Lost puppy: ME-109. last seen Temple Hill - RC Groups
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Aug 16, 2003, 05:02 AM
Twisted Wing Nut
Raymund Reyes's Avatar

Lost puppy: ME-109. last seen Temple Hill

Well, was brave (stupid?) enough to try and maiden the 109 Friday afternoon. Winds were at around 15mph when it was chucked off. first flight was more of a glide down Temple Hill. Felt that the elevator response was low. Was able to turn around and come up the slope some, resulting in a nice loud crash. Marc [Waxer] was able to spot it and allowed me the honors of retreiving it. No damage except scratches on the LE and a bunch of branches sawed in half. put elevator EPA to 125% to give it a little more input. I was nervous, but by this time I was having that feeling of "why the heck not, chuck it out there" along with the "If I throw this out, I don't think it's comin back, at least not in one piece".
Chucked her off anyways, and was able to get a little, just a little bit up before I turned around, elevator response still felt sluggish (or was probably my dumb thumbs) and headed left in an feeble attempt to set her down...ended up flying straight over the top part of the Trail on Temple, the plane sinking down...I stupidly stood there trying to pilot it as it went down and then out of view.

Long story short, me and Waxer spent a good 45 minutes searching. The brush was very thick and heavy right now, seemingly more than usual. Couldn't spot her and called it quits.

The spot she should be in is in the heavy patch of brush to the left of the trail on the main hill, to the right of the cactus patches and below a small clearing and above the bigger clearing on the side of the hill (seen while walking on the trail to Temple).

my debrief: piloting error and lack of wind caused the purdy little ship to be lost amongst the thorny forest. It's there somewhere, and hopefully I can make it out there tomorrow with binoculars and something like a weedwacker. Sorry to Brian Laird for losing one of his former planes. I felt/feel bad but also know it's my fault and life goes on. Guess the wort parts about losing her are the fact that I lost my 555 rx and that I spent a number of hours on her only to dork her into the Temple Hill Triangle.

Ah well. And to think the ailerons were main focus for anything to go bad. arghh...live and learn. Better get to building for Fermin..booo...no PSS lead Sled.

On a happy note, I had the best and most exciting flight with the Turbo yet, going fast enough to almost swear I saw a bit of flutter at the wingtips on a dive landing the missile was really fun this time. Waxer and I had a good time and it was fun flying with him again. Let me fly his Bluto too.

Anyone wanna have a search party tomorrow afternoon at Temple lol?
Really, I'll be up hopefully this weekend and definitely next week looking for the bird....if any of you locals spot her please lemme know!

To keep things sunny, some pics of the better flying of the day:

hasta luego,
Last edited by Raymund Reyes; Aug 16, 2003 at 05:08 AM.
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Aug 16, 2003, 05:04 AM
Twisted Wing Nut
Raymund Reyes's Avatar
Aug 16, 2003, 05:09 AM
Twisted Wing Nut
Raymund Reyes's Avatar
Aug 16, 2003, 10:28 AM
Super Member
davensocal's Avatar
I'm hoping to be up there tomorrow.. I promised Waxer he could have a crack at my Prodij!
Aug 16, 2003, 01:20 PM
Free as a bird now.
That sucks Ray. We all sure hope you find it.

It sounds to me like you made a classic error when trying to fly a plane with a heavy wing loading in minimal wind. You tried to "keep it up" with elevator, which is exactly what you shouldn't have done.

Have you ever watched the guys launch at Fermin on a light day? They give the plane a mighty heave, and then put the plane right into a long shallow dive. They might lose 75' to 100' in altitude and travel 300-400 feet along the face before they ever try to climb or turn the plane. The idea is to build as much speed and energy as they can before they ever try to manuver the plane.

Over-use of the elevator on launch will bleed off speed, kill your energy, and have you stalling into the bushes in no time.

If you ever find it, or get something similar, I would advise two things:

Wait for a windier day when you know there is lift to spare. Never maiden a heavy plane in minimal wind.

Get an experienced PSS pilot to launch and get the plane "on step" before you take the controls. The experienced pilot can get it up to speed and trimmed for you, and show you how to launch and get it groving. You can then just fly and have fun.

Good luck finding that plane!
Aug 16, 2003, 01:41 PM
stegre's Avatar

Lost Me 109

Temple Hill seems to be an especially bad place to lose a plane. I lost one of my F-20s there one time, and after 2 hours of slipping, sliding (and cursing) ended up finding it near the top.

That is when I decided to put the Lost Model Alarms I sell on everything. now, I just walk the general direction until I hear the beeping and go pick it up. Has saved me tons of looking at Cajon Pass!

I hope you find your plane, that is a big hill!


Aug 16, 2003, 01:42 PM
Registered User

Ray's Turbo and 109

First let me say that Ray's Turbo looks great!!! Wow does it fly fast. It rolls on a dime and it cranks in the turns. Landing that thing without at least spoilerons is not easy. 10 times Ray went behind the hill to cut speed. Finally he hit a rotor which knocked his speed off and he was able to glide it into the weeds. Perfect landing.
His 109 experience was a bummer. To be honest with you guys,
Ray did try to get it on step. He let that baby glide way out before turning it. The turning part was fine. but it just kept getting lower and lower while moving at about 40-50 mph.. I think he need more than 15mph of wind at least at Temple where the lift is not as good as Fermin.
We know the plane is there it's just like looking for a needle in a haystack......
Dave, Sorry I can't make it out this weekend. Family......
Maybe during the week? I'm very interested in trying my hand at that Prodij....
Aug 16, 2003, 01:53 PM
Registered User
kingdavey's Avatar

Good luck with that 109.

