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  1. #51

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    RE: Crashing - a part of the hobby?

    Some one had asked about preflights. Here are some of the things I do.

    Daily (during assembly at the field.)

    Pull on all surfaces to make sure they are secure. (hinged surfaces)
    Check clevises for fuel line or lock to make sure they are still there.
    Check tires and wheels make sure they are secure on the model.
    Check the mount for the wing make sure it has not come loose (especially after a hard landing or high stress flying)
    Check motor and mount to make sure it is secure if it moves even a little pull out the tools and tighten it.
    Range check.

    Before each flight. (glow)
    MAKE SURE radio is set to correct plane.
    check Battery voltage
    Refuel airplane
    Check muffler (OS two piece are notorious for coming apart. Seen three so far this year Not mine)
    throttle is moving smoothly.
    Movement of flight controls. Up is Up Down is Down left is left. etc, Not just rattle the sticks around.
    Install air in retracts if so equipped. many of mine are now.

    Before each flight (electric)
    MAKE SURE radio is set to correct plane.
    check Battery voltage
    Movement of flight controls. Up is Up Down is Down left is left. etc, Not just rattle the sticks around.
    Install air in retracts if so equipped. many of mine are now.
    Check the battery connections to make sure solder joints are still secure.


    IF you get in the routine of doing this stuff you raise the odds of catching a possible problem while still on the ground, Thus saving a potential problem or crash. I can't count how many times I found somthing on the ground going through my routine. It has saved me TONS of aggravation. Doing things like that can help keep crashes to a minimum by catching possible problems while still on the ground.

  2. #52

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    RE: Crashing - a part of the hobby?


    ORIGINAL: JustGoFly.com

    The guys who fly and NEVER crash are the bench warmers who wait for perfect days to fly and they usually fly low risk airplanes. Jet flyers and guys who fly every day will crash on occasion. They learn from the crash and move on. i spend many hours going through every crash trying to figure out why it crashed so I don't do it again. After about 20,000 flights I just learned a new fault I have, which is normally compensated for with more power. When you knife edge low, and raise high alpha for reduced speed, then drop flat you will instantly stall unless you either power out before dropping flat or you drop the nose. Watch the guys that do this manuever - they normally power out of this manuever or do it fast.

    I teach alot of guys to fly. They RARELY crash. One guy went his first two years flying about 5 days a week and although he crashed five times before he came out to fly with us, he hadn't crashed for two years. We help each other:
    1) Check controls on EVERY flight. Not every day - EVERY FLIGHT. Say it out loud - ''Left Aileron'', ''Right Aileron'', Up, Down, Rudder left, Rudder right. We saved a crash MANY times doing this. Sometimes it's a broken servo, rarely reversed setup and always a ''Oh I just swapped out that servo I thought it would work identical to the old one'', or ''I just checked it at home - oh I must have reversed the wrong channel''.
    2) Wind is not had to fly in - but GUSTY wind can be very difficult. Have the right plane for the flying conditions.
    3) Steer 100% of the time. Some guys won't stear when they land and level the wings to the ground. Once they know it - they fix it.
    4) NEVER give up on an airplane. These guys will never learn to fly in anything but 0 wind days. Their brain goes blank the last few seconds of landing and they nose over or pound it in. I tell them fight or flee is a normal human reaction but if you want to survive most tough cases - get pissed and fight - full throttle to get out of trouble in many cases.
    5) Most important. You teach yourself through your life to be less sensitive to Noise, The trigger that you are full - fatty you have to be sensitive to every signal your plane gives you. A waiver of the wings at slow speed is a prelude to a stall - increase power,
    6) Relax when you fly - if you are tense you are not experienced enough to fly the plane you are trying to fly - put it away until you are, practice touch and goes - your landings on calm days must be perfect - don't satisfy for just getting it down. Progress through the hobby with the right plane. Some guys come out with one of those crappy trainers some kid at a hobby shop recommended - many are inappropriate - especially the really cheap ones. A good cub, slowstick, Wing Dragon. When learning your instructor should tell you it is impossible to crash since he will make sure it can't happen. This makes you calmer - I let newbies fly my trainer and will buddy box them but normally just keep them high and take back transmitter below 2 mistakes high. A crash costs them nothing - but shouldn't happen.
    7) Building skills come with time - but listen to guys when they tell you to improve a servo or some re-enforcement. But since everyone has a comment and some know crap - choose your mentors. It doesn't hurt to use high torque servos. I kept warning two guys I fly with that went to 100+ mph setups. You have to have 35+ oz/in torque servos - you are going to crash. They both crashed on the same day due to their 20 oz/in servos breraking - on a high speed pull out.

