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Oct 17, 2003, 10:56 PM
Meow-meow Godwin
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Egret vs. the wind

This rather mundane picture was taken in Hastings, MN, along the banks of the Mississippi. Nothing spectacular about the subject, and I took many other pictures during the relatively low level flight that are more interesting, showing better views of the town and a few bridges. This one is notable because it's the last half decent shot on the memory card, and unless the RC gods decide to smile on me, it's the last one to be captured by the Egret.

After downloading these pictures, I installed a fresh battery and went to a different site. I launched from a large empty boat launch parking lot on the Mississippi and climbed for a bit more altitude. The wind was maybe 10 mph, and I flew a crabbing figure-8 pattern, since I had a positive ground speed while climbing into the wind.

Between maybe 600-800', I noticed that the wind was much stronger, so I flattened the climb to keep from going downwind (and across the river). I was pretty close to the low cloud deck, and throttled off and trimmed in more down. When focused on the plane, I thought I was making progress upwind, but in hindsight, I was only making progress relative to the clouds. I was also in an updraft, and by the time I realized that I better pour on the power to get back, I was far enough away and high enough to make orientation a problem, way over far bank of the river. As the silhouette gradually became more of a dot, I realized I wasn't going to be landing at my feet this time.

Last thoughts went toward getting it down quickly and with minimal damage to plane, property, or people. I jammed full leftrudder (no elevator) to enter a high speed spiral descent. Just before crossing the horizon line (a wooded bluff maybe half a mile away across the river), I pulled full up and left to make a gentler landing, and held that command a good half minute after it went beyond the horizon. It was definitely beyond the bluff.

To end this long bummer of a story, I made a mental note of the last known position, went and bought a compass, returned to the boat launch, and took bearings on several landmarks and the last known position. I spent the last of the light driving around downwind across the river and tramping through about a mile square of deep forest looking for it with no luck. Now that I'm home, I plotted my exact position on a USGS topo map, and laid out my line. Tomorrow I'll return with "Lost" flyers and start knocking on the doors of houses near the trajectory.

For now, since I'm not a drinkin' man, I think I'll just go have an unmanly cry. Scratch that, I'll have a root beer float instead.

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Oct 17, 2003, 11:54 PM
Darn. That just SUCKS. You were rapidly becoming my idol, dude!
Did you have your name & addy etc on the plane somewhere? I got some freeflight stuff returned to me in the good ol' days that I never expected to see again thanks to a mailing label under some clear tape..
Hope it comes home soon.
Oct 18, 2003, 06:25 AM
Registered User
That is quite a lot like how I lost plane # 2. It was windy and I thought I could handle it. I got the plane pretty far up. I must have been spacing out or something because suddenly the plane was really far away and much higher. I started fighting futally, trying to gain orientation and get it headed back. The big difference is that I didn't go for the spindown because mine got sucked up into the clouds and I never saw it again. I didn't know what to do so it seemed pointless to try anything. It was over an area that I knew was unapproachable and I couldn't see lower than 500' where the plane was last seen because of a very close, high tree line. I did have an LMA and I drove around for an hour listening for the beep but I knew I wouldn't find it. There was just too much possible area to cover.

Other than the gear on it being painful to replace, my plane was a piece of junk. I hope you find yours. I really liked the egret and I *hate* lost planes. I'd rather have a pile of pieces then not know where the plane went. Lots of people on here have found their planes, intact even, so I'd say you still have a good chance. GOOD LUCK!


The only comforting thing I can say about lost planes 1 and 2 is that each loss resulted in a better plane and setup the next time.
Oct 18, 2003, 07:11 AM
John 3:16
Daddy-O's Avatar
That is a terrible story! I am so sorry to hear about your loss. It seems like that has been a rash of lost, drown or crashed planes lately. I hope you find it!
Oct 18, 2003, 07:38 AM
What you need is a RC airplane with a camera mounted on it so you can take some aerial photographys around were you think it went down to help you locate it.


Oct 18, 2003, 09:44 AM
Sorry to hear about that. Hopefully you can find the Egret. It appears a very nice plane -- and without doubt, equipment is precious too.


