One inevitable fact for anyone flying R/C airplanes is that at some point you will crash.
I have had many crashes. (And you will too – if you stay with this hobby long enough).
It doesn’t matter how good you are or how diligent you are at maintaining your plane, at some point – you will crash.
Recently, I was fortunate enough to experience a crash. I say “fortunate” because a crash or mishap gives you the opportunity to review your flying technique and experience another “first flight”. What I mean is that your first flight after a crash is kind of like flying an airplane for the first time.
Often with a crash, you can’t determine the direct cause of the crash. Was it pilot error? Electrical failure? Interference? You may never know. And if you didn’t figure it out, your first flight after the crash can be an anxious experience, especially if you have a feeling that pilot error had something to do with the crash.
My recent crash involved my Hangar 9 Ultra Stick Lite 120 ARF. This is a simple and fun plane. Mine is was powered by a Zenoah G-26. It’s a great flying “everyday” type plane. Small enough to fit in most cars, yet large enough that it can support a small gas engine and fly really well in all conditions.
Early in the season I experienced some glitching with this plane. I ended up crash landing it (There was significant damage to the wing, and fuse – but the engine, servos, and receiver were perfect). I thought the glitching was due to the 72Mhz radio band – the damage was fixed and the plane’s receiver was replaced with a Futaba 2.4Ghz FASST receiver.
When I took the plane out recently – I realized that the glitching was being caused by a short (battery lead, wire harness, switch – I’m not certain) that was causing intermittent power loss to the receiver (another reason you should always use 2 batterys and 2 switches in all of your planes!). I replaced everything (just to be 100% certain) and flew the plane.
The plane flew fine, but on the third flight, while diving out of S-turn, the wing folded in half and the plane went straight in from about 150 ft.
Here are some pics:
Ultra Stick Fuse and Wing
Ultra Stick Engine and Hatch
Ultra Stick Fuel Tank, Landing Gear and Misc. Pieces...Ultra Stick Wing Half
The damage was extensive – the airframe a complete write off, the engine in real bad shape. Lesson learned here – When an airplane is in a crash or mishap, always check for internal structural damage (in this case – the wing damage from the first crash landing had been worse than I had thought).
Oh well, I’ll have to pick up another Hangar 9 Ultra Stick Lite 120 ARF.
Jeff – Tboltrc.com