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Jul 21, 2018, 01:32 PM
Who are these that fly?
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When a fix can lead to a crash


On my Ford Flivver’s maiden flight, it rose six feet off the deck and then nose dived. I managed to pull up enough to just pancake. It landed in grass but the central landing gear wire shoved upward hard enough to break the wing-to-fuse “tongue.” She couldn’t fly and I had to take it home after its five second maiden. .

My mind went into overdrive. Reviewed the pre-flight check list. Had the throws set just so-so. Did the range test. Picked a dead-calm day. Why would this plane dive like that?

A guy at the field suspected that I decreased the elevators too much. That was the first hint. Elevators.

When I hung up the plane in my garage, I eventually saw the problem the next day. When I was in my pre-flight checkup. an older flier at the field noticed my elevators were reversed. And he quickly reversed the controls for me.

What I missed was that when the elevator controls were reversed to normal, I did not look at how they were now in a downward position when neutral. Boom. She dove.

My elevator servo was installed in the rear of the plane. It required only moving the control arm 1/8”, but that was enough to level out the elevators.

Some new balsa and Monokote patchwork put the plane back to ready. Looking forward to flying soon.

Another lesson learned. When reversing controls, check the flying surfaces to see if they changed.
Last edited by UpNup; Jul 24, 2018 at 02:06 AM.
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Jul 21, 2018, 05:17 PM
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Trebor Link's Avatar
Another tip, dont let anyone else touch your stuff.
My first plane was destroyed by an " expert " that by club rules had to
trim out my plane...
Listen to advice but always do it yourself and recheck after as some things
can have a domlno effect.
Jul 24, 2018, 02:09 AM
Who are these that fly?
UpNup's Avatar
Thread OP
Sorry to hear your experience. I’m about two years into this and appreciate wise counsel. This was my first RC build from plans and a short kit.


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