What the Heck Wednesday - Nose Falls Off on Landing

This week on What the Heck Wednesday we have this rather large gasser coming in for a landing that doesn't quite go as planned.

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What the Heck Happened?

This week on What the Heck Wednesday we have this rather large gasser coming in for a landing that doesn't quite go as planned. It's a dead stick landing so there's no power from the prop. The plane dives down towards the ground and pulls up to flat just before hitting the ground. It was too little too late and the plane hits hard on the ground flat like a pancake. It bounces back up and rolls over to the right slightly. Then it hits the ground again on the landing gear and shears the entire nose off.

So what do you guys think happened? Was the plane already damaged prior to the first touchdown or did that first hit weaken the structure so much that the second hit snapped it right off? This is a good lesson to practice dead stick landings. Even on electric planes, you can have an issue and lose your motor. When this happens you better know how to glide your plane in for a safe landing or you too could end up like this pilot with your plane in pieces.

If you have a video of a weird or entertaining crash and would like to be featured on What the Heck Wednesday, please send me a PM with your submission.

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Oct 07, 2020, 10:14 AM
Design Engineer
Alright, the video is small and far away, but lets take a look at what happened.
My best guess is that the fuselage was not properly supported to handle the force of the plane hitting the ground. ie: no structural longerons to distribute the weight of the engine along the fuselage.
From the video and image, I assume that this is either a pattern or 3D ship. Thus, a very light airframe and quite beefy engine. If there is nothing to distribute the weight of the engine properly, you are bound to run into this issue.
What I assume happened. On the first bounce, the fuse started to crack, weakening the structure just above the landing gear.
As it came down on the one wheel, the force of everything coming down was too much for the weakened airframe. The landing gear was stopped hard while the rest of the plane continued down. Thus shearing off the nose section from the rest of the airframe.
Solution: better structural longerons and proper landing speed. Hence the semi ground loop.
Oct 07, 2020, 10:22 AM
A man with too many toys
Many ARF and RTF airplanes have under designed landing gear. Especially if you fly from a rough grass field like I do.
Oct 07, 2020, 10:51 AM
AndyKunz's Avatar
Pattern should go back to judging the landing. It was, back when you needed retracts for speed. A good landing could earn you points as well as save you from repairs!

Andy
Oct 07, 2020, 11:25 AM
Registered User

Calls to mind this crackup:


Skip to 3:40 -

Back of the Power Curve (4 min 21 sec)
Oct 07, 2020, 01:12 PM
Whats that drip ? 🤭
ClubFlyer's Avatar
Yes Sir !

https://www.aopa.org/news-and-media/...he-power-curve
Oct 07, 2020, 01:17 PM
DFS#000178
Rampage's Avatar
Landing gear mounts designed by EFlite.
Oct 07, 2020, 03:23 PM
Registered User
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rampage
Landing gear mounts designed by EFlite.
you took the words right out of my mouth

1st bounce weakened everything up.

2nd bounce caught the propeller. Gassers don't like to stall the engine as easily as an electric. Prop kept turning and tore everything away at the weakest point. you can almost see the nose twist right off.

Down 1 inch in prop next time.
Oct 07, 2020, 05:20 PM
DFS#000178
Rampage's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brett_N
you took the words right out of my mouth
Some tongue-in-cheek fun, the EFlite balsa ARFs are some of my favorite planes but every single one of them from the Mini Pulse to the Champ had really weak landing gear mounts. My Champ I've taken care of it preemptively but I've torn the gear out of my MPXT, my RV-9, my Cub 450, all with landings that I wouldn't exactly call 'rough'.

Easy fixes, every one of them, it's just fun to poke fun.
Oct 07, 2020, 05:25 PM
Registered User
exf3bguy's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by AndyKunz
Pattern should go back to judging the landing. It was, back when you needed retracts for speed. A good landing could earn you points as well as save you from repairs!

Andy


AMA pattern ( sportsman, intermediate, advanced and masters ) have always scored landings. That particular airplane is a Yak 54 and is not a pattern airplane.

The first thing I see with this scenario is poor glide path control. The pilot pulls up and looses too much speed and has to initiate a dive to gain some speed back. Hits the ground too hard for his Chinese built ARF that has been constructed of crappy wood. Spending some time learing to fly a sailplane goes a long way when you are faced with deadstick landings like this.
Oct 07, 2020, 05:38 PM
Registered User
Have a E-Flite Valiant that flipped over at less that 5MPH on landing and ripped the nose off! I love this plane except for Piss Poor strength!
Oct 07, 2020, 05:45 PM
Retired USAF
Cobra1365's Avatar
In my learned opinion....it broke!
Oct 07, 2020, 07:07 PM
Registered User
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nitro Burner
Have a E-Flite Valiant that flipped over at less that 5MPH on landing and ripped the nose off! I love this plane except for Piss Poor strength!
what generation Valiant?

I was gifted an older one that survived about 250 "beginner" flights with no problem.

The guy that gave it to me replaced it with the "new" one, and the motor came loose on the first flight. So, he was re-gifted the original. Side by side, things definitely got "cheaper" - which you can tell by the weight. the new ones appear to not have ANY glue holding the motor box in. It was an easy field fix with some 5 min epoxy, but still....

But again, major damage on this video was caused by the prop hitting the ground causing the engine to continue rotating CCW (from viewed straight on) tearing the weaker wood motor box apart. that's what happens when you dig 3" of wood prop into the dirt. You can see the right wing (from viewed behind) restrict the fuze from rotating. it's all a matter of torque loading at that point, and the engine won.

Even with the engine OFF on landing (dead sticking it in) the compression of the engine was enough to "hold" the prop from spinning. there's no smoke trail so we have to assume either a very lean condition or a dead stick. With a ground bounce, then the prop catching, it's all a matter of torque loading on the wooden frame.
Oct 07, 2020, 07:11 PM
Registered User
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cobra1365
In my learned opinion....it broke!
and, IMO, very gently broke it. I can do WAY more damage to balsa than that

Just needs a new motorbox and some epoxy on the LG. Flying in a week
Oct 07, 2020, 08:12 PM
Registered User
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brett_N
what generation Valiant?

I was gifted an older one that survived about 250 "beginner" flights with no problem.

The guy that gave it to me replaced it with the "new" one, and the motor came loose on the first flight. So, he was re-gifted the original. Side by side, things definitely got "cheaper" - which you can tell by the weight. the new ones appear to not have ANY glue holding the motor box in. It was an easy field fix with some 5 min epoxy, but still....

But again, major damage on this video was caused by the prop hitting the ground causing the engine to continue rotating CCW (from viewed straight on) tearing the weaker wood motor box apart. that's what happens when you dig 3" of wood prop into the dirt. You can see the right wing (from viewed behind) restrict the fuze from rotating. it's all a matter of torque loading at that point, and the engine won.

Even with the engine OFF on landing (dead sticking it in) the compression of the engine was enough to "hold" the prop from spinning. there's no smoke trail so we have to assume either a very lean condition or a dead stick. With a ground bounce, then the prop catching, it's all a matter of torque loading on the wooden frame.
I bought it back in JAN of this year. the nose (entire foam nose section) including the mount came off! It literally rolled over at the very last 10 ft of the landing. Again i love the plane,but the durability is horrible!!
Last edited by Nitro Burner; Oct 07, 2020 at 10:43 PM.


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