The Monticello Model Masters maintains a basic model aviation flight training program at no cost. The training site is the club field, the premier model site in central Illinois.
If you are new to model aviation, we suggest that you visit the field - contact the Training Coordinator to set up a time. If you happen to see planes in the air as you drive past on I-72, feel free to stop in then too, or just drop by during a Monday night training session.
To ensure you have the necessary basic skills and procedural knowledge to safely fly model aircraft at Eli Field.
Candidates for Training
For people who are new to model aviation, have never flown remote control aircraft or have been out of the hobby for a long period of time. Minimum age is 12 years; youth under age 17 need a parent/guardian to accompany them.
Please bring sunglasses for good visibility, and a hat (baseball caps are ideal). In the summer we strongly suggest you bring some water or sports drink and use sunscreen. We have a shelter to provide shade, but you need to be out in the sun to fly.
The M3 club provides trainer aircraft for instruction, both glow-powered and electric, and can work with you on the type of power you intend to use. The club equipment is maintained by the instructors, but part of the "ground school" will include teaching you how to care for it as well. This will help you maintain your own equipment in the future.
A simulator for computer use will help you get the feel for it. We suggest the Phoenix simulator. There are several others available, both commercial and free. Be sure to check your computer and the software requirements before you buy!
If you have a model aircraft already, we will be happy to work with you to learn to fly it. Please don't expect to learn to fly on a P-51! We will be happy to help you select an appropriate aircraft and radio system when the time comes to get your own. Until then, enjoy flying the club-provided trainers!
Training is conducted on Monday evenings from 5:30 PM until dusk, from generally from May through September (contact us to verify around those end-points). When weather conditions are not suitable for flying (thunderstorms, winds over 15 MPH), training will be automatically cancelled. If weather is marginal, contact your instructor before heading out to the field.
The Monticello Model Masters (M3) is a chartered club by the Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA). Membership in the club requires membership in the AMA for insurance purposes. You do NOT need to be a member of the AMA or M3 to receive flight training, however you DO need to be registered with the AMA (we'll help you with that) as a student pilot in their Introductory Pilot Program. You have 60 days to become an AMA member if you wish to continue. It only takes a few weeks for most people to be ready to solo, so we suggest you join the AMA shortly after you start your flight training. This is for your protection - the AMA insurance coverage is personal coverage.
If you are under age 18, you may immediately get a free Youth Membership in the AMA. Simply follow the links to join as a youth from their site. This has the added benefit of saving paperwork for us, providing a full insurance for the youth, including a subscription to their free newsletter.
For children age 15 and younger, Monticello Model Masters requires that a parent or guardian be present during the training sessions.
After you have completed your flight training, if you wish to continue flying at Eli Field you will need to join the club.
Getting a Head Start
The Sign-Up Form (bring this to your instructor on your first lesson). It's for kids, but it explains well: Principles of Flight