    Funny - that some think guys flying are showing off when they do something they feel is risky. It ain't risky if you can do it 100 times in a row without crashing. We all have different skills - doing something you don't know how to do in front of someone - just stupid. I tell the guys - when you go to funflys - fly like you always do, if you are good you will impress people. If not - you at least are out to enjoy flying. I am usually shocked when someone comes up to me and says ''That was awesome''. I love it - but I never expect it. Do something stupid and risky to show off - is ridiculous. A good indicator of showing off is a crash. Fly to the level of you skill and practice new skills. Flying in Wind is a skill you have to develop.

    Vinnie

    Vinnie
    20,000 flights?...i'm impressed that have been able to keep a flight log.
    you are seriously wrong about knife edge flight however, but the rest of your analogy sounds about right, or at least the bench riders at our field would agree with you
    AMA 70865
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  3. #53

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    RE: Crashing - a part of the hobby?

    A positive attitude is great, yes, don't get me wrong. And it will help you avoid or get out of many difficult situations, but...

    Someone stated that if you race in NASCAR you will eventually crash. I wonder how many of those guys racing accept that as a fact?
    How many accept that as a fact? I would venture to guess 100%. They all wear helmets, right!?! They drive cars that are constructed with roll bars, right!?! They drive cars that are built to absorb the crash so the driver's body does not, right!?! Each team is heavily insured, right? Each team is prepared to react to a crash, right?

    If not, don't you think it would be more comfortable without a helmet? Don't you think that roll bars add weight that you wouldn't need if you do not "plan" to crash? Don't you think that the elimination of that hefty insurance policy would add to the profits? Don't you think that they would spend less time and money if they didn't have to have a plan and emergency gear for a crash?

    They do certainly accept that being in a crash is a very high probability, if not a "given". The only uncertainty is how bad of one.



    I really appreciate your post and it just goes to show that the person you were training did not accept crashing as part of "his" hobby

    He didn't actually say that he didn't accept crashing as part of his hobby. He simply stated that he was determined not to crash on that flight. And who isn't? However, although positive thinking is great, you can't "will" a plane to right itself in those conditions. You have to make the right stick movements. You have control over that, sure. But even if you do everything "right" and do not "accept" crashing as part of your hobby, you'd better hope that the dust devil or wind thinks the same way. Which of course, is ridiculous.

    There are too many factors outside of your control...or that you cannot reasonably account for. So, eventually, you will crash. So, if you meet someone who states that they flew for 100 years, made 600,000 flights and never had a crash, you have just met a liar.

    Of course, some people don't consider that a "bad landing" is a crash. If a bad landing results in any damage, any parts falling out, nosing over of the plane, scraping of the wings, etc, then that is a crash.


  4. #54

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    RE: Crashing - a part of the hobby?

    3) Steer 100% of the time. Some guys won't stear when they land and level the wings to the ground. Once they know it - they fix it.
    Thanks for your detailed post, and also to the guys who responded on pre-flight checks. I learn heaps here and also enjoy the long posts....

    Can you elaborate on what you mean by "Steer 100% of the time"? Do you mean get proficient with your rudder and use it? So for I mostly don't use rudder on landings but do on take offs and some turns.

  5. #55
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    RE: Crashing - a part of the hobby?