In mid-September, I was flying my Silence over a peat bog. Since the opportunity was unique, I was willing to test its limits.

I was very lucky to have just upgraded it -- with more power (brushless motor) and more stability (rudder gyro). Constrained by its old limits, Silence would have gone downwind. Now, despite an impossibly jumpy flight (up, down, left, right but keeping its heading) it stayed controllable.

Had it not, my phone number would not have helped -- peat bogs are not where people usually find lost gliders.
Last edited by Arp; Oct 18, 2003 at 12:26 PM.
Oct 18, 2003, 04:13 PM

I am visiting Montreal this weekend and logged on to find out how things were going.

Hope you find the Egret.

Oct 18, 2003, 05:29 PM
Veni, Vidi, Fragoris
djslack's Avatar

Hope you find it, and this story gets a happy ending.

Oct 18, 2003, 08:23 PM
Registered User
I'am sorry to hear about your loss.
Too bad you live on the wrong side of the state, or I would do some recon. for you. If you have another plane ready to fly I can send you my old faithful pencam so you can do some searching yourself.
Ed Mc
Oct 18, 2003, 10:22 PM
Registered User
Vince inTX.'s Avatar

My condolences on the loss of the Egret.

I lurk this group on a regular basis. Dont post much because I still haven't summoned up te nerve to install my smt backpack in my 1.3sd.

If you find the Egret you might consider modifying it to also carry a Garmin Rhino Walkee Talkee. It has built in gps with the ability to report its position to another Rhino either by user broadcast or by polling from another Rhino. It would make the ultimate lost model locator. It weighs 7.6 oz so some redesigning may be needed. Since you are using this plane in a somewhat commercial venture it might be worth it to get your plane back quickly. Just my 2 cents


Last edited by Vince inTX.; Oct 20, 2003 at 12:33 AM.
Oct 18, 2003, 10:52 PM
Cruising at 399ft AGL
Bonafidepirate's Avatar
Whoa, sorry to hear that. I sure hope you get it back, it was such a nice plane. Do you have a second camera? Still got the Slow Stick? If so, go take to pics from above, who knows, you may spot it. Maybe some nice folks in the are will find it if you pass out to flyers.

Best of luck in getting it back!
Oct 19, 2003, 01:59 AM
Registered User
Rogerdoger's Avatar

Oh NO!!!!!!!

I sure do hope you can find the plane.

I have really enjoyed your posts.

Maybe tomorrow will bring a good ending.

Oct 19, 2003, 02:04 AM
Zoom, zoom...
Trikster's Avatar
All of my planes (now) carry a business card with my name and phone number on them. I am thinking about adding an address on there, but my concern is if a less-reputable person recovers a plane, he/she might want to "look" for more stuff.

Real shame about the Egret. I think its a fantastic bird that at worst needs to be rebuilt. Perhaps using a Thomas Guide with the calculations you took plus the apparant size of your plane to judge distance away from you, perhaps you can narrow down its final resting spot.

I sure hope you find it.
Oct 19, 2003, 05:54 AM
Registered User

I hope the RC gods are smiling, because I want to see more of your pictures from the Egret!

Sounds like I got off lightly with a swim.

Oct 19, 2003, 08:00 PM
Meow-meow Godwin
Full Fast's Avatar
Thread OP

no luck yet

I spent Saturday posting flyers in the downwind "debris field". Today I took my topo and compass and canvassed some of the forest along the path. Most of it has heavy underbrush, steep loose slopes, and visibility around 100' at best. I'll see if I can get some AP recon over the field corn that's still standing through Roger's offer. I don't have any spare gear, though I have a second Aiptek SD. Maybe I should get a kite...

Other than that, I think I've done about all I can do, and just have to hope someone finds it before we get any serious rain (or snow!) Bowhunting season (deer) is on and firearm season is soon after, and I saw several tree stands in the woods, so chances are good hunter might stumble across it.

The Garmin Rhino is an idea. May have to see if there are any lighter solutions. That would be a must for larger, expensive setups, and the added weight wouldn't be too much problem.

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