Friday, March 04, 2005

Why O Why don't we have more pattern pilots? -- Claude MacKrill

Why O Why don't we have more pattern pilots?

This is a question MAASA is faced with & in turn all the clubs are faced with.
Some clubs actively encourage Pattern & others not........Why?.....I think we, as the custodians of pattern must take a long hard look's easy to say that pattern is not for all....that's a given........but then would say the same for driving a car, all drivers are not F1 drivers, but if we were the roads would be a lot safer as everybody behind the wheel would be an expert driver...(not the kind of expert every Bee-ma driver thinks he is) ....but in the real world every-body in order to survive has 2 have a decent level of competency .....Now with model aircraft I think the problem lies in the training & the attitude of the teachers, Generally when u have a newcomer to the sport he joins the club, he gets his basic training from an experienced flyer (who often is also the pattern fundi) after a few sessions will 'Dump' the trainee as he can now land & take off in relative this is the part where I think we as pattern pilots are just a little selfish, we do not take the initiative to look out for potential pattern pilots........ these beginners who have just been 'Dumped' have to find there own way round...there are no basic training methods available to these beginners & soon they become like the Bee-ma drivers & have the mindset that says..... I'm able to keep a ship in the air & land safely so I'm a pretty good pilot, which in my mind is a pretty logical thought, now once u reached that 'expert' status u start getting into routines, (bad routines) all the bad flying habits have set in it's almost impossible 2 redirect this flying energy...
.I propose that what we need to do is set up a system whereby we could guide beginners in the right direction, the basic Pattern disciplines would apply here, like learning to fly the 'line', doing the loops in the appropriate positions, etc This basic discipline could be instilled in the beginners as soon as they are able to take off & land safely. So instead of being 'Dumped' by us, we would be able to give them a chance to learn to the more advanced techniques in flying......we need to formulate a 'easy' path to pattern....So please don't be a selfish pattern Buffoon, be like our pattern roll models Andre, Pierre, Danie & Savas who at the drop of a hat will spend hours at the Nats helping budding flyers to 'get things right' this I have personal experience of when they were prepared to spend hours with my son Kurt to help him with 'whatever' the problem was at the time...a helping hand from experienced pattern pilots goes a long long way to promoting pattern.....U don't have to be a Andre Or Pierre to help...all you need is a good heart, a love for the sport, and an unselfish attitude, ........So now down to the nitty gritty .....we have to devise an advanced training method I Propose the following..
1. Learn to fly up & down the the beginner where the line is.
2. Do loops on the centre line
3. One roll then 2 rolls then 3 rolls that are centred, even bum pattern flyer like me still have problems with this.
4. Do the stall turns on the centre line

Once these basics have been flown confidently what u do is to take the Sportsman schedule & rope together those maneuvers that the pilot can do & just do a fly-past in place of the maneuvers that have as yet not been attempted,

Complex maneuvers don't look so intimidating when broken down into the elements that comprise them. Practice each of those elements and then combine them into whole maneuvers to avoid mistakes and get those high scores.
I believe that to encourage we should work out a method of accommodating budding pattern flyers who can fly at least 70% of the sportsman schedule. The maneuvers that they can not manage will be judged on the quality of the flyby.....Extra points for inverted flyby's
We Need To Invest Some of our time in the interest of pattern....But please if u cannot do it with a 'Good' heart rather don't. as a wrong attitude from a teacher could cause irreversible damage to our sport & image....
Teach Pattern with a 'Good heart' will go a long way....

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