RC Enthusiast - Manuel Regalado
"The tinkering, experimenting and replicating what i've seen with my models has me hooked and seeing an idea i've had take flight is inexplicable. My son's are starting to get as passionate about flying and aviation as I am and this hobby is something we can share together to build core memories.“
How did you first become interested in the RC hobby?
I've always been intrigued by flight. As a kid growing up in southern California, my mom would take me to all of the local airshows. I remember the annual trips to the El Toro airshow, Edwards AFB airshow, Van Nuys airshow, Torrance Air Fair, and just being amazed at everything I would see up in the sky and the static displays. One thing I've deeply remembered was going to Toys R Us and seeing an RC F-14 and thinking how amazing it would be if it could fly and wondering if that was even a thing. I'm glad it is! The bug really didnt hit me until I was older and I was a avionics tech at a fighter squadron working on F-18F. One day something clicked and I decided to google RC airplanes and the rest is history. With a reassuring nudge from my wife, I took the dive and purchased my first RC planes, which immediately crashed because I had no clue what I was doing, but the seed to learn more and be better was planted.
What was your very first RC product? And how did you feel at the time?
My first RC product was an Eflite UMX T-28, 1.2m Spitfire and cheap radio. My confidence was not high but it was still there, for about 20 seconds. Thats about when i had turned the spitfire around and the model was flying toward me and I lawn darted it like a missile because my lack of experience. Great, I felt great. Haha.
Do you have any advice for friends who want to get into RC? For instance, what knowledge and skills do they need to be aware of?
If theres any bit of advice I could give it would be to TAKE IT SLOW, DO RESEARCH, AND PUT THE TIME INTO THE PRACTICE. The RC technology has skyrocketed in the short 4-5 years i've been flying and there are so many great options out especially with EDF and other aircraft becoming available but my advice would be to put the awesome high speed scale looking EDF flying on the backburner and invest in a good trainer and simulator until your skills are sharpened. Put the time and money into a simulator to learn the fundamentals of RC flying. It will pay itself off in the short run. Having the ability to crash over and over on the simulator without impacting your day and wallet is irreplaceable.
Another tip I would give is to go to your local field with an open mind and eager to ask questions. This hobby is filled with amazing people with backgrounds from all over who are willing to help out and pay forward what was given to them as they started.
Once you find that "go to" RC plane that you cant help but keep flying, purchase a spare, maybe two. Its not a case of "if" you'll crash your plane, but "when." Its bad enough you crash your favorite bird, its worse when the model is discontinued and you cant find it anymore. My favorite EDF to fly is the FMS BAE 80MM hawk. I've definitely crashed a couple and have been flying the same model for a few years. Hundreds of flights and small modifications on one airframe and still counting. I have a spare in storage because i know one day the time will come to have to break it out.
Lastly, Just keep flying. In this hobby you'll have some great moments and not so great moments. Memorable flights and crashes. Crashes that happen because you went down instead of up, left instead of right, and crashes because something happened that was out of your control. Its easy to get bummed out and discouraged, but just keep flying. In time your skills will get better and flights more memorable without the hiccups. BLUE SKIES!
With whom do you usually play RC? And where is your favorite place to have a good time or challenge the game?
I first started flying by myself but when I moved to San Diego I was able to make friends with a lot of the regulars at the flying field. I was able to meet The RC Geek and Hechtspeed by chance and if our schedules permit would be able to fly with them and their amazing models. My favorite place to fly was the Miramar RC Flyers field in San Diego, CA. It was an amazing field with a long, paved runwayand favorable winds. It was a stones throw away from Marine Corps AirStation Miramar and provided anawesome place to fly with the occasional fly by of military aircraft.
What does the hobby mean to you?
This hobby means a lot to me. I've always had a passion for flight and the RC world has kept that passion going. Its amazing to be able to fly a model of something I'd watch on youtube or in movies. The tinkering, experimenting and replicating what i've seen with my models has me hooked and seeing an idea i've had take flight is inexplicable. My son's are starting to get as passionate about flying and aviation as I am and this hobby is something we can share together to build core memories. It started with them holding a camera taking shaky videos of my flights and is now culminating into their own first flights and the shaky camera being held by me. Its amazing and keeps me looking forward to seeing what happens next.
As an RC enthusiast, what channels will you use to hone your RC skills, expand your RC knowledge and scale your fun?
Its hard to say what channels I'll be using specifically because theres so much out there thats at the click of a mouse. One channel that I've used is THE RC GEEK. Not only are his videos well put together and entertaining, the tips and tricks he has available are far-reaching. I enjoy watching his setup and how to videos for popular models that are out and upcoming and will continue to keep watching to expand my knowledge and fun.
Do you have any recent events, activities (online or offline), accomplishments, etc. to share?
I took a break from flying for a year because my flying field was shut down, but my son is now old enough and really wants to fly rc planes so his start is my comeback. I'm excited to be able to have another passion to share with my son and look forward to the many memories to come from this hobby.