Introductory Pilot Program
This page provides an overview of our club's implementation of the Academy of Model Aeronautics Introductory Pilot Program (IPP). This program is designed for those who have little to no previous experience in flying a radio control aircraft, and would like to experience the thrills of flying to see if this is a hobby that they would like to pursue.
If you are already a club member and require training to fly radio control aircraft, please visit the link below to learn about our training program for those who are already club members.
This program is only available to those who are not members of our club or the Academy of Model Aeronautics. Participants are not required to purchase a radio control aircraft or any associated equipment to utilize this program. The only other requirement is that participants in the program express a sincere desire to learn to fly! That means that your only investment to see if radio control aviation is an activity that you wish to continue to pursue will be your time.
Applying for the Introductory Pilot Program
You may apply for the Introductory Pilot Program simply by contacting us and requesting participation. Our contact information is provided at the link below for your convenience. We will obtain your name and contact information, then set up a mutually agreeable date and time we can meet at our flying field to begin your training.
Your First Day of Training
On the day of your first flight, you will meet one of our Introductory Pilot Program instructors at our flying field. The link below provides information about our field, its location, and also provides a link to obtain the necessary driving directions.
At the field your instructor will commence your training which begins with information about safety, the plane, its power system, and how the plane is controlled and maneuvered. Our club utilizes a training aircraft that is flight-stabilized with a 3-axis electronic gyroscope and other electronic features that are designed to assist students. The aircraft is linked to the instructor's radio transmitter, which in turn is connected in tandem with the radio control transmitter you will be using as the student. This control system is commonly known as a "buddy-box," and will permit the instructor, at the push of a button on their transmitter, to transfer the aircraft's control to you, or take back control of the aircraft when needed. The use of the buddy-box will set your mind at ease about crashing the airplane, because should you become disoriented or make a serious mistake, your instructor will simply take control of the aircraft and make the necessary corrections before giving control back to you.
Your first flight will normally begin with your instructor getting the airplane into the air, then giving control to you so that you can fly it for approximately five minutes. Your instructor will that land the aircraft, permit you to ask any questions you may have, and provide you with comments and recommendations about your first flight.
You will continue the training process by performing a number of flights the same day with your instructor, and each time you fly your instructor will afford you more control based on how well you have demonstrated your ability to control the aircraft on previous flights. We understand that learning to fly varies from person to person, so we will challenge you when appropriate, but will not place you in a situation that you are not ready to handle.
Once you have completed your first day of flying, you will have to decide if you wish to continue radio control aircraft flight training. Should you choose to do so, and we think you will, your instructor will submit the necessary paperwork to the Academy of Model Aeronautics to designate you an Introductory Pilot Program participant. This program is provided free of charge, and will permit you to continue to fly at our field and under the supervision of our instructors for a period of up to 90 consecutive days while providing you with liability insurance coverage when doing so.
As an Introductory Pilot Program participant, you are not permitted to operate any aircraft at our field unless you are under the direct supervision of one of our club's designated Introductory Pilot Program instructors.
Once you have committed to learning to fly and been enrolled in the Introductory Pilot Program, you will continue to fly at our field with our instructors in the future. Dates and times to do so are subject to your availability and the availability of our instructors. Your training will continue, utilizing the same equipment and process that you experienced on your first day with our instructors providing the necessary training. This training will continue for up to 90 consecutive days from the date of your first flight as an Introductory Pilot Program participant. Once that 90-day period has elapsed, your participation period in the program ends and you will have to become a club member to continue to fly with us at our field.
Consider Becoming a Club Member
Upon the completion of your 90-day period as an Introductory Pilot Program participant, we ask that you consider becoming a member of our club. By this point in time, you have undoubtedly met many of our members, learned about our club, and have realized that becoming a member is a worthwhile investment in continuing this wonderful recreational activity. Applying for club membership is an easy two-step process, and you may do so following the procedure provided at the link below. Regardless of your decision, we wish you many good landings in the future!