It starts with a paper dart


All too often I read a chain of messages that flow something along the lines of...

Wow this looks cool I'm going to get me one. Folks tell me what I need. Folks help me set it up. Folks there is something wrong with the autopilot it only makes my plane crash. No really I hate it here because this does not work. 

Eventually far down the line the person admits to having never flown anything and having no understanding at all of what the control surfaces do.

Paper darts can save a person a stack of cash whilst learning IMHO. If we are going to have some standards we should start at day one 0900 not Thursday at 1430 with a jet for our first aircraft.

Should the first task for somebody arriving into some sort of certification process be to prove they can make a paper dart fly 20 meters?? Perhaps special mention to the longest flight (with proof and a league table)

Some handy links

Only rule being use only a single sheet of A4 or whatever they call it in the new world?

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  • Moderator

    I know someone two people that today will be taking their BNUCs flight exams today 1 of these people has never had any interest in anything technical and never picked up a transmitter, and has had maybe a week of practice using a DJI Phantom and an S800, which he hasn`t had to practice with for long as it has spent alot of time back at the dealers for repairs and problems, he told me yesterday that he crashed because he flew through some woods whilst wanting to film bluebells and crashed without damage into the soft floor because he lost GPS signal and had to fly in Atti mode... He always flys in the compass mode so orientation wasn`t the issue, it was just that it kept drifting forward instead of stopping when the sticks were left alone, so he ditched the throttle. It will be really interesting to see if he passes? from what I have heard about the test I am sure that he will but it is scary to think how many people are just buying a ready built product, passing there test and then putting themselves up for hire. I can only see problems ahead, there has already been one documented account of someone crashing into the Thames near a huge crowd of people, after what looks like he ran out of battery? If one of these unexperienced pilots loses GPS signal it could be quite dangerous.. I myself have lost GPS even with a clear line of sight to the sky above whislt flying over the O2 dome through the lattice of steel cables, whether it was caused by the cables or some kind of interference from communications equipment I am not sure, but something like that happening to someone inexperienced could have led to an accident? Personally I think the flight tests should be carried out without the aid of accelerometers and GPS position hold to show the ability that you can actually fly and if all the fancy sensors fail you can safely bring back the machine and land. And as Gary states they should actually understand why their equipment flys and even have some knowledge of how it was built, and what goes where.

  • Nice.

    I'll start an informal paper dart distance contest at the office in the morning. 

This reply was deleted.