    ORIGINAL: Luchnia


    ORIGINAL: Villa

    AlmoAs we land, we must keep the air speed high enough to prevent stalling. Yet, without an air speed indicator, all we can do is judge the GROUND SPEED, since that is all we have. If, on top of all other problems, there is a severe crosswind and you choose to compensate by making the approach at some angle to the runway, your chances of stalling go thru the roof. Only with a computer can you do the trigonometry calculations required to adjust your air speed, based on the ground speed, to have any chance of making a safe landing.
    Very good points. After all these planes fly just like the real ones but are just smaller. I wonder if some of the new fangled radios that have telemetry might some day have speed indicators. That would be interesting if we could actually learn our airspeed in relation to the plane desing when flying RC aircraft. That would introduce a whole new world when landing and could have the potential to give a feeling of flying from the cockpit!
    One of the reasons why birds never crash.
    Lnewqban - "God will not look you over for medals, degrees or diplomas, but for scars. He has achieved success who has worked well, laughed often, and loved much." - Elbert Hubbard

  6. #56

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    RE: Crashing - a part of the hobby?


    ORIGINAL: Lnewqban


    ORIGINAL: Luchnia


    ORIGINAL: Villa

    AlmoAs we land, we must keep the air speed high enough to prevent stalling. Yet, without an air speed indicator, all we can do is judge the GROUND SPEED, since that is all we have. If, on top of all other problems, there is a severe crosswind and you choose to compensate by making the approach at some angle to the runway, your chances of stalling go thru the roof. Only with a computer can you do the trigonometry calculations required to adjust your air speed, based on the ground speed, to have any chance of making a safe landing.
    Very good points. After all these planes fly just like the real ones but are just smaller. I wonder if some of the new fangled radios that have telemetry might some day have speed indicators. That would be interesting if we could actually learn our airspeed in relation to the plane desing when flying RC aircraft. That would introduce a whole new world when landing and could have the potential to give a feeling of flying from the cockpit!
    One of the reasons why birds never crash.
    No doubt, profound! Hey, don't some of those weird birds crash?

  7. #57

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    RE: Crashing - a part of the hobby?


    ORIGINAL: Villa

    Hi Luchnia
    You have had all types of comments in answer to your observation. Some of them have been very rude. The rude ones reflect more about that individual than about your observations. I support you 100%. Now please do me a courtesy: Please seek out my comments and read them till you feel you understand them. I feel strongly that crashing is part of our hobby, and give reasons to support that. I arrived at that conclusion after having literally hundreds of crashes over my 38 years in R/C flying, and I analyze every one of my crashes till I can conclude something. These reasons are physically valid. They are based on physics, trigonometry, geometry, and the limits of the human body/brain. Your observation might be more correct if it asked ''How do we manage to crash so few times''.
    Villa, I will certainly re-read your posts for more understanding. I do enjoy your posts as they are very informative and I look forward to more from you [8D]

    I wonder if the question on the subject of crashing might be better put, how can we minimize the risk of crashing? I know in my case experience would help me some more as I have only been flying about a year and a half. I am well pleased with my development to this point.

  8. #58

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    RE: Crashing - a part of the hobby?

    Crashing is not part of the this HOBBY
    Why then do I see as much crashing as I have in this hobby? A number of people who've posted here have comment that they've had a reasonable number of crashes. When I go to the flying field (I'm in a recognized club), it is not unusual to see at least one member crash. This weekend I was at the field saturday and sunday. Saturday one crash (by an experienced pilot, not a beginner), Sunday no crashes. I've been there a number of days with no crashes but also days with one or more crashes.

  9. #59

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    RE: Crashing - a part of the hobby?


    ORIGINAL: tonyob

    3) Steer 100% of the time. Some guys won't stear when they land and level the wings to the ground. Once they know it - they fix it.
    Thanks for your detailed post, and also to the guys who responded on pre-flight checks. I learn heaps here and also enjoy the long posts....

    Can you elaborate on what you mean by ''Steer 100% of the time''? Do you mean get proficient with your rudder and use it? So for I mostly don't use rudder on landings but do on take offs and some turns.
    Just a note to thank everyone for the great very informative posts. I too have learned so much from folks on RCU. Think of the hundreds of years of shared experience here - a wealth of knowledge.

    Everyone can share their experiences and whether or not we agree with crashing as part of the hobby or not we can certainly learn more and possibly minimalize the risks that occur and save a plane. That makes it worth it to me. Good flying to all [8D]

  10. #60
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    RE: Crashing - a part of the hobby?


