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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.