Fly Like a Pro – An Etiquette Refresher (Part 1)

Fly Like a Pro – An Etiquette Refresher (Part 1)

Fly Like a Pro – An Etiquette Refresher (Part 1)

In Part 1 of this short series on contest flying etiquette, we review three areas that all fliers should know when competing. From Episode 1 of our Camber Up podcast with Gavin Trussell, we discussed what all pilots should remember in the heat of competition. You want a reputation as a great pilot, not a nightmare competitor.   
When looking at top pilots like Gavin, the focus is typically on the models, designs, and the latest innovations he’s using. Although seeing and flying the newest gear is part of the fun, we should also keep a high standard of flying etiquette and behavior. This lets everyone enjoy why we’re out there, the competitive trash-talk, and avoid the drama of damaged gear and bruised egos.   


1: The Blue-sky Rule 

Regardless of a pilot’s experience, collisions happen. Pilots can be so focused on scoring points in competitions that basic safety and flying etiquette can slip.   

Always remember that when flying near others, ensure there's some 'blue sky' between your plane and others. The last thing anyone wants is to cross flight paths, as this is how mid-air collisions happen.   

Sometimes two models may cross paths in your line of sight and be okay due to the difference in depth. But, depth perception can be tricky when flying at a distance. Keeping blue sky between models ensures no midair, regardless of depth or distance. 


2: Thermals Are for Following 

A thermal is warm that flows and expands upwards, which we use to extend our flight times and is critical for most tasks. We all know to follow the thermal downwind, but following the leader is just as important.  

When entering a thermal, the first person who enters sets the direction. Then, everyone else who enters the thermal should follow that direction. With everyone circling in the same direction, the chances of a major midair dramatically reduce.   


3: Wiggle Your Sticks 

A common mistake that happens now and then is to launch the plane with the flaps down or your battery disconnected. In the heat of the moment, small details can slip your attention, quickly turning into a spectacular, expensive, and dangerous nosedive just a few feet from you.  

Take a moment to review the flap position and your plane’s overall condition. Wiggle your sticks to ensure everything works well, recheck battery connections, and ensure your battery voltage is good.   


Good Flying Etiquette Never Stops 

These three basic rules are essential to respect when building your flying career, and they don't disappear once you go pro. Instead, with time and experience, you'll make these essential practices parts of your flying behavior.   

Remember that good flying etiquette doesn't limit your style and freedom. Instead, it ensures you avoid costly, embarrassing, and potentially dangerous mistakes to yourself and the people around you. 

To visit and subscribe to our podcast, visit us on YouTube, Apple Podcasts, or Spotify 


Leave a comment

* Required fields

Please note: comments must be approved before they are published.