Help with getting flying again - checking the plane/equipment out etc - RC Groups
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Sep 02, 2007, 05:26 PM
Registered User

Help with getting flying again - checking the plane/equipment out etc

Hi there. I am new here, I joined a few weeks ago, then promptly went on holiday, so I didn't post. But hi anyway! I think this is great that there is a forum for things like this, as I am relatively inexperienced, and I have some friends who probably aren't the best people to ask about aeromodelling - one in particular goes through planes like nobodies business, and it's usually up to me to try and fix them for him!

Anyway, my main question is:

I have a trainer, and it's been sitting around for a while, as I have not flown for several years as university got in the way. I recently repaired covering and some of the wing to try and regain flightworthy-ness. I have all the supposed necessary gear, but I would like to ask people here if there is anything they recomend checking thoroughly in the aircraft/radio (everything in fact) so that I can avoid any silly accidents that could have been avoided with a little more knowledge.

Also, does anyone have any advice regarding OS 40LA engines, and their 'restarting' after a year or so? It's been kept indoors, so shouldn't be corroded or anything. Mainly I have forgoten most of what I ever knew about needle valves and their correct operation. I hope to get flying as soon as possible, as I have missed it. Any advice would be very gratefully recieved.

For info: The plane i'm using is the Excel 2000, the radio set is the old Futaba Skysport 6, with as far as I know ordinary servos - S3001 I believe. I think that's all..if there's anything i've forgotten to mention please tell me!

Thank you in advance!

Last edited by DoctorFloyd; Sep 02, 2007 at 05:33 PM. Reason: I read a post regarding asking questions, and thought mine vague!
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Sep 03, 2007, 02:22 AM
Registered User
While you take another good look at your plane, take the batteries of your radio and receiver and fully charge them. At least 15 hours on a wallwart.
If you hve a cycler, cycle the batteries once.

On your plane:
1 - Are the hinges still OK ?
--- Remove the arms from the servos, and move the control surfaces manually.
--- You feel any resistance ? If yes, find out where it is binding and fix it.
2 - Pull on the control surfaces. Do the hinges keep everything connected ?
3 - After you have recharged the batteries, connect everything again, and operate the radio and the servos. No hesitation, buzzing, or other funny noises ?
4 - keep *exercising* the servos for at least 10 minutes and then measure the voltage of the receiver battery. If you trannie has a voltmeter, where is the needle now, still in the green, or ?
5 - If all OK.... set your trims to :
--- all trims at center, except for throttle. Set that at all the way down.
--- Are the control surfaces at neutral ?
--- Rudder straight in line with vertical stabilizer ?
--- Throttle fully closed ?
--- Now move the throttle trim all the way up.
--- Did the throttle open up slightly ?
6 - Check all screws.
--- All tight ? Especially the engine mounting screws.
7 - Read the sticky in the engine section about setting up your engine.
--- Follow all the instructions.
8 - Find an instructor and go fly, after he checks everything again.
Sep 03, 2007, 06:10 PM
God is good
Viper Pilot's Avatar
Als check the balance to be sure it is ok.
Sep 03, 2007, 06:48 PM
Registered User
Thank you very much for the response *prints*. Much appreciated. Made steps towards getting myself an instructor today, so hopefully that should be sorted soon.

Thanks again.
Sep 23, 2007, 05:14 PM
Registered User
Well, finally (after a nasty crash involving an accidentally reversed aileron servo - plane came home in two pieces!) I managed to fly the old girl, and she flew nicely. Now it's just time for practice! :-)
Sep 23, 2007, 09:44 PM
Registered User
Yep, the ol' reversed aileron servo will do it

Sounds like you are set now, though. Good luck and happy flying.
Sep 24, 2007, 09:39 AM
Doctor, you need to develop a standard preflight routine. I've flown with my ailerons reversed, my ailerons not hooked up, my antenna not extended and my CG way off. In each instance something unwanted happened. Since that last instance I've developed a routine to check everything before flying, and I added a very thin piece of colored monokote to my antenna. This helps me determine wind direction, and since I always glance at it before beginning my take off, I make sure that my antenna is extended. Hopefully you'll develop your own set of procedures that will help you avoid unnecessary problems.
Sep 24, 2007, 10:12 AM
Master of the Figure "9"
hogflyer's Avatar
The preflight routine of checking the control surfaces should happen before every flight. I've caught ailerons that had the linkage disconnect before I went up. It would have flown OK, but could have also jammed the servo preventing the other aileron from functioning. Since it my son's trainer that case wouldn't have been too bad as I regularly flew the plane using rudder instead of ailerons. I had flown the plane 2 previous flights that day and they where working fine so it either disconnected during the second flight or after it was back on the ground.

I also have a red flag on the end of my antenna that says "72 mHz - Aircraft Use Only" that come with the radios and use it to check the winds when landing.

Sep 24, 2007, 12:27 PM
Registered User
Yeah, I think after that incident - which was a little heartbreaking I have to admit, but only made me determined to repair the damn thing again - I have been checking things more thoroughly. Also one of the guys at the club seems like a brilliant pilot, and he's decided to teach me, and he was very insistent about the need for taking your time and making sure things are right before flying, so I hope i'll be ok :-)

I also have a flag on my antenna (on my skysport 6..not the 6exa I have which is maybe i'll get a hat with a windsock on it or something!) so I can use that for the time being to check wind direction.

About 2 years ago or more I lost my first trainer to a flat TX battery, a nose dive into the ground from about 100 ft up. Being young and incapable back then there was no way I was able to fix it! So, this time I wont be beaten - and I am making sure to check everything I know to check!
Sep 25, 2007, 04:59 AM
Registered User
Sounds like you are well and truly on the right track. Cherish that instructor - their blood is worth bottling!!

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