Giving Help

Scott Cathey told me this story. Back in 1996, Scott found out there was going to be a funfly, I think he said it was in Memphis, Tennessee. He got there at 6am, the first one at the field. Shortly afterward a little pickup came flying in and slid to a stop next to Scott's car. The driver grabbed a helicopter out of the back, fueled it and proceeded to do things Scott didn't know could be done with a helicopter.

After burning a couple more quick tanks, the fellow introduced himself and said "Why aren't you flying?". Scott explained that he had just gotten a couple helicopters and was pretty much a rank beginner. "Let's see what you got" said the stranger. I think Scott said he had a Concept DX and an Xcell. He looked at the Concept and said "Get rid of that thing. How about the Xcell. Is it setup?" Bewildered, Scott said "Set what", to which his new found friend said "SetUP, ready to fly. Do you want to set it up?". "Ah, sure" was all Scott could say. After all the guy was obviously a really good flyer.

"Ok, take all those rods off and throw them in this bucket" Scott couldn't believe he was hearing this. He didn't think they would ever be able to figure out where they all went again. He stuttered "Do what?". The guy said "Do you want me to help you or not, now do what I tell you." Scott started taking off rods. While he was doing that, the guy looked at Scott's exhaust, an old Heli-ball. The guy took it off, threw it on the ground and stomped on it, smashing it flat and said "Let me see if I have an exhaust that will work." He pulled an old Hatori knockoff muffler out of a bucket and said "Put this on." Scott picked his jaw up off the ground and installed the new muffler.

The guy explained as he worked, about how everything had to be square at zero pitch and showed Scott why and how to do it. After a while, much to Scott's amazement, the machine was ready to fly. The guy had explained about Idle up and had turned it on and set it up. He took the machine up and did some rolls and loops, handed the transmitter over to Scott and said "Here you go, now burn fuel."

Scott Cathey has been burning fuel ever since and has become one of the nation's top 3D pilots. He caught Gary Wright in a teaching mood. If you're ever lucky enough to get the help of a top pilot, perk up and take in everything you can.

Gary's method, though a little crude, was very effective. He showed Scott how important it is to start with a good setup, and he did a thorough job of setting Scott's machine up. He explained what was going on and had Scott involved in the work. Scott and Gary remain good friends even though they fly competing equipment. I've seen Gary and Scott both help dozens of guys with their machines. And those guys will pass on the information. It's a great thing to do.

When someone asks you for help, do your best to help them. If you see someone that needs help, offer to help them. That's what sets our hobby apart from the others.

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