Originally Posted by u2builder
The main point of failure is usually landing gear related, at least on my planes, partly because I think they are not designed for some of the fields we fly on or some of the less than perfect landings we make, or both.
Reminds me of the first time I flew off of other than a paved runway.
I was dating a young lady that commented on my "toy airplane" hanging in my bachelor pad back in the early '80s. I made a deal with her to provide a picnic lunch and I would show her that the "toy", an Andrews Aeromaster biplane, was in fact NOT a toy but a functioning radio control model. She took me up on it, so we spent an afternoon at a grass R/C field out in Ft. Worth, Texas, near Carswell AFB.
My Aeromaster had been my mainstay model for several years. After college when I moved from California to Texas in '79, it was the only remnant of the hobby I took with me. I seldom had the opportunity to fly it.
The day before the picnic, I charged the batteries overnight and off we went. At the Ft. Worth field, I filled the fuel tank, checked the flight controls, started the engine, and off I went. I noticed on take off roll that the plane made a sudden jerk to the side. I corrected with rudder and lifted off. Climbing-out, I noticed something different about the appearance of the plane. Coming back towards me, I noticed that the main landing gear was missing. great. I throttled back and turned base. On final, I noticed a bulge from the belly. Odd looking. As the plane got closer I realized that the bulge was my foam-wrapped battery. Then the bulge went away, and so did control of the plane. It settled into the grass, spun on a wingtip, and stopped. Noway to convince my girlfriend that this was normal.
I found the Aeromaster's landing gear just after a sprinkler head in the grass. Inspecting the wood in the torn-out area, it was clear that my seasoned Aeromaster was oil-soaked. It was a fun airplane, and I got several years of fun from it. And here I am, more than thirty years later after thirty years of marriage with that then girlfriend, still supporting my hobby in "toy" airplanes.