    ORIGINAL: Luchnia


    ORIGINAL: Lnewqban


    ORIGINAL: Luchnia

    Very good points. After all these planes fly just like the real ones but are just smaller. I wonder if some of the new fangled radios that have telemetry might some day have speed indicators. That would be interesting if we could actually learn our airspeed in relation to the plane desing when flying RC aircraft. That would introduce a whole new world when landing and could have the potential to give a feeling of flying from the cockpit!
    One of the reasons why birds never crash.
    No doubt, profound! Hey, don't some of those weird birds crash?
    Some birds crash against human built structures and obstacles, but never against natural geography:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p-_RHRAzUHM

    Flight and crash probability change drastically when one can feel it with the five senses:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IlXDT...ext=1&index=65

    Great thread, Luchnia; thanks![sm=thumbs_up.gif]
    Lnewqban - "God will not look you over for medals, degrees or diplomas, but for scars. He has achieved success who has worked well, laughed often, and loved much." - Elbert Hubbard

  11. #61

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    RE: Crashing - a part of the hobby?

    This may be just one of those age things but as I recall it happened even when I was younger. The dreaded brain fart!! Last week I had one. I couldn't remember or react to my plane when I saw the stripes on the wing, was it upside down or right side up?? I just cut power and pulled up to see what the plane did then reacted to it. Just another simple little thing but a brain freeze can happen to anyone. It was my favorite plane too and I would have hated to loos it. The colors are wrong for me, I'm color blind and the plane is orange and black, the top of the wing has some white on it so I'm usually in tune to that white stripe.
    Drinking and driving are illegal, why do bars have parking lots
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  12. #62

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    RE: Crashing - a part of the hobby?


    ORIGINAL: Gray Beard

    This may be just one of those age things but as I recall it happened even when I was younger. The dreaded brain fart!! Last week I had one. I couldn't remember or react to my plane when I saw the stripes on the wing, was it upside down or right side up?? I just cut power and pulled up to see what the plane did then reacted to it. Just another simple little thing but a brain freeze can happen to anyone. It was my favorite plane too and I would have hated to loos it. The colors are wrong for me, I'm color blind and the plane is orange and black, the top of the wing has some white on it so I'm usually in tune to that white stripe.
    I have had that brain lapse thing a time or two and I hate that. Fortunately I have managed to get myself straightened out, but it is one weird feeling. Usually when it happens I stop and rest, maybe get some water or tea and just chill for a bit, then I am good to go.

    I am only 56 years old. You just sort of go "space cadet" for a second or so. I certainly hope I don't have many of those, especially while flying the small Revolver WOT doing a low pass. That could quickly get real nasty [X(]

  13. #63

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    RE: Crashing - a part of the hobby?


    ORIGINAL: Lnewqban


    ORIGINAL: Luchnia


    ORIGINAL: Lnewqban


    ORIGINAL: Luchnia

    Very good points. After all these planes fly just like the real ones but are just smaller. I wonder if some of the new fangled radios that have telemetry might some day have speed indicators. That would be interesting if we could actually learn our airspeed in relation to the plane desing when flying RC aircraft. That would introduce a whole new world when landing and could have the potential to give a feeling of flying from the cockpit!
    One of the reasons why birds never crash.
    No doubt, profound! Hey, don't some of those weird birds crash?
    Some birds crash against human built structures and obstacles, but never against natural geography:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p-_RHRAzUHM

    Flight and crash probability change drastically when one can feel it with the five senses:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IlXDT...ext=1&index=65

    Great thread, Luchnia; thanks![sm=thumbs_up.gif]
    Sweet videos. I like the glider doing loops over the swiss alps...wow!

  14. #64

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    RE: Crashing - a part of the hobby?

    Birds crash into natural geography when they are being chased by other birds. Saw it just last week when 2 osprey put an eagle down in a free for all. He went in upside down !! 'Never' is a strong word!

  15. #65

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    RE: Crashing - a part of the hobby?

    Love the drive by critics - provide no help to anyone and pick at anyone who does. Back from my 12 flights today - five different airplanes - no worries of crashing and very aggressive low flying with cross wind at about 15mph.
    Flight log not needed - simple math for you. 10 years of flying addiction - 200 days a year - conservative estimate, 10 flights conservative estimate - ya 20,000 is conservative.

