What the Heck Wednesday - Aileron Accident

This week on What the Heck Wednesday we have an Eclipson Model C electric RC airplane taking a trip nose first into the deep snow.

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Don't Slack on Control Surface Pre-flight

This week on What the Heck Wednesday we have an Eclipson Model C electric RC airplane taking a trip nose first into the deep snow. He's got a clear runway and a nice day to go flying with a new plane. I know getting your brand new plane out for the first time is exciting and fun, but don't let that get in the way of a proper pre-flight check. Always check to make sure the control surfaces are moving in the correct direction. It's not good enough to simply see that they move and this video will show you what is likely to happen if you make that mistake. The plane lifts off and rolls slightly left. The pilot corrects with right stick input and that causes the plane roll left and slam into the ground. Luckily that plane is tough and after a few repairs, it was back out and flying nicely. You can bet this pilot will never forget to perform a proper preflight again.

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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Mar 31, 2021, 11:34 AM
I'd rather be Flying
davecee's Avatar
Been there, done that, but mine was a total loss (not a big expensive plane, so not too bad).
Mar 31, 2021, 01:02 PM
B for Bruce
BMatthews's Avatar
From back in the pre computer Tx days when we only had servo reversing and "single model memory" that was based on how the switches were pushed I quickly learned to check all controls for the proper direction before starting up the nitro engines or hooking up the high start. It's something that I still do today.

I will neither confirm nor deny rumors that a similar event led to me performing this regular pre-startup ritual....
Mar 31, 2021, 01:35 PM
Registered User
OhBee's Avatar
I see this all the time. They wiggle the sticks back and forth on all the controls,the surfaces all wiggle...good enough. As mentioned....make sure the surfaces move in the CORRECT direction according to input on the stick. I don't think some people even know what correct direction is for ailerons!
Mar 31, 2021, 02:27 PM
aka: A.Roger Wilfong
gnofliwr's Avatar
Uh. Yea, I've done it. Mine was with a Mini Ultra Stick. I'd had an Ugly Stick back in the '70s that didn't survive 25 years of storage in my parent's attic. When I saw the MUS I remembered how much fun the old US had been, so I picked it up.

In assembling it, I noticed the wing was built so you could split the TE ailerons into ailerons and flaps - the servo pockets were there, all you need to supply were servos, a couple of 1/2A control horns and push rods. So I decided to program crow airbrakes instead of just flaps. I'd never set up crow before so it took about 3 hours in the shop to get the flaps to work as ailerons, and, with the flip of a switch, deflect dow and the ailerons up, all while taking roll input from the aileron channel.

Went out to the field, did a range check, wiggled all of the sticks, and took off. About 3' off the ground, the plane rolled right and went in. Messed up a wing tip. Went home, fixed the crinkled, right wing tip, waggled the sticks and checked that all of the servos were still working. Went to the field, repeated the previous weekend's check out, took off and this tim it rolled left and crinkled the left wing tip.

About this point I was thinking that the old, large US was a lot easier to fly than the MUS. A flying buddy came over an said, "I think you've got the ailerons reversed."

Nah. I spent 3 hours setting the ailerons up, I couldn't have made a dumb mistake like that.

Next week end, I showed up with the fixed left wing tip, to match the fixed right one. And with the ailerons working in the right directions. The MUS proved to be even more fun than I remember the US being.

- Roger
Mar 31, 2021, 04:06 PM
Registered User
I think most full scale aircraft have this item on their takeoff checklist: Controls free and CORRECT. The first motorboat that I bought new had the steering controls reversed. I didn't realize it until I had it in the water and was underway.
Last edited by shunkman; Mar 31, 2021 at 04:12 PM.
Mar 31, 2021, 04:29 PM
Registered User
My runup checklist:

Primer in and locked,
Mixture for Best Power
Brakes Set
Instruments Set
CONTROLS FREE, CLEAR AND CORRECT
Apr 03, 2021, 06:47 PM
Registered User
Bummer, dude...
Apr 03, 2021, 07:11 PM
If it flies, I can crash it.
rocketsled666's Avatar
Should have made the test flight while the snow was still soft and powdery.
Apr 04, 2021, 10:38 AM
Registered User
Quote:
Originally Posted by shunkman
I think most full scale aircraft have this item on their takeoff checklist: Controls free and CORRECT. The first motorboat that I bought new had the steering controls reversed. I didn't realize it until I had it in the water and was underway.
LOL - I did the exact same thing after installing a new steering cable on my Mastercraft. Buddy took it out off the trailer, I came back down and asked if it was better, he replied "yep, but you drive"
Apr 04, 2021, 12:28 PM
I think I just want to fly
Rhea's Avatar
You only have to do it once and after that you will always check for correct direction. The transmitters with model memory will help too.
Apr 04, 2021, 04:26 PM
B for Bruce
BMatthews's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rhea
.....The transmitters with model memory will help too.
Yes, yes they will.... But only if we're at least as smart as our transmitter and remember to check for correct direction at the bench during programming.....

We all need to endevour to never underestimate the ID 10 T setting during programming ....
Apr 05, 2021, 07:21 AM
Cajun-American
Boogie_'s Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by OhBee
I see this all the time. They wiggle the sticks back and forth on all the controls,the surfaces all wiggle...good enough. As mentioned....make sure the surfaces move in the CORRECT direction according to input on the stick. I don't think some people even know what correct direction is for ailerons!
Ditto.

And when you try to tell these "stick-wigglers" the way to do a proper pre-flight is: hold Left, hold Right, hold Up, hold Down, etc., all you get is dirty looks.
Apr 05, 2021, 12:52 PM
Plus Pilot
Jumanoc's Avatar

Not only have to check movement of surfaces


If you have an stabillizer on your plane, it is a MUST to verify if the stabilization is moving surfaces in the right direction.

I had an event, after reversing rudder servo in normal RX-TX, the stabilizer REVERSED the rudder too. Not a bad ending but that was very difficult to take off fighting the stabilized rudder. If that were on ailerons or elevator, that could have being another story.
Apr 05, 2021, 01:28 PM
Tyro of the Hudson
Quote:
Originally Posted by OhBee
I see this all the time. They wiggle the sticks back and forth on all the controls,the surfaces all wiggle...good enough. As mentioned....make sure the surfaces move in the CORRECT direction according to input on the stick. I don't think some people even know what correct direction is for ailerons!


and for SAFE or gyro equipped planes a lot of people assume if it twitches it is working.........not catching that the correction given is in the wrong direction.


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