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Apr 23, 2019, 02:40 PM
CA...gimme the CA...
whowhatwhere's Avatar
I nearly hit my flying bud's new truck with my Vintage Hobbico Cherokee (around 5lbs or so) during the takeoff on the maiden flight.

We fly out of a parking lot. I backed way up and started the taxi. It picked up speed, but then the torque pulled it left....straight towards my bud's new Dodge truck.

He screamed: "LOOK OUT FOR MY TRUCK!!!"

At that point instinct kicked in...I didn't even think. (which may not have been the best thing)

I shot the throttle to it and gave it the stick...and it lifted over the top of his truck like a crop duster going nearly vertical to miss the tree line.

Missed the new truck by inches. I had to change my shorts when I got home.
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Apr 23, 2019, 07:04 PM
Sure, I can fly after sunset!?
I was a newbie and it was my second plane, a Parksone SE5a biplane.

I was flying at a very large empty field in a residential area, frequented by many local flyers.

I was flying downwind and lost orientation. The plane was flying further and further away and I couldnít see it well enough to get it back. It flew over the road and over a residential neighborhood.

It was a lost cause. I cut the throttle, hopped in the car, and headed to that neighborhood fearing the worst.

To my surprise, a couple was walking down the street and one of them was carrying my biplane.

They said they were walking down the street and saw the plane glide down to a landing in their cul de sac and hut the curb. There was some damage to the landing gear but that was about it.

This was a classic newbie mistake that could have ended terribly. I was so worried about saving my brand new plane that I kept flying it until it flew past the field. I should have just crashed it while it was still over the field.
Apr 24, 2019, 04:20 AM
Gots me a good used Hobie Hawk
Steve Corbin's Avatar
I Have two good stories, one happy and one sad. Sad goes first: I had always flown Rc on the cheap, cheap planes, bought used or given to me by my better-off friends, who liked me because I was good at repairing their mistakes. And whatever radio that someone was letting go of cheap when their new one arrived in the hobby shop.

So when I got an unexpected cash infusion into my financial health I decided I'd finally catch up with my flyin' buds and get some all new high quality gear.

I bought a German made ASW-20-something big wingspan scale or semi-scale sailplane, and a brand-new-in-the-box ( as cousin Hal would say ) Airtronics radio set.

As I took my sweet time building up the arf glider I cycled the new radio through several complete battery charges and discharges and made several range checks---it was in excellent working order.

I completed the construction of the beautiful fiberglassed fuselage sailplane and test flew her over the proverbial tall grass and she was perfectly trimmed, so I loaded her in my car and made the one hour journey south to a 1000 foot+ slope and thermal (slermal? ) flying site we called "Big View".

Another range check and we were good to go, so I gave her a nice push out over the valley into a wind that was averaging about 8 to ten with gusts up to maybe 15, and straight in---Sweet!

I cruised back and forth, flying at various trim speeds as the wind conditions suggested, got her up a few hundred feet in thermal lift and made some exciting dives, low passes, and looping and rolling and in general had a great time.....

I was adrenalined up and needed to relax, so I flew her upwind a good 100 yards or more, centered her in lift and set rudder and elevator trims for a 30 degree banked left circle. I sat in my lawn chair and set the Tx down on the grass beside me and opened a cold one. knowing that it just didn't get any better than this.

I sat and admired the beautiful sailplanes' lines as she slowly circled up overhead, rising up the stairway to a cumulus cloud freshly forming on top of the thermal she circled in. When she got to about 3 or 4 hundred feet over me I decided to take her back up wind so my neck could have a rest. I reset the trims to neutral and applied a little right pressure on both sticks....

My heart started up and I felt my face flushing as she kept circling gracefully in left hand I kept pushing both aileron and rudder sticks harder to the right....I checked the Tx power meter and it was still in the high end of it's range.... I prayed....then I cursed and then I prayed some more....and I stood there, broken-hearted, as she gradually specked out and disappeared into the bottom of the building cumulus cloud,

My name and phone # were written on the inside of the cockpit, but I never heard of her again. Gone, but never forgotten.

I went back to cheap gear and haven't lost a plane or glider since, except to my dumb thumbs of course, but no radio failures. Ah well, such are our First World tribulations.

Now the Happy Story: I stood on the Crestline Hang Glider launch ramp, hooked into my glider as the 10 to 12 mph breeze blew up into my face. I was totally concentrating on my Hobie Hawk sailplane, flying in gentle circles straight upwind of me probably a good quarter mile away. It was decision time, and facing the facts that the wind was perfectly aligned and the lightly ballasted Hobie was penetrating the wind on an equal basis as my hang glider, I made the decision to go for it.

