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What kind of moron ...

... launches their plane with the ailerons reversed? Don't people do preflight checks?

I'll admit that I've thought that before. Well, now I know precisely what kind of moron does that. :eek:

The story:
My Tiny Trainer was getting so beat up that it wouldn't even fly any more. I decided I'd build a Baby Baron to replace it. It looked fun, could use all the components, etc. It's a beautiful little plane. I painted it red and white and put on all the decals. It looks just like the one in the intro/build video. I went to maiden it a few days ago. I gave it a good throw. It rolled like 4 times to the left(it has an incredible roll rate!) and dove straight into the ground. Broke the prop in half. Destroyed the skewers holding the power pod in. Shoved the power pod and motor all the way back into the fuselage, ... You get the idea. It was one of those times when you can't even think or speak. You just stand there stunned. I just brought it inside, put it on the bench, and walked away.

I had some extra time after dinner tonight, so I thought I'd take another crack at it. I made sure my ailerons looked like they were trimmed right, that I had enough throw to counteract what MUST have been a wicked torque roll, double checked my CG, then headed outside. I was holding it up about to throw it when I wiggled the right stick one last time. My brain told me something looked funny, so I didn't throw it. That's when it hit me. I moved the stick to the left, watched the right aileron come up, then just hung my head.

I reversed them, then threw it for the best maiden I've ever had. What a GREAT little plane! It flies like it's on rails! I'm just running the Blue Wonder out of my old trainer in it. I swear it's almost as fast as my Mini Arrow with a 2300KV 2204 in it.

TL;DR Check your control surfaces before you launch. The Baby Baron is an awesome little plane.
Great advice. I haven't actually done that one but I did take off with the gyro turned off on my nitro hell about 20 years ago. (mechanical gyro). I didn't crash but man oh man was it a handful to get under control!

Always check!



Wake up! Time to fly!
I did the same thing with my pitts years ago. Built it during bad weather. Set it up perfectly as I could get it. Practiced on the sim (which btw had ailerons reversed) and when good weather came to maiden I did my visuals and everything wiggled nicely and didn't look like it was binding. I realized I had forgot to re reverse the settings on aileron the instant it went airborne. Its amazing how much that saps the strength away from you mentally trying to get a plane back down in one piece with reversed ailerons in a cross wind.

I managed to do a soft landing in the freshly cut feed corn field next to where I fly. Sadly I also managed to find a very deep tire rut shortly after touch down which power slammed the nose into the ground as it flipped over quite violently. broken prop, spinner, split the lower wing in two places near half way thru the entire cord as well as cracked the fuselage at the edge of the cockpit. New prop n spinner, and later new lower wing and a few toothpicks and RTV for the fuse repair and it was back in the air. Just long enough to realize my neck can no longer look up that long to fly it. Kinda why I swapped over to quads and now FPV as well.
Great advice. I haven't actually done that one but I did take off with the gyro turned off on my nitro hell about 20 years ago. (mechanical gyro). I didn't crash but man oh man was it a handful to get under control!

Always check!

Yikes! You had a few more dollars on the line than me with my $2 foamie!
I feel this experience goes here...

A number of years ago, I was getting ready to "remaiden" my profile 3D foamie 1m wingspan plane, one of my first brushless models, after a few minor repairs, including changing the aileron and elevator servos to faster ones.

I DID in fact do a proper preflight...sort of! I had set it up ready for flight, attached the battery and placed the model on the ground in front of me, checked that all controls and motor was moving allright and did the little direction check as well, where I noticed "Oh, I must have gotten the ailerons reversed during the re-setup of the servos! No biggie, with my nice new and much easier to program computer radio I'll have that fixed in a sinch!"
So, I swiftly went into setup mode on the tx, easily found and opened the servo setup menu...........and reversed the throttle!

"WROOPP!!!" the model went and instantly was airborne, taking off directly through the flightline narrowly missing a couple of my fellow clubmembers..........:eek::eek::eek::eek::black_eyed::(:eek::eek: (There actually really ought to be an emoticon for depositing an "adrenaline burst" in your undergarmits.........that's how we know adrenaline is brown, by the way!;))

Luckily noone was hurt, but to this day I have absolutely no recollection of how in the world I managed to get the model back down in one piece.
Damage came later that same day, in the form of what we locally call "Kvaje bajer", which I guess would translate to a round of "Eat Humble pie" beer for the entire field population, plus the rather ingenious club tradition of a pint bottle of drams for the clubhouse "rainy day" cabinet.......with the culprits name written on it in capitals. I felt I got off fairly easy though..........

