Welcome to Jazzy's Flight Deck!

Are you a beginner RC airplane flier? If you are, I hope to provide valuable information to help you get off the ground! RC flying can be very frustrating, and this is quite normal, so don't let it stop you from enjoying this wonderful hobby! Once you get your plane up there, I promise you will be happy you did it! Please let me know if there's anything you'd like to see here or if you have any questions.

Aircraft listed in bold now have mini-reviews and/or videos.

Over and out!
jasmine2501 at "don'tspamme" netzero dot com

Friday, March 21, 2008

Be someone's inspiration

I have only been flying RC about a year if you don't count a few hours as a kid, but after you read this, you'll know why I think it counts. I have been building (flying) model airplanes all my life though mostly free-flight stuff, paper planes, and I built my own free-flight helicopter as a kid (a modified Guillows glider). When I was maybe 7 until I was 12, I would often be cared for by the town mayor and his wife, Lester and Mary Rogers. He was the mayor, and one of the coolest people I'd ever met. He built and flew model airplanes which were all gas-powered, and he invented a thing called a "ufo" which is a bizarre free-flight vehicle, and he also built a lot of 'toys' which were technologically interesting to me at that age.

This was Kansas farm country in the mid to late 1970s, and technology was nearly non-existent, and Lester (Mr. Rogers?) had HAM radio and other fun stuff. I remember he taught me how to make a pop gun with a manilla folder some typing paper and some tape. We must have killed each other hundreds of times with those things! Anyway, I must have annoyed the heck out of the guy, always begging to go fly planes, so he came up with other fun things to entertain me.

I finally understand what he meant by "it's too windy, maybe later" - but when it wasn't, we would go fly planes and always had a good time. You know, in all those years I didn't actually see him crash once, but my dad tells me now that he used to crash all the time and tell funny stories about it. I do remember people in town finding his UFOs on their roofs and in their yards and stuff. It was a free-flight vehicle made from pie plates, and (I think) powered by a .049 motor, and designed to fly in one direction - straight up. Needless to say they almost always disappeared, but it was a small town and I'd like to think he probably got most of them back. He was the mayor after all.

These days I know how amazing all this was at the time. It was 1976 and he was flying big 4-channel gassers, presumably with home-made equipment. Watching those airplanes in the beautiful Kansas skies at that age, I instantly fell in love with aviation. Ever since those days as an insufferably precocious child begging to go fly planes, I've been building airplanes in one form or another. I organized a paper airplane contest at my grade school one year, I've built hundreds of rubber powered planes of all kinds, and I've experimented with electric free-flight planes.

That experience as a child gave me a real love for science and technology, and as I grew older I spent a lot of time learning about airplanes and other technologies. In the 1980s I became positively obsessed with computers and this led to my current career as a programmer, but I have always also loved electronics, physics, math, and of course, aviation. In 1999 I graduated from Hastings College with a degree in Biology, but I only worked briefly in that field before I went into computer programming.

Now that I'm old enough to afford it, I have taken up RC airplanes and I really love it. It is the perfect way to combine my love of technology with aviation, and get out in the world and participate in a healthy hobby in the great outdoors, and meet other people who love it too! I have had the good fortune to meet many inspiring people over the years, but I credit Lester Rogers with starting a trend that has lasted a lifetime and has provided a lot of happiness, and led to a career that I enjoy. I sincerely hope that everyone has an opportunity, no matter what age they are, to meet inspiring people like this, and I hope that people will continue to take advantage of the opportunities to be inspiring and helpful to others as well, in this hobby and in all of life's endeavors. So get your neighbor, friend, or kid and get out there and fly some planes!

(If you haven't already done it, you should join one of the forums on Wattflyer or RCGroups and try to help out when you can, and if you can instruct, please sign up for the AMA Park Pilot Partners Program (I think they need more P words in that name)

Over and out!