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need help on pietenpol mini


New member
I am a beginner. This is the first plane I build.
The pietenpol min take off and immediately turn right and crash hard on the right wing. It won't fly at all. I use the power pack F with 3S 850 75c lipo battery. Can any one help me? I plan to build a new one but I need to know what is going on before I make the same mistake again.


Elite member
You need to trim the plane. It’s hard to do that if it crashes, as you have discovered.
Learning to fly on your own is hard, if you can find a more experienced pilot to trim the Pietenpol you may find it flies better.
It may be the thrust angle on the power pod is off as well. Double check it and see if the power pod is damaged, they are designed to break so the motor and prop can end up being pointed away from the designed thrust angle even after one crash.
Check your control surfaces are flat, the Rudder and Elevator might be out of trim, you want them dead flat before you trim anything.
I am not a fan of the pietenpol as a biginner plane, it’s too fragile. You can take the electrics out of that and put them into a Tiny Trainer, which is easier to fly as it has a lower wing loading and is more robust.
You can also use those parts in a Mini Scout, which is a good flier too. Again a bit simpler in structure to the pietenpol.


Active member
A few more things to add to what FDS said:
Assuming your plane is straight and square there are two things which either alone or both combined can lead to or increase the likelyhood of the behaviour you described:
  • A lack of airspeed will make a stall more likely especially coming out of ground effect on takeoff. Low airspeed will also increase the effect of prop forces.
  • A tail heavy plane will be inherently unstable, so make sure your CG is in the indicated spot or slightly forward of it.
Taking off from the ground before you know how your plane will react is a risky endeavour as well. The pietenpol might be light enough in wing loading that you can test glide it without the engine. If you do don't feel tempted to gun the engine and fly out of it. chances are prop forces are going to make you crash. Look for a nice, tall spot of grass to throw your plane at.

I would also suggest the tiny trainer as your first plane before trying somethng more involved like the pietenpol.
You don't even need a kit. Lots of people, me included have built the tiny trainer from foam with the free plans and flown with success.
I've said it before and I will repeat it here. the tiny trainer is excellent to ease you into flying. You can use it as a chuck glider, get comfortable with hand launching, then add servoes and do a few glides down a slope or something and then add the power pod nose and really get flying.
All the electronics that work with the pietenpol will fit the TT as well.

The most important thing is not to give up. Analyze your flight attempts, maybe even film them, share them with flying buddy or the community here. We will do our best to get you into the air.


Legendary member
I am in full agreement with @FDS and @Corbarrad, both of which are experienced pilots and know their stuff. They both have helped me on several occasions. Next time you fly with a power motor, as a beginner taking off from the ground with a Mini plane can be tricky, try the hand launch at a little more then half throttle and toss the plane up at a 30 degree angle or so. As you throttle up in your hand before you throw it, it should feel like it wants to really leave your grip. This gives it a fighting chance once airborne. Remember the plane not only has to get itself up to speed fighting drag, but has to fight gravity as well to gain lift. This is only achieved with enough airspeed, especially with a folded wing profile and not under cambered like the Mini Scout. If you like the biplane style, try the SE5 which is an under cambered wing and is more forgiving then the Peitenpol
I am in full agreement with @FDS and @Corbarrad, both of which are experienced pilots and know their stuff.
Why, thank you for your vote of confidence.
There are times when I don't feel like I do..;)
They both have helped me on several occasions.
Glad to be of assistance. No sarcasm this time.
My Reflexes are not the best, so I'm not that advanced of a Pilot.
I also rarely find the time to fly, so helping others get in the air and watching them pass me in skill and knowledge in a short amount of time is both a little frustrating and immensely satisfying.
Every time one of you guys goes out to fly you're living a tiny bit of my dream for me, so thank you for that.


Elite member
I have smashed so many firewalls. My TT consumed 28 since last November and about the same number of power pods!