This page is for pilots interested in attending a 1st RC Flight School Aerobatic course who did not originally learn to fly at the school. Exceptions to the prior enrollees only policy are made when non-previous pilots appreciate the following...
It's about Quality, not merely quantity
Effective instruction involves the instructor clearly communicating the appropriate lessons that he has learned to the student so that the student doesn't have to go through the same mistakes that he did while learning. Off-the-cuff instruction and trial-and-error methods are not used at this school.
Along with an openness to learn new things, those who attend the school's accelerated aerobatic courses must have a decent foundation on which to build in order for the student and the school to continue to be successful. That foundation starts with learning to maintain consistent parallel lines with the runway centerline:
The tendency of most aerobatic pilots is to start a maneuver and then react to deviations — when the real solution is to find out why the airplane deviated in the first place, and correct the situation. Yet, without consistent positioning, even the same deviation in the same maneuver can look quite different each time. Identifying the deviations common to any given maneuver therefore becomes very difficult, thereby hindering the pace of learning.
On the other hand, by performing your center and turnaround maneuvers along the same parallel line, like watching a familiar movie scene over and over, you'll far more quickly make the connection between what you're seeing and what the instructor is saying, and thus progress at a much more efficient pace. View Parallel Lines Article
Secondly, unless you and your instructor followed a complete training syllabus when learning to fly, you are, for all practical purposes, self taught through the trial-and-error method and flying is based on "reacting" to the airplane.
The challenge of training a reactor is that they tend to make 3 to 4 times more control inputs than what the maneuvers require when flown optimally. Thus, the pilot who is continually making inputs has little opportunity to be thinking about or receiving instruction on how to become a better flyer. A high quantity of inputs also leads to getting different results each time. Hence, while the instructor can call out mistakes, he cannot offer concrete solutions if the pilot continues to introduce different variables. (Expo promises to tame the consequences of making a lot of inputs, but it does not address the cause.)
For both the student and instructor to be successful in an accelerated course, that is, make the most of every minute on the sticks, the student must learn to control the airplane, not merely react to it. Controllers are knowledgeable, executing each maneuver using predictable commands with the airplane following along. When a deviation is encountered, they take that opportunity to determine why it occurred, and from that point forward they are able to anticipate the appropriate correction(s) to prevent that deviation from happening, before it happens. In other words, they are ahead of the airplane. See DAS System of Accelerated Flight TrainingThe decisive quality here being that while reactors are often too busy attempting to correct deviations to really learn what’s causing them in the first place, the controller's consistency allows him to pinpoint what’s needed to make significant strides in just a few attempts!
Establishing a foundation of parallel lines and learning to control what an airplane does (instead of reacting) are thoroughly covered in One Week To Solo, Sport (Basic) Aerobatics, and Precision Aerobatics manuals. If you appreciate the concepts presented here, we would ask that you acquire the manual relevant to your skill level and study these subjects, then contact Dave Scott to share with him your interest in becoming a better flyer by attending the school.
Note: The proactive controlling principles that 1st RC Flight School teaches are largely contrary to the reactive approach used by most flyers. It would be wise to practice the new principles outlined in the manuals before arriving at the flight school and therefore set the stage for steady advancement.