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Lost one to a spider

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Old 11-25-2009, 10:13 AM
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flyingfever
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Default Lost one to a spider

I don't recall seeing a story here like this one, so I'll share some details of my recent loss.

Like most re-kitting events, the whole thing took only seconds. I'd guess 3 or 4 at the most. But those seconds are seared into my memory.

I was shooting touch-and-goes with my Somethin Extra, just having a ball. Only my fourth kit, but the best by far. Best flying, and the best looking. Some folks even thought it was an ARF. But the flying was what got me excited. I had the S.E. for about two years, and still had not learned everything it could teach. It was just a ball to fly. Had a Saito .62 for power, and a rubber ducky for a pilot.

But, just as I was making a low pass down the runway, a small reddish brown spider rappelled down from the bill of my cap and swung back and forth right in front of my nose. I'm not especially afraid of spiders, but I know that some are poisonous and that is all I need to know. If my flying buddy had been close by he could have dealt with the problem in short order, but I was alone on the flight line. I blew at the bug a couple of times as the S.E. went by, but he hung in there. Trying to focus just three inches in front of me, and 75' away at the same time was tough. Landing was not an option as I was already more than half-way down the runway, and carrying too much airspeed. I judged the best option was to gain altitude, (lots of altitude) and then address the spider.

So I powered up and began to climb out. At that same instant I gave my head a shake in another effort to get that bug out of my face. It seemed to work. But that's when I realized that not seeing the spider was even worse than seeing the spider. In a bit of a panic now, I began switching my attention from the plane to the brim of my cap, and back to the plane in much shorter intervals. Not seeing the spider, I spent more and more time focused on the brim of my cap, and less time on the S.E. Maybe I'm just a bit more fearful of spiders than I thought because I only saw the last instant of the S.E.'s flight. And even then it was out of the corner of my eye. It had rolled over and went in nearly vertical at full power.

Surprisingly, the left wing was unhurt. The right wing was shredded and all other balsa was a total loss. The needle valve on the Saito was bent forward at a ninety degree angle, so forcefully that the brass spray bar was partially sheared. These can be replaced. Oh yeah, the prop was broken too.

I went back out the next day with my Four Star. Felt the need to get back in the saddle as quickly as possible. The Four Star is a fun plane, but it just doesn't have the aerobatic ability that the S.E. had. And it is a real floater on landing. Frustrating.

So I went out Monday and ordered another S.E. kit. This one will be even better than the first.

And I'm open to suggestions on spider repellant.


'fever

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Old 11-25-2009, 10:55 AM
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Default RE: Lost one to a spider


Quote:
ORIGINAL: flyingfever
But that's when I realized that not seeing the spider was even worse than seeing the spider.
*BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA*

Sorry about your loss...hate seeing someone lose a great flying aircraft they built and truly enjoyed.

But that really is a pretty funny story.
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Old 11-25-2009, 12:01 PM
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Default RE: Lost one to a spider

Why didn't you just reach up.... take your hat off and toss it on the ground??? DAAAAAAA
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Old 11-25-2009, 12:12 PM
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ORIGINAL: RC MANIAC119

Why didn't you just reach up.... take your hat off and toss it on the ground??? DAAAAAAA
I think this is much like the guy who took the time to call 911 when his Toyota's throttle got stuck instead of putting the transmission in neutral.
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Old 11-25-2009, 10:50 PM
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Default RE: Lost one to a spider


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ORIGINAL: Mr67Stang


Quote:
ORIGINAL: RC MANIAC119

Why didn't you just reach up.... take your hat off and toss it on the ground??? DAAAAAAA
I think this is much like the guy who took the time to call 911 when his Toyota's throttle got stuck instead of putting the transmission in neutral.

Geeze! Rough crowd here!


Did I not mention I was only a foot or two off the deck, in the midst of a touch-and-go?

Rest assured, my hat hit the ground. A split second after my beloved S.E. And with nearly the same force.

Dialing 911 was equally impossible. My left thumb was on the throttle and rudder. Right thumb on the elevator and ailerons. How do you guys do it?

As I say, the entire event was only a few seconds. And they are seared into my memory. Forever. My therapists told me that writing about it might help. For now at least I am pleased that the night-sweats and and flash-backs are not as frequent or severe as they once were. One day I hope to fly again without the constant sensation of bugs crawling all over my body.


Rough crowd here. Rough crowd is all I'm say'in.


