First Flight

I, along with some others in my family, received radio control airplanes for Christmas. I have long been interested in airplanes and flying. I took ground school while attending college, but did not have the time or the money to complete my flight training. I still intend to complete flight school sometime, however, whenever it is possible for me to do so. I also went skydiving once, just to try it. I wrote my last journal entry to say “goodbye” to everyone the night before I went and jumped out of a plane several thousand feet up in the air. Skydiving was fun, but I think I liked just flying around in that little plane more than jumping out of it. It was relaxing, but exhilarating and exciting at the same time. Anyway, this first flight is not about me flying “in” the plane, but controlling our radio control airplanes from the ground. It is probably good we were not in the plane too.

My brother’s radio control airplane came first, so we got it on Christmas day. My radio control model aircraft arrived late after it was ordered, so I did not receive it until a few days after Christmas. Because my brother’s came first, we decided to take it out and fly it. We went to a large parking lot by a large field. There was a river and a large church building nearby as well. In the field there were a lot of large trees that we had to avoid, and in around the parking lot there were high power lines. Neither of us had ever flown a radio control airplane before, so we did not really know what we were doing and had to figure it out.

My brother took the control first. He increased the power on the control, so the plane began to move forward. It took off very rapidly, and sped away at a nearly uncontrollable speed. I told him to steer clear of the river, but instead he flew out of control in a straight line for probably two-hundred to three-hundred feet right over the river. He suddenly turned and hit a tree, causing the plane to fall into the creek bed. We went running over to it to make sure it did not float down the stream or get destroyed. Luckily it landed near the bank on a rock sticking up.

I took the controls next. I flew the plane in the opposite direction from the river. I pointed it toward the church and the field instead. The plane took off again, cruising over the parking lot. I think part of our control problem was that we had the plane at full power each time we flew it, so went very fast and out of control. It quickly covered the distance of the parking lot and was heading right over the church. I did not want it to get stuck on the roof of the church. I had to make it turn, but there were trees in the way. I tried to turn around the back of the trees, in between the trees and the church building. I turned the plane, but it was hard to control or know when to turn, because we were so far away already. The plane had traveled too fast. The turn was too sharp, and out of control. The plane crashed hard into the tops of the trees.

I was worried the radio control model airplane had busted apart when it hit the trees. It was going so fast and crashed so hard. When we finally got over to survey the damage, the plane was still tightly stuck in the top of the tree, but both of the wings had come off. We found a large pole to hit the plane out of the tree, it took a while to get it out, and the plane was somewhat damaged, but easily fixable. That was our first flight. It also turned out to be the last for that airplane, after our parakeets pecked it to pieces one day. But that is alright, I can always fine another airplane model or radio control airplane at another hobby shop or store.

Peter Jay is the Owner/President and CEO of Variety Access – Your online hobby store and more. For more information about hobbies, hobby products, or Variety Access, go to

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