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Maiden crash - Get it out of the way early

For years I had just been flying 2 channel slope soarers, with very limited success. I found that particularly on my 2 metre Freshman, the responses to the inputs were just too slow (at least, that's my excuse for crashing and rebuilding it so many times).

So, I decided, to give myself some more flight time, it was time to try a powered model, and while I'm at it, something with ailerons, maybe I could even learn a barrel roll!

Anyway, after purchasing a Nine Eagles Sky Climber, I took it to my normal slope hill and went through all the pre flight checks. What's a speed controller? Which way should the ailerons go? Seems straight forward, just throttle up, toss it into the wind as per usual and get some altitude while you work out this aileron thing! I decided I would go "mode 2" because I was accustomed to using rudder on my right hand... and since ailerons would be doing the turns now, it was a logical choice to put rudder on the left???

Well, this is what happened... I pushed the throttle up to 90%, coughed on some adrenaline, then threw the glider into the wind and in my haste to quickly grab the transmitter and "level out the wings" I accidentally flicked the throttle back to zero. (Now I understand the Hero to Zero thing). So, although I levelled out the wings nicely, the lack of thrust... well... I think you know where we go from here... DOWN! Nose dived straight into the spikey tree/shrub that was about 10 metres in front of me (That was the shrub that wouldn't come into play, since I would be soaring WAY over it.) It was only after the crash, when I went to "power down" the throttle, that I realised what had happened.

Not too much damage, I've been flying since... but now you know why my handle is Max Noob. Onward and upward.


Hostage Taker of Quads

Mind if I hijack this into an "embarrassing moments in noobness" thread?


Let me preface -- I'm NOT proud of this, but confession is good for the soul (and it happens to be fresh).

Went to my first fly-in today as a "pilot", w/ a fresh scratch-ish built on a chuck glider airframe (named Chuck).

Got on the board early, assembled and tested, and first toss . . . up, sharp hook left, cut throttle, *TRIED* to ditch, and slammed square into someone's back chatting at the edge of the tents.

No injuries, apologies accepted, jokes made . . . reassembled, got some trimming help from one from the guys who's conversation I interrupted, when he pointed out some of my linkages weren't tight -- on the ground and for the first second or so the surfaces moved, but with airflow I had no control. Pointed out a few things I did right and quite a few I was doing wrong. By far the linkages were *not* the only problem I had, but I started out hitting someone in the peanut gallery.

I do feel your pain . . .
So far I haven't drilled a glider into anyones head yet. But hey, it's still early in my career. Although I've got to admit, I tend to pretend I'm "working" on the plane, whenever spectators show up... rather than end up in a pain and suffering court case. I guess that's the benefit to flying with a local club.
I bought a hanger 9 solostar just cuz it had been on the shelf at the hobby shop for years, spent a few weeks building it up and then months of running my brand new 46 glow engine too keep it from seizing up while I waited for good weather, finally the day came and I invited a bunch of friends to witness the maiden and my first ever nitro flight, well after a lengthy pre flight I took off down the strip and into the air, flew back down the field, it was here I turned back into the wind and suddenly it was doing awesome aerobatics all by itself, I managed to wrestle it to a pretty good landing, it seemed the rubber bands holding the wing on were a little loose, so I put four more on really tight, off down the strip again and into the air, it was pretty sweet, started trimming up and then the engine throttles back, I have no control, heads a few hundred meters away free flight styles and crashes into another field, it's a wreck, lesson learnt though, ensure your rx battery is properly secure (it bounced around and came unplugged)
...when he pointed out some of my linkages weren't tight -- on the ground and for the first second or so the surfaces moved, but with airflow I had no control...
I had the same issue with my very first maiden a couple weeks ago with my Nutball. Elevator checked fine on ground, the rudder checked fine on the ground. Hand launched with good throttle, the elevator felt good. Took a slight turn went to correct and got a little response from the rudder. Then another slight correction and no rudder control. THWACK! Total flight time just over three seconds. But at least my sacrifice is out of the way.
Ha! Yesterday, the first flight of the new wing didn't go so well.

I learned two things. First, I am terrible at judging speed. Second, glue in hinges work best when they are glued in.

Set it to half throttle, gently tossed out. It immediately wanted to dive and roll to the right. Held down the left trim tab, got it level... instead of trimming the elevator I decided to make a few quick passes first. It was hilarious! I have never saw wing oscillation that bad! Spars and tape and elevons went flying all over the field! I'm just glad that except for all the people watching, no one saw it...

Amazingly, I found all the parts. Couple hours and a few squirts of epoxy later, its flying great. Now that the wing is balanced and trimmed I see how fast it really is. I haven't clocked it yet but I'm guessing around 75-80mph.


Senior Member
The one thing I've learnt from all my piles of foam is that crashing a plane is the same as being thrown out of the saddle: You better get up there again as quickly as possible. Grab your next plane as soon as you've crashed your first. That way there's really no time to eat your heart out over the crash and hopefully you'll reassure yourself that you CAN fly, after all.