'fever
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Old 11-25-2009, 11:11 PM
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Default RE: Lost one to a spider

I'm just glad you weren't flying in Florida in a gator zone !
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Old 11-25-2009, 11:43 PM
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Default RE: Lost one to a spider


Quote:
ORIGINAL: Mr67Stang


Quote:
ORIGINAL: RC MANIAC119

Why didn't you just reach up.... take your hat off and toss it on the ground??? DAAAAAAA
I think this is much like the guy who took the time to call 911 when his Toyota's throttle got stuck instead of putting the transmission in neutral.
but he didnt want to fry his engine and thought the police could help him , although he could have thrown it into neutral then shut the enigine off quickly.

as for the plane, sorry about the loss, did you ever find then smash the spider????
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Old 11-26-2009, 09:52 AM
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Default RE: Lost one to a spider

Hi flyingfever
Nice write-up. Thanks for sharing. I always have a bottle of bug repellent in my flying kit and use it often. A bug in the eye can do the same thing as what happened to you. Glad to read you build from kits. My next ARF will be my first one.
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Old 11-26-2009, 10:57 AM
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Default RE: Lost one to a spider


Quote:
ORIGINAL: flyingfever


Quote:
ORIGINAL: Mr67Stang


Quote:
ORIGINAL: RC MANIAC119

Why didn't you just reach up.... take your hat off and toss it on the ground??? DAAAAAAA
I think this is much like the guy who took the time to call 911 when his Toyota's throttle got stuck instead of putting the transmission in neutral.

Geeze! Rough crowd here!


Did I not mention I was only a foot or two off the deck, in the midst of a touch-and-go?

Rest assured, my hat hit the ground. A split second after my beloved S.E. And with nearly the same force.

Dialing 911 was equally impossible. My left thumb was on the throttle and rudder. Right thumb on the elevator and ailerons. How do you guys do it?

As I say, the entire event was only a few seconds. And they are seared into my memory. Forever. My therapists told me that writing about it might help. For now at least I am pleased that the night-sweats and and flash-backs are not as frequent or severe as they once were. One day I hope to fly again without the constant sensation of bugs crawling all over my body.


Rough crowd here. Rough crowd is all I'm say'in.


'fever
Sorry, no slight intended at all. My point was that during the moment sometimes the easiest solution is overlooked untill it's too late.

Oh, and these new cars have rev limiters that would not allow the cars engine to over rev and blow. This way you would still have power steering and power brakes.
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Old 11-26-2009, 11:31 AM
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Default RE: Lost one to a spider

No offense taken really, Mr67Stang.

I do enjoy the challenge of flying, and try to keep my sense of humor when things go badly.

I've only had two really bad incidents in about seven years of flying.

I also enjoy the challenge of writing about my experiences in a way that entertains folks. A little provocation can be a good thing in that respect.



Hey Villa, yes I have built four kits now. The S.E. is lost now. As is the Easy Sport I was buddy boxing with the neighbor's grandson. He was really doing well, I thought. The instructor needs more work though. I still have the Four Star, and the PT-40 that was my first kit.

Kits are getting more and more difficult to come by. Not much variety, and the LHS doesn't stock more than one or two. I found out this week that the S.E. I ordered is back-ordered because of a shortage of wood at the SIG factory. I've been thinking it may be time to try a scratch build. But that's another forum!

'fever
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Old 11-26-2009, 07:07 PM
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Default RE: Lost one to a spider

Well, I have never heard a story like that before, but it is kind of funny. I think the only one I heard that was funnier was when my 5yr old niece pulled her dads shorts down to his ankles while he was flying. He didn't crash but he had to hand over his controller because no one would pull his shorts back up.
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Old 12-01-2009, 07:44 PM
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Default RE: Lost one to a spider

Not exactly a flying war story, but somewhat similar. Years ago I was sneaking through the woods deer hunting in Fla, and ducked under one of those giant spiderwebs we have down there, for the Golden Orb spiders, aka banana spiders, and didnt think too much about it because there was no spider and I ducked under most of the web. About 30 feet later, like a scene from a 50-60's horror creature flick, all I see are the legs coming down into my eyes from my short brimmed hat. I screamed like my name was Susie, hat went one way. glasses another, and all the time doing the hoochie-coochie dance. I feel your pain. I can absolutely understand and see how it happened. I have rekitted for foolish reasons, mostly dumb thumbs. And so far, only 2 have reached the "You can't rebuild me Anymore" sign. One, however, lives on at a hobby shop ceiling. Keep building. It is just as fun as flying!!!

Will
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