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Old May 30, 2005, 11:27 PM
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Hobie's Avatar
Central,Illinois
Joined Nov 2004
330 Posts
Rant
My T-Hawk flew away C-Ya

I am in shock it is like a bad dream . I got my T-Hawk a few months ago and taught myself with the help of this web site and FMS to fly . I have had a ball with the T since I learned to fly it well . I belong to the AMA so I could join the local club and with a lot of practice at the club I learned to fly my T-Hawk real well. After I learned to fly good I started to fly by my house in a big field more than big enough for my Hawk and before tonight I have flown there on more than 20 flights . I waited to fly tonight till the winds calmed down a little the weather channel said 8mph . I hand launched T-Hawk like maybe 100 other times and got airborne like always no problem . I noticed right away launching in to the wind that my T-H seemed to struggle a little bit against only 8mph winds .I decided to circle a little behind me to land into the wind when the wind just kept pushing it further west and behind the flying field over a tree so I climbed to I donít know 200 ft or better I DONíT KNOW but the winds that didnít seem very strong the T could not gain an inch against the wind and that was it by bye . When I got past the big tree that was in my line sight that was it no where in sight heading west 200 +feet up. I could not believe it. I am in shock I was flying the T real well I am not sure what happened did the motor ware out the batteries had a fresh charge . I have flown in much stronger winds and had no trouble staying up wind . belong to the AMA and I do have my name ,address ,phone # and AMA # on my T-Hawk but what happened ? I could fly my T really well I know how to deal with the wind and know how much wind it can handle I at full throttle could not gain an inch against a 7-8mph with no gusts . I know I have gained ground against 15mph winds . I have 3 batteries for the T and deep cycle them and rotate them I really donít think it was the battery . Anyway bla bla bla I think it was a motor issue . How far would a T-Hawk 200+ feet up travel with an 8 mph NE wind and has anybody else had this happen ?
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Old May 30, 2005, 11:34 PM
Registered User
S. Calif.
Joined Mar 2005
255 Posts
That's too bad, Hobie! The only thought that came to my mind was were you using a newly charged battery? I once just barely caught myself from throwing my T-Hawk off into the canyon behind our backyard when as I was giving it full throttle and about to hand launch it I noticed it didn't sound as strong. I thankfully held up from throwing it, and shortly thereafter the motor stopped altogether. Could this have been the case with you? Sorry for your loss.
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Old May 30, 2005, 11:40 PM
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Joined Mar 2004
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Bummer. Maybe the wather channel lied? Winds have locality.
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Old May 30, 2005, 11:56 PM
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S. Calif.
Joined Mar 2005
255 Posts
Hobie, sorry, I didn't read your post clearly enough... you said you had charged your battery.
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Old May 31, 2005, 12:08 AM
If it floats....sail it!
FoamCrusher's Avatar
Elk Grove, CA
Joined Sep 2002
4,155 Posts
Hobie:

A real fall-off in power can either be the battery pack or the motor dieing. I have had both happen at one time or another.

You said you had many flights on your T-H so unless you dropped in a pack that wasn't conditioned or was on its way to the bone yard, then I would guess it was the motor.

At the over voltage states we run these cheap little can motors it is a wonder they last as long as they do.

Take heart.....someone will probably find it and give you a call. I always add the word REWARD to my information taped to the fuse. It has helped more than once. Most people have more use for a $20 bill than they do for a RC plane without the right transmitter.

FC
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Old May 31, 2005, 05:36 AM
Proud member of LISF and ESL
LI, New York, USA
Joined Mar 2003
24,465 Posts
A few thoughts

1) did you do a range check before you flew. I always do a range check before the first flight of the day. Has caught problems twice that would have cost me a plane.

2) If you ever get into that situation again, don't climb. If the motor is weak and you climb the wind will just push you back. You want to go it on a shallow dive which will help you make progress against the wind.

Did you have your name in the plane? Maybe you will get it back.

They have a fly away package which is the plane and all the guts - $99
http://www.readytoflyfun.com/runrepkit.html

Sorry you lost the plane. Time for a replacement I guess.
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Old May 31, 2005, 07:02 AM
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Hobie's Avatar
Central,Illinois
Joined Nov 2004
330 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by aeajr
A few thoughts

1) did you do a range check before you flew. I always do a range check before the first flight of the day. Has caught problems twice that would have cost me a plane.

2) If you ever get into that situation again, don't climb. If the motor is weak and you climb the wind will just push you back. You want to go it on a shallow dive which will help you make progress against the wind.

Did you have your name in the plane? Maybe you will get it back.

