wing and Rotary Wing (Helicopter) flight training is available to DCRC members on an individual basis. No formal training dates are set, students make personal arrangements with club members to meet and train, and students provide their own aircraft.

 

Flight Training Aptitude Requirements

All students must display the comprehension, attention, concentration, motor skills, and adherence to instruction and safety requirements required by DCRC flight instructors and ground crew to safely participate in the flight training program. The level of student adherence to instruction and/or skill level will determine which DCRC Flight School aircraft type the student operates.

 

The DCRC Certified Pilot Program

To use Walt Good Field on a regular basis, every pilot must demonstrate proficiency in the safe operation of a model aircraft through successful completion of the DCRC Pilot Proficiency Test, and be a member in good standing.

For pilots new to Walt Good Field, here’s your path to becoming a certified pilot:

Experienced pilots: must successfully complete the DCRC Pilot Proficiency Test and become a club member.

Inexperienced pilots: must successfully complete the DCRC Pilot Proficiency Test and become a club member.

For inexperienced pilots, formal flight training through the DCRC Flight School is highly recommended prior to attempting the DCRC Pilot Proficiency Test.

All pilots: must be a DCRC club member in good standing and perform the DCRC Pilot Proficiency Test using their personal aircraft and equipment.

 

DCRC Pilot Proficiency Tests are administered by DCRC Pilot Proficiency Test Conductors only, and can often be performed immediately after a training session and most weekends. To arrange a DCRC Pilot Proficiency Test, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for assistance in coordinating a date and time for your DCRC Pilot Proficiency Test.

Upon successful completion of the DCRC Pilot Proficiency Test, the pilot is issued a Certified Pilot membership card, provided with the gate code for Walt Good Field, and is authorized to fly without other Certified Pilots present as long as membership is kept in good standing.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

What is required to join DCRC?

Membership is open to everyone. To become a DCRC club member, simply join the Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA) and DCRC:

Join the AMA online at http://www.modelaircraft.org/

Join DCRC online or download a DCRC Membership Application, mail in your completed DCRC Membership Application, proof of AMA membership (copy of AMA card or copy of your AMA Temporary Receipt), and dues payment to the address on the Membership Application, or come to a Flight School training session or the next club meeting and sign up there.

 

What are the rules?

Safety is no accident. Everyone piloting or observing air operations at Walt Good Field must read and obey the Field Rules.

 

How long will it take for me to learn to fly?

That very much depends on you. Some people learn in just a few sessions, while others take months, a year, or more to become proficient. The pace is up to you.

 

Does DCRC provide training aircraft?

Yes! Student pilots fly DCRC provided training aircraft during all Introduction to Fixed Wing Radio Controlled Flight (IPP) sessions and Primary Flight School course elements. Purchasing, assembling, and flying personal training aircraft is required to qualify for, and participate in Secondary Flight School.

 

Will DCRC help me choose equipment and training aircraft?

Talk to your instructors and training crew for recommendations on first aircraft and field equipment. DCRC Club members are happy to provide all the guidance and recommendations you desire (and possibly more than desired)! We will be happy to inspect your aircraft and equipment, and perform the first flight to “trim” your aircraft to fly straight.

 

What aircraft should I buy for training?

DCRC provides all of the aircraft and equipment needed to attend Primary Flight School. As a student progresses through Primary Flight School, he or she should procure an aircraft and field equipment. Talk to your instructors and training crew for recommendations on first aircraft. Students can train informally with their own aircraft at Walt Good Field, as long as one or more Certified Pilot(s) are at the field and Flight School is not in session. Personal aircraft are required for participation in Secondary Flight School and to take the DCRC Pilot Proficiency Test. Of course, a model specifically designed for training is strongly recommended. Stable, predictable flight characteristics and durable construction are the hallmarks of training aircraft.

Many makes and models of training aircraft, radio equipment, power systems, and field support gear (such as engine fuel, engine starting equipment, and battery chargers) are available at your local hobby store and online retailers. Here's a tip for selecting your first aircraft:

A Ready to Fly (RTF) or Almost Ready to Fly (ARF) model is usually the best choice.

Building a model from a kit or from scratch is a rewarding experience for many people, but is not the best approach for most pilots in training. Learning to fly model aircraft is challenging. Most people experience some nervousness while learning to fly. The emotional investment of many hours of building, solving problems, and getting a kit or scratch-built aircraft airworthy may make training more stressful and difficult. Plus, inexperienced pilots are more likely than experienced pilots to perform an "unintentionally hard landing," which is more of a heartbreak to those that spent countless hours building their aircraft than it is to those that spent a few hours assembling an aircraft.

 

Powering your model; Gas, Glow or Electric?

It’s the question that everyone has a different answer. The answer will depend on whom you ask! Why? Each method has advantages and disadvantages, each pilot has their own preferences, and you will likely operate all three over time. 

Gas:

Gasoline powered models are usually larger than glow or electric, which makes them easier to see.
Being larger, gas models are generally more expensive than other technologies to purchase.

