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Learn to Fly - Beginners

Learning How to Fly Radio Control Model Airplanes

Are you new to R/C? Don't know how to get started?

This page is intended to provide the information needed to help get you started. Follow the web links below to read up on the basics of R/C. If you have any questions, feel free to Contact Us.

The Basics:

A good place to start reading and learning the basics and terminology: - by Tower Hobbies

After learning some of the basics of R/C and some terminology used, the first thing to do is DON’T BUY ANYTHING YET.  Wait until you talk to an instructor before you buy any equipment or a model aircraft. Too many times a student comes to an instructor with a plane that is not compatible with the training equipment, and other times you may end up buying junk that is really not usable at all for a beginner.  It is better to contact a flight instructor to setup a time to meet.  The instructor can go over more of the basics with you and perhaps even let you fly a plane. After flying for the first time, most people realize how fun and exciting this hobby is.  All flight instruction is free of charge.  Use the Contact Us page to leave a message and a club flight instructor will contact you.

If after your first intro meeting, you decide you want to continue with this hobby, then keep reading.  There are some things you will need to be able to continue with the free flight lessons.

Join the AMA:

Next thing to do is join the AMA (Academy of Model Aeronautics) .   This is the national organization for modelers.  The main function is to provide liability insurance for individual modelers, clubs, property owners, and events.   You can join online and will receive a temporary receipt that has your AMA number on it.  Later you will receive your official AMA card.  AMA membership is required at most flying fields.

Training Manual:

One Week to Solo is a great book for beginners to learn the basics of flying and learn solo flight as quickly as possible.  This book provides step by step instruction to teach beginners how to fly.  This tool will greatly aid your learning when used in conjunction with in-person instruction by a flight instructor.  Although the name of the book implies students will be flying solo after one week, the actual amount of time depends on the student's ability to understand and follow instruction and the amount of time they are able to dedicate to learning.  The concept of this book is that students do not move on to the next lesson until they have perfected the previous lesson.  The book can be purchased directly from  Check with your flight instructor for discounted club pricing.

Flight Simulator:

We highly recommend practicing on a flight simulator. This will help teach you the instincts you need to have to fly. The skills learned on a simulator transfer to the real world when flying R/C models.  The advantage to a simulator is that crashing a plane doesn't hurt the wallet.  However, you should not treat the simulator like a game.  There are free ones, as well as ones that cost over $200. Try searching the internet. Great Planes sells Real Flight which is an excellent flight simulator and allows you to select different controller option packages when purchasing.  Check out for features and prices.

Planes & Equipment:

As you progress, you'll want to start purchasing your own equipment and planes to fly.  Talk with your instructor about which planes would be suitable for your skill level before making any purchases.

Join the MARKS Club:

Eventually, to keep flying at our field and to continue receiving free flight instruction, you will need to become a club member.  See the Become a Member page for information on pricing and how to become a member.