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Jul 03, 2005, 04:23 PM
Thread OP

How many times can you ...

... say OH NO! oh no oh no oh noooooo .....?

Like Steve's recent crash story it needs telling, but, oh man, it AIN'T easy!

It was perfect flying conditions. The day's upslope breeze had all but gone and I was in the air to get shots of my friends and neighbors out on the little lake. Soon I'd join them in my kayak for the 3rd annual Flat Creek Lake wine and BS party. The sun was lower in the sky than I'd hoped, but I was glad I took the extra time needed to get my CG balanced just right. My modded "Frankenstick" was flying really nice with the Co-Pilot giving me the mellow slow control conditions I like.

The lake was about 1000 feet away over the hillside out of my view directly in the direction of the sun. I circled high above it and banked to take my shots. I was not sure if I was getting what I wanted so I did a couple wider circles and shot a few bursts with side lighting. I found lift higher up and used it to throttle down and float for some smooth shooting. I was pretty sure I had what I needed, but I decided to do one more turn a little farther out. My altitude stayed about the same but as I was making the arcing turn going away from me the plane dropped lower on the horizon. It passed behind just the upper branch of a distant oak and in a moment it should have appeared on the other side. But it didn't. I think I gave it a little "up" stick and stared intently where I last saw it. Nothing. I tried to turn harder toward my target run. Still nothing. I started to move to get a better look behind that top branch that hid it, but a fence in the field blocked my way. I gave more "up" stick hoping to flare it so I could get a glimpse. I turned again. I flared again. The oh no's started. I walked up the hill to get under some near trees hoping to have a better view of that area of the sky. 30 minutes later I was still giving it "up" stick and turns and wandering about the hillside. The oh no's turned to prayers. I looked at the sky like years ago hoping my homing pigeons would come home.

It WAS STUPID! I WAS STUPID! I should have known better having had lessons of this sort on previous flights. I had got it back another time after losing it to a "black hole" behind a distant tree. I had also gotten lucky and brought it home when a sudden up draft had quickly carried it upslope the first time I flew high over mountain side pines.

I didn't make it to the party. I was bummed. I'm still numb. This was the maiden flight for my new Casio camera equipped with a high speed 1g SD card. Instead of having pics for my friends and an impressive entry for the July 1st shoot I have NOTHING.

One of the benefits of not having gotten much sleep that night was that early the next morning my misery was distracted by the foxes I'd been trying to get video footage of. For the first time the whole family was out. This was the first appearance of the male and the first time I was seeing the kits out and playing in the sunlight. I've attached a couple still frame captures to sooth some of the "BUM" from my post and my own sad feelings.

I'm doing what I can to try to find it, but the country here makes it a VERY long shot that it'll be recovered. Tall pines and oaks and sparse population means it may be lost forever. Yesterday I drove the roads I could access near the large area I'd circled on the map. I posted my LOST signs, talked to helpful folks, and peered thru binoculars where I found hills clearing to look from. My signs are at the local stores and restaurants.

I'm wondering if I'll be able to replace the little Casio very soon as I truly became attached to it for it's great performance for non-AP shooting. I've got a "spare" Slow Stick, but it'll be a good while before I can afford to replace all the high tech goodies that are on my lost plane. I've only been "in" RC flying about a year. I've crashed my way toward veteran experience and know the risks.

I also know the frustration, like Steve's, of having a unexplainable crash. It was much after my non-AP plane's crash I discovered a loose pin in the servo connector that I suspect caused the out of control condition.

Welp, I've got my binoculars and spotting scope in the car and am going up to the winery near the top of Mt Aukum to see what I can see. I've got a few more prayers and signs to post too.

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Jul 04, 2005, 07:08 PM
Thread OP
Gee, I thought at least someone would comment on my REWARD sign or the cute little foxes!

I don't know if reading about someone else's lost plane would have helped keep me from losing mine, but I'll move this back to the top of the list hoping folks smarter than me will read it and keep a closer tether on their AP planes.

Part of the marvel of RC flying is how high or how far can I go. Pushing the limit came at a steep price for me.


No clear vista in the direction I needed from Mt. Aukum so it's back to driving, hiking, and hoping.
Jul 04, 2005, 07:33 PM
Jul 04, 2005, 08:33 PM
WHOHH..You See That??
qualcity's Avatar
Damn Viddy...

Super sorry to hear that. On the bright side, because it is a sparsely populated area, the chances of someone walking off with it are lower. Just hope you can find it before it rains or something. Wish I could come out and help ya look.

Jul 04, 2005, 10:02 PM
problem with your sign is that someone might decide to keep the camera and electrics and decides to claim reward for the plane.
Jul 04, 2005, 11:31 PM
Registered User
rpm3's Avatar


man....I feel bad for all you guys...I have been relaying these type stories to my wife.....I also told her about the new Casio coming from Dell for me....shoot sounds like you may have lost the Z750....real big bummer!

Sorry to hear it happened

I don't like flying nervous......just hope I get over the twitchy fingers before I get this $1000 machine in the air!!

Good luck finding it....stranger things happen!

Ralph Matile
Jul 05, 2005, 01:00 AM
Thread OP
I'd hoped for comments on the sign with input on how this kind of recovery assistance might to be handled.

