Beginner Series - Launching and Landing

by FliteTest | November 6, 2013 | (22) Posted in How To

The Flite Test Beginner Series is brought to you by Horizon Hobby

Episode 4: Launching and Landing
There are some fundamental things that you can do to prepare yourself for a successful R/C flying experience and they all start with properly learning how to launch and land you're airplane.

Preflight Check
The Preflight Check is a list of essential tasks that increase your chances of a successful flight.

Check Range
Each radio manufacturer has different methods. Refer to your manual for instructions. If a manual is not available you can search R/C forums for the information you need.

Check Batteries
Use a battery checker to make sure you’re starting with a fully charged battery.

Label with Contact Info

Check CG
Check the manufacturer’s recommendations for the Center of Gravity for your specific plane. Quite often the CG is between 25%-30% from the leading edge of the wing.

Check out these videos for more information:

Check Propeller Direction

Make sure your prop is facing the right direction and it is spinning the right way.

Check out this video for more information:

Prop Direction

Check Control Surfaces

Make sure your control surfaces are moving freely and moving in the right direction.

Check out these videos for more information:

Check Flight Area

Plan your pattern before taking off. It’s easy to get excited and take off quickly. Look up and visualize wide turns and make yourself aware of obstructions, wind and sunlight.


Plan Your Landing

Always have a plan to land before taking off. It helps to visualize your approach and touchdown.

Check Wind

It’s important to always take-off and land into the wind. If the wind is too strong don’t attempt to fly.


Practice “driving” your plane. It’s good to understand how your plane responds to your input on the ground.

Ground Launch

Launch into the wind

Launch and land straight away

Don't climb too steep (the plane will roll or stall)


Hand Launching

Have a friend throw it for you

Don't launch in a way that will chop your fingers

Launch into the wind

Throw level

Launch and land straight away

Running glide test

Check out this video for more information:

Hand launching


Always Land into the wind

Don't stall (landing faster is better than stalling?)

Practice (maybe touch and go?)

Flaring (Check out this video Landing and Flaring)

Touch down before the plane passes you.

Hard surface landing

Belly landing


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We would like to thank Horizon Hobby for sponsoring this Beginner Series! Let us know what you think of this content and let Horizon Hobby know as well! You can find out more about Horizon Hobby HERE.

Launching and Landing


gertjan on November 8, 2013
Again an awesome video. What i have missed is the warning not to forget to switch-off the range check settings. I can imagine a lot of planes went nose down because of this.

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FKreider on November 7, 2013
Great video, love the camera mounted to the transmitter, it really shows the stick movements.
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Hunter Staples on November 7, 2013
Awesome video guys!
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billchuck on November 17, 2013
An important note: a pace is two steps, not one. The way you were counting off, you did your range check at half the distance you are supposed to.
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sailorJohn on November 7, 2013
Good video for experienced pilots as newbe's always need help and it's easy to forget steps trying to help out. But always give the warning that you are not responsible for crashes as there is always a crappy plane that is almost impossible to fly.

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onemoreflite (John Michaels) on November 7, 2013
Great job guys, best beginner episode yet! My constructive criticism is: Josh S's reiteration of little things that Bixler forgets to explain (like exactly where the trim buttons are) are the key to a beginner series. Always remember that most people watching this know almost nothing about RC, so do not breeze past little things that you might think are "common knowledge" because everything is new for a "new"bie...
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Ron B on November 8, 2013
Great video for us beginners !!!!
I haven't flown in over 40 yrs. and most is new for me again.
Keep it up guys.

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hunterradiocontrol on November 25, 2013
amazing video. thanks a lot, that really helped me!!!!!!!!!
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ziffa27 on January 15, 2014
Hey all,
I am not sure if this is the right place to ask if not just let me know where and i will fix it.
I always wanted an F-22.
The problem i am having is that i have bought the (3 Pack Swappable Speed Build Kit) and managed to crash all of 2 of them.
I think the most problem i had was that where i live it is always windy.
Do you think this will be a good plan to start with (not really start) the F-22 because have a bit more of power or i should go with something more slow like (FT Old Speedster) or is another one?
Thanks a lot.
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orange picker on October 3, 2014
I think it'll be fine going to a speedster I think Is a bad thing to do especially if you have a lot of wind
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ziffa27 on October 6, 2014
Thanks a lot "orange picker" i will give it a try and see how it will go.
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jksbusiness on April 5, 2015
Thanks for the close up shots of the controls. I will have to watch it several times......CHARGE!!!!
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SlowJeff on May 4, 2015
Today was my 4th flight. My plane flew away on my 2nd. No name on it.
Boy do I wish I'd found you guys just a little sooner.
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Glitchy647 on April 27, 2015
I have a really heavy pusher wing (TBS Caipirinha 3S Setup). It flies really well once its in the air, but getting it in the air is often an issue. Vertical takeoff (launching it from a wingtip 3/4 throttle and then gain altitude then level wing), is fairly easy but I gain 20-30 feet in a few seconds and so I basically have to cut the throttle completely in order to bring it down in time. If I grab the plane from the motor mount with 2 fingers and use a third finger to support the body of the wing and then run and throw it I am closer to the ground, but I often don't get to the throttle fast enough.

Any tips for a very new flying wing pilot?
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Pitts Driver on January 23, 2015
Maybe I'm just thick headed, but where's the top of this "Beginner Series", how do you get to the next episode, the previous episode?
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Beginner Series - Launching and Landing