Learning How to Fly RC Helicopters: Tips for Beginners

This guide is brief tips for a beginner with a four channel controller to get airbourne.  I am using a Mode 2 controller in this guide and pictures from the Firefly manual.

The controls:

Starting off with a diagram of the radio and the rc helicopter (please remember that even if your radio is not identical to this radio ALL the principals are the same).

I am missing out all the start up basics here on how to connect battery and detailed description of radio, we are going straight to the part showing you what the controls do and how they correspond to movement on the rc helicopter and how you might get into the air quickly from this point.

Radio Control 4 Channel

Keep tail pointing toward you:

At this point it is assumed you know what the controls do and now the first most critical thing you must do is at all costs keep the tail pointing toward you when trying to get off the ground.

If at any point the tail is not facing toward you must attempt to get the tail pointing back toward you using the controls OR power down and move it yourself.

See heliguy below with the helicopter tail pointing towards him – when learning this position must never change.

Heliguy and Firefly

Consider a training kit:

Adding a training kit to the skids of your rc helicopter reduce the chance of damage, this is a set of ping pong balls that fit to the bottom of the helicopter reduce the chance of your helicopter being able to flip over. I have added a number of links at the bottom of this article for training kits ranging from small helicopters to Trex 600 size.

Training Kit Diagram

Consider the floor you are using:

The floor which you are using to try and get the helicopter off the deck on is also important.  Use a slidy floor if you can such as wood, laminate or tiles it will make it easier to glide your helicopter around a like a car keeping that tail pointed toward you.  Remove anything where the bottom of the helicopter may catch and topple.  Practice driving the helicopter around on this type of floor until your brain begins to adjust to the controls.

Getting into a hover:

Power up the rc helicopter controlling the tail, constantly adjusting it to keep it pointed toward you. Every time you loose this position land and start again until you can hold it tail toward you every time, keep at a height of around 1 metre.

If you begin to drift significantly in any direction, land it, reposition and start again.

Repeat a few times until you can hover tail in… the next step would be ‘side in’ hovering but this is just a quick tips guide to get going.


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