An attention getting sign that's simple was my thought. It's my intention to pay the reward for return of plane and camera. The hope being $150 would be a nice reward for the person doing the good deed of returning it. Of course if the finder understands the value of the camera alone (over $500 with the 1 gig SD card) he/she might want to wheel & deal or just keep it and be quiet.

I recall discovering a couple of collectable depression glass plates in the bottom of a box of generic dishes I bought at a garage sale. I'd been to a bunch of places that Saturday and had trouble remembering where I'd got them. Before I began my search I couldn't help but call on a nearby antique dealer first. It took close to a hour to eventually find the house and as I pulled up the woman and her girlfriend ran out saying, "Oh I'm so glad you came back. We found more pieces to your set ..." Mean ole me put a frown on my face and demanded, "Here! look in the box!" They thought they'd be seeing at a bunch of broken pieces but instead they found the small treasures. She shrieked for joy and planted a kiss on my cheek and said they had been looking EVERYWHERE for them. Her husband gave me a beer and we had a good chat. I smile as I think of it. This is worth much more than ugly $100 plates!

My second story dates many years before that and didn't have a happy ending. I gave in to temptation and didn't do the right thing. I've "paid the price" for it, in karma I think some would say,... and sometimes wonder if I still am.

I figure if someone spots it stuck high in a tree I'd give them $50. If I recover it from the tree without much cost or trouble they will get the whole $150. If someone hands me just the plane and it's intact parts I'm not sure what to do??? What would you do?
Jul 05, 2005, 06:23 AM
Recreational Engineer
Tom Harper's Avatar

Was your name and address on the model? That was procedure on Free Flights but is not common on RC. I have had Free Flights returned and the reward was always refused. Hope you do as well.

I like the foxes.
Jul 05, 2005, 08:36 AM
Smashes Things
RCTyp's Avatar
I really feel for you! A few weeks ago I spent a day searching for my Corsair. I kept saying to myself that I would feel better if I only knew where it was. Then I found it high up in a tree. I couldn't get it down but it fell a couple days later.

I really feel for you. And the foxes are great!

Jul 05, 2005, 08:46 AM
Registered User
Man, thats an AWFUL story. Now we can offically coin a new term for losing a cam on the first flight as pullying a "viddyflyer" You'll always be infamous here on the groups.
I was really looking forward to your pictures too, as well as sharing input on 750 settings on my own ordered cam. Hopefully some nice citizen will make you very happy.
Are there any small airports around? One with a pilot who might take you on a search mission for a few $$?
Crossing our fingers for ya!

Thinking about it, I'm guilty of trying for that "extreme" shot way too often. You know how it is, you've flown from the same spot so many times, gotten the same photos that you think "just a little higher, just a little farther, and I'll have a pic of something NEW!"
Its like when you see that gnat flying around in the house. Once you take your eyes off it, you can't spot it again, even though its right there close.
What a sick feeling that must have been!
Jul 05, 2005, 08:52 AM
SlowStick Test Pilot
patrickegan's Avatar

That stinks but your Karma sounds good my friend. I hope you find it soon cause Iím trying to put together another RCAPA photo contest and you need to be in it.

Good luck- P
Jul 05, 2005, 09:29 AM
Hogster's Avatar
Ohh man I feel for you. BUT! Remember what happened to Steve Nolan? He lost his SS in tall grass for weeks but he eventually found it. It's OUT THERE, just waiting for you to collect it.

Don't give up mate.
Jul 05, 2005, 09:44 AM
Registered User
rtideas's Avatar
That sucks, but hopefully you have a bank full of karma points. The plates should definitely put you in the black. I live by karma points and it has turned most of my luck into good.

Best of luck to you.
Jul 05, 2005, 02:14 PM
Thread OP
My phone number has been "Sharpied" on the Slow Stick for quite awhile. Least I WAS "sharp" enough to learn that from previous "lessons."

And, when the finder plays back the photos on the Casio they'll see complete documentation of a recent computer upgrade items and rebates which include my mailing address. They will also see shots I got of the foxes playing and the woodpeckers nesting in a hole in a telephone pole taken thru the eyepiece of my spotting scope (a converted 35mm mirror tele lens). There are also exposure and frame rate test shots. And, this will REALLY gross them out ... close-ups of my dentures with "stuff" starting to grow in the plastic coating material I pour on to help fit and cushion them.

Sure would have been nice to post some "killer" clear shots from the Casio, but alas not even a self portrait as I would have done that just before a few low circles waiting for the camera's 2 minute turn-off. But, now I recall at one point while I numbly wandered the field and nearby hill after knowing it was LOOOONG gone looking to see the shutter switch thrown to the "take photo" position. Sure be interesting to see those shots! I wonder when the switch got put in that position? Hummm? If I had left it "ON" would the camera's electronics generate interference signals? That's something to consider. The camera is mounted only an inch or so below the receiver. When I'm ready to AP again I'll do a test to see if plane controls are affected while the camera shoots continuous frames.

Jul 06, 2005, 01:50 PM the skies...
Cats Eyes's Avatar
@ Viddy - Sad story. Well told too -- when you said "The oh no's started" I knew exactly how you felt. I lost a plane in a bean field for about 20 minutes last summer. Nowhere near the same $ on that plane, but I know the feeling!

I'm glad you found the Lost Models thread. Maybe that'll give you some ideas for the next plane.

Remember that Steve Nolan found his SS by mounting another R/C AP mission. Had you thought about that, or are you just too bummed to even think about trying it?

-- Kevin

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