What the Heck Wednesday - Giant Scale MidAir Crash

One plane gets real wonky and manages to nail another plane causing some serious damage and excitement.


Giant Scale RC Midair Crash

This week on What the Heck Wednesday we have a video from the Weston Park International RC Model Aircraft Show that took place on the first weekend of September. These guys were putting on a great show for the crowd with 9 or 10 Giant Scale gas planes flying together. The video starts out showing the planes in a vertical climb and then diving to make a knife edge pass down the runway at show center. One plane gets real wonky and manages to nail another plane causing some serious damage and excitement. The plane that got hit managed to fly it out, but the offending plane took a digger and suffered for it. Another unlucky pilot flying just behind the crash went in full knife edge for no apparent reason I can see other than he got distracted by the midair.

There's a lot going on in this video and the creator shows us various zoomed in angles in slow motion to get a better idea of what all went down. I'm not really sure what happened to start the whole string of events. Was it wake turbulence? Pilot error? Parts failure? or something else? Let me know what you think in the comments below.

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.

Last edited by Jason Cole; Sep 08, 2021 at 09:23 AM..
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Sep 08, 2021, 11:31 AM
I'd rather be Flying
davecee's Avatar
Easy Peasy. Pilot error.
1st screen shot. The initial "wonky" plane was in a descending knife edge, approaching on a collision course toward a plane in front of him.
2nd screen shot The "wonky" plane shows clearly visible up elevator deflection. To avoid a collision?
3rd screen shot. The right wing drops (probable stall, I see no aileron deflection) and rolls to about a 45 degree left bank angle (remember we started from a 90 degree left bank angle.). The plane pulls toward the canopy and thus toward the flight line.
4th screen shot. I theorize he pushed down elevator (can't make it out on the video) as the plane nosed down and I think I see left aileron input as he was perhaps trying to return to knife edge.
5th screen shot. He's now headed downward and toward the flight line on a collision course toward his eventual victim now. I see left aileron and right rudder deflection, so perhaps he's at this point still attempting to return to KE and continue the fly by.
6th screen shot. His wings are vertical but he continues to hold left aileron and his fuselage is still in a downward attitude.
7th screen shot, His wings are almost level inverted and there is still left aileron deflection, the fuselage is now also almost level. Perhaps some down elevator? I cant see.
8th screenshot, he continues the left roll and descent to the collision and it's all over.
Sep 08, 2021, 12:50 PM
Registered User
i can't believe the plane that got hit came out alive, nice piloting!
Sep 08, 2021, 01:19 PM
Modeling Retread
Interesting that two planes are destroyed in this sequence but only one of the planes in the mid air. It appears the mid air caused a third pilot to become disoriented when it occurred between him and his aircraft. On a bigger point, this type of gaggle flying is very exciting but there is more risk and not for the faint hearted. I see it more with warbirds but its used for all kinds of similar aircraft.
Latest blog entry: Goodyear Blimp at Oshkosh
Sep 08, 2021, 03:47 PM
Registered User
I have no idea what caused the crash but the plane being struck makes one of the most amazing saves that I've ever seen.

And this is an example of why I don't ride my motorcycle in groups of more than two anymore. I've witnessed too many group-ride collisions and near misses between riders.
Sep 09, 2021, 09:42 AM
Registered User
That many planes in the air at once is trouble.
Sep 11, 2021, 12:58 PM
Thanks Wilber and Orville !.
sonic liner's Avatar
Sep 11, 2021, 10:37 PM
Modeling Retread
Originally Posted by sonic liner
Yep, the pieces did flutter down
Latest blog entry: Goodyear Blimp at Oshkosh
Sep 12, 2021, 11:58 AM
Registered User
E-Challenged's Avatar
I think that "stage fright" plays a role in all RC flight shows. Some people lose concentration, make control mistakes they wouldn't make at a routine flying session. When you add complexity of "gaggle" flying to the mix, there is a good possibility that one flier will lose it. I liken gaggle flying to old time "mass launches" at free flight events, don't think the crowd needs it and the risk to models isn't worth it.

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