• This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn more.

Lesson and reminder

Was having a great day flying my modified Simple Scout. This is my heaviest plane being slightly enlarged from the FT plans, the one I've had most difficulty learning to land smoothly. Almost no wind and practicing landings. On my third battery and feeling really good, having made several "Hollywood" landings in a row. But then:

On final. Everything looking perfect. Approaching the threshold 8-10 feet. Flip switch from half to full flaps and the aircraft rolls hard left and noses in vertically - hard. The wife says "Why did you fly it into the ground?" Looking back, it's a logical question, but at the time . . . :censored:

Accident investigation time. The impact was so vertical that all parts are within the wingspan, even the broken prop. I pick up the plane to assess the damage. Broken wing, smashed firewall, powerpod and nose. Even the skewers are snapped. Who knows if the motor, servos and receiver will work again. As I turn the plane over, I notice -- tada -- something is missing. See the picture.

The linkage to the left aileron was not with the wreckage. Wife and I scoured the area where the plane started its roll and the path to the crash site, but we never did find the linkage.

Obviously, when I went to full flaperons, and the servo pulled the aileron to its flaps-down position, the linkage let loose somehow, allowing the aileron to go free and return to a more or less neutral position pushed by the airflow. The right aileron stays in the full flaperon position lifting the right wing and rolling the plane left, into its death spiral.

Here is where the lesson comes in. The wife says "Remember you said 'I wonder what that clicking sound is?' when you checked the controls right before you took off?"

In a hurry to make one more pretty landing, I took off without checking to see what the unusual sound was. If I had slowed down, gotten curious and investigated the new sound, I just might have found whatever was loose on the linkage. And been able to make a few more of those sweet landings while I was still 'in the groove'.