There are lots of different things to consider when you first start to fly a remote control helicopter. As always you want to start with safety. There are certain things that need to be in consideration when talking about safety. If you are just starting to learn how to fly you should first make sure the spot you initially try to fly your helicopter in is clear of everything. A good rule of thumb to start out with for a first hover is 6 feet of space in each direction. Even if your first flight is just a hover this space is necessary in case something happens. It is also not good practice to fly a helicopter in a high traffic area. That is, an area where lots of people or objects will be moving about in. Even if the area is currently clear make sure that your fly zone cannot be compromised by a person or an object in the future. It is also important to make sure that your take off and landing zone is a flat surface. This is important for all fliers not just first time fliers. Taking off on uneven ground can cause a remote control helicopter to lose control and crash very quickly due to the changing center of gravity in the helicopter. Once all of the boring safety stuff is out of the way it is time to start with the fun stuff. Setting up for your first flight.
A few terminologies that you should be aware of before you start your first flight. The landing gear is the part of the helicopter that touches the ground when you are not flying it. On helicopters these can also be referred to as skis. The controller is the device which you use to fly the helicopter and can also be referred to as a remote controller or transmitter (it transmits your commands to the helicopter). On the controller there is typically a dial or set of buttons labeled trim. The trim is where we are first going to focus our efforts before we attempt any maneuvers.
The controller is the next thing you want to briefly familiarize yourself with before your first flight. It would do you no good if you took off and then forgot which controls did which. A controller is typically quite simple and we have already discussed one aspect of the controller, the trim. Besides the trim buttons or dial, most controllers also have two joysticks and an antenna. Depending on what kind of controller you have you may also have an LCD screen that gives you feedback about what is going on with the helicopter. Typically one joystick is the throttle for the helicopter which makes the blades spin faster or slower which moves the remote control helicopter up or down. This joystick typically only moves up and down on the controller. The other joystick moves in all directions and controls the direction of the helicopter.
Now to the fun or scary part depending how you feel about your first flight. After you have picked your level flight zone that is clear of all objects, keep your controller off and turn on your helicopter. Step to a safe and turn on your controller. You are now ready for your first flight! Depending on how your controller and helicopter receive and transmit information it may be necessary to turn on the controller first and then the helicopter. It is best practice to turn the helicopter on first and relocate to a safe distance before turning on the controller because if it is done in the reverse order a button or joystick may be bumped causing the helicopter to move unexpectedly and injuring yourself. For first time fliers or first time with a particular remote control helicopter it is recommended to start with a hover.
When attempting your first hover increase the throttle joystick so your helicopter hovers and slowly decrease the throttle to set your helicopter back on the ground. If the helicopter moves in the air and does not land in the same spot that it took off from do not worry this is what we will use the trim control. Once you are comfortable with hovering it is time to use the trim. While the helicopter is hovering, adjust the trim until the helicopter is stable. Congratulations on completing your first flight and setting up your helicopter!