Looking for a club/Instructor in Derbyshire/Notts area of UK

hi all,
I guess i should start here, amongst the seasoned pros and novices alike, in my quest for a club/instructor in my local area.
I have a Seagull 'Boomerang' 4ch sports trainer fitted with an SC.40 engine and APC 11x6 prop and want to learn to fly this before the New Year (personal reasons which I'd rather not discuss here).
I've actually flown this plane on a few occasions before this with a nearby club, but this was around 2 years ago, and unfortunately on the last outing it suffered a battery failure - the battery lead disconnected after a steep turn - and it ended up plouging the nearby field. This resulted in a few holes in the wing section, a broken wing spar and also a snapped section of the vertical stabilizer. All the damage has been repaired with 1hr epoxy and balsa braces, and any holes re-covered with SolarTrim (as per another thread i posted here). Obviously it'll require a trained eye to look over it and deem it airworthy, but i expected this.
So, back to my initial query, could anybody suggest a local club or locally based instructor that could help with my gaining of a BMFA 'A' cert? I know of only two local clubs (Leafields MAC: www.Leafields.com and Alport Flyers: http://www.alport-mfc.fsnet.co.uk/index.htm ), I have contacted them, but so far i've received no response. Thats when i thought i'd see if anybody else can sugget anywhere locally - there doesnt seem to be many on the BMFA website that are within easy reach, and anywhere further than Derby or Nottingham is a little too far for me.
Many many thanks for taking the time to read this, i really hope you can help me!
Thanks again
Simon
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EGNX Flyer wrote:

On the Leafields website on the "contacts" page there are the telephone numbers of 6 blokes. Try ringing them.
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strange as it may seem, i also saw those details, and have tried phoning a few times - all to no response.... although it may just be my timing.
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EGNX Flyer wrote:

I have nothing to do with that club, so all I can suggest is keep trying or just visit their field on a Sunday.
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snipped-for-privacy@digiverse.net wrote:

Hi mark,
i understood this, and actually had a visit in mind, but in all honesty their site isn't the greatest due to having a row of trees behind it (leading to an unexpected gusts of wind if its in the right (wrong??) direction) and the addition of a 4-foot dry stone wall at either end of the strip (okay, it is about 150 feet long, but still!) isnt ideal for landings either.
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EGNX Flyer wrote:

A bit daunting for a novice... Mayb the other club you mentioned might be a better choice, but whatever you do, don't try it on your own! Don't know what else to suggest, sorry.
Only other thing I can think of is you buy a cheapie electric artf and at least get some kind of practice in before risking your main plane. I still wouldn't recommend it though...
Either way, when you hopefully find someone to teach you, immediately start building your next trainer, because chances are you'll write it off anyway! Just preparing you for the inevitable, it's a bit of a shocker seeing your first big effort in bits, so laugh it off when it happens.
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Big Snip

Many years ago, I taught myself to fly using a FF glider modified for rudder only radio control and never suffered the "inevitable write off".
Yes I damaged it, but having built it was able to effect the necessary repairs.
I used another modification of the same model when graduating to rudder and elevator control with similar results but far fewer mishaps than with rudder only and eventually graduated to power flying.
The experience with gliders meant that I have never been worried about a "dead stick" landing as with a glider every landing approach is "dead stick". In fact, when first using power I preferred flying the tank dry rather than land with power on.
Malcolm

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Malcolm Fisher wrote:

I'd say that most IC power trainers that people try to fly on their own for the first time get decked (if they don't get accidentally damaged on the ground).
IMHO tail draggers make far better trainers than trikes, which usually damage the front UC leg on a heavy landing.

Gliders are probably the best way to learn, but it's sometimes difficult to find the right site.
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Hi Simon, Best of luck finding a tutor. There are many BFMA instructors who thrive on the challenge, but often only using a buddy lead. They get a bad reputation if they lose too many models.
Once found, dont be surprised if he/she recommends the use of a 10x6 rather than an 11x6 prop and APCs are reputed to be amongst the more efficient. Your SC40 is probably not yet run in , if so it will certainly be overpropped ( the engine will labour) , if it can handle the 11x6 then unless you quickly throttle back after takeoff, your trainer may tend to fly ( and react) rather faster than you would like. P
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Thanks for the reply Pointer.
When i flew the plane before, it was actually via a buddy lead to my 6EXA whilst the instructor had, and used, his FF9.
As for the engine, and the previous outings its had, the last time it was airborne was about a 20 minute flight, as were the handful before that - would this mean its still not fully run in? How would one tell?
The engine seems to cope very well with the APC 11x6, and it was actually recommended to me for this particular aircraft and engine by Ajay Models nr. Chesterfield (i'm lead to believe that they're very well known in this industry, something to do with Zenoah petrol engines?).
anyways, many thanks for all of your replies, much appreciated.
One more thing, would anybody have an opinion as to the use of a flight sim, AeroFly Pro Deluxe / RealFlight G3 for laying the basics down over the winter should i not find an instructor/club??
Thanks again!!
Simon
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I would recommend the free download FMS http://tinyurl.com/q4xf a simple Google search will find loads of additional models and landscapes for you to play with. You can use a cheap 10 joystick or a game controller, but best of all would be a hook up with your Tx. The USB cable and separateTX plug adapter should cost you about 25, but that will give you plenty of thumb practice.
Find a model which stalls at slow speed, and do circuits as slowly and as low as possible. Then practice landing towards you without an unseemly cartwheel. Master that and the real life situation will seem easy to you. P
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thanks again Pointer!
the only reason i suggested AeroFly and RF G3 is that i have a couple of friends with these sims, and they've offered to loan me one or the other (complete with dongles and cable) over winter should i really need them. The only thing i will need, they advise, is the connector cable for my 6EXA, which is the square 6-pin Futaba type.
Other than using my Futaba Tx, and forking out near 30 for a connecting cable, can one use a USB dual-analog controller like this: http://tinyurl.com/r2cle to control these games?
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Pointer wrote:

Lesson number 1:
Do you steer your car or bicycle with your thumb? No! It's a bad habit to get into.
Don't use your thumb on the sticks because you have less control and it might slip off, grip it properly between index and thumb.