I placed the Tx in the wire rack I had made and attached to the base tube of the HG's triangular control bar, placed the safety lanyard over the antenna so it couldn't escape, and then lifted the Comet glider up and onto my shoulders, where she balanced perfectly in the ideal wind condition.

I took a few leisurely steps down the launch ramp, easily gaining speed with each one until I felt my trusty kite lift me up off the slope, and I eased into the prone position to reduce drag and steered a bee-line for my Hobie Hawk Rc sailplane.

As soon as I could I neutralized the trim settings on the Hobie and got her pointed south, headed away from me, and set the elevator trim for best glide speed. With my higher wing loading I was able to catch up with her in a very few minutes. Although she was of low drag design my heavier loading trumped that and I easily flew right up beside her, and we were reunited again, but this time was special: We were both flying, whereas all the other times she had been doing the flying while I stood on the hill and watched and guided her along the slopes.

It was late afternoon on a sunny early October day. I slowed the hang glider to minimum sink speed, just a couple mph above stall speed, and the Hobie and I just cruised along side by side, she on my left with the low sun's rays reflecting off her glossy white fuselage and translucent blue all-flying rudder.

Eventually we reached the airspace over the landing field, and I escorted my Hobie to a place in space about a hundred yards upwind of the LZ and somewhere around 5 or 6 hundred feet above it.

I set her rudder trim a few clicks to the left of center and the elevator a few clicks of trailing edge up, waved goodbye to her and quickly reversed course and pulled my body full forward in the control frame, flying at 60+ mph and losing altitude rapidly until I connected with that magical point in space where I knew I could turn back into the wind and glide to a spot pretty much in the center of the field for landing.

I landed, flaring to a full stop and not needing a single step---Perfect!

I quickly un-hooked and lifted the safety lanyard off my Tx antenna and holding it up to block the sun I scanned the sky for my beloved Rc glider. I found her pretty much where I expected to, directly cross-wind of my landing spot and at about 300 feet above the LZ.

A few celebratory loops and slow rolls later I caught her with the same hand I had launched her with, about an hour and 4 miles away.

And all was well with the world.
Apr 24, 2019, 04:46 PM
Sittin' on a hill
whatwillaguydo's Avatar
I have a story involving lost visual.

I developed a love for slope soaring early on but had very little money at the time (right after college, working part time) so I built flying wing gliders out of foam board. I had made one that floated wonderfully but didn't penetrate well due to low wing loading. It was a nice gentle day at the local ridge and I was enjoying the nearly unlimited flight times that come with a good steady breeze. I decided to test out how high I could push my glider and found my way into some strong lift a few hundred feet out. A couple minutes later the glider was well overhead and still climbing. Unfortunately, it had climbed right up to be in line between myself and the sun. The second it took to cross the sun was enough to lose it. I tried gently steering it down into a circle but I never found it so I pushed it down and hoped it hadn't drifted into one of the yards out past my flying site. I had an idea of where I thought it would go down but no amount of searching revealed where it had gone. Now this plane had a total of about $20 worth of parts on it all told, so it wasn't a huge loss but I didn't like the idea of leaving a battery out in the dry California brush that covered this slope. Still, there was nothing to be done so I started the long walk down the back of the slope in defeat.

But wait. What was that white in a tree halfway down the backside? Could it be? It was! My glider had drifted back behind the slope before I nosed it in. I got it back with no damage. That was the day I swore I'd put lost model alarms on all my planes. I never did.
Apr 25, 2019, 10:12 AM
DFC~ We Do Flyin' Right
Vapor Trails's Avatar
This photo was taken after a 4 minute flight with reversed ailerons at an event at the Pecan Patch, pilot maintained FULL composure the entire time.
(out of frame: damaged prop tip)

Scaled out, H9 Cub.
Apr 25, 2019, 10:47 AM
Gravity sucks.
mrittinger's Avatar
" Will you maiden my model?"
Me: " Sure, did you balance it?"
Me : ( Post maiden flight): "VERY TAILHEAVY!"

Add 1 lb of nose weight...
Me:" Yeah, much better " ��
Apr 25, 2019, 12:46 PM
Registered User
radfordc's Avatar
Originally Posted by Vapor Trails
This photo was taken after a 4 minute flight with reversed ailerons at an event at the Pecan Patch, pilot maintained FULL composure the entire time.
(out of frame: damaged prop tip)

Scaled out, H9 Cub.
Probably lucky it was a Cub. My reversed aileron story involved a Byron Mig 15 ducted fan model. The owner and I had checked the controls before we went out to fly and found the aileron servo a bit jittery. He changed out the servo and away we went. I was the test pilot and forgot to do another control check. As soon as the plane broke ground it started rolling to the left and I added right aileron control....the reversed ailerons sent the plane over on its back and into the ground.
Latest blog entry: Assembling a Spandau kit.
Apr 25, 2019, 02:27 PM
I hate waiting for parts
Mike_Then's Avatar
Originally Posted by mrittinger
" Will you maiden my model?"
Me: " Sure, did you balance it?"
Me : ( Post maiden flight): "VERY TAILHEAVY!"

