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Nov 21, 2019, 02:23 PM
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Combat Safety


So...I thought I'd share this with the group.

About 2 weeks ago, I was involved in a combat event with my local club. We all fly wings, either Assassins or Versa Wings (mostly Versa Wings, since they're cheap and easy to build) in a pusher configuration. We get anywhere from 8-12 pilots at a time flying, and we all launch at about the same time, all from in front of the pilot boxes.

Now, because of that being in front of the box, we're all required to fly with head protection - whether it's a hard hat or helmet of some type, just in case. Turns out a "just in case" moment happened 2 weeks ago.

The attached image is a result of being hit in the head with an Assassin. At launch, the battery slipped through the strap, came loose, and caused the wing to go off balance laterally, tipping it back towards the pits, and smashing directly into my helmeted head. The long scrape/gouge in the paint towards the bottom right of the helmet is actually where the prop struck. About 2 inches lower, and I probably would have been minus an eye.

The funny thing is, I heard the yell, and a split second later, I felt the CONK in the head. It had knocked the helmet off of my noggin, and I just kept flying through it all, no worse for wear. The west end of our 600' runway ends before the dirt runs another oh, 200 feet to the I-15 freeway, a major interstate highway; after I got hit, all I could focus on was, "PLEASE don't go down on the freeway! PLEASE don't crash out there and cause an accident!"

I flew through it, made a landing at the end of the first round, and everyone kept asking if I was ok. I was fine, but VERY glad I had a helmet on - otherwise, the medical crew might've been showing up at the field and hauling me off to the nearest hospital.

I do not hold any ill will to the pilot whose wing hit me; I know it was purely on accident, and it could have happened to anyone. Freak things happen, and this is one of the reasons why we wear helmets and hard hats out on the line during combat. Just wanted to post that it CAN happen, and safety should be observed when at all possible.
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Nov 22, 2019, 10:44 PM
Registered User
Right on!
Nov 23, 2019, 08:19 AM
Registered User

Score '1' for the helmet !


I am glad you posted this and that your ok. I will be forwarding this to our pylon racers within our club for educational purposes. We fly two pole and stress SAFETY a lot. Fortunately we've been racing for around 15 years and have not had any serious consequences that I know of.
Mike
Nov 25, 2019, 12:48 PM
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Originally Posted by RACE 66
I am glad you posted this and that your ok. I will be forwarding this to our pylon racers within our club for educational purposes. We fly two pole and stress SAFETY a lot. Fortunately we've been racing for around 15 years and have not had any serious consequences that I know of.
Mike
Mike,

Not a problem. I know some of us hobbyists take safety for granted, but this is a perfect example that no matter how safe you think you are, accidents can happen. I'm very lucky it happened the way it did, but had I not been wearing the helmet, I KNOW I would have been in the hospital. Glad we take that extra safety step, and I KNOW nobody at my club is going to be flippant about it from here on out, thinking, "Oh, no, that won't happen to me."
Nov 27, 2019, 02:24 PM
Heath
Good reminder of why we should use helmets even with relatively small electric combat planes.
A little trick to keep the battery under the strap is to wrap a length of valcro around the battery perpendicular to the battery strap. This will keep the battery from sliding out from under the strap.

What size batteries do you use in your combat planes?
Nov 27, 2019, 06:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Salin
Good reminder of why we should use helmets even with relatively small electric combat planes.
A little trick to keep the battery under the strap is to wrap a length of valcro around the battery perpendicular to the battery strap. This will keep the battery from sliding out from under the strap.

What size batteries do you use in your combat planes?
The velcro strap was actually on the plane, perpendicular; what happened was that it wasn't cinched tight enough, apparently, and there was no velcro under the battery to prevent it from shifting laterally through the velcro loop. The pilot in question has since made a change to prevent it from occurring again, which I can't blame him - he was pretty freaked out by it.

As for the batteries, most of us are running 2200 mAh 3S batteries, so something that's a decent weight; even then, sometimes we have to add nose weight to get the wings to balance properly, so sometimes the noses have lead, extra glue, pennies, etc. to get it to balance out properly.
Nov 27, 2019, 08:19 PM
Heath
I was unclear. What I was trying to say is wrap a valcro strip the long way around the battery before putting it in the plane, then strap it in over the short side. See photo.
Nov 27, 2019, 11:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Salin
I was unclear. What I was trying to say is wrap a valcro strip the long way around the battery before putting it in the plane, then strap it in over the short side. See photo.
Ah!!! That makes a LOT more sense. Thanks for the visual. I'll have to try that, see if it works for them. I've cut slots in the top of my wing at the front, and fit the battery in, so it can't slide left or right; I also run one of those rubberized velcro straps around it, and cinch it down pretty good. When that's done, that sucker doesn't want to move at all. Others have mounted them on top, lengthwise and such; as long as it stays put through violent movement, I say to keep doing it.


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