Glow:

Glow powered models have been the norm for decades, with gas and electric power systems as relative newcomers.
Glow powered trainer choices are abundant, the technology is mature and low in cost.
Glow models require more equipment at the field than gas or electric.
Glow fuel is more expensive than gasoline

Electric:

Electric models are clean, quiet, and electric training model choices are abundant.
Battery(s) and battery chargers can become costly, especially as model size increases
Electric motors can start unexpectedly once power is connected. A moderate amount of experience with model aircraft and radio systems, unexpected motor start safety systems, and safety training is highly recommended before operating electric powered aircraft.

 

What make of radio is the best?

Every pilot seems to love their radio make, it’s the best... Come to the next club meeting and talk to our many experienced and opinionated members to help guide your decision. For the beginning pilot, the following guidelines should help:

Purchase a modern radio system; a full range transmitter that operates on 2.4GHz.

The 2.4GHz systems significantly reduce the chance other radio signals will interfere with yours. Also, more and more clubs, flying fields, and events (competitive and just for fun) only allow participation using 2.4GHz systems.

DCRC Walt Good Field REQUIRES the use of 2.4GHz radio equipment.

Purchase more radio than you need for your training aircraft (most training aircraft use 4 channels).

More than one aircraft in the “hangar” is probably in your not-so-distant future. Generally, radio transmitters with 6 or more channels store control settings for multiple aircraft and offer programming functions (such as the ability to “tone down” control sensitivity). One transmitter, many aircraft.

Purchase a popular radio brand. Different brands use different communication protocols and are usually not compatible with each other.

 

Do I need to join DCRC to learn to fly?

Yes, you need to be a member to participate in Primary and Secondary Flight Schools, and informal training.

Do I need to be a DCRC member to continue to fly at the field beyond training?

Yes, you need to be a member to continue to fly at the DC-RC airfield. You must remain a “member in good standing” by renewing your membership each year, obeying club rules, and attending at least one safety briefing annually.

 

Do I need insurance?

Yes, you need liability coverage to fly at Walt Good Field. Liability Insurance that supplements your own insurance is obtained by becoming a member of the Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA), and is required.

Join the AMA online at http://www.modelaircraft.org/.

 

What is meant by R/C disorientation?

R/C disorientation explained: When the aircraft is travelling away from the pilot, input control for a right turn and a right turn (in relation to the pilot) commences. When the aircraft is travelling toward the pilot, input the same right turn control input and the aircraft turns left in relation to the pilot.

 

Where do I go for more information?

Come to a club meeting or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 

Will an R/C flight simulator help me learn?

Yes! RC Simulators are an excellent training aid. You will be able to practice everything from basic flight training to advanced flying on a simulator… then take your “experience” to the field. Many experienced pilots use flight simulators to learn advanced maneuvers or practice for competition. Also, R/C flight simulators help the new pilot cope with common challenges such as R/C disorientation.

Any of the better commercial simulators are well worth their expense in terms of reducing training time and overcoming R/C disorientation. Phoenix, Aerofly & Realflight are top notch simulators that will serve anyone well for years.

 

Trainers"Fly" the DCRC Trainers using RealFlight!

Students can fly the "Official" simulated DCRC Giant Big Stick Trainers in RealFlight v6 simulator software!

 

Click on the following link to download the files and instructions needed to add the DC-RC trainers to your Realflight 6.x software. Note that the model has not been adjusted for the current release of Realflight yet.

DC-RC Realflight Trainer Download

 

 

 

 

Publications

 Flight School Documents

2016 DCRC Pilot Training Handbook (not updated for 2017, but useful and fairly current)

2017 DCRC Flight School Sign Up

2017 DCRC Pilot Waiver

2017 Pilot Certification Fixed

 

Hobby Hangar Discounts for DCRC Members

Hobby Hangar offers discounts to support our club and flight training activities! Here’s the skinny on the discounts Hobby Hangar offers to DCRC members, effective through 12/31/2017:

10% discount off the purchase price of any flight simulator to all DCRC club members, and anyone completing the AMA Introductory Pilot Program (IPP)

Each student is eligible for a discount voucher after their first Flight School or IPP training session
Discount Vouchers are available from your Flight School Administrator

When you are at the store, ask Bob or Kwang what special discounts they are offering to DCRC members.

Offers are not valid in combination with any other offers (one discount per person per day)

Hobby Hangar
14014 Sullyfield Circle, Suite-D Chantilly, VA 20151
(703) 631-8820
http://www.hhvastore.com/

 
 

Training Calendar

 

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Walt Good Field is CLOSED to non-DCRC club owned aircraft during Primary and Secondary Flight School operations.

 

04/15/2017 Flight School, first day of formal flight training

05/06/2017 Flight School
05/20/2017 Flight School

06/03/2017 Flight School
06/17/2017 Flight School

07/01/2017  Flight School
07/15/2017  Flight School
07/29/2017  Flight School

08/12/2017  Flight School
08/26/2017  Flight School

09/16/2017  Flight School

10/07/2017  Flight School
10/21/2017  Flight School, last day of formal flight training

 

Safety is no accident. Read and obey the field rules - for your safety, and everyone around you.

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