Category Archives: heli

A Day at Paul Heckles

BMAC Group at Paul Heckles

Well, after 2 cancellations due to bad weather, and me already getting my BMFA Heli ‘A’ cert, I was dubious about how much I would learn and how beneficial a Day at Paul Heckles flying school would be. I woke on Sunday morning thinking “Well, Worst case I’ll get some flying done, anyway”. The weather was fantastic, and upon arriving at the field we met our instructors and instantly fell into our usual Basingstoke club Banter mode.

Going though the pre-flight checks, it seemed most of what I do for mine are the same as what David did there, but I did pick up a few tips on checking my Gyro and actually pulling the linkages off the balls, and not just putting pressure on them, Then it was over to The flying.

I had 3 flights throughout the day, the first flight I think David wanted to work out what level I were at. The second flight was was teaching me some smoother flight and better controls, and the third flight was a bit of fun. Once Bill had taken off we were sat behind them listening to advice David was saying “Left Aileron” seemed to be the theme of the day towards Bill, and has now become his nickname but I think everyone on my group picked up some tips. When it got to my flight, we picked the Raptor 50 and David took me thought some moves (see the picture) and my flying got better as the flight continued.

David showing me 'The Moves'

Onto my second flight, and I went for the Raptor 30, toned down the agressive flying style and focussed much more on smooth flight, and this was incredible! I was doing the same things that I have been doing for months with my own helicopters and suddenly it all looked much cleaner, tidier and neater. There was so much information coming in from David that it was still going through my head on the way home. This wasn’t a bad thing atall.

My third flight I did some inverted hovering, and David took me through some flips. I still can’t do them, but they’re getting better and the advice I was given is working.

All in all, this was a fantastic day, I think I learnt more because we were in a group with people at similar levels, and so advice being given to other people I was able to benefit from, too. The flying was good fun, but even with the Heli sat on the floor and David talking us through manoeuvres I learnt alot.Very enjoyable day all-round and it was definitely money well spent. I would definitely do it again, and I would probably opt to do it in a group session again. This really did work well.

Apparently we are the first model club to do a “Club-Day” at Paul heckles, and given how well it went, I would urge other model flying clubs to do the same. I don’t think it matters what level you’re at, there’s always something to learn from them. From hovering to heavy 3D.

Thanks to the guys at Paul Heckles school of flying, and to our club Member Chris for organising such a fantastic day out.

A new canopy

well, I’ve not posted for a while, but, actually I’ve been busy. But at the beginning of the week, I got my new canopy for the Helicopter. Thanks to Chris who painted it up for me. here’s what it looks like now:

DSCF1410 DSCF1411

Unfortunately on my first flight with the new canopy, the throttle linkage snapped, and the carbs are designed to spring OPEN! I have no idea why they’re designed this way, but it meant that my rotors that are rated up to 2000rpm were turning closer to 3000rpm, resulting in quite a wobble and it shaking itself to bits. hopefully that is all sorted. Hopefully today I can get it off the floor and throw it around a bit, it does look nice out there!


A Great Day Flying

Today was a very good day, though the weather was somewhat cold, it was probably the most fun I’ve had at the airfield in a while (probably since the summer vanished). First of all, the Road on the way was… well… Interesting…


getting up the slope wasn’t hard, we were in Chris’s 4×4, it didn’t even think about it… Then the airfield was somewhat snowy too, having got all my stuff out of the car, it was just a sea of white with some stuff in the middle…


Still, we got the BBQ running, and off for a flight, my first flight was OK, but my landing wasn’t. after getting one skid on the bit we had compacted, and the other skid on the bit we hadn’t, it decided to sink into the ground at an interesting angle. I didn’t take off from here…


My second to last flight of the day, was the first time I had flown with other aircraft in the air (I don’t yet have my A-Cert), The other helicopter was close at times, but he had to be, as this is why…

That’s right, the other helicopter was filming me hovering, despite hovering being frowned upon on the main strip, there was only us two flying, so that’s ok, and I wasn’t going to start throwing it around the air and expecting Scott to keep up with the camera (and I don’t have the confidence to, of course).

and my final flight of the day before my fingers fell off due to the cold, was short, mostly because I couldn’t quite see how much fuel I had left, I didn’t know how much battery I had left, and on top of all that, I was getting somewhat cold. However, it was also filmed (Thanks again Scott).

On the plus side, I was dressed for the weather, which is more than I could say about some people in this weather.

It's a bit cold...

After that, I decided to pack up, but before I headed of, I did have to film Chris try and do some touch-and-go’s with his FunJet. of which, it didn’t quite end how he wish, but it did give us alot of enjoyment. Here’s the footage of thos, I hope it makes you laugh as much as it did us.

First, some successful touch & go’s;

(I know it says Part 3, but actually it was first)

Then, what happened next….

and the results of it…

It has to be said, I do enjoy weekends like this, I hope yours was just as entertaining.

Problem after problem…

So far, I have not crashed my Nitro Helicopter, The Nexus, due to anything I have done. Which is good. However, there has been problem after problem with it, I’ve had the switch malfunction for the radio electrics, I’ve had the tail rotor pitch rod snap, I’ve had the servo on my elevator malfunction, I’ve had an engine problem that resulted in getting through 4 glow plugs in 2 weeks, and today I had the data cable to my Pitch servo break in flight.

Fortunately, today’s incident I had done 2 figure 8′s, an I had just come in to a hover over the ‘heli-pad’ (this is a clear ‘H’ in all the snow that I had created with the shovel) I was about to land when the wire broke, and fortunately, because the servo still had power, it went into fail-safe (moves the servo into 0 position) and it thumped to the ground. I was only a foot off the ground at the time so no further damage was caused.

Here’s a picture of the broken wire
servo wire

I guess it’s good that all the “crashes” have been due to faults, but it does take a kick out of your confidence when things like this happen. Still. It’s all fixed (replaced the servo) and ready to go again, but as there’s just over an hour of daylight remaining, I’ll just leave it until tomorrow. Hopefully these problems will become less and less, I’ve had some nice flights with this one recently, and hope I get many more in before it’s killed off.