    Share your advanced knowledge of knife edge. I'm sure you can teach me something. I know what I'm talking about. Please give it a try - High alpha slow knife edge with a plane that does not have more than 1:1 power. Any over powered setup can power out of a knife edge. Drop out of knife edge and watch your plane spin into the ground.

    Vinnie


  16. #66

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    RE: Crashing - a part of the hobby?

    I "crashed" a week ago Thursday.
    It was late in the day in a warm Minnesota summer and thermals were kicking up.
    I lost a wheel pant on the first field pass and came around to land it and see what else was loose.
    As I chopped the power to make the upwind leg, I realized I was under powered and a wind was picking up.
    Sure enough, I'm 7 feet up on final and the wind stands my newer revolver (14 great flights) on it's tail.
    I watched a newer plane bellyflop from that height and knew I had 5 hours of shop time ahead of me.
    A crash, yes and an aggravation.
    If someone else had been there, it would have been logged as pilot error.
    But with 20+ years of flying and all I know, i chalked it up to taking two months off for a heavy work schedule and forgetting the basics of more power on approach is better!

    Crashes will happen and it's not an opportunity for others to boast....sure my ego takes a hit, but it gave me a chance to really question what I  know and build a better engine mount and landing gear set up on a very sexy little plane.

    See ya at the field, keep the nose up and the power on...
    Oh...and keep your stick on the ice..
    Revver Bro # 35
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  17. #67
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    RE: Crashing - a part of the hobby?

    ORIGINAL: RTice

    He simply stated that he was determined not to crash on that flight. And who isn't? However, although positive thinking is great, you can't ''will'' a plane to right itself in those conditions.
    Now there is a great point. Another hobby of mine is tradirional archery (wood arrows, no sights on the recurve or longbow). At a field course I used to shoot at we had a lifesize steel deer with a 6" cutout. You had to put your arrow into that 6" opening and beyond into the haybale or it would shatter to pieces on the steel. The ONLY way to pull it off was to have total confidence that you would and focus on the center of that opening. Worry about the steel, or even think of it when releasing and "CLANG!"

    So, to have confidence that you will not crash is, in fact, a pretty good philosophy. But, like in many pursuits, you have to back-up your convictions with more than thoughts. Practice, proper set-up, gound pre-flight checks and more practice. When your brain exceeds your abilities - that's overconfidence.

    I'm certain I will crash again . . . but not this time. Du Doch Nicht!
    Charlie P. (NY) "Gravity is weak but persistant".

    AMA 747089/IMAA 30723

  18. #68
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    RE: Crashing - a part of the hobby?

    Good thread! I have wondered what other people think when they crash. I for one, have too much invested to just throw it away and find another hobby like some do. Also, with the availability of ARFs, the only building experience I have has come from repairing and modifying a crashed plane. I did turn an H9 Alpha trainer into a pretty cool little low wing tail dragger, after it got into a tangle with a pine tree. That crash was my fault, and I eventually crashed that plane again from a dreaded case of Dumb Thumb, during a nice knife edge pass.

    I think that crashing is inevitable in this hobby, and that it causes you to be a better pilot. I have also had more mishaps after I got to the intermediate level, due to the fact that I am constantly pushing to learn new maneuvers or "go lower". I have learned alot from that, as in emergency response, rudder control, etc. If you have never crashed, you have probably spent most of your time flying a trainer in high circles...lol. Ive taught myself to fly, before I knew there was such a thing as instructors and RC clubs. I have had a total of 3 crashes in the last 1.5 years that I have been flying, and all three have made me a better pilot in some way. One taught me how to use CA and Epoxy. One taught me that you dont have to listen to the guys behind you yelling "you can go lower!" The last taught me the value of altitude when I try something stupid. I never tell anyone that crashing is a negative thing, or that it shouldnt ever happen. I just tell them if they ask that it is the risk we take. We just pick up the pieces, and try to glue them back together. Same principal that applies to most aspects of life.

    TonyG

  19. #69

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    RE: Crashing - a part of the hobby?

