OTHER THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW BEFORE YOU START
SUMMARYA short list of items which may assist you/your child to enter the hobby.
You may be close to a club, slope or open space - this may dictate your choice of entry into the sport. Different clubs support different flying types. Roll up and check them out.
You will need to be at least 12 (or perhaps 10 or 11 if you have a lot of support). You will also need to save up lots and do extra chores around the house because this costs quite a bit and you'll need transport, help and a place to store everything. Accept the fact that others in the family may not share your enthusiasm.
THE RIGHT TIME????
Planes crash, motivation comes and goes, interests change and domestic and other constraints and priorities may apply. THIS MAY OR MAY NOT BE THE RIGHT TIME FOR YOU TO ENTER THE SPORT.
Tables of costs for each item are listed in the advanced articles. These are inAustralian dollars and are approximate and constantly changing. Different shops have different pricing structures on different items BUT most will do good deals on whole packages. Talk to the shopkeepers and also to fliers as to whom they do (and don't!) recommend.
You will need a basic amount of gear to fly. It is possible to spend lots more - if you buy badly, crash a lot, like buying more planes - or if you have ignored the advice in this and my other articles(!).
Remember -if you can't afford to crash, then you can't afford to fly.
KNOWLEDGE OF ELECTRONICS
None needed as most electronic items are "packaged" - just like you don't need to know much about a car to drive one.
A little is helpful if you are seeking to optimise your electric plane, but some good advice from a knowledgable mentor is just as good.
A TRAINER / MENTOR(Also see Learn to Fly article on this site)
Will be required to get you started. Average time of first self-taught flight between takeoff and destruction of expensive plane - 4 seconds!! This means:
BUYING SECOND HAND
Read these articles carefully and determine what's for sale is really going to suit your purposes. (If you're after a glider - don't buy a power plane simply because it is going cheap!)
Know relative values, bring your mentor along. There are some bargains out there and there are some duds. See Radio section regarding second hand radios.
WHY I FLY
Like many 40 something year olds, the kids didn't need my constant attention, the wife was happy to have me out of the house occasionally, the renovations were as complete as my motivation was ever going to take them, and I needed to think about something that was unrelated to work.
Other benefits are a lot of social interaction, hours at a time out of doors and even a bit of exercise. It's relaxing and unpowered gliding is close to nature and akin to sailing.
Some families participate and it's a terrific father/son hobby and is a change from the kids being glued to the screen(!)
GET MORE INFO
There are many opinions (what's on this site is only one!!) - so seek the consistent answers.
On this site, items specific to Australia (frequencies & locations) are in green. All prices are in Australian Dollars.
WHAT YOU FLY MAY BE PARTLY DEPENDENT ON WHAT THEY FLY NEAR YOU - SO CHECK OUT ..........................CLUB LOCATIONS
Martin Lui shows that flying can be relaxing!!
Repairing my first plane after its first crash on its first day out, about 5 years ago.
It flew nose first into the Yarra River. I stripped and retreived it and it flew (and crashed) many times more.
For domestic harmony, the Kitchen Table is not the best place for this sort of work!