Never Give Up - RC Groups
Shop our Airplanes Products Drone Products Sales
Thread Tools
Mar 05, 2005, 02:02 PM
FLY3OY
LuftAdler's Avatar

Never Give Up


I lost my SS in the clouds back on February 22nd. Total cost with Optio camera was $600. The plane was at about 2000 feet when I lost visual. I launched a very methodic search using GPS device, and satellite maps of the area. I also took into account wind direction and the fact that I put the aircraft in a gentle left turn with the trim knobs after losing visual. This allowed me to estimate how far the aircraft traveled before coming down.

For 10 days I searched as time allowed. No trace. No luck. I became discouraged.

I ordered some cheap parts to make a second plane, as well as a cheap AIPTEK camera to assist in the search by taking photos of the area.

Today, I took the new plane to the spot where I lost visual. I climbed to the estimated altitude at time of lost. Weather conditions were similar to the day of the incident. I cut throttle and put the plane in the same trim settings as when I lost the first plane.

Then, I just observed. I watched the direction the plane was traveling. It started to head in a direction that was not part of my search area. I regained control of the plane and brought it back in, fired up the GPS and headed to the new search area.

Within 30 minutes I found my plane. It was a wonderful moment! The only damage was a broken horizontal stab.

PERSEVERANCE PAYS OFF!

If you recall I lost a similar ship valued at $300 a few months back. Since then I have placed contact information on my plane along with an audio signal device. Neither measure helped in this case.

The camera was in video mode at the time of loss. I reviewed the video and found my estimate on loss location was dead on. What I failed to estimate was which way the plane would drift once trimmed into a left turn. Once this was determined with the new plane the rest was easy.

I am going to test additional trim settings to find what is optimal in case of future visual loss.
Last edited by LuftAdler; Mar 05, 2005 at 02:08 PM.
Sign up now
to remove ads between posts
Mar 05, 2005, 02:12 PM
Registered User
dreslism's Avatar
Wow!

Congratulations.

The optio still works?

Lipos Dead?

--Scott
Mar 05, 2005, 02:41 PM
FLY3OY
LuftAdler's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by dreslism
Wow!

Congratulations.

The optio still works?

Lipos Dead?

--Scott
The Optio is fine. The Lipo was dead-dead. I put it on a .1A trickle charge and got it back to life. Not sure if there is permanent damage.
Mar 06, 2005, 08:07 AM
Team HeliProz
RCFEVER's Avatar
That's Great!

That was some great work! I'll know who to call if ever run into that situation!

What type of terrain did it end up in?

Matt
Mar 06, 2005, 08:24 AM
Registered User
Great job, persistence paid off!
I really like the gps overlay on the aerial picture. Can you please describe how you were able to do that?
I lost my camera plane a few weeks ago but it did't have the camera on it. It did however have a copilot and other stuff on board (about $850). I was playing around and trying for max altitude; looked down at the transmitter and when I looked up thelittle black spot was gone. Maybe some farmer will turn it up in the spring.

Vince
Mar 06, 2005, 08:38 AM
err...see where it went?
crooser's Avatar
what a great story!

well done mate
Mar 06, 2005, 10:12 AM
Am I registered?
Randy Due's Avatar
That's like searching for a needle in a haystack! I lost my plane last week. It was less than 1000 ft. away in thick woods and I felt helpless. I can imagine how you felt when you lost yours. I can also imagine how you felt when you found it! It's really amazing that you got it back, considering the distance. Congratulations!

Randy
Mar 06, 2005, 11:09 AM
FLY3OY
LuftAdler's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by RCFEVER
That's Great!

That was some great work! I'll know who to call if ever run into that situation!

What type of terrain did it end up in?

Matt

Rocky, flat plains. Very few scrub brushes and small trees. Would you believe with all that open area the plane still managed to land in a tree. They are plane magnets!

The area I originally searched had some pretty dense growth. I remember thinking to myself "it would be too easy for the plane to land out in the open."