I lost a Hellcat at Cajon and all but gave up on it. Jack (Leading Edge), Steve (Surfimp), and Brian (TFLG), among others, encouraged me not to give up on it.

Steve, "It isn't lost until you stop looking."

Whenever I went up there, I took a little hike. On my last hike, I swear to God, I wasn't gong to look for it anymore (right!), I called it a day and headed back up the hill (I felt bad, Brian was still on the next hill helping me look). Anyway, I am heading up the hill, cursing myself, when I see the last two inches of the tail sticking out from under a bush. I only looked that way because Jack tried to give me a haircut (Horten-Style). Almost two months later, I found that bad boy!

Good luck. Don't forget, it isn't lost until you stop looking.
Aug 16, 2003, 03:54 PM
Registered User
TFLG's Avatar
Chucking that plane off Temple was indeed a bad decision. You would have needed FAR more that 15mph at Temple for that plane to work. It has a small high aspect ratio wing and is fairly heavy. A bad combo when the lift is light. That was a Fermin plane and needs a decent amount of blow. It would have worked fine at Cajon, Fermin, Bluff etc. The local inland sites would probably need at least 25mph to make that plane go.

Keep looking, you'll find it

Aug 16, 2003, 04:33 PM
Will work for planes
omega blood's Avatar
Sorry to hear about your plane Ray. I'll keep an eye out next time I'm there, if you don't find it.
Aug 16, 2003, 06:06 PM
Registered User
McGrrr's Avatar
You gotta be kidding me...At least it didn't cost you much.
Aug 16, 2003, 08:08 PM
Registered User
SpiritQuest's Avatar

Been there, done that...

I can't count how many times I lost models at my local slopin' site. Really! Sometimes notoriously turbulent lift in close during launch till we can penetrate out into the lift band. About 40 yards. A sand cliff down to 40 ft. alder trees and stinging nettles. (Washington, it's wet here) It's fairly dense growth of both trees and underbrush. Here's the kicker. A friend of mine listening to another lost model story suggested something novel, "Why don't you get a LMA?" What? "A Lost Model Alarm" sez he. Oh...
Got one for about $30.00 bucks. You think I use it? Now the L is on MY forhead!
Actually, I have used it and it's a mystery to me why I can be so lazy as to not use it ALL the time (I did learn to refrain from throwing off into lift that's questionable...as if I can MAKE it fly)
I have lost models in that "green hell hole" at least six times. With the alarm in it, takes about 30 minutes to retrieve. Mostly because of the difficulty factor in scaling down a sand cliff, beating a path thru stinging nettles, and coming back again and going back up the cliff. In the past I've spent well over a week, looking every day for a lost plane. The record was three months. I gave up on my Slope Scale Spitfire. A guy walked out of the woods with it 3 months after I lost it, asking, "Hey man, would you know who this plane belongs to?" Turns out he saw it about 15ft. up in a tree above a well traveled hiking path about 80 yards away. Couldn't believe it! He showed me the tree. I walked under that tree at least 25 times over a three month period, by myself and with helpful friends. Never saw it. A pic to show why
Last edited by SpiritQuest; Aug 16, 2003 at 08:20 PM.
Aug 16, 2003, 08:17 PM
Registered User
SpiritQuest's Avatar

The moral of the story...

Get a Lost Model Alarm and USE it. This is a reminder for me as well as trying to helpful to others. I have a new "Homebrew" that I'll be chucking off that cliff soon. The hours alone saved in looking for a lost model will be worth every dollar. AND you will never worry again about losing that precious winged creation that you lavished so much loving and passionate attention on.
Now. I wonder where I can get a Lost Model Alarm Locator? It's gotta be around here somewhere!
I do hope you find your lost puppy. That's really cool, restoring a TFLG model to flying status! Good Luck!
Last edited by SpiritQuest; Aug 16, 2003 at 08:33 PM.
Aug 16, 2003, 09:14 PM
stegre's Avatar

To The rescue

We have Lost model Alarms in stock......

and available for $20 + Shipping:

California Sailplanes Lost Model Alarm

They work great, I used mine today. I just patched some covering and accidentally covered over it. Still found my plane in heavy brush 3 times today. It was loud enough even covered.


California Sailplanes
Aug 17, 2003, 01:51 AM
Super Member
davensocal's Avatar
Can you explain exactly how the LMA you have works, how it decides when to alarm?

I have used the "other" one available through the LHS. It goes inline to one of the servos. if it doesn't see servo movement for 1 minute, it starts to alarm, any servo movement will reset it. After 2 minutes, the alarm becomes longer tones, and it cannot be reset without turning it off.

I was wondering how yours decides when a plane is lost, if it can be reset, etc..

I did notice that yours will alarm if interference is detected. I like that! but of course, I wonder how it detects the interference. I would have assumed the radio may be getting interference, and may have to throw out servo frames, but it would not send bad servo pulses out. Since the monitor is only watching the servos, how does it detect the interference?

Sorry to be pain.. i also want to clarify that all lost plane alarms are a good idea, especially with camo colored planes

I hope you don't think I am trying to knock the product, I am just trying to understand it

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