Australia, VIC, Melbourne
Joined Nov 2006
Original crash idea
Out came the Spitfire for the weekend flying, after a long break for it.
Saturday, Flight 1 was fine and the good old tried and trustworthy Spit flew and looked awesome.
Unfortunately Flight 2 went amiss..... (and I didn't hatcam video this flight, BOO!!)
Flying from a soccer field, I use one side line as a pretend runway edge and focus on tracking that for take-offs. I stand about 15 feet to the 'other' side of that line and it passes by at that 15ft to 20ft distance away.
There were three or four planes parked near me and my FPV tripod/monitor not far behind me.
As it rolled out, from maybe 50 feet away, I run it out quite slowly to slowly build speed and extend the take-off to be like full scale. Something like 100ft start to lifting off and away, so by 25 feet from my adjacent point it is just thinking about lifting the tail.
Then it must have hit something in the grass because it suddenly veered left sharply - straight towards ME! (the first time any plane has done that there!)
Split second decisions..... it is moving somewhat fast and would probably not stop before getting to the other planes etc. Maybe it would have stopped in time.... but the seemingly 'safer' (???) decision (for the planes etc) was to ADD power, to make it lift off and then I could bank away in that same process/time. In theory...
But of course you can't bank much at a lower speed and very low to the ground.
I guess it was a BAD idea....
It lifted off, and I believe I added Up Pitch and Right Roll, but it was closing fast of course and it was just 1 foot or so off the ground as it got to me! It was trying to bank past me...
I JUMPED.... not high enough (1 or 2 feet up?).... and the left wing clipped my lower leg. Sending the Spitfire spinning off in a left spin of some manner, over the other planes (PHEW!), and into the FPV Tripod! Its prop hit one leg and mangled that - bent, dented, multiple hack marks - and broke one blade off the 3 blade prop. And that impact sent it flipping over into the ground inverted.
It is a HEAVY Spitfire..... so I wouldn't even want to 'drop' it carefully from one foot.. or ANY height really!
The left wing was half torn off, probably at the sudden 'stop' when it hit my leg. This stressed and cracked open the fuselage - my Wing/Fuselage is permanently joined, so the fuselage wanted to go with the wing!. The prop broken (a TOUGH master Airscrew prop!), and it also broke off the top of the fin and rudder on the inverted landing.
What a clown!
Though in the split seconds to decide I don't think any other choice would have helped much - cutting power would have had it run into the other group pf planes pretty surely. Though MAYBE I would have dived to grab it, or get in its way, to protect those.
It seemed that powering up and away into flight, with a right bank, would have fit in fine as the best solution... the Spitfire flying off under a bit of duress.... but it didn't.
The 'good' part was the wing/fuselage break was one long crack/break, so it was an easy Epoxy fix and is very strong - like new again really. The Rudder/Fin fix was simple. A new prop.... and a check over the whole plane that night.
So it was back out and flying for the Sunday!
I think that is "Way to crash a plane #307" now..... sheesh. NEW ways just keep turning up!
(I discovered way #308 with a different glider later in that day too!)
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