ASSAULTED WHILE FLYING: a warning to all of you. - RC Groups
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Sep 16, 2010, 01:53 PM
Registered User

ASSAULTED WHILE FLYING: a warning to all of you.

Hi all, I've recently started posting on RcGroups and have recently experienced something that, I feel, the R/C community at large need to be aware of. As such, I apologise for posting this topic in multiple threads, but I want to get the message out to the entire RC community.

At approximately 4pm on 14th September, I went down to Forest Field in Nottingham, UK. You can check it out here:

Let me make things clear: it is broad daylight (4pm) with bright sunlight and the field is an open space with (usually) a good few people in or around the park.

The sunlight, incidentally, was so bright that I actually had to avert my eyes from it to see the plane I was flying (a flyingwings raven, btw).

Before I began flying, two lads approached me. They were definitely younger than me (I'm 23) and didn't seem too strong. I'm used to people approaching me while flying all the time, so this didn't really concern me. They asked me a few questions about the plane, and you're probably thinking, "they were planning on stealing it".

Not quite.

We got chatting. It seemed like a friendly discussion. I asked them where they were from. Okay, it's a dodgy area, but I've had that before as well. We bantered about the local music scene and generally shot the breeze. I landed, showed them the plane...all's normal. It's the same sort of conversation I have with people on the field all the time.

All of a sudden, halfway through the second flight...


The next thing I remember is that there was a chap standing over me shouting "Give us yer wallet!" repeatedly. I could feel blows to my head. I may have passed out, because I can't remember anything else until I was in the foyer of a nearby school with a couple of other guys who said they knew the attackers. They told me that they chased the attackers off, and I was piled into an ambulance and spent the night in hospital.

Suffice to say I had a broken jaw joint, a crooked nose and a few head bruises. My DX7's screen is smashed, but that's the least of my worries. The injuries will heal, I'm told.


Imagine what would have happened had those two chaps not helped me out.

The attackers didn't get my wallet, by the way. And the cops tell me they were caught shortly afterwards.

I feel that, with increased miniaturisation of RC components, increased RTF deals and cheaper pricing, we are seeing more and more parkflyers who may be exposing themselves to risks like the story you've just read. I want you all to be vigilant.

-If you hear ANY bad rumours about an area where you fly, DON'T FLY THERE.

-If you get approached by ANYONE (of any age) whilst flying, land ASAP.

This is because YOU ARE AT YOUR MOST VULNERABLE WHILE THE AIRCRAFT IS IN THE AIR. Even a child may be able to push you over while you're focussed on getting your cuban 8's nailed. You're vulnerable, particularly from behind. Your hands are occupied, as are your eyes. (particularly helicopter/3d/turbine jet fliers) You are in no position to defend yourself.

-I know it's been said many times before, but fly at a SANCTIONED flying site where possible. If you're across the pond, check with the AMA (I think). In the UK, ditto with the BMFA. Elsewhere: check your national aeromodelling guidelines.

-Where this is not possible (or, like me, you are devoid of a car), ONLY fly in areas that are well-reputed and safe. Preferably, fly where there are people around (provided that they are at a safe distance from whatever you're flying-consider their safety as well as your own).


-Ideally, fly in the company of a friend at all times. Even if said friend couldn't fight his/her wayout of a crisp packet, you are much less likely to get attacked this way. The last thing that any robber wants is to get held up by someone (even if they're a bit of a weed) while they make off with something of value.

-Take the BARE MINIMUM with you. Wallet? Not if you don't need it. A cellphone can be useful in emergencies, and can be cancelled if stolen.

I hope that's an eye opener. After nearly 6 years of flying in public spaces without incident, this is a real shocker-I want you all to be aware of the risks involved if you aren't already.
Last edited by yamax87; Sep 22, 2010 at 03:07 PM. Reason: Incorrect date of incident
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Sep 16, 2010, 02:10 PM
Cranky old fart
Balr14's Avatar
Wow, that's something else! Glad you weren't more seriously injured.
Sep 16, 2010, 02:12 PM
Defender of the park sky
Ispintechno's Avatar
I'm sorry that happened to you. Those punks!
Since they are caught, I hope you get some kind of compensation for what they did to you.
Also hope those little turds get dumped into juvy and out of your parks.

