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I'm Bummed Out To Say The Least.

#1
I am relatively new to the hobby and really enjoy it but today really bummed me out. I spent all night last night repairing the first Flitetest swappable I built, the Old Fogey. I built this plane originally about six months ago and have really enjoyed the high wing slow flyer. Today I may have been a little to excited to let my common sense override my judgement

It has been a beautiful day here in Shelby, North Carolina and I was invited to an AMA Flying Field to watch some of the guys fly and fly my scratch builds around. I wanted to make sure that my planes were in top shape and flyable to go, so that is exactly what I had in mind. I took my FT Flyer, Delta, and Old Fogey out to my personal field at home and the wind was gusting a little. There was probably 5-10 mph wind and gusting to 15-20 mph but the FT Flyer and Delta went right through it. My Old Fogey on the other hand may have liked the wind a little too much as it is no longer part of my collection. No, I didn't crash it, not right away anyways, but as soon as I took off, the wind carried the Fogey way too far up in the air and away from the field. No matter how much throttle I gave it, it wouldn't come back home to me.

I'm not so sure how it managed to do it but I watched this plane basically fly backwards with the wind. Where I fly, there is a road that runs against the property and I didn't want to bring her down in the middle of the road, so I kept attempting to maintain some control until i could get it over a grass field somewhere. That grass field did not come very quickly and the Fogey was almost a mile out when I last seen it. Where I live isn't a very populated area but i didn't want to risk bringing it down on the road or in someones window of their house. I cut the throttle on it long before it ever made it that far out but it glides so well i didn't even need throttle.

My ultimate plan was to glide it down to the ground as safely and close to an open spot as possible without causing any major damage and I believe I accomplished that, maybe. Before it could get all the way down, I lost sight of it and have yet to recover it. Even when I thought i knew where it may be, its not there. I have searched for 4 hours now and still have no luck.

Now I understand that the Fogey is probably nothing to be bummed over but it had a little sentimental value to it, and not to mention the value of the electronics that was in it. I don't run anything expensive and had a small set up on it: 500mah 3s battery, blue wonder 1300kv, receiver, and 10amp ESC. That entire set up was my first setup and has been super strong even until today and I really hate losing something that I spent time and money and a few nights dreaming about having. This hobby has been my life from an early childhood but up until the last 6 months, I was never able to afford the hobby, still barely can..haha.

I'm sure this is something that should go on the lessons learned forum but i would really like to know what you guys do for lost planes and how you recover them. I am looking for some inexpensive way to either track my planes or just be able to find them a little easier if this happens again.

And with that I will leave you guys and girls with it, but today I learned a valuable lesson: don't let your emotions override your common sense and judgement. If its too windy to fly, go home and do the house work that your wife wanted you to get completed anyways. Any suggestions on what electronics to use to keep me from losing a plane would be appreciated.
 
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c172ae

Pro plane crasher
#2
Always make sure you name and phone number/email adress is written on the plane. That way someone who find it will most probably return it to you.
 

Bolvon72

Senior Member
Mentor
#3
I'm right there with you bltsmm, I have had two of them get away, one when I was just starting out when I made all the mistakes, flying with the wind at my back, too high, and with equipment (a lost plane buzzer of all things) that I had never used before. I had it hooked to the rudder channel and it was causing a delay in the signal and off she went, I should have crashed it, but I thought I could get it back... it never happened.

My Spitfire disappeared just yesterday when, as best as I could tell, the 2200 lipo must have come off the velcro and unplugged. My radio gave the telemetry lost signal and by the way it was bobbing I could tell it no longer had battery weight on the front. I never saw the lipo fall and will never find it in the woods it was over. I watched the plane slowly bob on down and though I had eyes on it almost all the way down, I couldn't find it. I figured about $70 total went away with it including a brand new FrSky receiver.

Sometimes planes get lost whatever precautions you take, I normally use orangeRx $5 rxs and have started using cheap Turnigy motors/esc, maybe it wont hurt as much next time. I just find solace in the fact that I have had a lot of good fun on the cheap thanks to the FT designs.
 
#4
shame to hear about your fogey mate. my suggestion would be to always try to fly up wind of yourself. its really cool to fly with the wind and get some good speed, but you'll find that getting back to you is tricky. so if you always try to keep it up wind if you have any problems it'll be blown back to you.

I agree with what was said, write your name and number on it, maybe even "reward if found" a reward can be like $5, it'll increase the chance of someone returning your gear.
 
#5
I fly with a tactic transmitter with SLT technology and i dont believe they make any cheaper receivers than the tactic ones. $20 for each one or cheaper if you buy more than one at a time but those add up quickly. I wish i could use orange receivers but the only way to do that is buy a different radio. Hopefully I wont lose too many more planes to have this to worry about but from now on i will be writing all my info on it just in case.
 

xuzme720

Dedicated foam bender
Mentor
#6
I lost my nano qx yesterday, in my own yard! I was flying in too much wind as well. Lost orientation in a gust and ended up way downwind with no hope of bringing her back, so I dumped the throttle and let her tumble down. It's out there somewhere and I was sure I saw where it landed but I've been searching for hours both yesterday and today with no luck. Sometimes, that's just the way it goes. As small as that little quad is, it's still about $70 to replace it. We feel your pain and hopefully we can all learn from our mistakes, and others mistakes as well.
 