Add 1 lb of nose weight...
Me:" Yeah, much better " ��
I've been there too! I never trust that anymore; I always balance it even if the owner insists they did.
Apr 25, 2019, 02:38 PM
An itch?. Scratch build.
eflightray's Avatar
The most harrowing model flight I had happened some years ago.

It was one of those 'Oh Noooo' moments, the plane was heading towards a possible very expensive ending.

I should really start and the beginning as it lays down the reasons for the flight and where it happened, but to cut a long story short .....

I still build and fly.

Apr 25, 2019, 02:45 PM
I'd rather be Flying
davecee's Avatar
Mike_Then, I believe you required assistance once with an Ultimate biplane. I recall that as somewhat harrowing. Perhaps you'd care to expound on it. I couldn't do it again as I can no longer run fast enough.
Apr 25, 2019, 03:20 PM
I hate waiting for parts
Mike_Then's Avatar
Originally Posted by davecee
Mike_Then, I believe you required assistance once with an Ultimate biplane. I recall that as somewhat harrowing. Perhaps you'd care to expound on it. I couldn't do it again as I can no longer run fast enough.
Oh wow, I had forgotten about that. Sure, I'm happy to share. Below is a copy/paste of my original post.

Originally Posted by Mike_Then
So I haven't flown my big GP Ultimate in a while, and yesterday was a beautiful day so it went with me to the field. Powered it up and took off, no issue. About a minute into the flight, I noticed that the plane stayed at almost full power when I reduced the throttle. I pulled the throttle stick all the way down to zero, and the plane was still at almost full power. Gulp. All these things are running through my mind:

*Do I fly it until the batteries die and land?*
*Oh crap, there goes my 10s 4000 pack if the LVC doesn't kick in*
*Will the motor hold up to that abuse?*
*Will it burn out the batteries, ESC, and motor?*

I exercised the throttle stick a few more times and the throttle finally responded. Cut the throttle and landed the plane without issue. I have an arming plug on this plane so I can easily and quickly disarm the power system by removing the jumper plug, and that's what I promptly did. Powered the plane and radio off, and rolled it over to a starting station. Powered the radio and plane on, and inserted the jumper plug. I got my normal tones from the ESC, just like I did before. Did a few full-throttle run-ups in the starting station and the ESC responded normally. Hmmm, that was strange, maybe it didn't initialize correctly the first time? I took off and flew for another 5 minutes or so and the ESC worked perfectly.

About an hour later, I flew it for the second and final time. The ESC gave me the proper tones when it powered up, so I took off and flew. The flight was going normally.... a Cuban-8 here, a full-power climb out of sight to an inverted flat-spin there, look at that full runway knife edge pass, etc. I'd been up about 6 minutes and it was time to land. I snap-rolled the plane and advanced the throttle to regain airspeed to set up for landing, and the throttle stopped responding again. It was stuck at WOT. I exercised the throttle stick and it still didn't respond. I hollered at everyone that "I didn't have it" (I had full radio control, as in the plane was controllable, I just didn't have throttle control). Everyone got out of my way and finally the ESC responded again so I cut the throttle and landed the plane. I was trotting towards it to pull the jumper plug and it suddenly advanced to full throttle with no warning whatsoever. Am I glad I didn't put down the radio! I again yelled at everyone to get out of the way and I had no choice but to take off. My mind is racing again of what to do, and the throttle suddenly died as suddenly as it blasted to WOT. I landed and Davecee ran after the plane and pulled the arming plug. Needless to say, I took the plane apart and stuck it in the car.

Remember that this plane is in excess of 2400 watts and that 21" prop could have done some life-altering injuries to someone. I am very glad that things came out the way they did, and it goes without saying that I have to replace the ESC before I fly it again. I briefly suspected the receiver, but I had full control of the plane at all times, except for the throttle of course.

Please be mindful of electric-powered aircraft when they are energized, especially high-powered setups.
Apr 26, 2019, 07:49 AM
Registered User
thnilsen's Avatar
Two short stories, both of which I consider a leason learned...

