RC helicopters are often seen as a great gateway to more complicated drones because they tend to have simpler shapes, fewer channels on the transmitter to deal wth and a more robust body that can handle all the bumps and crashes that may happen.
This does not mean that flying these helicopters is a piece of cake, however, because there is still a lot to learn and some of the controls can be pretty difficult to master.
There are quite a few steps that new owners need to consider when learning how to fly these models and some crucial considerations about safety, attitude and the capabilities of the helicopter.
6 RC Helicopter Flying Tips For Beginners
1) Find A Safe Place To Practice
The first tip to consider does not concern the helicopter itself but rather your location that you use to practice flying. It pays to be responsible and conscientious from the very first flight and taking safety into account each and every time you fly.
To begin with, find somewhere where you can practice flying in a safe, controlled manner. If you have an indoor helicopter, then this means finding a room with enough open space and no ceiling fans or children to collide with.
If you are outdoors, beware of other people, power lines, and other obstacles. Always be aware of where the helicopter is, where it is going and the surroundings.
2) Don’t Run Before You Can Walk
It can be easy to get a little carried away when first unboxing a new helicopter, especially one that is in ready-to-fly condition. Think of learning to fly a helicopter or helicopter in much the same way as you would learning to ride a bike.
It is all about small goals and small steps to see gradual progress. You don’t want to take the stabilizers off a bike to early while you are still figuring out your balance, and you don’t want to take off too much and fly too far before you have mastered the controls to return the UAV safely. Be patient with the machine and yourself and the rewards will come to you quicker.
3) Hold Off On The “Tricks” For A Little While And Master The Basics
A smooth landing can be just as impressive as a loop or barrel roll. Aerial tricks may impress your friends, but real hobbyists will be more impressed if you show the skill and steady hand to control a smooth take-off and landing or a perfect, level turn.
These are the fundamentals of helicopter flying, and it is worth practicing these basics if you want to progress with flashier models and quadcopters with video cameras.
A simple three channel transmitter should be the ideal starting point, so there are not too many distractions or mistakes to make, and you can progress to 4 channels or more at a later date.
4) Learn The Controls By Heart Before Flying
On thing to note that it is important that you fully understand all the controls and functions that the device is capable of before getting it up in the air. To start with, this means learning the basics of the joysticks and getting accustomed to their sensitivity.
As you progress, you can figure out the other features. Remember that each model has its controls, and some transmitters are more complicated than others. Some makers like to work with familiar touchscreen controls via a mobile device while others are more traditional and may have various channels.
Also, remember that less is more with these controls and that some models are quite sensitive. A jolt on the stick could send the chopper out of control. Again, it is all about patience and practice.
5) Be Aware Of What Your Chosen Helicopter Flying Limits Are
You must be aware of the abilities and limitations of the model you have chosen. It pays to read the owners manual and other user reviews of the helicopter you are buying or have bought because you can get a much better understanding of what it can do before you get it up in the air.
You don’t want to misunderstand the range and the helicopter accidentally fly beyond its capabilities. You don’t want to end up trying out an epic flight across the park, only to have it descend out of view because the battery isn’t as strong as you expected.
Check the battery type, charging time and buyers’ experiences in different conditions. Don’t purchase an indoor model in the hope of taking it outside because you may see it blown sideways in a gust of wind.
6) Prepare For Crashes Along The Way
This last tip may seem a bit pessimistic, but it is important to make yourself prepared for mistakes. Unless you are a complete natural at flying a UAV and pick it up immediately, you are sure to have a few bumpy landings and crashes somewhere along the way.
The best models will be reinforced – sometimes with unique bumpers – to allow for these accidents and there is a good chance that you can pick up where you left off with no real damage done.
Give it a quick check after impact for any broken or loose parts, tighten it all up and try again. The best models will hold up to some rough treatments, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be as careful as possible.
With these RC helicopter flying tips, you should be up in the air in no time.
There is clearly a lot to keep in mind when learning to fly a remote helicopter for the first time, but the more effort you put into the learning process and the more positive your attitude towards safety, controlled flying, the better your experience will be.
Check the environment around you to stay as safe as possible, take the time to understand the controls and abilities of the model before you fly, work in small steps for a smooth flight and don’t be discouraged by a few crashes now and then.