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RCBaer

Junior Member
#7
That story is one that I don't want to live. It has been a fear of mine to have a plane drift away.

Has anyone used any GPS tracking on planes or quads? I know my work has small trackers installed on each work truck and I think they have some that you can put on key chains which would be small enough for an old Fogey or many of our dollar tree foam board planes.. I will check and find out the details tomorrow.
 

Ron B

Posted a thousand or more times
#8
yrs. ago we did a lot of free flight and lost a lot of planes
i was always afraid of loosing an rc so I never flew in strong wind but over powered them so we knew we would get them back to us but that was with glow plug engines and when the engine quit we had some very long walks.
Now with the electrics and foam I am very leary of flying in more than a slight breeze.
 

nerdnic

nerdnic.com
Mentor
#9
I just had this happen to me last weekend! I went out flying with my racer for the first time and it was super windy. I had her up on the air for about 4 minutes before I caught a huge gust and got pushed down wind. I tried to correct and face back into the wind but every time I turned I got pushed back over. I tried both left and right and even climbing a bit to try and break the stream I was in. Further and further away she flew. I started to really think I was going to lose her when I couldn't tell which direction my flight was.. I'd turn and not even be able to see the planes direction.

The next few seconds felt like 5 minutes as I made final attempts to turn her around. So far away, so high up. Suddenly she started to dive, I must have been up 150 feet or so and I don't even know how far away. I knew what was happening, I had lost signal and my ESC cut all power, but still I didn't want to accept it. "What's happening, she won't pull up" I yelled out, even though I knew. I just didn't want to accept what was happening. She went down in the middle of a fenced off wet lands. 'Do not enter signs' all over the place. I ran to the fence in front of me to try and see where she landed, but it was too far.

I pulled up my iPhone maps/gps and saw there was a hiking trail that went around the wet lands and from the crash it looked like she went down towards the end of the fenced off area. I handed all my gear to my wife and just started running. It was almost sun down but I didn't care. I had to run around the park, onto the trail, around the wet lands just to get near the area where I thought she crashed. It was about 3 miles one way and I've not run in years. I didn't care though. I was so determined to retrieve her.

After 30 minutes of running I came on the spot that seemed about where she went down. I started to hear a low but high pitch hum. It was very faint but I recognized it! It was my low voltage alarm! As I ran closer the sound was stronger and I spotted her! The voltage alarm completely saved me in this case.

She was JUST on the outside of the wetlands stuck in some thick brush. I sprinted over and to my amazement there wasn't that much damage. Well, I assumed there would be more. She won't fly anytime soon but I got her back! It was weird, though, the battery was still above 3.5v and I don't know what triggered it to produce the solid beeping I was hearing.

The run took it out of me and I've paid for it all week, my back, knees ankles, all sore, but I'd do it again. Here is a picture of how I found her https://www.dropbox.com/s/upe33nys2umru06/Photo Mar 01, 5 44 00 PM.jpg
 
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makattack

Winter is coming
Moderator
Mentor
#10
I jinxed myself this past weekend. I normally fly in a softball field with an extra large outfield area, but is surrounded by trees. The temperature was a balmy mid 30's F and I just had to fly my FT22 after a half day of skiing. It normally gets windy on the afternoon where I am. Gusty with changing wind directions. I had positioned myself downwind, with my back to the treeline. Launched into the wind, with a steady climb when all of a sudden it started drifting to the right. I tried to compensate, but as I banked left, exposing a larger profile to the wind, it started drifting more until I was at nearly full throttle and max down elevator, yet it was kind of doing a 3d like high alpha/nose up hover.

Unfortunately, it was hovering unsteadily over trees, so I panicked and gave full up elevator to do a quick half loop... I barely rolled out as I swear the tail brushed over the top of a tree. I landed immediately, in a cross wind with the plane crabbing sideways.

Lesson: if you think it might be too windy, it is.
 

RCBaer

Junior Member
#11
Has anyone used any GPS tracking on planes or quads? [/QUOTE said:
I talked to some people at the office, and they use a service from www.pocketfinder.com. It is around $130 or so for the unit and I'm sure there is a monthly service fee. It might be a bit costly for a dollar tree foam planes, but it is an option for the big dollar planes..
 

Bolvon72

Senior Member
Mentor
#12
I don't mean to bring up bad memories for the others that shared woeful tales, but my Spitfire has returned in perfect shape. It was right where I thought it was but had slipped under a bush. The owner of the property notified me today. Lost a $10 2200 lipo to the trees, but everything else is back. Time to affix a battery strap along with the velcro. Definitely add your contact info to all planes.

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