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Apr 08, 2021, 02:45 PM
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Thread OP

dropped like a sack of potatoes

ive been flying my durafly tundra now for about a month with no problems. great plane! it dropped from the sky without warning.i had no power at all . it broke in 3 pieces. im devastated. its equipped with a spektrum ar636 rx. it was not in safe mode.upon retrieval and returning back to my tx the esc beeped and all controls returned to normal. luckily throttle cut was on.what happened ? battery was at full charge as i had just taken flight. there was a big john deere cutting a field beside me. its when i crossed over him it died. just a coincidence ?
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Apr 08, 2021, 03:29 PM
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OhBee's Avatar
Radio interference...those new tractors have GPS, and all kinds of electronic gizmos controlling them now. it isn't even safe to fly out in the country!
Apr 08, 2021, 03:55 PM
Registered User


The field I fly at is surrounded by cultivated farmland. Big farm machines around all the time. When they're working I give them a wide berth. Never thought they would radiate enough radio interference to affect RC.
Apr 08, 2021, 06:53 PM
Suko's Avatar
It's a common joke, but brownout? There's a chance your system pulled too many amps and the Rx didn't have enough power it goes. Sometimes it won't re-arm the plane unless you put your throttle back to zero, which few people remember to do while the plane is heading to the ground.
Apr 08, 2021, 06:59 PM
Registered User
we're you flying slowly and turning?
Apr 08, 2021, 07:37 PM
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Thread OP
i was at half throttle and and turning to head back to the field after passing over soon as i passed the farm tractor she dropped. still not sure about interference from tractor. really ruined my one else was flying so cant say for sure. the big tractor was the only thing different from my other flights with it.
Apr 08, 2021, 07:38 PM
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any possibilty of a tip stall?
Apr 08, 2021, 07:54 PM
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Clive66's Avatar
Possibly the Battery/ESC connector wasn't making a solid connection.
Seen that happen with a guy a couple of weeks ago.
Everything worked fine after the crash, but when I wiggled the XT60 plug, it would make intermittent connections.
Apr 09, 2021, 07:24 AM
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Thread OP
no tip stall... i was in a medium speed level re binded itself once i got back to a few feet from transmitter. im gun shy now to keep using the receiver or esc.
Apr 09, 2021, 08:12 AM
Registered User
it is disconcerting
Apr 09, 2021, 08:20 AM
Suspended Account
I have lost two planes similarly. Both were nearly new E-flite PNP ‘s. In both cases I freaked out and was worried it was my radio or older generation receivers etc. I even phased out a bunch of older receivers. In the end I concluded the BEC on the ESC just crapped out…

So my guess it is either that or some thing with your Spektrum radio and receiver. Based on my experiences and yes, I admit, hearsay…, I would never use a Spektrum radio. And definitely not an E-flite ESC, but I guess that is not the case here…

I should add, on the second plane I lost due to a bad ESC, a V900, when I sent the wreck into Horizon EU they did replace it and on the form that came with the replacement plane they had written “ESC melted“…

It’s a terrible thing to happen, especially on a plane you like. It could’ve been the tractor, who knows…

When I was asking around about my incidents somebody wrote, rather persuasively, that most times when this happens it is due to a bad BEC… But with Spektrum I think signal interference is always a possibility.
Apr 09, 2021, 09:51 AM
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Clive66's Avatar
I've never had a signal loss with genuine Spektrum RX's.
Never had a problem with my DX6 g3 or DX8 g2 TX's either.
Currently have 60 flyable planes on those TX's.
Using AR636 RX's in many of those planes.

BTW, I fly where there's a HUGE micro wave tower.
Apr 09, 2021, 10:46 AM
Registered User

Same story...

I posted this over in Electric Sailplanes, and i had no response, so I thought I would post it here. I had, more or less, the same thing happen. I don't know anything about the plausibility of signal interference, but I will note that my plane went down within 40-50 yards of a busy road with bumper to bumper traffic. the traffic wasn't moving at the time. Anyway, here is the story....

I was flying my Night Radian for about 40 minutes tonight without problems, except when I came in for one of my landings I noticed I was missing the canopy. But I wanted to keep flying and after velcroing down the battery firmly I took it up again for about another half hour. No problems. I landed the plane and then decided I'd do one last flight. I powered up, it flew smoothly up to about 350 ft, and then I turned off the power. So at this point it was about 350 ft high and maybe about a half-mile north of me.

Immediately after turning off the power (or within two seconds anyway) it went nose down. I gave it up elevator and it went up a little, but I couldn't overcome whatever was forcing it to point down. It went into a sharp counter-clockwise turn and started a steep decent. Nothing I did with the sticks seemed to make any difference. I gave it full power to get it back up, but this didn't seem to have any effect, so I assume it wasn't receiving that signal because surely it would have done something different between no power and full power.. I was descending fast and I was giving it full up elevator, but that didn't seem to make any difference either. I powered it off and watched it come down.

I have a wingnut light controller on this plane and after the crash I was turning the knob on my Tx and I could see that I was still controlling the lights from that distance. Amazingly, when I got to the plane it was sitting flat on top of bush with no damage! (I have crashed this plane into a tree, I have crashed it into a barbed wire fence, and now this...but still no significant damage.)

I walked it the half mile back to my friend and checked the control surfaces. Everything seemed to be working fine. Next I walked at least 1/2-mile away while my friend stood by the plane and I moved all the control surfaces. He said they moved the full range. So it doesn't seem like I lost transmitter contact, but who knows?

When I was walking the plane back I notice that SAFE was in the on position. I don't know if i inadvertently bumped it, or if SAFE was on the whole time.

I did not give it full rudder all night. The only down elevator I gave it was a touch when I had it under power. But when it went into its spin, it was if I was giving it full left rudder. And again, nothing I did varied its counterclockwise descent, not even when I gave it full power. The one really unorthodox thing I was doing was flying without a canopy. I expected to find that the battery had somehow flipped out of the cockpit and drug the plane down, but when I got to the plane it was still firmly strapped down where I originally put it. It was about 75 degrees at the time and somewhat humid.

Any ideas as to what happened?
Apr 09, 2021, 11:09 AM
Registered User

SAFE - Humm

I've had a couple of incidents involving SAFE where the airplane seemed to loose contact with the receiver. Airplane flies perfectly on two or three batteries in all three SAFE modes. Next battery craps out in beginner mode, no control, just like some of the stories in this post. Take the pieces home, hook it all up, works fine.

I'm experience enough now that I'm getting out of the SAFE thing. New receiver arriving today is an AR637T.
Apr 09, 2021, 11:52 AM
Registered User
Thread OP
ive only been flying for about 9 months and i like the safe for take offs and landings . i switch to full mode once up in the air. ive managed to glue and tape back my plane. at this point everything seems as normal. if it does it again ill have to make some tough decisions on new radio gear.i did reroute the rx antennae where it sticks out of the battery hatch.shouldnt be any obstructions there.

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