Moral: Never EVER fiddle around in your tx setup without having somehow secured your model from taking off, either by tying it down, unplugging the motor leads or maybe removing the prop.
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Well-known member
Haha, I think that would be appropriate. I did the same think on my Durafly Mk1A Spitfire. Had just replaced both aileron servos the night before flying and had stayed up quite late finishing the process. Forgot to do a preflight controls check in the morning, and did the fastest snap roll on takeoff I've ever seen. Did not end well for the plane though, but was back in the air after a long rebuild. That will be one mistake I hope to never make again.


Got Lobstah?
Site Moderator
While I have to agree not doing preflight check is unwise, I would submit ailerons isn't the worst to have reversed. Having been there & done that I would submit that it is much less recoverable to have elevators reversed. Imagine the very quick cycle of events: throttle, launch, slight back pressure to increase angle of attack, quickly applying more back pressure due to very wrong angle of attack, crash, short walk of shame realizing already the foolishness for not having done a preflight check. Doh!

That said, I'll concede reversing throttle still takes the prize for precautions not taken that can cause injury/harm.:black_eyed:


Skill Collector
Been here, done this. :black_eyed:

Maiden flight of my first Caudron C.460 prototype. Video and pictures of carnage at the link. Very big and fast barrel roll into a perfect lawn dart. Hit the ground so close to vertical that the spinner stuck in the dirt and jammed the whole power pod back into the fuse, but the prop didn't break or even bend.



Building Fool-Flying Noob
Earthsciteach - :eek:
While watching this I just kept thinking, who hides their identity when showing the military/news/world how amazing their you-need-this military drone is? Then I got to the end. Thanks for sharing and sheepish-hand-raising.

Dayve - And your story is getting me excited give to my Baby Baron it's maiden.

*Sheepishly raises Hand* On my first ever launch, I had the elevator reversed. Did the check, and in my mind elevator down on the stick should be elevator flap down. Yeah, that's right... I said in my mind. Well JIMCR120 told my story perfectly. Throttle up, hand launch, Gentle nose up.. no, not level out... *applies more ~up~ elevator to compensate... perfect 90° to the ground when it hit. Nose directly into the dirt,

I just wasn't foolish enough launch it out into the water. Hahaha... Noobs.(Me)
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Building Fool-Flying Noob
So I maidened the Baby Baron two weeks ago...

I tried to maiden a few other airplanes with some bum 1300mAh Zippy Compact I must have ruined and those had no umph and with full elevator would barely get off the ground...

the BB had a pretty new 2200 3S. and before I chucked it with a lot up-elevator to be sure it had a chance. I throttled up and released. It went straight up before I could correct and started rolling. I panicked and downed throttle and elevator which put it nosed down, panicked some more and did the opposite which at about 25 ft sent it straight into the ground like a lawn dart.:eek: This pushed the battery into the motor mounting screws. Smoke is now pouring from my plane which just got it's first 5s flight! a different panic set in.

I quickly opening it up and yanked the battery out (ESC came with I think) of the pod and ushered the smoking mass at arms length ready to toss if it burst into flames to the concrete curb of the parking area 100ft away. Other than a singed an slightly melted pod front and broken prop I have very little damage.

I'm hoping to re-try this one again this week. :)
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Winter is coming
Yikes! A baby baron with a 2200mAh battery seems... heavy!

I flew mine with a 850mAh 2S and it was speedy enough that it kind of somes in hot on landing. Oh nevermind... this is a Bloody Baron! Chaulk it up to old age and lack of attention to detail.


Skill Collector
Wow - agree the battery might be way heavy - I run 2S or 3S 800mah in mine - and it's still got the glide slope of a thrown set of keys.


Got Lobstah?
Site Moderator
Pat, I'm still laughing over the UAV into the water. "Hey guys, make sure you get this on camera."

I'm going to ask my Brazilian brother to translate that one.