They have a fly away package which is the plane and all the guts - $99
http://www.readytoflyfun.com/runrepkit.html

Sorry you lost the plane. Time for a replacement I guess.
I didn't lose control so it wasn't a range issue and the reason i climbed so high is because of the plane went on the other side of a tall tree and I lost site of it. So I climbed to where I could see it again and it wasn't till then that I found out I couldn't gain against the wind and lost site again because of the tree . I ran past the tree to gain site of T again but could not see it anywhere . You are probably right I should have just dove it into that tree and let my tree climbing neighbor get it down but I didn't know at first that I couldn't gain against the wind . I really think it was the motor getting week because I noticed the day before that with any of the 3 batteries I was lucky to get 1 loop when I was getting 3-4 + loops in a row before . I should not have ignored this and flown in any wind till I flew it more at he club to see if the motor was getting week . Is it common for the motor to get weak after alot of flights or could all 3 batteries have gotten weak ?
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Old May 31, 2005, 07:19 AM
Proud member of LISF and ESL
LI, New York, USA
Joined Mar 2003
24,465 Posts
Brushed motors do wear, but I have over 200 on one and it works fine. Perhaps not as strong as it once was but nothing dramatic. It should not drop off all of a sudden unless something went wrong.

My gut tells me you had a charging problem or an ESC problem that was preventing the motor from reaching full power.

Hope you find it. Hope you had your name in it.

Hope no one was hurt by it.
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Old May 31, 2005, 07:38 AM
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Central,Illinois
Joined Nov 2004
330 Posts
I hope no one was hurt either or house or car . Since no one has rung my door bell or called me about it (ALL MY INFO STUCK IN PLAIN VIEW ON THE SIDE ) I am assuming that no disastor happened . I am much more worried about where it ended up than if I get it back . I rather it came down where no one ever finds it than someone get hurt . This is going to make me real paranoid to fly my big glow trainer now. Can you imagine what damage one of those could do ? This is the reason all of us should join the AMA I am glad I belong right now in case the T-Hawk ended up somwhere it shouldn't .
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Old May 31, 2005, 07:45 AM
Proud member of LISF and ESL
LI, New York, USA
Joined Mar 2003
24,465 Posts
I do 95% of all my flying at an AMA club field for this very reason. When something goes wrong I am not likely to hit people, houses are cars.

The other 5% is done slope soaring over the water or deserted beaches that have lots of woods or dunes around them. The risk is losing my plane in the water or the woods, and not likely to hit anyone or anything.

I have one of these sound locators permanantly in each of my 72 mhz planes. Have helped me recover planes from hard to see, hard to reach places.

I am about to add a walston long range locator to the mix for may sailplanes. I will move that one from plane to plane. We have had people find planes a mile away, up in trees where they could not be seen.

Lost Model Locators
http://www.rcezine.com/cms/article.php?cat=&id=67
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Old May 31, 2005, 10:01 AM
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Joined Jan 2005
18 Posts
Assuming that your plane did not hit any obstacles on the way down and your assessment of the plane being 200 feet high the plane should be approximately 625 feet away from your general location. hope that helps.

B2
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Old May 31, 2005, 02:37 PM
Eat, sleep and FLY
BigDave's Avatar
Conway, Arkansas
Joined Dec 2002
436 Posts
Difficult to guess what happened, but it sure sounds like you got caught in what sailplane addicts call a "Boomer". We really hunted for these things when flying un-powered planes as the lift was anywhere from mild to unbeliveable. A plane could be lifted to hundreds of feet (unpowered) within minutes. They are, simply put, small tornadoes that develop without warning and have amazing uplift strength. A Boomer can be VERY difficult to get out of if you are not knowlegeable in what to do. Also, the wind generated at ground-level by these dudes can easily triple the 'constant' wind speed in the area. Both the lift and wind speed could easily explain your downwind loss of sight and control.

BigDave
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Old May 31, 2005, 03:05 PM
I broke my kerpellor.
Artemetra's Avatar
Salt Lake City
Joined Sep 2004
2,430 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by BigDave
Difficult to guess what happened, but it sure sounds like you got caught in what sailplane addicts call a "Boomer".
BigDave
Or maybe you just found big wind aloft. But I think it might have been your motor. Motors die, and they sometimes die a slow death - power goes down.

Some good stories around here of people putting out flyers and getting planes back. Good luck, let us know the happs!
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Old May 31, 2005, 11:01 PM
If it floats....sail it!
FoamCrusher's Avatar
Elk Grove, CA
Joined Sep 2002
4,155 Posts
Some additional thoughts:
  • No matter what you do, eventually you will lose a plane.
  • Motors sometimes die slowly and sometimes they die quickly. You will never know which is happening to you until its dead.
  • If the problem isn't the battery, usually it is the motor...but don't forget about the ESC and/or bad solder joints.
  • If the plane begins to act strangely, it will NEVER get better in flight so land before you lose it or it crashes.
  • A hard landing where you can see it is better than a soft one where you can't.
  • There is a fine line between a hobby and an obsession. Know the difference and when to stop.

"Life is a %$#@ and then you fly"

FoamCrusher
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Old May 31, 2005, 11:05 PM
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T-Fly's Avatar
Jacksonville FL
Joined Feb 2005
378 Posts
Hobie, that totally sucks that you lost your T-Hawk. At least you are already planning on getting the Space Scooter. I got my Stryker soon after my T-Hawk nested up in the pine tree. Nothing like a new plane to take the sting out of loosing an old one. Good Luck
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