Would you put a lost plane locator in your sailplane? - RC Groups
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Aug 12, 2006, 07:19 AM
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Would you put a lost plane locator in your sailplane?

cheap insurance or a waste?


I am thinking of getting this...but as yet I have not lost a plane that I would have found had I been able to hear a beeep beeep...my flyway was miles away and my planes that have been caught in trees could be easily seen...
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Aug 12, 2006, 08:06 AM
Registered User

plane locator

Originally Posted by arukum17
cheap insurance or a waste?


I am thinking of getting this...but as yet I have not lost a plane that I would have found had I been able to hear a beeep beeep...my flyway was miles away and my planes that have been caught in trees could be easily seen...

A lot of people do....you can also put your name, tele/cell nr, reward if any on a card taped inside....

Best Regards.

Wylie E.
Aug 12, 2006, 10:00 AM
Registered User
For 35 years, I put my efforts into flying skill, good plane, good radio equipment, not beepers.
Aug 12, 2006, 10:41 AM
Flying the Inland Valley
My Mini Toons which is an aerobatic slope plane is some where in 6-10' high brush at the Ortega flying site above Lake Elsinore. I have made three different search expeditions to try and find it with no luck. I had a lost alarm sitting on my work bench but failed to put it in the plane. I now wish I had taken the time to install it in my Mini Toons. I would probability still be flying it if I had.

Aug 12, 2006, 01:50 PM
infopimp's Avatar
Put your enemies contact info in your planes and fly like a madman.

Just kidding, AMA.
Aug 12, 2006, 02:13 PM
It's gonna be YUGE!!!
LVsoaring's Avatar
I guess it depends on where you fly. Joeskysailor makes a good point, but if you fly in wide open spaces with no tall grass, you probably don't need one.

Aug 12, 2006, 04:16 PM
Boar? I'm a Thermal Pig!
Batmanwpg's Avatar
Cheap insurance is to put your name, address, phone # and the words "Reward for return" on bond paper. I print several out on the computer. Cut to shape, spray the back side with 3M 77 and place on a visible area on the plane. I usually put one on the wing main panel and one on the fuse. Then cover it with a piece of clear Monokote about 1/4" bigger than your label. In my free flight days I got more planes back than I thought I would!
Aug 12, 2006, 04:42 PM
Registered User
At the least I put my name and contact number on my planes. It has saved me a Bee once.

At the most I put a Plane Locator tag into my plane. I've tracked them successfully from over 3 kms away. It's saved one plane so far!
Aug 13, 2006, 06:11 AM
Proud member of LISF and ESL
I highly recommend a lost model locator. This can turn an hour's hunt into a few mintues job. On two occasions, when slope soaring I lost my Zagi on top of a think canopy of 50 foot trees. I coudl hear it but could not see it. Without this, it would have been lost.

Of course I also have my name in the planes, which is an AMA requirement anyway.

Lost Model Locator

Here is a great little device that would help you avoid a crash due to a low
or dead battery AND will help you find the plane when you drop it into the
brush off the field or down the slope.

You put in the plane and attach it to the receiver.

It tests your battery voltage when you turn the plane on.

It checks for channel conflict.

It monitors the battery voltage in the air.

And, if you land in the woods, brush, high grass or some other place where
can't see the plane, it will help you find the plane.

Typically they cost from $12-$20. Here is one source, but there are many.

Here is how I use it for channel conflict check. When I get to the field I
leave the transmitter off and turn the plane/receiver on. I expect the plane
to go into lost plane.locator mode and start beeping as it can not find a
signal from the transmitter. If it does not go into plane locator mode,
someone else is on my channel.

If you want something much longer in range, there is "The Locator"

I don't have one of "the locators", I use a walston unit in my larger planes. Good to several miles.
Aug 13, 2006, 12:53 PM
Registered User
Tony Oliver's Avatar
Take a look here - up and running here with no problems in the UK. You can use it on your dog, children, wife - even your car keys.

Aug 13, 2006, 01:39 PM
Registered User
I have no intention of spending circa USD 50 or more on a locator for my humble gentle lady....i was considering a 5 pound affair
Aug 14, 2006, 10:30 PM
Registered User
I'd add it if there are lots of hiding places on your local slope, thermal site, whatever it may be. Slope is probably the best reason, I lost a plane for a week there, found it after searching for 3 hours with binoculars, took two people. Someone got his plane stuck in the plane eating tree for months; one of the club members rented a cessna and flew near the face of the slope at minimum airspeed, spotted it that way. So, yes, I'd put a lost plane locator in some of my sailplanes, asuming it's loud enough, some are just too quiet. Hey, things happen. You're flying low, you've got hours of flying time each week, sometimes the wind dies and your plane just wont make it; turbulence, midairs, plane happens to have a bad stall, death spiral, dog attack, bad color choice, yeah, there are many times where even the best of pilots will need a beeper to help find a plane. That loc8tor thing is 'spensive! Maybe it'd be good for a scale job, but a smaller one, uh-uh.
Aug 15, 2006, 04:12 AM
Registered User
Tony Oliver's Avatar
Smaller isn't necessarily cheaper - same amount (cost) of radio, the model replacement and the time and effort added to the cost of going to look for it a few times and you've already saved the cost of the locating device of whatever type.

There will always be people who will not use a locator device (like I left mine at home in another model.....).
Aug 15, 2006, 07:34 AM
Proud member of LISF and ESL
Mine also checks the state of my battery and alerts me to channel confllict.
Aug 16, 2006, 12:49 PM
Registered User
In 14 years of thermal flying, I have lost four planes that stayed lost for months or more despite extensive searching through Massachusetts trees, corn and brush. In the beginning, I did nothing more than put my name and contact information on the plane. My Dove was returned after three months with some weather damage. My Wind Dancer spent the winter in a tree and was almost a total loss. The plane fell out of a tree and the spring and returned to me. My Electra flew away in a strong thermal pushed by a strong wind. The plane has not been seen since. My Majestic has been lost for 2 months. Despite having a beeper on board, nothing was seen or heard during an extensive search.

I finally decided that I needed to buy a plane locator. I purchased a Walston trasnmitter for around $140. The transmitter is tiny and easily moved from plane to plane. Our club has a Walston receiver.

This last weekend, about a dozen of us searched for hours looking for a lost Supra. This pricey plane has not been found. In retrospect, a Walston transmitter would have been cheap insurance.

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