FAQ

If I join the club late in the year or just for the summer can I get a fee discount?

No. Even though many members use the field only from May to October, we are open year round and enjoy flying even during the winter. There is nothing quite like the experience of taking off and landing on a fresh blanket of snow using skis or floats. Your membership runs from January 1st to December 31st each year and covers the annual cost of field maintenance, servicing our lawn cutting tractor, the cost of the city permit required to use the park, our MAAC club registration and insurance and the cost of indoor flying at York University in the winter.

Do I have to pay the new member one time joining fee?

This fee applies to all adult members for the first year only. Junior members are exempt from this fee.

How big is the club?

We have about 100 members consisting of about 85 pilots and 15 students.

How can I learn to fly?

Humber Valley offers expert instruction to students who want to learn to fly radio controlled fixed wing aircraft. The instruction season starts about the third week of May up to the end of September. Instructors are qualified expert pilots who volunteer their time for free. There is no fee. But there is also no guarantee that an instructor will always be available when you ask. Students can find instructors names and email addresses/phone numbers on the club web site in the Member Section or come to the field and ask any current pilot or member of the executive to help identify qualified instructors. It is up to the student to contact instructors and arrange for a mutually convenient time to conduct training. The best time for student instruction is weekday evenings or weekend late afternoons when the field is not too busy. Sometimes weather and personal affairs limit instructor availability. The best way to learn to fly is to show up at the field as much as possible. And our Chief Instructor now manages a WhatsApp group to allow students and instructors to communicate with each other in real time about field conditions and instruction timing. It all depends on supply and demand, weather, etc.

Can I pay an instructor to teach me?

No. There are a few pay services advertised in the US, but virtually all clubs instruct purely on a volunteer basis. This ensures that instructors assess a student’s flying skills objectively and avoids jealousy between members who may not be able to afford additional fees.

What kind of airplane should I buy?

Go to a good hobby shop that specializes in RC flying and listen to their advice. We recommend students start with a high-wing .40 size glow or electric trainer. In the early days of RC and up to 15 years ago, flyers had to build their own planes from kits or plans. These days almost all students start with an ARF (Almost Ready to Fly) plane

If I buy an electric plane, can I charge my batteries at the field?

Yes. If you fly electric, we have a 12 volt charging station in the sun shelter at the field which is powered by solar panels.

How long is an average flight and how far away can I fly my plane?

Flight time varies with engine size and size of your fuel tank or battery capacity. A .40 size engine will run for about 15 minutes on an 8 ounce tank. An equivalent size electric trainer running on a 2200-3000 mAH (Milliamp Hours) battery could fly for 10 -12 minutes on half throttle. You should normally fly for about 10 minutes to be sure you don’t run out of fuel or battery capacity in flight (called a dead stick). Your transmitter can control the plane for a distance of about one mile. However, the limiting factor is how far you can clearly see the plane and judge its altitude and direction. You should normally fly in a box about 200 meters long and 100 meters deep and 90 meters (300 feet) high (Transport Canada regulations set the model aircraft height limit to 90 meters).

What is a buddy box and do I need one?

Yes. Buddy boxes are mandatory for students at Humber Valley. A buddy box is a second transmitter box (without the electronics) connected to the live transmitter through a wireless link or an umbilical cord. The Instructor uses the master transmitter while you use the buddy box (slave transmitter). The instructor can give you control and take it away the moment you get into trouble and save your plane to fly another day.

How do I know if my plane is built correctly?

When you buy or build a new plane you should bring it to the field and have it safety checked by an experienced pilot before an instructor will fly with you. Beginner built planes will usually have several deficiencies that need to be corrected. We have seen planes with 10 things wrong, just based on lack of experience. But that’s what the club is for – to help you build and set up your radio and control surfaces correctly and fly safely.

How can I learn more quickly?

The best way to learn is to come out to the field often, talk to pilots, watch what they do and ask lots of questions. Advice is free and there is lots of it at the field.

Is a computer flight simulator a good investment?

If you can afford it, a simulator is a great learning aid. Make sure you get a simulator specifically designed to simulate RC flight. Simulators today are 100% realistic and will give you a big head start on flying skills. They are also great later on for comparing flight characteristics of different planes or trying a new maneuver on the simulator before trying it in the air.

How do I become an RC pilot?

Our instructors will teach you basic maneuvers and safety. When you can take off, perform basic maneuvers, and land safely, you will be given a flight test and if you pass you will be awarded your “wings”. Then you can fly solo at the Humber Valley field.

Do I have to get MAAC insurance?

Yes. You must get your own MAAC insurance and you must have it to fly at our field. Contact MAAC at www.maac.ca or at 905-632-9808.

Can I fly my plane by myself?

No. Not until you are cleared as a “pilot” by an instructor. MAAC safety rules state that you will not be covered by insurance if you fly on your own before you are trained by a qualified pilot. Therefore even if you have MAAC, you will not be covered by liability insurance if you hurt someone or damage property with your plane. The reality is that if you try to fly on your own, without expert assistance, you will likely crash your plane within 5 seconds of takeoff. Please govern yourself accordingly. If you attempt solo flight at Humber Valley’s field before you have passed the flight test and received your wings, your membership will be revoked since your actions could cause the club to be sued for damages.

How do I join?

Download an application form from the Library Section of our web site. Mail in the completed application and cheque to the address on the form. The treasurer will mail you your member card. You will be given the password for the member section of the website and the field gate lock combination.