After years of flying outlaw, recently was invited down to Lakeland to fly with Ron Ferrer w/ some like-minded folks, so I finally joined the AMA (about 12 yrs after my first flight!). I was gonna need a card for the PRO-BRO in January anyway.... then it occured to me... I've never flown at an actual club field, with a runway, flight line, pilot's station, etc. I usually just walk out in the field and fly the plane on all sides of me..usually try to keep the plane into the wind , so that when I make my feeble hovering attempts, I'm looking at the top of the plane, at least that's been the drill lately. So, I decided yesterday, if I'm gonna go fly at an actual club field, I need to practice trying to stand still ( I usually walk around a LOT!) and fly beyond an imaginary flight line... it was pretty darn windy, so , I didn't get real fancy, mostly just low harrier circles (yes, circles). I was amazed how hard it was to keep the plane on one side of me, after so many years of flying wherever I want. Have to get used to seeing the plane from different angles... for instance, the wind was from my left, and instead of looking at the plane hanging in the breeze from behind, I'm looking at a side view (profile?) and having a real hard time telling whether or not the wings are level, until, of course, it starts to fall over sideways, which gives a pretty strong indication, but not much notice! Actually, I think I'm gonna have to practice this "new" style of flying a pretty good bit before I'm ready to take it to a club field w/ other folks & planes around.
Most of y'all probably learned to fly at a club, with an instructor, on a buddy box, and so have flown this way your whole R/C career, but for an outlaw like me, it is proving more difficult than I imagined to try and break some heavily ingrained habits. I'm a fairly rare-breed... a self-taught pilot who didn't give up after a few crashes- but it seems I've taught myself some bad habits when it comes to flying with others, in public.
Anyone else ever go through this? I know the only solution is to practice, but I'd rather be working on inverted harriers than just "not crossing the imaginary line" but I have to work on this stuff, for safety's sake, before I take this show on the road. Thanks for listening (reading).