Helping out a friend was a bad idea...
I have a friend who's little brother has just got into RC planes, his father had bought him a Cumulus 200 for his birthday... No, I had never heard of it either. His and I were talking at the pub the other day and he mentioned he had heard I was into RC stuff and would I be interested in helping teach his son to fly as he had no experience of anything and their solo attempts had been less than successful. Sure, I said before asking prudent questions about which plane they had bought.
Initially I had feared for the worst thinking they had bought an EDF F18 or something but they had been to the LHS and bought a 4 channel pusher glider, very sensible. We arranged a time to get his son flying, buddy boxing with me on an AXN so he can get a feel for flying before graduating up to his own plane (I prefer teaching people on the AXN it has some excellent characteristics) The dad mentioned that after their ast flight there had been some damage, the wing was wobbly etc so I said drop it round and I'll fix it up.
He dropped it round yesterday; one loose wing joiner and a missing elevator control horn. I did the necessary fixes, and replaced all the servos with HXT500s (2 were jittery anyway so it was just easier to replace them all). Finally I replaced the battery connector with XT60 - that way they could use the 2 other 1300mah 2S batteries I had laying about (the charger supplied charges through balance leads anyway). So all in all I was feeling pretty chuffed: fixed everything up and upgraded some stuff so it would last a little longer and they have more batteries. Off I skip to the field for a test flight.
I get the plane in the air and immediately have issues, the wings are incredibly flimsy and still wobbling all over the place. They were so flimsy I was getting aileron reversal at low speeds! I bring her round for a landing having not even completed one circuit before suddenly, the wing snaps off.
Down she goes from 30' straight into a field of rape. Off I go through the rape to find it, I try the throttle to hope to be able to hear the motor but the battery had evidently come out on impact (damn XT60s). I cannot find the damn plane anywhere - 7' rape is impossible to walk through! After about an hour of searching I decide to grab my AXN with the keychain camera and fly over the top to see if i can spot it: No luck.. The plane is obviously buried too deep to be visible from any angle.
Now I have the issue of having lost someone else's plane; I would happily replace it but I honestly didn't think it was a good enough plane to learn on, it was far too fragile (as I had proven!) and not great value for money.
This morning I went to their house to explain what had happened and to ask whet they would like, I bought the AXN along with me so they could see the difference in sturdiness and the Dad was astonished. He was very kind and understanding about the loss of the plane and explained he did not think it would have lasted many more flights anyway, when I explained that I'll be giving them a new plane and transmitter and batteries he was very happy. The positive is that his son will be learning on the AXN, and Ill be giving him an old DSM2 LPDSM transmitter which can be used on any BNF models which his son has already seen and expressed interest in.
So all in all I'm out of pocket about £60 (and a spare TX and RX, but I really only kept the TX because I couldn't let go!) but at least they are happy and I am happy they will be getting a better plane that should last longer than their piece of they had to begin with!
Anyway; lessons I have learned: maiden someone else's plane in an area away from rape.
Rape is difficult to walk through!
I'll go back to flying my own planes for now.
(My regular updates have stalled recently as there has been almost no flying for a while in the UK, its only just stopped raining, having started raining in March! More updates to come next weekend I think...)
I think your post should have been called "No good deed goes unpunished"
It certainly was not a bad idea. As you pointed out, now he will actually enjoy it and hopefully not get discouraged and quit. You may have a flying buddy for life. You will have somebody to get on the buddy box with you when your too old to land
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