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Stupid time with a YAK 54


Old 08-23-2012, 11:16 AM
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Default Stupid time with a YAK 54

A couple of weeks agoI arrived at the field and started to assemble my YAK 54. During this time a few friends had gathered around and we were discussing various and sundry.

Finally my plane was fueled up, started and a takeoff run was started. I allowed the model to build up a lot of speed on the ground and then I yanked it up into a vertical climb to about 50m. Then I rolled it through 180 degrees and…………………. It went ape. It performed a few crazy snap rolls that I was not aware it was capable of.

I chopped the throttle and started shouting for everyone to beware of an uncontrolled model. Then I realized that there was a huge gap between the fuselage and the starboard wing, the wing was rotating freely around the carbon wing joiner. Now the model was coming vertically downwards towards the concrete apron doing all sorts of unannounced gyrations.

At about 2m off terra firma I gave a liberal dose of up elevator and lo and behold the nose came up and the model slammed onto the concrete at about a 45 degree angle (believe me it a lot more forgiving than 90 degrees).

During the long walk to the crashed bird was I was imagining a bag of balsa dust. However I was pleasantly surprised to find it sitting proudly on its wheels. The crunched cowl with the engine/muffler inside had broken off at the firewall. The canopy was shattered all the way to the clear/smoked part. The wing had another 5cm to go before it would have completely come off (it was prevented from doing so by the servo cable) and the carbon joiner tube in the wing was scrunched.
I was elated to see that the Evolution gas engine and the Bisson muffler were completely unscathed. The aluminum spinner had exploded on impact and the prop had done pretty much the same but between them they had protected the engine.

The reason for all this distress was the simple/stupid fact that during the assembly of the model I was distracted with my friends banter and I did not place the nylon bolt to hold the wing in situ.

The moral of the story is keep your focus on the job at hand don’t let your mind wander. Our hobby demands attention to detail for safe flying, don’t become complacent.

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Old 08-25-2012, 11:16 PM
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Default RE: Stupid time with a YAK 54

I had a buddy forget to install is aileron servo prior to take off and I have once plugged my aileron servos in reverse... both common and avoidable mistakes that can and will lead to catastrophy. Your not alone on the distracted preflight checklist victims list.
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