Lack of places to fly makes it hard to get into the hobby

I'm into r/c cars off and on and thought I would try out something that flies. I started doing research on places to go and we only have
one club run field in town. Living in a city there is no other practical place to go. I was hoping for this to be a casual hobby but I have to be all serious and join a club. We do have some nice parks in town but they are parks with many trees!
I purchased a vapor and tried some flying in the house but broke it already. I wanted a quick fix with something r/c that flies. I was peeved about the broken plane and its bringing me to the realization that I'm going to have even more issues if I start breaking the bigger ones or even worse would be getting it stuck in a tree where I couldn't find it to salvage parts.
So the cost and being forced into a club is a major deterrent for me. Its certainly difficult to get into the hobby when you live in a city with little choices for a flying area. Maybe I can at least have some fun with indoor heli's.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Yes, you can.
I think I've even seen airplanes small enough and slow enough to fly indoors.
Whether you fly indoors or out, you may find that flying a flight simulator will help you develop the requisite skills to crash less.
Good luck with your quest!
                Marty
--
Big-8 newsgroups: humanities.*, misc.*, news.*, rec.*, sci.*, soc.*, talk.*
See <http://www.big-8.org for info on how to add or remove newsgroups.
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Spork wrote:

A slow plane with a wingspan of 40" or less will easily fly in a baseball field -- go down to 30" and you can keep it in the infield.
So if you can find a park with a soccer field or a baseball diamond, you're set.
Or, consider that Hanger 9 has an electric PT-19 that can be set up as control line (worse, it can be converted between CL and RC!!). You can fly a _big_ control line plane in a baseball diamond, at least until someone comes to kick you out.
If you're really new and learning, and if the club is even fair to middling, you'll get your fees paid back in unofficial instruction time -- there's a lot of detail to learn about flying, and a club is a good place to pick it up.
--
Tim Wescott
Control system and signal processing consulting
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

If you must go it alone, at least get the free simulator(FMS). It may even work with your transmitter that came with your vapor.(anyone know about this?) http://www.flying-model-simulator.com /
mk (if you were near me you could to learn to fly free) Hamilton, TX
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Where to start!
I guess the best place to start is at the beginning. You are correct, this is not a casual hobby. It requires brains, effort, and the regular application of money just like other hobbies we take up for fun.
Clubs: They serve several purposes that you have addressed even though it may not be obvious to you.
The most important thing they serve to the hobby is the flying site. Very rarely will folks allow you to fly on or over their property as an individual but as a club the number of potential flying sites goes up dramatically for one major reason. If you are flying at a field and something happens the property owner may or may not have some liability and you may or may not have insurance. If an AMA organized club has the site, which means you are a member of the AMA and the club is also, the club provides the land owner a significant liability insurance policy through the AMA. That opens many more sites.
The second thing a club offers is training. Many clubs have organized training programs and almost all clubs have someone who can teach you how to fly. The important thing there is that with an instructor you stand a much better chance of learning to fly on one aircraft while without you will probably use several. It is amazing how many less than safe things we tend to do when having fun and flying models is just like anything else we do for entertainment. There is a right way and a dangerous way. In addition to the simple mechanics of learning to fly almost all instructors teach something about safety while flying at the field. Frequently with good instructors those pointers are buried in discussions so deeply that you never identify them for what they are but internalize them as the right way of doing things.
The number of flying fields in your area is a fairly direct relationship with the number of flyers there. More folks find more fields.
The third thing clubs offer is a group of like minded folks always looking for a less expensive way to have fun in this hobby.
I hope you do well
Good luck!
Jim Branaum AMA 1428
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Thanks everyone for the great suggestions. I was able to contact some people from a local club and flooded with offers for help. The field I'm planning to join is 30 min from home. I can't wait!
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Keep us posted on your progress--it's fun to hear about a new person's experiences, and it encourages other newcomers, too.
                Marty
--
Big-8 newsgroups: humanities.*, misc.*, news.*, rec.*, sci.*, soc.*, talk.*
See <http://www.big-8.org for info on how to add or remove newsgroups.
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I made it out to one of the official fields in the area. Picked up the super cub for my first real plane which imo feels to fast for a starter plane. There was a great group of people there that were willing to help and greet a new person.
The person instructing me said he wasn't a fan of the buddy box and told me to hand over the controls when he calls for it. He took the plane into the air but it ended up being to windy. I thought my instructor was going to loose the plane on its first flight. So I went home without flying. I went back another time and no one was at the field. It was still to windy but I gave it a try. I was able to take off and circle the field but couldn't keep the plane in the air with the wind that had just come up again.
I still want to fly planes but right now I feel like I am being teased. This field is about 40 minutes from my house and I would say its only a little bigger than a soccer field. Its sad that they cant set aside more space for a airfield. I think the other section of the park where they play soccer has more room! I guess once you get the plane into the air your not really limited by the wall of trees around the field. I'm not worried about tearing it up but I would hate to loose it. I think the ideal place to fly would be where you have a field as far as you can see. So at the moment I'm still a bit discouraged about r/c planes. Distance to the field, size, and trying to get the weather to line up when I have time to make it out there is very frustrating.
There is a huge school yard/park by my house. The field is littered up with baseball diamonds and fences around them but flying might be ok if I stay above those. If I could sneak out early on the weekends I might be able to fly there. My concern is that there is a airport just half a mile up the road. The ama says you need to stay under 400 feet within 3 miles of a airport. What about 1/2 mile?
I'm feeling cramped and teased with the places available to fly. I think its a great hobby but I may end up staying with the cars instead. I do love flying my mini mcx heli in the house though! I don't have to worry about wind or loosing it.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

NOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! you are too close to be flying a model without some written agreement with the airport operator.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I think you'd be OK morally and legally if you're flying a "park flyer."
Most of the small electrics won't get high enough to interfere with any aircraft approaching the airport.
I'm assuming, of course, that your park isn't right off the end of one of the runways. ;o)
Fly quietly, stay low, and have fun. If you see an aircraft approaching, land.
                    Marty
--
Big-8 newsgroups: humanities.*, misc.*, news.*, rec.*, sci.*, soc.*, talk.*
See <http://www.big-8.org for info on how to add or remove newsgroups.
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Marty, That ONLY works for individuals. *I* wouldn't trust that statement, but I have a suspicious mind. If it is a club activity, the basic rules (400 ft, and distance from airport or 400 ft and written agreement) are primary regardless of the type of club. We lost an excellent electric site over that issue. The FAA was willing to write the agreement since we were well over 1000 ft from the extended centerline at over 2 miles, but they had to follow city ordinances which precluded us. I think we were 1300 ft from the extended centerline and the city ordnance required us to be 1500 feet at that point. Since the city has already explicitly rejected several different proposals for no additional cost to the city model aircraft flying fields, we elected to drop the issue. These guys even rejected our proposal to fly from closed land fills, which is an approved low impact use for that kind of land under federal guidelines.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

We fly some at the local airport. FBO is a great guy. We must have a spotter. That means if you have someone of the buddy box then you need a third pair of eyes. Sometimes we have a radio to listen to air comm. That rarely helps but it is interesting. I once had a full scale pilot from Dallas land and walk over to our flight line. He flew my Big Stick and did point rolls with it. Some days there are no planes, some days there is little RC flying because of planes. Mike
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Sat, 15 May 2010 13:03:36 -0500, "MJKolodziej"

Agreed.
I think that it was one person who wrote to us asking how he could get more flight time in an irregular location. I should have mentioned that AMA won't cover such flying, but I doubt he's interested in AMA insurance and guidelines.

Understood. Club activities are harder to organize ...
                Marty
--
Big-8 newsgroups: humanities.*, misc.*, news.*, rec.*, sci.*, soc.*, talk.*
See <http://www.big-8.org for info on how to add or remove newsgroups.
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Oh, I know. Airport operations are special cases but I wouldn't want to suggest to someone to get in the airspace used by rider scale planes without some careful thought and pointers. I have flown from several active airport runways/taxiways and in the approach path used by high performance jet aircraft. The "trick" is knowledge of the environment by all parties trying to use it.
One of my clubs flying sites is on an active EAA airfield. The rules are simple, rider scale always has right of way no matter what and you do not fly without a spotter and the unicom receiver on. Like was said, some days there are no planes and some days we sit and watch the general aviation folks do their thing.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

When I was flying in Ajo AZ we had the same rule. If you see a plane coming in, then land. You also had to watch out for the border patrols Blackhawk because those guys flew very low and very fast and could really sneak up on you.
We were flying off the flight line of an old AAF base. I had a couple full size pilots come over to check out my planes. They were all fine as long as we didn't seem to crazy.
--
n001pa
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I was looking at google maps and the park is directly in line with the run way. Thinking back I do remember a plane flying directly over the field and being surprised at how low it was.
Yesterday was a calm day but had something to do so the distance from the official place kept me from going. As I mentioned earlier the place is so tiny I wouldn't even call it a field. We have lots of fields here but its all farmland and private property. The other parks close by have very little open area. So realistically I could see making it down to the rc airfield twice a month. Sorry for being a complainer but thats hardly worth it. Its like getting a treat held in front of my nose that I can't have.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Polytechforum.com is a website by engineers for engineers. It is not affiliated with any of manufacturers or vendors discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.