|Dec 16, 2011, 07:13 PM|
I'm officially crazy for flying today.
So itís been about a week since Iíve flown, and after flying several times a week for the past few months I was badly itching to fly and I had my Edge 540T in my car.
12:00. Lunch break. Time to fly. I walked out of the building and got smacked by a wall of air moving quickly. The winds were blowing hard! I figured Iíd drive over to the field anyway to check what was going on. On my drive over there, I passed a large tree that had been uprooted and was laying on its side. I arrived at the field and it turned out I was the only one there. No surprise. I took the plane out of my car and walked over to the pits. Holding the plane was a monumental task of its own. The field is wide open, not many trees, and it is by the ocean. The winds were blowing even harder here than back at work. I was leaning into the wind to maintain my balance.
I set my plane down pointed into the wind, popped the canopy hatch and the wind just grabbed it out of my hand. By the time I turned my head to see where it went it was already 50-100 feet downwind. I took a few running steps to go get it when I heard the all too familiar sounds of my planeís wheels rolling. I turned back around and my Edge was in full flight mode, tail up in the air and headed straight backwards at me, fast! Oops, I should have thought about that one. I caught it, placed it up against a post, and got some exercise when I retrieved the canopy. Okay, so as much as I advocate flying in the wind since it only sharpens your skills, maybe this was too much and I should pack up and go home now. But wait, Iíve never flown in this kind of wind and maybe itíll sharpen my skills even more! Plan B. I popped in the LiPo, placed it on the runway, gave full throttle, pitched up about 30-45 degrees and was 200 feet up and still directly above the takeoff point in no time.
The plane was bouncing all over the place. Ok, bad idea. Why am I flying now? What was I thinking? Oops, I didnít think about the landing part. How in the world am I going to land? I should have thought about that. Itís been almost a minute and I still havenít even made my turn downwind! The plane is only 100-200 feet in front of where it took off. Too late, letís have fun while weíre in the air. The next 3-4 minutes went as follows: Fly 2 seconds downwind at minimal throttle, fly 45 seconds upwind at full throttle. I was constantly banging the sticks to keep as level as I could. Left wingtip would drop, right wingtip would drop. Over and over again. I needed to practice an approach.
My plan was bulletproof: I would just fly as normal, keeping the plane directly in front of me (which required about ĺ throttle to make zero forward progress) and then slowly reduce altitude until the wheels touched the ground. I would then slowly throttle back. Nope, after 4 attempts and go-arounds this turned out to be a terrible idea. The first half of it was actually pretty good, right up until just before you touch the ground. The plane was bouncing all over the place, so touching the ground meant bouncing on the ground while at ĺ throttle and not moving forward. I wasnít ready to actually bounce around on the ground knowing that the landing gear design is very weak. There was also no way I could chop the throttle. I tried pulling it back a little bit, but the wind was just going to catch under the wing and send the whole plane wherever it wanted to take it. On a final landing attempt, my left wing dropped fast and I started heading for the bushes and weeds (5-6 feet tall). I recovered and continued my attempt to bring the plane down until it dawned on me that those bushes and weeds were there to save me. I again slid over and hovered over the weeds, with the plane perfectly horizontal and out in front of me. I came down slowly until I was touching the weeds, and then some more until I was inside the weeds and then just chopped the throttle. The weeds held the plane in place and it came down on its landing gear.
I went to retrieve the plane and was glad to find no external damage. I looked inside and sure enough I found I joined the club as far as landing gear reinforcing goes, lol. There isnít anything really broken in half, just cracks in the landing gear mounting structure. With the given flying conditions, Iíll have to say I greased this landing just like all my other ones
That flight actually turned out to be a lot of fun because it was a new type of flying (and because my plane is still in one piece). Will I do that again? Probably not. However, thatís going to make an excellent entry in my log and be a flight that Iíll always remember. I had a big smile on my face as I walked back to my car and thought about that flight. I guess thatís what itís all about
|Jan 10, 2013, 07:09 PM|
Joined Feb 2006
Ha...I knew you were crazy.
And I guess, now it's official!
I enjoy flying once in a while
with a stiff breeze. However,
when the wind blows strong
enough to remove my ball cap
off my head, I gotta call it quits.
Yours is a good story.
Thorough, with a happy ending.
|Jan 11, 2013, 05:34 PM|
It just so happens that it was very windy again today. A great time to fly, and an even better time to drop parachutes! Picking the right drop spot was a little tricky...
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