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Old Nov 18, 2012, 05:33 PM
A&P in training
ASTREA1's Avatar
United States, CA, Vacaville
Joined Dec 2008
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Averted disasters by preflight?

I have gotten into a pretty good habit of fully pre and postflighting my helis and I believe it has saved me from a good amount accidents that surely would have happened if I just charged the battery and brought it up. a few flights ago, before I made my way down the street to the LMS, I was giving her a once over. Looked at the tail and noticed a screw almost all the way backed out of the tail grip. Lets just say that would have been a not so fun flight, hit it with some threadlocker and put back in, shook my finger at it and said "Not this time!"


Anyone else caught their heli trying to commit suicide?
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Old Nov 18, 2012, 07:20 PM
My dog is PERFECT in my eyes
Joined Mar 2010
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Good catch. Mine however succeed in commiting suicide because even a pre/post flight wont reveal the problems that sometimes occur. My 500, I was hovering out back in the fieldand it just flipped over and ate dirt. NO apparent reasons found. Then I was hovering my 450 pro out back, it just fell out of the sky for no reason as well. Battery/ESC/RX were all fine, I found that doing a preflight and hovering in the basement prior to going out to the field does catch most everything before it becomes a problem.
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Old Nov 18, 2012, 07:49 PM
Get to the choppa!
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United States, PA, Pittsburgh
Joined Sep 2012
358 Posts
I once had my antenna wire shake loose and get caught up in the main gear. It locked it up like a sabo. The sudden stop made the blades fold and strike the tail boom and the thing fell like a rock from about 20 feet onto pavement. Had to rebuild almost the whole heli. the frame was ok, along with my electronics, but just about everything else had to go.
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Old Nov 18, 2012, 07:58 PM
A&P in training
ASTREA1's Avatar
United States, CA, Vacaville
Joined Dec 2008
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Very true, sometimes things just happen whether you check the bird out or not. There were two things that happened to me that I couldn't really do much about. I was out flying my BlackHawk 450SE around when a pitch link popped off, all I could do was hit the TE and watch it drop to the ground. The other thing that happened to me semi recently was with the E-Razor.
It had been sitting for a while waiting for a main gear to arrive, got it installed, brought her out in the court for a test hover. I lifted her off the ground and I heard a weird sound I had never heard before. Like an undulating vibration sound. Thought it was just the sound of the pinion and main gear intermeshing. Brought it out the the school to fly and the sound started to get a bit louder, all of the sudden it was super loud so I brought it back into me and set it down really fast hit TE right when the skids touched the ground and slid a bit. As I approached the helicopter, I looked only to see both of the tailshaft bearings shredded and the shaft itself just hanging out dropped down. How I didn't lose the tail completely I don't know. Now I know what a bad bearing sounds like!!
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Old Nov 18, 2012, 08:08 PM
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Philippines, Calabarzon, San Pedro
Joined Jul 2012
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Nice that you found it. Usually you only add things to your preflights list when something goes wrong. In my case, a loose screw in a front servo. The heli i was hover testing suddenly flipped back and right, it missed me by two feet. Needless to say, servo screws are now on top of my checklist.

I wonder if anybody here that's experienced can post their personal checklist so we can append those to ours.
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Old Nov 18, 2012, 10:51 PM
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Tucson, Az
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This may sound stupid but happened to guy at field. He flew his 450 bird and all went fine. Then nice flight on his T-Rex 500 Align. Then he flew a few fixed wing thingys and went home. Later in late afternoon took birds out of his truck. Guess what ?? He never removed battery or unpluged it !! Toasted a new 6 cell battery about $40.00 worth.
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Old Nov 18, 2012, 11:49 PM
Complete RC Idiot Savant
The Netherlands
Joined Nov 2009
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This may sound silly and very "political incorrect" but I am flying RC helicopters for roughly 30 years now, and I have noticed, that I am not preflightig anymore.

It actually gradually progressed from preflight, to post-flight checks, that I thought to be more effective because your mindset is different: you are not "in a hurry to get airborne" so it is likely you notice more, and a post-flight check is in fact the pre-flight of the next flight

Then I started noticing that I actually seem to monitor things more or less constantly, both in the air as well as between flights, without giving it so much thought. I have noticed you pick up on more possible defects by just randomly going over the heli, rather than having a fixed pre-flight routine.
And I keep listening, all flight long..... Changes in sound are an excellent indicator, that something has happened....

The only thing I still keep doing without fail, just because it has become an instinctive motion, is wiggle the controls to do a full function check. That has gotten so deeply buried in the nervous system, that occasionally I catch myself doing it even after a short touchdown during the flying session....
Unfortunately, the only time I had the direction of roll reversed after a change of transmitter, I didn't pick up on it, destroying a set of blades and a mainshaft....

Brgds, Bert
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Old Nov 19, 2012, 04:29 AM
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Philippines, Calabarzon, San Pedro
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dankar04 View Post
This may sound stupid but happened to guy at field. He flew his 450 bird and all went fine. Then nice flight on his T-Rex 500 Align. Then he flew a few fixed wing thingys and went home. Later in late afternoon took birds out of his truck. Guess what ?? He never removed battery or unpluged it !! Toasted a new 6 cell battery about $40.00 worth.
He didn't fry his servos?
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Old Nov 19, 2012, 05:03 PM
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United States, AZ, Mesa
Joined Jul 2007
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Yesterday I flew my Stryker (delta airplane) and I had a good flight, then went to fly it again - and one of the servos was dead. Seems when I skidded down the runway to land, like I always do, it stripped one of the servo wires. If you know how a Stryker is built, that should make perfect sense. Now I'm not sure how to fix it... but yeah, I could have ended up with a real problem - that thing crashes at 95mph.
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