Crash Etiquette-From the Long Island Radio Control Society, NY
Crash Etiquette - From the Long Island Radio Control Society, NY
While bent over your model tweaking the needle valve, too often you hear "I ainít got it Ö" followed by a low frequency thump. Usually several expletives will be inserted, some used imaginatively. A hand-crafted masterpiece of airframe miniaturization crammed with state-of-the-art electronic equipment, and powered by an exquisitely machined engine is no more. The pilot who is frequently the builder/owner has made an unscheduled landing or has discovered the radio in his hands has a greater range than the eyes in his head.
Your immediate problem is how to react. Generally, it is considered bad form to immediately ask if you may borrow the pilotís glow plug battery. Similarly, you probably shouldnít ask if heís finished with the clip.
Any equipment related reasons for the crash you hear are, by definition, reasonable. Pilot error is too rare and sensitive to suggest, so donít say, "Thatís odd, I havenít had any problems on that frequency today," until at least an hour after the crash. Offer to help go look. Donít say "It sounded like it hit something solid." Note that most lost models are found and returned. Donít as if he has his name and phone number on the model, or wonder out loud if the model hit a house or a car.
If it looks like more than enough people have volunteered to help with the search, try to weasel out of going. There are ticks and poison ivy out there, and seeing a grown man cry isnít pleasant. If the pilot takes a plastic bag with him or comes back empty handed to get one, assume the worst. Actually, in a really bad crash, two hands and a pocket are enough space for anything worth salvaging.
Whatever you do, donít hold a postmortem on the spot. The pilot probably doesnít want to discuss:
- Battery condition
- Poor construction
- Pilot error
- Used rubber bands
- Lipo capacity
- Light blue covering
- Model selection vs. pilot skills
As best you can, avoid specifics, sound supportive, and look appropriately grave. Youíll want the same consideration someday.
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