Insight to Field Flight Procedures

Are you sure that you are ready? Some rookie pilots are wondering what the customary procedures in proceeding to fly at the Smoky Hill Model Flying Field?

Flying for the first time with of other experienced R/C pilots, or flying at a new field can be overwhelming and even intimidating.

Most, but not all field procedures are listed in our club by-laws which can be found by clicking the "Members" icon to the left of this web page and following the links.  This web page is dedicated to put your mind at easy and help you know what a new R/C pilot at our field might expect.

  1. Before leaving home, if you have a new airplane--double check that all of your linkages and control surfaces hinges are fasten properly, control surfaces have the correct manufactured suggested throw and that your transmitter is set properly for your servos.

  2. Double check that you have all of your equipment in your vehicle that is necessary to fly.  It takes only one item to keep you from flying.

  3. Once arriving at the gate, if the gate is not open, unlock the gate and scramble the lock numbers after opening the gate. Open the gate and chain the gate in the open position to the steel vertical posts.

  4. Drive in and park your vehicle in the parking lot area.

  5. If there are pilots at the field, take time to introduce your self.  Our members enjoy knowing who you are and will be able to properly greet you next time that you come out.

  6. Get your airplane and gear out and pick a place to set up well away to the west of the orange safety fencing. 

  7. Check the frequency board for any other pilots that might be flying on your channel.  The flag on your channel will be pinned up with the pilot's card.  If channel flag for your radio transmitter frequency is not being used, you need to flip up the flag that corresponds to your transmitter channel frequency and pin your Smoky Hill R/C Flying Club, Inc. membership and your AMA membership cards together on the flag.  This indicates that you are on a certain channel and no other pilot is authorized on that channel to turn on.

  8. If there is more than one pilot using the same transmitting channel frequency, the parties should be courteous and alternate using the frequency flag.

  9. It is very important that once you remove your card from the frequency board that your transmitter for that channel is off. Failure to turn off your transmitter is likely to cause an unnecessary accident.

  10. Ok, you have pinned up your transmitter channel flag on the frequency board and you may proceed to take your aircraft and necessary starting equipment to one of the open airplane pits. (designated with round concrete pads)  Your airplane and fuel should be on the concrete pad.  Proceed to turn on your transmitter.

  11. (Skip this step and go to step 12 if you have flown and range tested this plane before.)  However if this is a new airplane or has been repaired, you should now do a range check with no antenna inserted in the transmitter or antenna down testing that the plane control surfaces are working properly at a distance away.  Then with someone else holding your plane, start your plane and do a range test with the antenna not inserted or down as you did with the engine off.  If all of the control servo control surface are working properly and are set properly. 

  12. Always test to make certain that all of the control surfaces are working properly before each flight by moving transmitter toggles back and forth.   Do not attempt to fly if control surfaces do not move back and forth smoothly and promptly (you may have a battery problem or a linkage may have broken).

  13. (The following is assuming that the pilot will be using the North/South main runway.)  Observe the wind direction.  Observe other airplanes and announce that you are "taking off".  Taxis out to the run way and always position your airplane to fly into the wind and that you have plenty of take off runway.  Position yourself behind the orange safety fence on the west side.

  14. The take off and landing traffic pattern is a rectangle shape at our field depends on wind direction as does commercial airports.  The traffic pattern rectangle can be anywhere east of the flight line orange safety fence line.  Never fly your airplane west of the flight line which is restricted for the public.  Assuming the wind is any where out of the south.  The traffic pattern would be to the left.  This would mean the pilot would take off into the wind making left turns while in the traffic pattern.

  15. On the other hand if the wind is anywhere out of the North the pilot again would position his airplane to fly north.  The traffic pattern in this case would be a rectangle requiring right turns after take off.

  16. Once you are out of the take off/landing traffic pattern, you may perform and make any maneuver that you wish.  Never conduct any maneuvers that make other pilots or the public uneasy.

  17. When you are ready to land.  Yell out "Landing" or "Dead Stick" to other pilots so they know to give way so you might land safely.  Always use the appropriate traffic pattern for landing into the wind. (Note:  wind direction can sometime change).

  18. After landing, get off the runway a quickly as possible and taxi back to the safety fence.  Turn your engine off at this point, turn transmitter and receiver off and remove your plane and equipment from the concrete pad to your set up location.  If there are any other pilots using the same channel frequency as yours, remove your cards from the frequency board.

  19. If you made it through all of these instructions without a mishap, you had a successful flight.

  20. Very important: Each member is responsible to make certain that if they are the last member to leave, that all guest have been asked to leave, and the gate is securely locked.  We have on occasions found the gate open and field unattended.  This is not acceptable in any circumstance and is grounds where a complaint could be made to the board of directors.  We want you to have fun and to keep our field and equipment at the field secured, it is necessary that we have a no tolerance level on this issue.  




© Copyright 2011 Smoky Hill R/C Flying Club, Inc.