    Anyone who doesn't crash doesn't fly. If you are in the hobby long enough and fly it will happen. Nuf Said.

  20. #70

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    RE: Crashing - a part of the hobby?

    I think one of the most common crashes is when a gust of wind kicks your plane up on landing or on take off. It is very common to wait until gravity helps you by dropping the plane back to the pavement, but there is something you can teach yourself. Push the elevator forward - it will feel very abnormal, but will save you many planes. Learning this will enable you to fly in high winds with confidence. It's tough to watch a guy take off and pull back too hard to get in the air - balloon up, and they follow normal instinct to come off the motor and wait for it to drop, then try to flare, but it will always result in a nose first crash and lots of damage. Had they only pushed the elevator down, they would have been up high and could power through the manuever for no stress take off.

    Vinnie

  21. #71

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    RE: Crashing - a part of the hobby?

    I have had very bad luck. The first one this season was a beautyful Midwest Citabria 80.5" WS built in 1988 and just lost it 4 months ago. Reason: Upgraded to a 6 volt Ni-Mh Rx pack not realizing that the Futaba S3151 Digital sport servos I had hidden in the wings were only made for 4.8 volts. The plane flew fine up until I performed a snap roll and, I could not recover from it. my second crash this season just occured when the power lead going into my Rx popped off and, lost all control to the Revolver 70" WS. The planes control surfaces remained in the same position as when the power connector popped off. The plane remained unmanned, flying at half throttle (OS 91FX) in circles until coming to mother earth.
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  22. #72

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    RE: Crashing - a part of the hobby?

    One taught me that you dont have to listen to the guys behind you yelling "you can go lower!"
    I love yelling "LOWER!"

  23. #73

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    RE: Crashing - a part of the hobby?


    ORIGINAL: JustGoFly.com

    I think one of the most common crashes is when a gust of wind kicks your plane up on landing or on take off. It is very common to wait until gravity helps you by dropping the plane back to the pavement, but there is something you can teach yourself. Push the elevator forward - it will feel very abnormal, but will save you many planes. Learning this will enable you to fly in high winds with confidence. It's tough to watch a guy take off and pull back too hard to get in the air - balloon up, and they follow normal instinct to come off the motor and wait for it to drop, then try to flare, but it will always result in a nose first crash and lots of damage. Had they only pushed the elevator down, they would have been up high and could power through the manuever for no stress take off.

    Vinnie
    This has caused a number of planes at our club to find some repair time and one of mine included. My last problem was on landing with a wind gust. Things were smooth then all of a sudden, wind got wild. The crazy thing is I had plenty enough power and altitude to bring this plane around again, but I had had so many dead-sticks with this aircraft that all I could think was get it down smoothly!

    Looking back I do believe some down elevator and also a tad right rudder instead of aileron correction would have saved me on my last wind gust and given me a decent landing. I over-corrected because the plane was getting wild with me. It is the type of thing that you look back and say to yourself that it was totally avoidable had you just did the right thing.

    I simply need more experience with that particular aircraft's landing characteristics. I plan to get a serious stick time with the plane doing landings and touch and go practice. Nothing will beat experience with this. Also, I could have had a tad higher landing speed since it was a bit windy - another thing that I know works yet I get "stupid" and forget to apply it. To me there is nothing wrong with more speed in wind where the plane is more stable and flying it all the way down as if it were a faster plane and I have done that often. Sometimes those slow touchdowns with flares will kill you when in gusty winds.

    I can imagine how hard down elevator is to apply in this situatoin, but I can see how this would work and I even do this on takeoffs quite often. I know of a couple of times that if I would have just applied some down elevator I would have gotten my plane back on track and on the runway for another flight. A lot of times we are just a few feet up and could minimize damage by slight down elevator. I wonder how I can train my mind and thumbs to react properly? There seems to be a disconnect! [X(]

  24. #74

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    RE: Crashing - a part of the hobby?


