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Scary moment during Combat

sprzout

Knower of useless information
Mentor
#1
Yesterday morning, our club does our monthly Combat event. We get out and do 2 rounds of general combat mayhem, where we circle around and try to cut streamers and knock out other people's Versa Wings and Assassins out of the sky.

We had 11 planes launching all at once, right at the edge of the runway, all at the same time, to go and fly in a crazy pattern to smash into each other.

Well, one of the requirements with that is that you all wear a helmet or hard hat for safety, when the combat events are going on. Here's mine:

59509929226__74BFB132-DCA9-4746-9CD8-111E2EEF4D06.JPG


Look carefully at it. You'll notice that there are some scratches on the front of the helmet. No, it wasn't from a fall; it was from a Versa Wing launch that went awry, and smacked full tilt into my helmet.

Apparently, the battery came loose upon launch and caused it to spiral out, right back into the group of pilots standing at the line. It caught me square on the helmet, knocking it clean off of my head (I didn't have the chin strap fastened). It rung my bell a little bit, but I kept flying right through it the entire time. Everyone else had panicked, but my biggest thought was, "Keep the plane in the air. Keep your eyes on the plane, don't let it get out of control and fly into everyone else, or over the freeway and into traffic."

I managed to keep flying, finished the round, and landed just shy of the circle on the runway that gives you extra points if you land in it. Afterwards, everyone asked if I was ok, and I said, "Yep! I know it was a freak thing, and it didn't kill me or injure me in any way. Helmet took the brunt of it and I'm fine."

I'm very lucky, but let me tell you that it's good to have someone watching for when there are that many birds in the air at once, and in an event like that when the safety officer says, "Wear a helmet," you DO it, no matter how dorky you think it looks. It was a freak thing; our current and former safety officers said that it was something they've heard about happening once at another field, but never actually saw it happen. Lesson learned - helmets can save you from serious injury.
 

Wildthing

Well-known member
#2
Yesterday morning, our club does our monthly Combat event. We get out and do 2 rounds of general combat mayhem, where we circle around and try to cut streamers and knock out other people's Versa Wings and Assassins out of the sky.

We had 11 planes launching all at once, right at the edge of the runway, all at the same time, to go and fly in a crazy pattern to smash into each other.

Well, one of the requirements with that is that you all wear a helmet or hard hat for safety, when the combat events are going on. Here's mine:

View attachment 147735

Look carefully at it. You'll notice that there are some scratches on the front of the helmet. No, it wasn't from a fall; it was from a Versa Wing launch that went awry, and smacked full tilt into my helmet.

Apparently, the battery came loose upon launch and caused it to spiral out, right back into the group of pilots standing at the line. It caught me square on the helmet, knocking it clean off of my head (I didn't have the chin strap fastened). It rung my bell a little bit, but I kept flying right through it the entire time. Everyone else had panicked, but my biggest thought was, "Keep the plane in the air. Keep your eyes on the plane, don't let it get out of control and fly into everyone else, or over the freeway and into traffic."

I managed to keep flying, finished the round, and landed just shy of the circle on the runway that gives you extra points if you land in it. Afterwards, everyone asked if I was ok, and I said, "Yep! I know it was a freak thing, and it didn't kill me or injure me in any way. Helmet took the brunt of it and I'm fine."

I'm very lucky, but let me tell you that it's good to have someone watching for when there are that many birds in the air at once, and in an event like that when the safety officer says, "Wear a helmet," you DO it, no matter how dorky you think it looks. It was a freak thing; our current and former safety officers said that it was something they've heard about happening once at another field, but never actually saw it happen. Lesson learned - helmets can save you from serious injury.
Yikes, glad you weren't hurt.
When we launch we all line up but we start at one end depending which way the wind is going and one at a time so everyone has there eye on the guy launching.
 

The Hangar

Well-known member
#3
That is scary! I almost smacked a buddy in the back of the head inverted with my spitfire! Thankfully he ducked, but if not, I don’t really want to think about what would’ve happened... I just keep it in mind when flying with others, which isn’t actually all that often.
 

sprzout

Knower of useless information
Mentor
#4
Yikes, glad you weren't hurt.
When we launch we all line up but we start at one end depending which way the wind is going and one at a time so everyone has there eye on the guy launching.
Yep! It was kinda scary for everyone else; I didn't see it coming at all, just felt it, it happened so quick. I don't even know where the plane ended up.

When we do normal flight, we all stand in a pilot box and fly off with 4 people at one time. During combat, we can have several times that flying, but each is required to wear the appropriate hardhat or helmet, and that incident showed why it was important (and makes me realize that sometimes, you just can't see it or get out of the way in time, no matter how much you THINK you can. Better to be safe than sorry.
 

PsyBorg

Wake up! Time to fly!
#5
Just goes to proving my theory on life is valid. "DONT lead with yer face" :LOL:

You sir are a lucky man. If that had hit much lower you wouldnt be as pretty. Did the spotters not give any warning or did it all happen too fast? This is one of the things I brought up in the staff meeting at FFO18. Peoples launching techniques are not always the best and it was pretty dangerous on the flight line and behind.

I was camped in the second row and down on the end by the quad track. People were launching wings past that area and some were passing overhead from sketchy launches and panicked recovery efforts.
 

sprzout

Knower of useless information
Mentor
#6
Just goes to proving my theory on life is valid. "DONT lead with yer face" :LOL:

You sir are a lucky man. If that had hit much lower you wouldnt be as pretty. Did the spotters not give any warning or did it all happen too fast? This is one of the things I brought up in the staff meeting at FFO18. Peoples launching techniques are not always the best and it was pretty dangerous on the flight line and behind.

I was camped in the second row and down on the end by the quad track. People were launching wings past that area and some were passing overhead from sketchy launches and panicked recovery efforts.
Honestly, everything happened way too fast for anyone to say anything. I heard, an aborted "Hey!" a split second before it crashed right into my head. I KNOW I was lucky; usually we don't have a problem at the field because if they have a problem with hand launch, they're thrown forward and always AWAY from the pilot box; this just had the battery slide out from under the strap and pull it to the left on launch. Freak thing, and I hold no ill will to the pilot whose plane got away from him. He tried to keep it from doing worse damage, and that it hit and only knocked my helmet off, I'm ok with that. I know I lucked out.