Set in the beautiful Wiltshire countryside the centre offers all types of training on both fixed and rotary wing aircraft.
Using proven technology and exclusively developed training methods we make sure you not only get value for money but also ensure that you take the shortest, safest most enjoyable route to achieve your goals. Take a look at our sections below to help get a better understanding of how Paul Heckles Flight Centre can help you. The Centre has it's own fleet of helicopter and fixed wing training aircraft, plus a carefully chosen selection of more advanced models to cover all the major radio-controlled flying disciplines.
Our training techniques closely follow the ones used today in full size aviation, after all, our models have to abide by the same rules of aerodynamics, physics and gravity.
The task of the model pilot is made a little more difficult as piloting is remote from the aircraft and relies upon good hand/eye co-ordination. When first starting out the student pilots work load is at 100%, here at the Centre we can help to reduce your work load by introducing the Dual Control System.
The Dual Control System is the term used to describe two transmitters connected via a buddy lead, one master and one slave. One feature of this system allows the instructor to assign all or partial controls to the student which permits the student to concentrate on getting comfortable using the basic primary controls first.
If for example a student was showing difficulty in operating both rudder and throttle simultaneously (being on the same stick), the rudder control can be removed from the equation thus allowing the student to grasp smooth throttle inputs. The instructor passes control by simply holding in the trainer switch on his master transmitter and at any time can take full control by releasing this switch. This eliminates the need for any panic from the student.
As a beginner, mastering the basics is the first step to becoming a competent solo pilot.
After an initial short briefing covering basic aerodynamics, safety and use of the Dual Control System we then concentrate on as much "hands on" training as time allows (its thumbs on sticks, as often as possible, which allows you to progress your training at a comfortable rate).
At the Centre we will advance your training as fast as your skills allow and we certainly won't hold you back unnecessarily. You will also learn how to recognise potential problems with your equipment by developing a pre-flight check routine.
Recognising and advancing in your current skill level is an important part of flying and sometimes it's difficult to progress without knowing the correct next steps.
Here at the Flight Centre we show you those important next steps to be practiced and give you the confidence to take your flying to the next level.
As your piloting skills increase from those early solo days, to aerobatics and beyond, making the correct choice of equipment is important to be able to progress to the next level. Whether you are upgrading to your first aerobatic model or perhaps investing in a more sophisticated transmitter, we are here to guide you, enabling you to make an informed choice.
Frequently Asked Questions
We aim high at being focused on building relationships with our clients and community.
This is a question that we get asked an awful lot. There is no set time, everyone learns at very different rates. Some people pick it up quickly, others take a little longer. This is why we tailor each lesson to the individual. We would recommend that you book a minimum of a couple of hours with us and at the end of your time with us, your instructor will be able to give you a rough estimation of how long it will take you to reach your target.
This is a very difficult question to answer, it very much depends on the type of model we use during the training session. Each aircraft will fly for different time scales depending on the size of the model and the size of the engine. Rest assured however we aim to give you as much stick time as possible.
If the weather looks unsuitable for flying we will re-schedule to the next convenient date. Alternatively if you have say, four hours booked and the weather becomes unsuitable for flying after 2 hours, you will only pay for the two hours that you have been taught for.
You do not need your own equipment for tuition, the Flight Centre provides everything that you need, from the model and radio to the starting equipment and fuel. The only time that you need your own equipment is when you are taking a BMFA examination.
Yes you can bring along your own model but please ensure that you discuss this with us prior to your lesson.
Tuition is carried out one to one. Your instructor will solely devote his time to you during your lesson, although should you have a family member or friend that you wish to bring along you can share the instructors time, taking it in turns to fly.
Anyone wishing to take a BMFA examination should have read and understood the latest publication of the BMFA's modelers handbook. This will prepare you with the knowledge you need to be able to answer the safety related questions at the end of the practical part of the test.
We would also suggest that you have a look at the BMFA web site (www.bmfa.org) and click on the Resources menu then Achievement schemes, you can then click and open the publication relevant to the exam that you wish to take. This will give you a good idea of what you are required to do and what the examiner will be looking for.
For the BMFA examination you will need to bring your own aircraft that is capable of performing the required maneuvers for the particular test that you are attempting. You will also need to bring your own transmitter and starting equipment etc and proof of Insurance.
Yes we can teach you what ever mode you fly. But again please ensure to mention this when booking a lesson.
Paul Heckles School of Flying became the Flight Centre in 2013 through a realisation that model training was only a small part of the services offered. Set in the beautiful Wiltshire countryside the centre offers all types of training on both fixed and rotary wing aircraft.
As well as individually tailored training the centre explains theory, offers a professional build / repair service and technical model setup.