50 Things to do to HELP you CRASH your bird!


Old and Bold RC PILOT
Alternatively known as the "Sad side of complacency!".

Sadly I have done many things which with hindsight were causal in the demise of the models I was trying to fly. With the idea that perhaps this list might prompt someone else to check that they have got it all right before they attempt to fly their model and save themselves the time and effort of a avoidable repair, I publish my list.

This list is not comprehensive as I can assure you that I find NEW reasons almost daily now and I still repeat some of those listed herein quite often. Anyway here goes!

To INCREASE your chance of crashing your model you should;

1. Never check the CG/balance
2. Forget to glue in the control surface hinges
3. Not check that the control surfaces respond properly and are not reversed
4. Forget to plug in the aileron lead to the Receiver
5. Not plug the aileron servo lead correctly into the receiver.
6. Not properly secure the wing
7. Not ensure that the wheel collars and linkage stoppers are tight
8. Not check the motor rotation direction, (especially on hand launched models).
9. Fit a larger prop than the motor/ESC can handle without overheating.
10. Fit larger motor and ESC without checking that the ESC/BEC can handle the heat and the existing current draws.
11. Upgrade to more powerful servos without checking the BEC can support the current draw
12. Fit a higher voltage battery without checking motor and ESC can support the higher voltage
13. Reuse electronics salvaged from crashed models without properly testing their operation.
14. Forget or ignore the thrust angle as shown on the plans or which was integral to the original design
15. Try that new maneuver as close to the ground as possible.
16. Check the stall performance of your design close to the ground
17. Only fly your new and very light model in the highest of winds
20. Use only single antenna radio systems at very large, (long range), flying fields
21. Not check models for hangar rash or transport damage before flying
22. Store your models in your vehicle or trailer, (all sealed up) to ensure that the electornics overheat and the plane glue softens.
23. Not check the runway and runway approach are clear before launching
24. Not secure your battery or the battery hatch.
25. Not charge your transmitter battery
26. Use hot glue to secure the motor bulkhead
27. Never setup Failsafe or a motor kill switch.
28. Not securely mount the servos.
29. Not use the recommended or any other dihedral brace
30. Fish your model out of the water, fit a new battery and launch immediately
31. Not check for wing warps when rushing that new model into the air
32. Ignore all control surface deflection recommendations, always set to maximum
33. Never use Expo
34. If using Expo always set it as high as possible
35. Where possible do not always watch the model you are flying
36. Always try to fly so far away that you cannot determine model orientation or direction.
37. Not ensure that flight battery is properly connected to ESC
38. Fly as close as is possible to trees, obstructions and other model aircraft
39. If a model has a problem do not land just keep flying it will always get better
40. Learn to fly on a warbird or other high performance design. (trainers are for Pussys!).
41. Never perform any preflight, or between flight checks
42. Use duct tape instead of glue after a crash. Just tape it up and launch it again!
43. Always take off as soon and as slow as possible. Do not consider stalls or P factor on take off!
44. Take off and land in severe crosswinds
45. Believe that a malfunctioning retract will fix itself eventually
46. NEVER seek advice from experienced model fliers.
47. Ensure that you paint the servos and receiver as well when painting your model.
48. Not secure motor leads. They are meant to flap and move around in flight
49. Never ensure that the propeller is properly secured to the motor
50. Never let early morning Dew, Rain, Snow and Fog curtail your flying.

This list is not exhaustive and anyone who has things to add please feel free to!

I freely admit to performing each of the above at one time or another and some quite frequently and I KNOW that I am not alone!

Feel free to add you methods!

Have fun!


Wake up! Time to fly!
Think you can physically hold a build that has questionable tendencies to see if you have figured them out.
Have a friend film you WHILE you are trying to hold said questionable build in place....
Try to do a full send launch on a bigger battery cell count the same way you do on a lower cell count..

These things make the list but can be pretty funny to watch happen.


Elite member
Come on, where is your sense of adventure? I think you need to rename this to "50 things to do to suck the fun out of flying."

Just kidding, great list and sound advice as always.

I am guilty of breaking a few of these rules though.
15, 33, and 40 specifically.
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#15 is my favorite. What's the use of a fancy maneuver if it's too far away to see?

As to #12, a friend of mine had a cheap Chinese motor on a Bloody Wonder powered by a 4 cell. It was crazy fast until it made a funny noise and smoke started streaming out like the Battle of Britain. Lost all control and hit the ground at 45* and close to full speed. Motor looked like a charcoal briquet. It was awesome.