Go easy on the sticks. When your just learning how to fly, never push a control stick (except for the throttle) too far in one direction, especially in emergencies. Just keep calm, and get yourself out of the situation. Again, try a flight simulation.
Fly into the wind for optimal performance.
Find an instructor, experienced flyer, or consider joining a flying club. Crashing on your first flight isn't a good way to start your flying experience.
Train with a RC-flight-simulator at home. This is a safe way and a crash wouldn't be so expensive. FMS is a free flight simulator that can be found on the internet and a lot of people program models for free that work with the program. There is even a way to attach your transmitter to the computer so that you can fly a plane with your transmitter (if it has a buddy connector).
Refer to the manual for your exact model.
Obtain and Amateur Radio License. Ham Radio Operators have access to special Radio Frequencies for Model vehicles.
Check out sites like www.modelairplanenews.com www.radiocontrolzone.com www.rcgroups.com and www.backyardflyer.com . the best beginner planes in my experience are the Hobbyzone Supercub for $160 or the Multiplex easystar for $175. (or firebird phantom, $60 but easier to break)
If you are flying electrically, bring the car charger to the field.
When flying a nitro (glow) plane, bring all the necessary things for glow, like fuel, glow plugs etc
If flying glow, bring windex and a cloth to the field, glow planes deposit unused fuel onto the plane, when you bring it down, there will be a greasy layer of glow fuel on your plane.
Esky flight packs for FMS are the best way to train, because more than likely, you can download your plane for FMS (also good for terrible weather.)
Check out the "Beginning Rc" section on www.modelairplanenews.com or www.backyardflyer.com
IF you're not sure if rc flight is for you, pick up a airhogs aeroace from your local walmart or Toys r us for $25. I am an experienced flyer, and I love mine.
A Flight Simulator might help.