Scott

Eshelman

, Dayton

, Ohio

, United States

Posted on
2020-02-22 3:39:12
“I became interested in flying model aircraft at age eleven. I distinctly remember watching airplanes at the airport across from my grandparents house and dreaming about sending a radio controlled model up. I started with an inexpensive and low quality ready to fly product from a toy catalog. While I did have some successful flights with it, I knew it was possible to do much better. I just didn’t know how. A long time family friend found out about my interest. He had flown models all his life, but as he was at an advanced age, he felt that I would be able to make better use of his radio controlled models. He gifted me two glow powered trainers and showed me the basics of how they were set up. At around this time, I also learned of a flying club in the area. I used to take swimming lessons at a local park where the airfield was located. After one of these lessons, I asked my parents to drive me back to the airfield. The club members were very welcoming. Some of them were club instructors and eagerly agreed to teach me how to fly models. For the next six months, I regularly took lesson flights with these generous aeromodelers. They started by showing me how to restore my older RC trainers. They showed me the basics of fixing parts in need of repair, and replacing parts that were not repairable. I learned all about how to find a reputable company from which to buy parts, and I learned how to install them and to properly maintain them. One of the most interesting things for me was learning how to safely operate the engines my airplanes used. It is a whole skill in and of itself, and since then, I have had the pleasure of teaching many youth these same skills. The flights we took over those months consisted of basic maneuvering and later on, basic aerobatics. The journey was fascinating and taught me many important life skills. Several years later, at age 14, I became the club’s youngest instructor pilot. I had the pleasure of instructing people who were around my age, as well as people who were older than me. I had learned not to give up in any area of life through model aviation. Now, it was my turn to teach this to whomever wished to learn. I quickly found out that any person who had the discipline to work hard could lean to fly a non autonomous model aircraft. Part of the learning curve involves learning good judgement, and how to make good safety decisions. I never struggled with a student of a non autonomous aircraft who didn’t want to be safe. When you have to work that hard to learn to fly, safety becomes a natural instinct. Over the next few summers, I helped out with an event held by the Civil Air Patrol, the US air-force auxiliary for youth. I was a member of this wonderful organization. The Civil Air Patrol places a heavy emphasis on aerospace education. My squadron hosted an event several years in a row in which we taught cadets to fly model airplanes within the time span of a week. I was privileged to be one of the instructors. Every day, we taught the cadets the basics of radio system set up, control linkage geometry, aerodynamics, and flying. Ultimately, we had them flying from sun up to sun down. By the end of the week, most of them could fly a basic pattern from take off to landing with no help from the instructor. I still enjoy teaching new comers how to fly. My flying club, the Dayton Wingmasters, holds weekly instructing sessions in the summer where people are welcome to come and fly our airplanes. They do not need their own equipment. I teach young and old how to fly models. I also have full scale pilots learning to fly models fairly often. Besides instructing, I also love scale flying. I fly a quarter scale Cessna 150 Aerobat from RC guys. This plane has a 22 cc gasoline engine and redundant equipment on board for safety. Redundancy is a routine practice in model aviation much like it is in the full scale aviation world. The wing spans eight feet. I also fly a smaller model of the Piper Cherokee. I am currently working on building a 1/5 scale DeHavilland Beaver. This airplane will be covered with fiberglass and painted silver and red, to match the Beaver hanging in the museum of the United States Airforce in Dayton, OH. I also love aerobatic flying. I have two gasoline powered Extreme Flight 25% Extra 300s as well as some smaller aerobatic planes for practice. While I really enjoy flying at my club field, there are several other fields in the area where I often fly models. I do this for two reasons. For one, the change of scenery is exciting! Some of these fields have more space than my club field for precision aerobatics such as long slow rolls from one end of the field to the other. Secondly, I often end up with the privilege of talking to curious spectators who have gathered, showing them how the aircraft is set up and how everything works, and then performing a flight for them so they can see it all in practice. Overall, I love to fly and I love to see others’ interest in flying ignite through model aviation. It is extremely rewarding to see young people leave their virtual video game consoles to come out in the sunlight and enjoy model aviation with people of all ages! I’ve seen some who had lost hope and interest in living renew their passion for life through model aviation. On the next page, I’ve included two pictures featuring my quarter scale Cessna 150 at the Joe Nall Fly In at Triple Tree Aerodrome. If you are reading this and you are not an R/C pilot, I hope you will give it a try!”
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