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Sep 27, 2004, 11:46 AM
Look! Up in the sky!
eBird's Avatar
Thread OP
Isvana, post #206 shows the plane. It's the only red colored object easily visible...
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Sep 27, 2004, 01:18 PM
BEERS everyone? definitely worth a round to everyone following this thread( Gee that would cost about the same to replace Steve's plane~~~)
A couple thoughts,
-what if the SS had gone down in a deep vast forest with high trees (ask Fdisk)?
- if he lost sight of it while it was over 1000' high?
These are the dangers I face when I fly, it's a speck up there and could end up miles away if it ever got away from me. So when I fly over hostile terrain, it's like I'm getting revenge for what could happen, my plane laughing at the plane-eating trees far below.
Sep 27, 2004, 01:48 PM
Look! Up in the sky!
eBird's Avatar
Thread OP
This is the first time I've ever lost a plane, never come close before. I won't be complacent any more.

Losing power at high altitude or losing a plane in a deep forest would certainly make recovery difficult, even with AP recon. AP was perfect in my case, as I had a pretty good idea where it was, but the area was simply too hostile to cover thoroughly on foot without knowing exactly where to look.

I plan on flying over the marsh with the same rig to get some better photos of the entire area. It'll be kinda fun to show the marsh "who's boss".
Sep 27, 2004, 02:07 PM
Been There! Done That!
boomerace's Avatar
Keep in mind Steve that lightning CAN strike twice in the same place! I admire your courage even though I don't think much of your judgement!
Sep 27, 2004, 02:25 PM
Look! Up in the sky!
eBird's Avatar
Thread OP
I will NOT be intimidated!!!! I don't give in to terrorist swamps.

None of the factors that caused the previous crash will be present (namely, flying way too far out way too low downwind).

I also plan on doing an extensive range check on the Berg (if I get it working again) to rule that out as a cause of the crash.
Sep 27, 2004, 02:39 PM
Registered User
This may sound stupid to others, but I guess I'm just a little slow so it bit me. You specifically mentioned "flying way too far out way too low downwind." Well, I lost one that way, and then I lost one too *high* downwind. Thinking I had figured it all out I lost one too high and too far *upwind*.

The moral is never be complacent, but it is hard to do when you believe what you are doing is safe.

I'm not sure if I have ever mentioned this but I have been fairly high up and slightly upwind, only to have the wind shift and be fairly high downwind.
Last edited by fdisk; Sep 27, 2004 at 02:41 PM.
Sep 27, 2004, 03:38 PM
Look! Up in the sky!
eBird's Avatar
Thread OP
I really feel for you, losing that many planes.
The particular problem with flying real far out and low is obvious, there's no time to sort out a problem if things go badly, and orientation is tougher because of the smaller profile of the aircraft. I've never flown this way except over open land.

I'm rarely complacent, but realize that I was on that flight.
I am certainly anything BUT complacent when flying in new or risky areas (like canyons, off mountains, and such) but will continue to fly as you have stated above. High and down and upwind. There is always a certain degree of risk you take when you fly, you can only minimize it and never eliminate it.

Obviously, for very high flights, it's best to keep the plane as directly overhead as you can, or it'll get small VERY fast and you'll lose it.

What has been the cause of the three losses you mentioned? Out of range? Winds stronger than the planes ability to fight it? Orientation?

I found during my flight I did not react quickly enough to the increased winds that were blowing the plane farther away. I didn't see the impending disaster until it was too late.
I should have pointed the nose at me and hit full throttle to bring it back as soon as I was slightly uncomfortable with it's distance from me. Climbing only made it seem smaller.
Sep 27, 2004, 04:31 PM
Registered User
Nobert's Avatar
If you can't get the Berg working I'm sure Peter will check it out for you.
Sep 27, 2004, 05:22 PM
Registered User
Lost planes 1 and 2 combined didn't touch the cost of plane 3.

#1 (4/12/2003) was too low over a forest and it wimped out against sudden extra wind. True cause, wimpy plane in the hands of an amature.

#2 (?/2003) I had climbed up a fair amount and was stupidly trying to photo something downwind so I let it drift a little. I think I let my mind drift a little too because I realized all of a sudden that it was too far away and by then it was too late. It was now rising in a thermal and being swept back by winds. I tried to orient it and fight back but it kept getting smaller and smaller until it just winked out. There was no point in trying to set it down though, because it was already too far into unknown territory before that was an option. True cause, another wimpy plane and momentary stupidity on the pilots part.

#3 (3/27/2004) My first brushless on lipos with a semisemetrical wing. Dispite 15 mph winds I was climbing and rising. I got cocky and let it go and go. Suddenly it got ghosty and I knew I had bumped a cloud. Rather than start back I just throttled down. For a moment it got a little brighter and then it went away totally. I tried left and right recovery spirals and even full down elevator for a few seconds but I never saw anything emerge. Since then I have come to realize you can bump into a cloud on the edge and be high above the bottom instantly. True cause, cocky pilot.

I don't fly underpowered planes any more, I make sure I have reserve power to make it back and now I try really hard to never be complacent no matter how harmless things seem.
Sep 28, 2004, 12:55 AM
Look! Up in the sky!
eBird's Avatar
Thread OP
Arrgh. My $80 lipo (Tanic 2150) is ruined. I just checked each cell, and the voltage is a little less than 0.2v per cell. Tried gently charging one cell at 0.1amps, and it got up to about 1.07v after a few minutes, then my Triton errored out with a "voltage too low" message.


If I could have found the plane earlier, the battery may have survived...
Sep 28, 2004, 02:06 AM
Aerial Shutterbug
RMihara's Avatar
Waay to go Steve!

Of course this reply comes late (better than never) so about all I can add is a ^5 (high five).

To add to Joe's comments, any electronic retrieval device is only as good as the power source. If in a crash the pack was damaged, no sound, no beacon... Visual is always at the heart of any successfull 'rescue' so using AP to locate was the soundest method of all. Glad to hear you had a back-up to use (plane and all).

Now get back to moderatin!

Sep 28, 2004, 07:48 AM
Restful User
Jacques Flambeau's Avatar
> I don't fly underpowered planes any more...

Agreed. Although an S-400 on nicads is perfectly usable, for many of the situations we get ourselves into in AP, power is the answer. The only times I've felt in danger on mine was when the plane was moseying when it shouldn't have been.

>Arrgh. My $80 lipo (Tanic 2150) is ruined.

Oh well. Minor loss, considering. At least the LiPO didn't function as a lost aeroplane flare. What do you think happened? The LVC should have protected it, but I'd suspect a small voltage leak from a waterlogged component.

One worry I have is once the Tx signal is off that the Rx will pick up noise and start jittering. Stripped servo gears, burnt out motor/ESC (if the prop is stalled), etc.

Sep 28, 2004, 08:02 AM
Look! Up in the sky!
eBird's Avatar
Thread OP
Originally Posted by Bill Harris

One worry I have is once the Tx signal is off that the Rx will pick up noise and start jittering. Stripped servo gears, burnt out motor/ESC (if the prop is stalled), etc.

Not with the Berg. All is quiet when there's no signal...
Sep 28, 2004, 08:04 AM
Endangered User
MattLarson29's Avatar
Amazing saga. Congratulations on the recovery.

Sep 28, 2004, 09:51 AM
Registered User
BroncoXLT's Avatar
Great story!!! I am seeing a Speilberg screenplay coming out of this! Tom Hanks (as Steve Nolan) staring bravely into the forboding swamp, and shouting "I'm coming to get you, Baby!!"

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