Tell Us Your Best RC Crash Stories - RC Groups

Tell Us Your Best RC Crash Stories

It's one constant that ties all RC modelers together. If you fly, you WILL crash. Maybe not often, but if you fly for long enough, at some point in your hobby career, you will be faced with the inevitable.


What Goes Up, Must Come Down

It's one constant that ties all RC modelers together. If you fly, you WILL crash. Maybe not often, but if you fly for long enough, at some point in your hobby career, you will be faced with the inevitable. Most of us have already been there and have stories or even photo/video evidence to prove it. It's those stories we'd love to hear so reply below and share your best RC crash tales. If you haven't crashed yet, congratulations, but your time will come and until then you can enjoy reading all about what happens in this thread.

I'll kick it off with two of my most memorable crashes. The first starts out with me and my budding 3D flight skills. I was a poor college kid and had just put together the brand new Carl Goldberg Extreme 330. It was a profile 3D plane and back then profile planes were the best thing in the world to learn 3D flight maneuvers with. I get it out to my club field, filled it up with 20% nitro and cranked the brand new OS .46 engine up. After some break in time on the engine I took to the air and man this thing was awesome. It made harriers and hovering so easy and it was just what I wanted it to be.

Still on the first flight, I started climbing into a very large loop. After the first quarter loop, it felt strange, I had zero control. I watched in horror as it continued at full throttle through the loop and straight into the ground. I couldn't believe this happened on the very first flight and I think I was still in shock. I could barely afford to get all the stuff for the plane in the first place and now it was destroyed. After some inspection the cause the of the crash was located. It's not something we have to worry about now, but we used 72Mhz radios back then and the frequency crystal had vibrated loose and fell out of the receiver. It was a sad day, but the engine was ok and I went home and immediately ordered a replacement plane, with next day air shipping of course because you just gotta fly.

The other crash that remains a vivid memory for me happened when I was test flying a prototype de Havilland Mosquito we were developing at Hobby Lobby. It's a twin engine electric plane with counter rotating props and it was flying pretty well, that is until it caught fire, in the air! I remember seeing a thick cloud of black smoke pouring out of the right wing so I headed for the ground and somehow managed to land it successfully in the soccer field next to our flight line. We ran over to find the smoke had now developed into some pretty nice flames. There is a great pic of me standing next to the plane while it burns. One of the ESC's burnt up and caught fire causing all the drama.

I can't wait to read your stories and heroic tales of trying to save your plane. Whether it's pilot error, mechanical or electronic failure or just a pure act of mother nature, RC crashes happen and just maybe, telling the tale will provide some therapeutic relief for all our losses. Bonus points if you have photos or video of your crash. Enjoy.

Thread Tools
Jun 15, 2017, 01:41 PM
"I will return" Federico
rclad's Avatar

Super Cub 25e Goes Down on Second Flight

I was out of the hobby for almost fifteen years and got back into it last year with the purchase of an E-flite Super Cub 25e. I spent a lot of time getting this ARF ready for the maiden, installing the scale cockpit, custom lighting, airspeed and voltage sensors and programming my new FrSky Taranis Plus transmitter with airspeed and voltage call outs.

The maiden went fairly well, except for some trouble getting it to track straight on takeoff. The very next flight I decided to just gun the throttle, hoping the airflow would help give the rudder more authority. The problem with that plan was the plane lifted off too early, immediately rolled right, and cartwheeled down the runway! The entire nose section broke off, and the left wing tip was badly damaged. It required extensive re-building. See post here.

