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My first love ;)


Junior Member
I went out to fly my 24" Guillow's Cessna 170 conversion. It was my first build that took me six months of dedicated modeling to complete. It was a beautiful aircraft and had flown time after time with no problems; it was just perfect, the piece of art that a 12 year old kid had poured his heart and soul into.

This day, it was a bit breezy for the three channel, RET (rudder, elevator, throttle) plane, but I gave it a go anyways. Surfaces free and clear. Check. Prop up and spinning correctly. Check. Headed into the wind. Check. I throttle up and and rotated. Of course, the wind picked up as soon as I lifted off (Murphy's Law). I began to put it into a gentle left-hand bank. That bank just became steep and steeper. It was all I could do to keep the plane up with full deflection of the control. Even then, it decided to make one full circuit and continue on its path of destruction. As it went around and around, I tried everything to get the wings level (remember that I don't have ailerons), including throttle changed and pitch variations in combination with full right rudder. I just couldn't get the thing to break free of its left-hand circle. Then it all went downhill quickly. The gentle turn became violently steep and I watched as the little guy went straight in onto the tar parking lot that I never got the chance to clear after takeoff. Every scratch builder knows the sound of crunching balsa, and it is heart wrenching, especially for a young kid and his first airplane.

As it turned out, it was pilot error. I took too much care of that little plane for it to be anything else. For the plane that had its own designated checklist, it was that very checklist that was neglected. This plane needed high rates to take off and it was in low rates the whole time. The flick of switch would have given me the deflection that would have saved so much work... Currently, I am undecided as to whether or not I will repair the plane. Again, as any scratch builder knows, every plane can be repaired, it just depends on how much effort you're willing to put into it.



Junior Member
There is no greater learning curve than that crunching sound of balsa splintering :(

I vote for the repair Kody, because even if it doesnt end up looking just as pretty as it once did , it has taught you a whole new spectrum of skills , and you can bet you will be checking the rates and throws next time out !

Good luck with it young fella , I am sure it will see the blue yonder once more !


Junior Member

You are right about that! Two votes for repair now, huh? I see how this is going. :rolleyes: This will make it the fourth time that I've rebuilt this plane. The first three rebuilds were all due to radio malfunctions that resulted in a runaway Cessna! I know that I can rebuild it. I was wondering if it was worth the effort, but it was my first plane after all! If I can keep it going, why would I even think about doing otherwise!

I've been away from the bench for a few months now, partly because of my discouraging crash, but you guys are helping me get back on the horse. Thank you for the inspiration. :)



Crazy flyer/crasher :D
I feel sorry for you!! I know exactly what you mean. I let my dad fly my Depron Plane (My first scartchbuild, which really was my best plane to fly!) and he crashed it. The Problem is that depron is not like epp oder epo, it breaks much easier so my plane was carried of the field in pieces. I can imagine your plane beeing much more complicated to build as it is made from balsa and it took you amazingly 6 months. It took me only 1 week, so the pain of crashing yours must be a lot more!!
But still. You can rebuild it. I am going to rebuild it. Just ask yourself, was it worth the time building it for the time and fun, when you fly it? If yes that rebuild it. You can add stuff to it like ailerons.
You could (I think many in a forum would appreciate that) make a buildthread of it with loads of pictures. It would be really nice to see.


Junior Member
And I am similarly sorry to hear about your experience! None of these planes last forever, but the important ones never do last long enough!

I have a synopsis of the very long build thread here.
The full build thread can be here.

If you have any question, I am here to answer them. :)


*Note to moderators/admins- If this cross posting between forums is a no-no, please let me know and I will promptly remove the links.


Junior Member
Kody, I had a tear in my eye reading that!

Ok so I am not in the air yet but I can imagine the sound and just watching the inevitable happen right in front of your eyes. Dam it!, Why oh why couldn't there have been a bouncy castle there or even a trampoline? Sorry, getting upset again...

To build or not to build? Good question, I can only say what I would do personally as i have some expereance building scratch some of which can take up to 5 months to complete and can often involve re-builds or mods.

I guess if I was in love with her, maybe she was my first love then I would want to keep her going no mater how long it would take or how much it would cost in surgery to make her look beautiful again.
Or maybe everything comes to an end eventually and its time to remember the good times you had together and move on.

Me, I think I would try and move on,

but who am i kidding? she would sit there for a few months in bits, I would feel guilty and save her...AGAIN!

Sorry, no help at all.

Best of luck


ps. do you call them Bouncy Castles in the US?


Junior Member

I think the term used most often is "bounce houses." :)

I can't believe how calm I was after a crashed. I just looked at a my twin brother and said, "Oh, well...", drawing my hands down my face in frustration. We went and picked up the pieces and talked it over to find out what had happened. That was the important part. We learned what went wrong and how to fix the problem next time!

The plane has been sitting in a couple of pieces for about two or three months now. The damage is actually not all that bad. It went in on the wingtip and the spinner. The wings both peeled right off and took half the cabin with it! Anyone who has built this series of Guillow's models will understand that this area is one of the most fragile. Even with my beefing it up, it was still weak enough to break there. It needs some re-engineering! That's for sure!