I fly in public parks too, I'll think about your story out there...
Last edited by Ispintechno; Sep 17, 2010 at 10:46 PM.
Sep 16, 2010, 02:14 PM
Xpress..'s Avatar
Ouch. Good thing they were hit with the slammer.

Originally Posted by yamax87
-Ideally, fly in the company of a friend at all times. Even if said friend couldn't fight his/her wayout of a crisp packet, you are much less likely to get attacked this way. The last thing that any robber wants is to get held up by someone (even if they're a bit of a weed) while they make off with something of value.
This is what I always try to do. Rarely do you see me flying alone, and plus it keeps things from going boring when you have a buddy to talk with
Sep 16, 2010, 02:17 PM
Registered User
Darker4308's Avatar
I gotta say it "CHAVS".
Sep 16, 2010, 02:19 PM
Flazo's Avatar
Thanks for your story.... I will keep my eyes open.

Sep 16, 2010, 02:25 PM
Pursuit of Happiness
Ron101's Avatar
Real sorry to hear about that!
man, lucky your are alive

What dirt bags, I hope they get thiers, carma is a bitxh

I think about that happening, I'm standing out in the middle of nowhere by myself most of the time.... I don't understand people...just sick

hope you heal fast and get back out flying and enjoying life
Sep 16, 2010, 02:26 PM
zoom zoom
gotboostedvr6's Avatar
Sorry to hear about this assault.

I wish you a speedy recovery.
Sep 16, 2010, 02:27 PM
ptt81's Avatar
Wow im very sorry to hear that, this is exactly why i don't fly at the park or anywhere when im alone for that matter (except in my backyard), I occasionally only fly at local clubs where most people there are flying members (with AMA card). I hope you're getting well soon and get to fly again.
Sep 16, 2010, 02:28 PM
Capt.Crash's Avatar
With a boat...even a fast one we can just landing required...thanks for the heads up and hope you are ok....Crash
Sep 16, 2010, 02:29 PM
nicoyenny's Avatar
One Sunday while I was flying this group of teens (12-15) , driving their bikes,came and started asking questions about the planes, etc.. and then they noticed my other two planes sitting next to the truck and asked "Whose planes are those?"
My answer repelled any possible thoughts of stealing them:
"They belong to that guy there, he is a cop and you know what? I dunno if he wants to talk to you guys"... they simply left ..

As a rule, I NEVER fly alone, even when our field is inside a park and they have park rangers, etc, there are some bad individuals out there...
Sep 16, 2010, 02:32 PM
The 6 P principle works for me
elecfryer's Avatar
I hope that you heal quickly!

Certainly gives us reason to think about flying alone!

Sep 16, 2010, 02:35 PM
nick 30
nick30head's Avatar

my sincere condolences on what is certainly a life changing incident, i hope you are feeling much better and on the mend

i boat in my local lake and there is always people around, i take my sons with me but if i go on my own, its only when i really have to, when someone approach's me, i stop the boat, put down the tx and stand facing them while talking, all the time, effort and money i have put into my models (aswell as my boys models) then yes i would be pissed of but i'd rather lose a model than my life (worse case scenario)

thankyou for the heads up, again my sincere condolences on this vile and barbaric act on yourself and i do hope this will not put you off this beloved addiction (i mean activity/sport)

thanks nick
Sep 16, 2010, 02:36 PM
MattZC's Avatar
Thanks very much for the eye opener, I'll keep my items of value off my person while flying. It is really too bad that there are people out there that would do this sort of thing.

Get better soon.
Sep 16, 2010, 02:42 PM
Surface, Air & Water Rc Toys..
freechip's Avatar
Wow, one more good point to use when your trying to promote the use of a spotter and or never fly, boat or drive alone.

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