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Lesson number 2
Don't believe everything you read on the internet.
I bet the majority of people fly with just their thumbs, I would also reckon that some of the best display pilots in this country also fly that way.
Pick the method that suits YOU. I fly, sometimes in extremely cold weather and have never had a thumb slip off the sticks yet. I have lost the feeling in them on a number of occasions but they have always remained in place.
Holding the sticks as advised feels totally wrong to me and I can't control the plane the same.
Pick what feels right and ignore those who say that you shouldn't do it that way.... same guys will tell you that the ONLY way to learn to fly is by going to a club..... hmmmmmm !
Reg
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tux snipped-for-privacy@nowhere.at-all.net wrote:

You only have to go and look, or ask any decent instructor. You'll likely also find that it's people who taught themselves, or learnt from people who taught themselves to fly that use thumbs to control their pride and joy. I know some people that use their thumbs AND fly with the elevators operating the wrong way round who learnt from a "self-taught" chap.

Like I said, it's a bad habit you picked up.

If you've got a .40 glow model it sure is. You're not suggesting that he should trim his own plane, never having flown before, I hope (and using his thumbs on the sticks). I've had to sort out all manner of fatal stuff, like ailerons or rudders turning the wrong way, engine not offset to the right, wrong CofG etc. and that's before take-off. A novice won't even know that he might need to use a bit of rudder on take off and use the ailerons instead.
Sure, gliders don't have much to go wrong (I'd recommend a Precedent Hi-Fly 2ch glider for learning on your own) but likely it will save a lot of grief and expense if he goes to a club.

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landscapes
would
Lesson number 1:
Do you steer your car or bicycle with your thumb? No! It's a bad habit to get into.
Don't use your thumb on the sticks because you have less control and it might slip off, grip it properly between index and thumb.
I have been flying R/c since the early 70s, and after graduating from push button single channel have always used my thumbs on the sticks as I don't have, and don't want a transmitter tray such as those I have seen helicopter pilots using.
In all those years, my thumbs have yet to "slip off the sticks".
As with most things there are some areas where there is no "right or wrong" - use whatever is best for you.
As for FMS, one of the model outlets advertising in RCM&E has a package with FMS on CD plus a connector cable for a TX such as a Futaba 6EXA for around 15 which could solve the problem.
There are better sims than FSA but it's a reasonable starting point.
Malcolm

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Malcolm Fisher wrote:

I started about that time.

Well a proper instructor would have stopped you developing that habit. And you don't need a tray for either, not even a neckstrap.

Nothing stopping anyone using their big toe, but the pros don't fumble with their fumbs.

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Snip
Nothing stopping anyone using their big toe, but the pros don't fumble with their fumbs.
Most of us aren't "pros", and I have seen aerobatic and scale competition pilots using their thumbs on the sticks as well as seeing instructors do the same.
As said previously - do what feels "right" for you...
Malcolm
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| | Malcolm Fisher wrote: | | > Lesson number 1: | > | > Do you steer your car or bicycle with your thumb? No!
That's my winner for `worst analogy of the day' award! Congratulations!
Last I checked, you don't steer your car or bicycle with a little stick held between your thumb and finger either. By your analogy, we probably shouldn't fly R/C planes like that either?
| > It's a bad habit to get into.
Perhaps it's not ideal, but I'm not sure it really qualifies as a `bad habit'.
| > Don't use your thumb on the sticks because you have less control and it | > might slip off, grip it properly between index and thumb.
I've heard that holding it between your finger and thumb will give you more control, and I have noticed that more of the `really good' pilots do this than the `average' pilots (like me.) However, your thumb alone does not just `slip off'.
| > and after graduating from push button single channel have always | > used my thumbs on the sticks as I don't have, and don't want a | > transmitter tray such as those I have seen helicopter pilots | > using. | | Well a proper instructor would have stopped you developing that habit.
And in my experience, 1) most people fly with their thumbs, and 2) this includes most instructors. (Though if one of your requirements for being a `proper' instructor is to not fly with your thumbs, then I guess none of the `proper' instructors do.)
| And you don't need a tray for either, not even a neckstrap.
I never did like neckstraps.
| Nothing stopping anyone using their big toe, but the pros don't fumble | with their fumbs.
Some do, from what I've seen. Well, to be more precise, they sometimes use their thumbs, but usually don't fumble. But yes, a far higher percentage of the `pros' use their finger/thumb than do in the general R/C flier population, and I doubt this is a conicidence.
--
Doug McLaren, snipped-for-privacy@frenzied.us
No, no, you're not thinking, you're just being logical. --Niels Bohr
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I'm in the "do whatever you want" camp, but I always felt insecure, and like I would slip and crash, if I used my thumbs.
--
Jim in NC


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