Range Check


Elite member
It's always been drummed into me the importance of a range check before any maiden flights. I took my FT3D to the field today to do its maiden flight. I checked and adjusted everything the night before. Down at the field, I showed off my new plane to the other guys there, and I got a bit distracted by the discussion. I was just doing the pre-flight checks on the strip, when it suddenly came to me that I hadn't done the range check, so a rather embarrassing return to the pits and the range check was done with no problems. Back to the strip, preflight checks, and all clear for take off. Up goes the plane, a little wobbly at first, then everything smoothed out as I gain control and start doing my first circuit to trim it out. After about 50 meters, WTF, my nice new plane spiralled down with no control and hit the ground hard. When I reached the somewhat damaged plane, everything was still working so I was a bit confused as to why it happened, then I looked in despair at my transmitter: It was still in range check mode!

Oh well, you live and learn. I don't suppose I'm the first to have done that. I guess I'm still getting used to the 2.4gHz way of doing things. I never made that mistake with the old 35mHz aerial up and down method.


Legendary member
Did something quite similar yesterday, powered up the quad, lifted up a couple of meters and confirmed all was stable. Started flying out and at approximately ten meters the quad safe'd on me!!!
After disarm and disconnecting the battery I completely checked over the quad, every thing looked totally fine. Then I checked my radio. Stupid me had left the power output at 100 micro watts (used when checking stuff on the workbench) - facepalm!!!! :)


Site Moderator
Staff member
It's always been drummed into me the importance of a range check before any maiden flights.
I agree, always do a range check before a maiden flight. AND range check after a crash where the Rx antenna could have been damaged.

If the Rx moves violently forward in a crash and comes to a sudden stop by the antenna catching on something. There is a good chance your antenna will be damaged right where it enters the case. Your range will be significantly reduced.