It was early in my RC flying career at age 14 having a bit of fun flying at winter time in the flood lights at the local football pitch. The model was a simpel Grokker with a .049 Cox up front. The model was hand launched for the last flight of the day, and I soon realised I had no control over the model. The model made circles at the same time as it increaedheight before it quickly vanished in the dark outside of the flood lights. I never expected to see the model again.. However, a few weeks later I was told by some friends of my parents that they had found a model at a school some away. The model was still intact. I suspect that there had been strong winds higher up that day, as the distrance by air is more than 3km from where I was flying to where it was found, including a few low montains on the way.
Lessons learned that day was to make sure you don't knock the RX power switch when hand launching a model and most imprtantly, check the controls before each flight...
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Description: Starting point and where the model was found.

The second story is all about peer pressure... Doing lowish rolls with a hobby scale Cherockee one of the fellow members started to hum "lower lower lower..." from the back of the ranks. Being young and foolish at the time I humbly abided. The rolls got lower and lower, till there no longer was enough room between the wing-tip and mother earth to complete the roll...
Lessons learned - don't listen to others on how to fly....
Apr 26, 2019, 02:18 PM
Registered User
GWRIGHT's Avatar
I was at a giant scale event in south florida about 20 years ago. I was there to do heli demos at various times during the day, and didn't have any large airplanes at the time, but was handed transmitters off and on to fly various planes during the day. this one was an ullery laser, which is a laser 200 around 95~100" span with what I think was a G62, or maybe a touch larger gas engine. I'd flown it a couple times earlier in the day but on this flight the elevator servo quit. i was in the middle of a pass and pulled to vertical but the plane stayed horizontal. Having flown it earlier I knew not to touch rudder as it would pitch down pretty hard. Full throttle would go nose-high about 4 or 5 degrees, low throttle about 10 degrees nose down. Banked with ailerons about 10 degrees and full throttle it would maintain altitude in a HUGE radius turn. It took what felt like 10 minutes, going to the extremes of my eyesight, to get it lined up with the runway on about a mach 7 approach. Obviously no ability to flare, and pitch changes with throttle changes were delayed several seconds, but I "hit" the runway with it, and I mean that literally . Broke all the nylon bolts holding the landing gear on, broke the prop, and skinned up the bottom. replaced the servo, which I later find out was the original elevator servo in this 12 year old plane, replace prop, some nylon bolts, and it flew again the same day.
Latest blog entry: blog
Apr 26, 2019, 02:56 PM
Registered User
Captain Dunsel's Avatar
A visitor to our club asked me to maiden a model for him. He said heíd had a heart attack and his doctor had prohibited him from doing any high-stress activities, but he really wanted to see his construction fly. He hadnít even driven to the field, as he was banned from driving, too. Instead, his wife had chauffeured him. She, by the way, also kept asking me to fly the plane for her hubby.

The model was a small, high-winged model (I THINK it was a Tri-Squire). It had tiny ailerons that deflected nearly 90 degrees, but the rudder and elevator seemed to have reasonable throws. So, not wanting to disappoint the guy, I agreed to fly it.

We got the engine started, running very rich. I started to reach down to lean it out, when the guy took the plane, turned, and gave it a very weak toss.

With the plane just barely hanging in the air, I tried to put the nose down, get some speed, and start a shallow turn. Thatís when I found that ailerons were completely ineffective. I managed to use my left hand on the rudder to gently coax the plane into a wide turn, barely missing power and telephone lines. When I got plane back around and on a semblance of final approach, the engine quit before I could throttle back. Happily, I was able to guide the model into a safe landing, not far from where the owner had tossed it. Iíd wanted to please the guy and his wife, but Iíd also really, really wanted NOT to cause him to have another heart attack!

He was thrilled and thanked me profusely, then left with his model. After that, my wife and I packed up our models and went home Ė we were both too shaken to fly again! We never saw him again, so we donít know what ever happened to him. But it definitely cured me of maidening other peoplesí planes!

Apr 29, 2019, 09:13 PM
It flies? I like it!
Long, long time ago, 80" playboy Sr. old timer, beautiful, light thing, covered in red and black micafilm, OS .40 4-stroke. Very remote flying site, no one but the modelers at the field for several miles in all directions. Neat trick, performed out of youthful overconfidence... engine at 2 clicks of throttle, 5 clicks of rudder, 2 of elevator...perfect 800 foot diameter, 300 feet up, steady altitude circle... free flight like... 3/4 tank was 14 minutes or so, so I would turn off the 72Mhz FM transmitter and join the old timers in the peanut gallery for observation and stories of old NATS free flight victories, etc.

All was wonderful until this one time (had done this dozens of times) when the engine went full throttle an the elevator went down! I ran back out, grabbed my transmitter from the workbench, but no matter what I did, the model did not respond... it crashed on a nearby hill, about 500 feet away. I then realized I forgot to turn on the transmitter! My days of showing off and youthful overconfidence were over.

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