Learn How To Fly An RC Plane

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My mother-in-law bought me a Red Baron kite for my birthday last year.  She knows I love Charlie Brown’s The Great Pumpkin (who doesn’t, after all?), and that Snoopy’s my favorite Peanuts character.  The WWI Flying Ace’s flight scene is a highlight of the fall in our home, as evidenced by this year’s choice of Halloween costume. 

Anyway, back to the kite...Made of high quality nylon and decked out in all its two-tiered glory, it’s pretty cool.  Unfortunately, all that coolness comes at a price – it’s so heavy, it’s hard to fly.  Only the most windy of days allows the RB to take flight.  My two year old, Cooper, doesn’t get that.  When he’s in the mood to fly a kite – or moreover to watch me fly a kite, he’s in the mood right now.  So I’ve taken to other high-flying hobbies to keep him entertained on calm weather days.   

RC planes originated…I bought my first one when I was twelve.

When I’m flying the RC, Cooper’s pretty fascinated.  Let’s face it, we’re all pretty fascinated, wondering what it would be like to see the world from exactly that perspective, neither from a miles-high jet or from the lowly ground, but from the tree line, the roof tops, just slightly on top of the world.  And wondering, too, if Daddy might crash and burn any second.

Because Cooper isn’t quite ready to manipulate the delicate controls of an RC plane just yet, Santa’s got something a little tamer in store.  This year tucked under the Christmas tree, snuggled up next to our Lionel Christmas train, will be a My First remote-control car.  I’m already excited for us – I mean for him.  Once he’s tested his own mettle on a car, I’ve got my eye on a remote-control helicopter that, if dropped, will neither break in two nor break my wallet.

Even those steps won’t be enough to just hand over the keys (or controller, rather) to an RC plane at too early an age.  Even grown men have been known to see their RC planes meet sad fates because of their overly-enthusiastic desire to pilot a plane. 

That’s why flight simulator games are a great way to learn the skills necessary to pilot an RC.  They focus on practicing exactly those skills that one needs to RC at a pace set for each person individually, so they’re easy to learn from.  They offer countless aircraft on which to practice, so I’m not strapped into one make and model.  And they’re cheaper and more compact than the hobby of RC planes, so no one gets annoyed that you’re taking up half the garage on “fun stuff.”

Plus Realflight is one video game that both parent and child will love – together.  It’s a far cry from Pong and is a lot more wholesome than Grand Theft Auto.  And –not to be discounted– I can fly in any weather, while in my boxers, on the couch, slice of pizza in hand.

 

 

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