It's flying again, and better than before, but only after reducing the dihedral and adding a gyro for the rudder. Pic below shows the cub with final wing modification. See my hangar here for better pic.
Last edited by rclad; Jun 15, 2017 at 01:51 PM.
Jun 15, 2017, 01:43 PM
RCG Admin
Jason Cole's Avatar
Ouch! Nice one.
Jun 15, 2017, 02:11 PM
Gettin' back into flyin'
MartMX's Avatar
This was my best crash view from a little T28 foamy... lost radio contact (at 2:20) and crashed into one little tree in my cousin's backyard, but still flew again:
Luckiest R/C Airplane Crash (3 min 17 sec)
Last edited by MartMX; Jun 16, 2017 at 02:29 PM.
Jun 15, 2017, 02:17 PM
Registered User
ncflyer79's Avatar
Well after many flights about a year ago my Seagull models P47 met its demise. Totally my fault lol my orientation got the best of me and on landing I flew it straight into the top of a pine tree. I thought I was in front of the tree line but nope I was in behind it. Plane ended up about 90ft in the air in the top of the tree. It was electric and for about 2 days the ESC was beeping in the tree. Me and my buddy tried to get it down using a crossbow with a laser sight and had no such luck lol. FInally with a little help from a Stihl chainsaw I was able to get it down. Attached are some photos, the airframe was toast but most of the electronics were salvageable and are now in another airframe. The adventure of trying to shoot it out of a tree with a crossbow was definitely unforgetable.
Jun 15, 2017, 02:32 PM
B747-400 First Officer
WJH's Avatar
I used to have a PT electric trainer. I overhauled it, ran wires inside the wings to launch model rockets off the wings, and I also added ailerons. I also mounted an Astroflight 05 cobalt motor and 7 cell nicad pack. On the first flight, it took off like a rocket, rolled over and nose dived hard into the ground. I didn't charge my transmitter...
Jun 15, 2017, 02:41 PM
Registered User
Friend of mind and myself were given two Kadet seniors sport with nitro engines and we both converted to electric which took some time and money, first time out here is how his ending up, in a left turn on final he keep pushing left even though I keep telling him go right.
Cocky and inexperience lost him a super nice plane, second pic is mine.
Woody's crash of the Kadet senior sport with enhanced ending (5 min 49 sec)
Last edited by Shack1; Jun 15, 2017 at 03:09 PM.
Jun 15, 2017, 02:52 PM
It's A Great Time To Be Flying
MrEFlyer's Avatar
These vintage 1950s style planes can't do any real aerobatics but if you push them hard enough they can do a sloppy roll or a loop. You have to know when you are pushing too hard though.
This Walt Good Rudder Bug let me know it didn't like to be pushed. With too much speed going into a loop the wing broke and it came down with the remaining half of the wing flipping it on its side. When I went to pick up the pieces I was surprised to find it sitting on its wheels and no significant damage showing.
The motor shaft was bent, the prop adapter shaft was bent, the prop had no blades on it and the gears where stripped on both servos from the inertia of the pushrods wanting to continue their forward movement (one pushrod was bent as well).
I had to replace two shattered ribs and reattach the wing panel with a stronger plywood joiner. The only obvious damage showing on this plane is the scuff-marks on the side of the cowl where it hit the ground.
That was June 3, 2010 and it just flies better every time I take it up.
Last edited by MrEFlyer; Jun 15, 2017 at 03:12 PM.
Jun 15, 2017, 03:11 PM
Registered User
There's your problem. Lol.
Jun 15, 2017, 04:03 PM
Registered User
Stryker full speed into a woods and direct impact with a large tree. Sounded like King Kong hit a home run with a wooden bat!
This was before I learned that in a slow airplane throttle can get you out of trouble, but in a fast airplane throttle can make things a lot worse really fast!
Jun 15, 2017, 04:29 PM
RCG Admin
Jason Cole's Avatar
Man those are some good ones!
Jun 15, 2017, 05:11 PM
Bay Area Prop Buster
Bluhammer's Avatar
One of my first "big" planes and not enough piloting skills yet!
Over a year later glued it back together and flew it with much better results. Hot rodded it to 4S after that and it went down on it's final flight when one of the wings ripped off. I loved the looks of this plane.

Cermark Fantasy Racer maiden by Blu Jan 7, 2012 (2 min 53 sec)
Jun 15, 2017, 05:46 PM
retired ATC
ron1950's Avatar
maiden flight turned on downwind and it goes into a spin radio failure I guess

Name: IMG_0603.jpg
Views: 161
Size: 1.10 MB
Jun 15, 2017, 06:00 PM
Only a few hours ago, I wrecked my .60 size Escapade. It was running on an E-Flite Power 90 and 8S. I've been flying it for about a year. Last year I'd been kinda "meh" about it, but this year it turned into my go-to. It really hauled, and sounded great.

So today I was tearing up the field, and a couple of minutes into the flight had just turned final for a screaming low pass, throttle wide open... when it briefly disappears behind a stand of trees. There's the loud "bang" of Balsa and tight film exceeding stress limits, and then the airframe, sans wings and horizontal stab shoots out of the trees and lands a good 50' away.

Amazingly, I could have the airframe functional again in a few days. The wing and fuselage are largely intact. The stripped stab would have to be built from scratch, the landing gear are MIA, and the motor is toast (seized with chunks of metal inside).
Jun 15, 2017, 07:44 PM
Aut Viam Inveniam Aut Faciam
verticalspark's Avatar
Back when we were all still flying AM/FM and NiCd was a massive electric battery we had a individual that we gave the nickname "Crash." Now admittedly we all kinda suck at flying when we start off which is where we thought Crash would stop crashing. We were wrong. Fast forward several months and we found a park in a development that had quit building houses but had streets. So tons of dirt lots and beautiful paved road. It became our go to spot to fly everything we could and it had the benefit of being close to work.

So this day we all had slow sticks and were enjoying a quick afternoon flight. When all of a sudden Crash lived up to his name. Slow stick, nose down over the hill with some smoke coming off it. Well it seemed Crash had upgraded to a LiPo which was punctured and started a small fire. The fire wasnt too bad to begin but it crashed into the park area where a bunch of sod had dried out. The winds picked up, the police were called and it took five fire trucks to put out the fire that had started.

We were asked politely to not come back.

Pics courtesy of HiTekRednk916
Last edited by verticalspark; Jun 15, 2017 at 08:48 PM.

Quick Reply

Thread Tools

Similar Threads
Category Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Discussion Tell us the funniest story of you launching, flying or crashing hog2soar Hand Launch 38 Jun 04, 2016 08:48 AM
Discussion HMS Failboat... tell us your best disaster stories Jpop Andrew Scale Sailboats 16 Aug 24, 2011 09:19 AM
Discussion Tell Your Best(distracted)story! Ducati Mechanic Electric Plane Talk 22 Nov 06, 2008 03:12 PM
Discussion What Is Your Best Crash Story crawlerats Mini Helis 20 Mar 24, 2008 06:19 PM