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Aug 20, 2016, 11:05 AM
Who are these that fly?
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Discovering limits of Champ S+

Just about lost my Champ S+ this morning. Above a layer of calmness blew fairly strong breezes. I didn't panic, knowing I could hit the HP/AL red button and it would return home.

Well...not everything is perfect in GPS world.

I calmly hit the "oh crap" button and waited for it to do its come-home thing. When the Champ S+ goes to lower altitude, it spirals downward in beginner mode. Each spiral upwind toward me was stopped in midair. And each downwind blew it quickly away from the park. I took it out of red button pressing firmly one time and tried to fly it. The wing-leveling and inability to dive quickly meant a repeat and losing ground. When I hit the HP/AL button again, the plane flew further away.

So I had to become a real RC pilot. I disabled the HP/AL and pointed the plane into the wind, right at me. The Champ S+ was now well over a neighborhood with fenced backyards and second story rooflines reaching upward. If I throttled up, the plane would climb. And if I cut the power, the plane would be pushed backward by the winds. I quickly found the sweet spot. I knew my flight time was nearing 7 or 8 minutes, but kept it unwavering.

A couple of breaks in the winds allowed the Champ S+ to make strides returning to the field. I used those breaks to lower altitude until I had to throttle over some pine trees on the edge of the field. When I came down below the treeline, I was able to test cutting power and watch the plane drop just enough to head toward my best landing yet -- and with 30 seconds to spare on the battery to boot.

In the post-flight walk to the car, it dawned on me that maybe I could have moved the plane into Intermediate or even Advanced mode, which would have allowed me to dive full power toward safer altitudes. I'll save that for the next flight, now that I'm an RC pilot.
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Aug 24, 2016, 10:26 AM
Fly and Drive RC
IndiaHobby's Avatar
Glad you got the Champ back... I have heard a few other flyby stories.

I does get me concerned about the Champ S+... wondering if Hobbyzone did not properly test the model in real life situations (outdoors)

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