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