I had a good laugh when I found it in just that, the wide open.
Mar 06, 2005, 11:31 AM
FLY3OY
LuftAdler's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vince53
Great job, persistence paid off!
I really like the gps overlay on the aerial picture. Can you please describe how you were able to do that?
I lost my camera plane a few weeks ago but it did't have the camera on it. It did however have a copilot and other stuff on board (about $850). I was playing around and trying for max altitude; looked down at the transmitter and when I looked up thelittle black spot was gone. Maybe some farmer will turn it up in the spring.

Vince

The program I use with my GPS is called QuakeMap. It will download terraserver files from the internet for any area you want to work with excluding Area 51 (really, I checked).

You can download it by going to:

www.earthquakemap.com

I use it with my Garmin Etrex GPS.

Steps to determining your search area:

1. When I lost visual on my plane I immediately took a bearing by marking the ground with a two foot line. I used my GPS to get an azimuth from the line I marked on the ground.

2. Knowing what size your plane looks like at different distances also helps. I have used an altimeter many times so I know how big my plane looks at 500ft, 1000 ft, 2000ft, 2500ft. Remember you have lateral separation to take into account if the plane was lost anywhere other than directly overhead.

3. Combine azimuth with spatial separation and you will have a pretty good idea of the planes last known location. Using this information I plotted the last known point using Quake Map.

4. The next step was to go to Accuweather.com and note the wind speed and direction at time of loss. Also note your final trim settings and throttle inputs before you turned off your transmitter.

5. Finally a re-enactment with a similar plane in similar weather conditions flying from the last known point will assist in determining search area. DON"T ALLOW YOURSELF TO LOSE THIS PLANE. You only need to note the behavior of the plane.

6. Once the area is determined use a GPS to canvas the area without covering old ground. Most GPS models have a track mode which shows your path on the screen.

Of course, the faster you get a plane down after losing visual the smaller the search area so I highly recommend you keep your transmitter on, KILL THE MOTOR, trim the aircraft into a tight turn, and trim in some down elevator. Keep the tranmitter on for at least 10 minutes to ensure the plane is down.
Last edited by LuftAdler; Mar 06, 2005 at 03:12 PM.
Mar 06, 2005, 12:12 PM
Outcast outlaw
Amazing -- congratulations!
Mar 06, 2005, 02:17 PM
Registered User
Rogerdoger's Avatar

Never Give Up !!!!!


LuftAdler,

Thanks for posting the events you had. That is a great way of narrowing the search area of a plane that is down.

Great stories, all.

Roger
Mar 06, 2005, 03:16 PM
FLY3OY
LuftAdler's Avatar
I am going to do some research using my Eagletree black box recorder with regards to Slowstick descent rates using different trim settings. Data gained from this research will be helpful in determining search radius from different altitudes. I promise to post this info as soon as I have it.


The graph below is from just playing around. You can see how quickly just gliding I was able to dump 800feet in about two minutes after cutting throttle.
Last edited by LuftAdler; Mar 06, 2005 at 03:24 PM.
Mar 10, 2005, 08:14 PM
FLY3OY
LuftAdler's Avatar
I flew up to 3200 feet, then put in full right trim and cut the throttle. In a steep, but controlled descent the plane descended in just under 100 seconds. It moved about 150 yards from its location at the start of the descent.

The plane may not survive, but the electronics will, and you will improve your chances of finding the plane exponentially.
Last edited by LuftAdler; Mar 10, 2005 at 08:43 PM.
Jul 15, 2005, 07:00 PM
FLY3OY
LuftAdler's Avatar
With all the recent lost planes as of late I thought folks might benefit from the information in this thread.


Thread Tools

Similar Threads
Category Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Discussion Never mentally give up on a model... Artemetra Electric Plane Talk 16 Jan 08, 2007 06:04 AM
Rave Never Give Up! kdill2160 Micro Helis 13 Aug 09, 2006 01:04 AM
I NEVER GIVE UP!!! Latest Try boomerace Parkflyers 15 Aug 19, 2002 12:22 PM
just might have to give up E-flight... Larry Dudeck Electric Plane Talk 44 Jul 14, 2001 04:19 PM