Totaled pattern plane - RC Groups
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Nov 30, 2009, 04:45 PM
Registered User

Totaled pattern plane

This weekend wasn't really the best...
I was flying an awesome .60 pattern plane (really fast, negative dihedral, swept back wing) on sunday when it deadsticked AGAIN, I brought it around for the approach, but it overshot the runway, then right at the end, it rolled right and smacked straight into the ground. The fuse broke in half, it was not pretty.

There are 3 possible causes for this crash (in order from most to least likely)

1. It stalled, and somehow turned right when it stalled
2. I crashed it with twitchy fingers
3. The rx or tx did something wrong.

The first 2 are clearly pilot error, however the airplane dived into the ground at the same spot before, (but not as much damage) for seemingly no reason. I am using a spektrum ar500 rx with dx6i. Battery was excellent, airplane was only 200ft away when it crashed. Could there be a problem with the rx or tx?
Is there a way to check if your rx and tx are 100%?

For now, I'm rebuilding. Anybody have tips for joining a fuselage?

I know that It was probably me, and the first instinct is to blame something else, but I have to be really sure before I fly it again.

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Nov 30, 2009, 04:50 PM
DreamArcher's Avatar
0. The engine failed.

Just kidding. I know what you mean. But which engine so I can never buy one?
Nov 30, 2009, 04:52 PM
Registered User
Nov 30, 2009, 04:56 PM
Registered User
Webra .61 Excellent engine, but obviously I did something wrong, or what not. Here is the weird thing: I had an ar 6200 in the airplane, not a single problem, everything worked so well, but as soon as I put the ar500 in there, there was a faulty switch, fuel delivery problems, engine trouble (I had fixed all those before crash) and also seemingly radio glitches. I guess I didn't fix the engine properly... But if there are radio glitches I'll be pretty mad at spektrum.

Originally Posted by DreamArcher
0. The engine failed.

Just kidding. I know what you mean. But which engine so I can never buy one?
Nov 30, 2009, 05:09 PM
Suspended Account
Hi Lucas , It sounds like you ran out of airspeed before you ran out of sky . Have you done a post crash radio check on that system ? And yes i mean taking the wreakage ,with the with the TX and RX powered up , placing whats left of the plane near where it fell , and going back to your pilot station and see if you have control of the planes functions {with a helper watching the servos} ? I know its kinda scary during a stall when the planes controls are seeming to have no effect but with no proper air flowing over the surfaces {ailerons , elevator , and rudder} it can sure make it seem like the radio isnt moving the surfaces ! Sadly it takes hundreds of things all going right to keep our planes in the air , but only one thing to go wrong to bring one down !
Nov 30, 2009, 05:32 PM
Registered User
earlwb's Avatar
Bummer on the bad luck. I think i would put the other receiver back in it.
It sorta looks like it needs the airspeed to land, otherwise it slows down past a certain point and wants to snap roll on you.
I have a couple of planes like that and people are shocked at how fast I can get them to go on landing. I fly them right on in.
One has a Saito 80 with a 12x8 prop on it (or 12x10 i forget at the moment). So even at idle the prop gives the plane some airspeed anyway.

Dead stick landings aren't usually a problem unless the engine quits at the worst possible time in the flight. Then all you can do is try to land it as best you can and keep the air speed up so it doesn't stall or snap on you. if obstacles get in the way then it just sucks.
Nov 30, 2009, 05:39 PM
Registered User
I had one possible 'glitching' on one of my glow planes with the AR500. I was coming in for a landing and the plane went to full power 10' over the runway. I figured it was the RX battery pack getting a little too low.
Nov 30, 2009, 05:54 PM
Registered User
I definitely need more practice landing this airplane. I am used to the gentle gliding trainer; for this airplane I have to land very fast, which I try to prevent automatically, but I must teach myself that is how this airplane works.
I will hook up whats left of the servos to the rx, put it in the same spot and stand in the same place. Hopefully no problems, but I definitely must check that before putting this back in the air.

Any ideas on putting the 2 halves back together? So far, I have just fixed the cracks in the fuse, once I have fixed all the separate cracks and reinforced if necessary, I will epoxy the whole thing together. I hope it doesn't break apart in flight, seeing how easily the fuse fractured in the first place (the airplane was only 7 feet off the ground) now its even weaker...

Nov 30, 2009, 06:05 PM
Suspended Account
Hi Lucas , when you attempt to rejoin the fuselage could you fit some light model plywood over the cracks from inside ? If the cracked areas were "doubled" in this manner it should be strong enough . Just try to not add TOO much weight or you will end up making the wing loading even worse {higher stall speed}
Nov 30, 2009, 06:07 PM
Registered User
earlwb's Avatar
yeah just fit the two halves back together and glue it by whatever glue you like to use.
You can sand and touch it up or something after you have it reassembled OK.
Normally the glued joint is stronger than the wood anyway. But you could reinforce it a little as needed too.
i would suggest using some glass cloth strips like you use to reinforce the wing center with.
You can cut off a few pieces and glue them up and stick them on the inside of the fuse over the joint.
Nov 30, 2009, 07:03 PM
Registered User
Well, luckily the wing doesn't have a scratch on it, the mounting block where the wing screws in snapped right off, but I'm so happy the wing is ok. The sad thing is that it was such a beautiful airplane, now its going to look a little patchy. I hope once I get it rebuilt it stays together, and I don't crash anymore!

Well, its all part of the learning experience, and having been in the hobby a little over a year, I think I've come a long way.

Thanks guys,
Dec 01, 2009, 06:30 AM
Old Submariner

After Repair


Your break is mostly aft of the CG, don't forget to re-check CG after repairs.

Don't ask me how I know this is a good thing to do.

Dec 01, 2009, 04:38 PM
Registered User
you're right, I'll have to make sure it isn't dangerously tail heavy.

Dec 01, 2009, 09:02 PM
Larry Jasmann
The fuse repair doesn't look too bad.. and if the wings and tail are still in one piece it shouldn't be too bad.

I cut a small strip of 3/16 balsa (don't see the need for ply if there wasn't any there before) about 1/2 inch wide and glue it behind the break with about 1/4 inch sticking over the edge of the break. Do this in all the places that you can on all 4 sides of the fuse. When you are done, you have a nice large surface to glue the other half of the fuselage back onto the half that you glued the sticks to. This is light, and provides a joint that is stronger than the original. I have recrashed the same fuse and it does not break in the same place...

Use wood glue when you rejoin the fue so you have lots of time to get everything lined up right before the glue sets. Most critical thing is to get the fues straight so the tail feathers will still be lined up true to the wing when you are done.

Try to get all the bits glued in where you can, or if it is to badly shattered, just cut out the shattered piece and cut a new piece of balsa to fit in the hole. Use the backing strips as described previously to hold the piece in.

Fill the cracks with balsa filler, sand and recover and you are good to go.

Just take your time and it will come out OK.

L. Jasmann
Dec 01, 2009, 09:12 PM
Registered User
Yeah, there are some parts that just have to be cut out, and it split pretty awkwardly with one huge stretch of balsa going straight back. If I didn't love flying this airplane, I wouldn't even think about repairing it, but it is fixable, may as well put the $70 dollar rx, $50 dollar servos, $200 engine and $80 worth of wood and parts to use. In the end, I only need some balsa ribs and epoxy to fix it, which is about $2.

Even if it isn't pretty when I finish, I don't really care because it will look a lot better in the air than hanging broken from my workshop!

Thanks again for the help everyone!
Will psot photos when I'm done!


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