What do I need to do to join the club?
To apply for regular membership in the Flying Knights you need; to be a member of the Academy of Model Aeronautics, have a Flying Knights member sponsor your application, your completed application form, and your membership fee. The Flying Knights will be happy to help you with this process, answer questions, and arrange for sponsorship of your application.
What is the AMA and why do I need to join that, too?
The Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA) is the national organization in the U.S. that supports aeromodeling activities. At the club level, the AMA provides flying-site insurance to the landowners of flying sites. Current, annual membership in the AMA is a mandatory requirement for FKMAC membership. As per FKMAC rules and bylaws, failure to maintain current AMA membership automatically revokes your FKMAC membership and immediately terminates any elected office or position you hold within the club.
Where and when are the club meetings?
Club meetings are held on the first Wednesday of each month at7PM, at the East Greenbush library, October - April. During the summer months May - September, meetings are held at the club’s flying field in Ravena. The business portion of the meeting starts at7PM, and is intentionally kept short so that flying is possible afterward. Check our Events Page for changes to time, date, or location.
What are the dues used for?
As in any organization of this type, dues are used to cover expenses the club incurs to provide for club activities. These expenses include acquisition and maintenance of equipment to mow and maintain the runway, flying site structures and repairs, and others.
How (high/far) can model aircraft fly?
The radios we use have an effective range of approximately one mile, however, we can only fly within our visual line of sight. Customarily we fly within a 1,000-foot horizontal distance and at reasonably lower altitudes.
What radio should I buy (brand...number of channels..)?
For the most part, which brand you should get is a purely subjective question. It's a lot like asking which brand of soft drink is the best...everyone has their own opinion and there are really no wrong answers. There are several popular brands available...in alphabetical order, the four most commonly seen are: Spektrum, Futaba, Hitec and JR. Whatever brand you choose, make sure the transmitter is "buddy box" capable, also referred to as having "trainer capability". The Flying Knights has buddy boxes for some brands of radios. Verify that the transmitter you are buying is compatible with the club's buddy boxes.
How hard are R/C airplanes to fly?
As with any new skill, it takes practice. You should be prepared to dedicate a fair amount of time in order to learn this new skill, depending on how quickly you can pick it up. A fast learner might take as little as 6-8 weeks, while for others it could take as long as 6-8 months.
How do I get flight instruction?
During the summer months, the club dedicates Wednesday evenings for training. Club instructor(s) may also be available at the field on a case-by-case basis. You must be a Flying Knights member to receive flight continuus training from our club instructors.
What is a good first airplane?
Trainer planes come in three general sizes: “20size”, "40-size" and "60-size". Of the three, the 40-size trainer is the most commonly seen. In our experience, the best and most effective training experience is obtained when you start with a stable, predictable and relatively slow airplane. Typically referred to as "trainer planes" (for obvious reasons), these aircraft have the wings mounted above the "cabin" (referred to as a ''''high-wing'''' configuration, similar to a Cessna), have a fair amount of "dihedral" (the "vee" shape of the wing), and have wheels arranged in a tricycle format (two main wheels with the third placed at the front).
How much does it cost to get started?
The initial cost can vary depending on what path you take. Most newcomers today get started by purchasing a “trainer package”. This includes an ARF (almost ready to fly) airplane, the engine or electric motor, and radio, and typically cost $400 or less.
Can I buy used equipment to save money?
Used equipment CAN be a good way to get started. However, as with any other second-hand purchase you need to be sure that what you are getting is actually worth what you are paying. Have an experienced person look it over for you if you are uncertain.
Should I go with glow power or electric?
Most people start with glow. With a glow plane, when you run out of fuel all you need to do is refill the tank, restart the engine and keep on flying. With an electric plane, you must recharge the battery when it runs down. Electric power has improved significantly and in many cases the performance is comparable to glow power. However, most trainer planes being sold are glow-powered
Helicopters look interesting. Are they hard to fly, and can I start out with one?
Helicopters can definitely be a lot of fun. However, compared to an airplane they are quite a bit more difficult to learn to fly. One thing to remember is that helicopters may be somewhat uncommon in a typical R/C club, so getting help with one (and you WILL need assistance) can be difficult. Some of The Flying Knights members fly helicopters, however, the club does not provide structured helicopter training.
What about gliders/sailplanes (Park fliers, Zagis or something similar)?
Parkfliers and other similar aircraft are sometimes advertised as being suitable for beginners. In some cases this is true, however many of the smaller aircraft are somewhat delicate and cannot easily handle winds.
What sort of identification do I need on my aircraft?
The AMA Safety Code states: “I will not fly my model unless it is identified with my name and address, or AMA number, on or in the model.” This means that at a minimum you need to put your AMA number somewhere on the aircraft.
When does my club membership become effective?
Applicants are voted-in to the Flying Knights by the clubs general membership. Most membership benefits start as soon as a new member is voted in. Every new member of the club is voted in on a twelve (12) month probationary basis. During their probationary period, new members cannot cast votes at club meetings. At the probationary period’s conclusion, the club votes on passage to regular membership.
When can I fly my plane on my own?
Every new member must successfully perform a solo,check-out flight, before they can operate or fly aircraft unattended or unaccompanied. Until an approved check-out flight is successfully completed with a club instructor, new members will only fly with a club instructor or the instructor’s designee.
What should I know about safety?
Model aviation is an enjoyable hobby for friends and families. However, similar to other activities, significant dangers do exist. The AMA and theFKMAC both have safety and procedural rules that help reduce risks and encourage a safer environment for model flying. It is every FKMAC members’ responsibility to follow these rules. Always be aware of flight and aircraft operations at the flying field.
How is the flying field arranged?
The FKMAC flying field closely follows AMA guidelines for aeromodeling facilities. The FKMAC field has designated areas for vehicle parking, spectator seating, pit operations (starting, tuning, repairs,) pilot flying stations, radio storage (impound), runway boundaries, and approved airspace (over-flight) areas. With the exception of specific learn to fly and demonstration activities, conducted within AMA rules and programs, non-AMA members are limited to access to the parking and spectator areas only.
What kinds of aircraft can I fly?
All model aircraft, model flying and model operations at theFKMAC field must conform to the rules of the FKMAC, The Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA), National Model Aircraft Safety Code, and any applicable special, supplemental safety codes as designated by the AMA.