    ORIGINAL: THERCAV8R

    Anyone who doesn't crash doesn't fly. If you are in the hobby long enough and fly it will happen. Nuf Said.
    I understand the point, that if I don't fly I certainly won't crash. However here is something to consider about flying and crashing. There is a guy at our field that has possibly logged the most flights of anyone there (I think around 1700) and yet he has crashed the least of any one. As a matter of fact, he has planes that have had several engines on them from wearing out the engines and he uses high performance long life engines. His flying is simply a work of art and to him I believe a science and landings are surpurb - a bounce on a landing is simply a rarity.

    I would imagine he has crashed over his career, but if so I bet it was rare and even then I suspect with little to no damage. He normally flys two planes and one of them is quite old.

  25. #75

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    RE: Crashing - a part of the hobby?

    Guys regarding a question on:
    3) Steer 100% of the time.

    Just so much can be said about this so let me break it down based on observation of the many guys I've taught to fly and excercises I give them to perfect landing.
    Flying is easy - taking off is a bit harder - LANDING is the tough cookie. I always tell guys on every new plane to spend 1 minute flying, trim and get comfortable then spend the rest of the time doing landing approaches. Some planes must have at least 1/4 throttle to land since they can not just glide in. The ones you'll have for a long time will land with no power. STEERING is basically a few things: A) Ailerons - this should be instinctive but you have to stay level to the ground - not the horizon, land on a hill or bump and you should level the wings to the surface. This is fairly easy but you'd be surprised how many times I see a guy gut the plane in. B) Practice rudder control, this will become instinctive. I don't even know I'm doing it. Do this by lining up 10-20 degrees off your landing strip, don't roll the ailerons as you would instinctively like to do, this makes the plane drop altitude and already gets you setup for wobble approach. Use Rudder to turn into the landing strip - DON'T LAND - just pass it buy four or five times until it feels good. Also know that when you turn rudder the nose will drop, so you get into a crash scenario - which is why alot of guys will freak, so practice it up HIGH first. Get used to pulling back very slightly on the elevator and even feeding in opposite aileron. An excellent excercise: Do up high - slow speed flat turns. Left Rudder, Right Aileron, up elevator a little and goose up the throttle slightly if needed. This means you are practicing using all four controls at once, and do it until you master it. Then impress your friends by sliding back and forth like a drunk flyer as you approach on a calm day. If you keep the wings level - you keep that pocket of air under your plane and you shouldn't need much, if any elevator.

    I'll use slight rudder turns on approach to bleed off speed, and sometimes to force the nose down to get lower. Usually though I dive for the deck with power off, come out five or six feet up and don't turn on power until I start going to slow. Slight wobbles in the wing indicate you're near stall - but you should know for that plane how fast it has to go to land. Then power up 50-100 feet out to come in nice and slow. Windy days require faster approaches and I think is easier to do that in a steeper approach than you normally would do on a calm day.

    Practice Touch and Go. Go out to your favorite cement flying strip ALONE and do touch and goes continuously.
    Go to about 3 minutes to see how I practice touch and goes. I've improved alot since this video and mix in rolls on return and now practice killing throttle above the trees to dive into the slot. And yes there is a crash at the end
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-RaQ-0-BXZI

    OK next or maybe first most important is to check your plane for proper setup. Fly level past yourself about 20 feet off the deck - Half throttle. As it moves in front of you push full throttle. The plane should not budge up or down. If it dives then one day when you are approaching and you are going to slow - you hit the throttle and your plane lands or crashes at higher speed than intended. Done it and now we check this on all our planes. If it climbs it will just make landing more difficult. To fix you can correct the motor angle. You can also do the reverse - go full throttle then come off the throttle the plane should not change altitude. You can setup perfect and fly like it's a simulator. It just takes messing around with your plane. A bad flying plane will crash more often.

    You could also practice landing cross wind. It's fun to hold the plane 45 degrees into the wind, and approach coming in what looks like sideways, the hit rudder and a little elevator to drop the plane in for a landing. But your practice should be fly around - not touching down until it feels very comfortable. Most landings you'll do will be directly into the wind - so whether you need to do this depends on the field you fly at - do you HAVE to come in only down one slot ? We fly at one field in a open field so can come in from any direction - but the above video is next to a building and the challenge there is that the wind changes direction as you pass the open areas of the building, so rudder is essential.

    Take offs are optional, Landing is mandatory.

    Vinnie


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