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Old Jul 17, 2011, 06:50 PM
Registered User
USA, MI, Shelby Township
Joined Aug 2006
121 Posts
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Grand Esprit Found

Hey all. My dads (Robert Robinson) Grand Esprit that he lost at the Woodie in Muncie has just been found and returned. It was missing for 51 days. If anybody remembers correctly, this was the same plane that flew around by itself at the 1975 FAI trials in Chicago. It it amazing that a plane is so well built and balanced that it can be flown with the power off and still land safe and sound. I will try to post pictures when I get a chance. I guess I need to remind him to remember to turn the power on before launching from now on.

Brent Robinson
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Old Jul 17, 2011, 07:09 PM
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tkallev's Avatar
USA, IL, Wheeling
Joined Jan 2003
3,123 Posts
Brent,

Your dad had a couple of unbelieveable saves with his backup Grand Esprit during Nostalgia ... to the point where I suggested he stop buying Lottery tickets as he had used up all his luck on those first two flights.

Glad to see the bird come back to the roost ... godspeed.

tk
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Old Jul 18, 2011, 07:34 AM
build, launch, rekit...
Shreve's Avatar
Columbia, MD
Joined Oct 2003
167 Posts
Hard to lose a plane that size, I'd think. That's crazy! In a tree? In a field? High tension wires?

Pretty cool, though. Need some more details when you get a chance!
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Old Jul 18, 2011, 05:45 PM
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USA, MI, Shelby Township
Joined Aug 2006
121 Posts
Let see if I can remember everything correctly...

1975 - My dad went to launch and was told to hold off for some reason, so he lowered the nose of the plane. Winch Master told him to launch, so he did. Unfortunately, in those days, the switch was on the outside of the fuse, so when he lowered the nose, the winch line got caught on the switch. When he raised up the nose to launch, he heard a click but didn't think anything of it. Plane went up on tow with no issues, flew off tow, and as I understand it, proceed to make 3 or 4 circuit around the perimeter of the field before landing in the middle of the field.

Flash forward to Muncie Woodie - He landed after completing one ladder task and switched the plane off, and carried it over to put it down (transmitter was still on). His timer said that the air looked good if he wanted to go again, so he picked up the plane and launched. He flew through lift on tow and when the plane left the line, it turned back into the lift and proceeded to go up, and up, and up. I guess after about 10 minutes, it left the thermal and headed either East or West, I forget which. He followed it on foot and far as he could go at Muncie but decided to give up. They drove around for a bit looking for any signs of it, but to no avail. Now, 51 days later, it has finally come home to roost with very little damage, and that only to the monokote.
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