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Causes of crashes

Old 12-30-2014, 08:23 PM
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thailazer
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Default Causes of crashes

Am just a few days away from the maiden flight of my Super Scout ( http://www.rcuniverse.com/forum/scra...s-project.html ) and thought it would be prudent to think about the causes of crashes to avoid one! So help me out with what your experience has been for causes of crashes.

My personal experience is:

-Pilot inexperience. (30 years ago, I thought I could fly my Balsa USA Swizzlestick without help. Nope!)
-Ailerons reversed. (Yep, I am a member of that club.)
-Attempt to fly with a poorly running engine.
-Altitude too low for maneuver attempted. (The remainder of my crashes are due to this cause.)



Add my observations of other crashes and that would add:

-Aft CG.
-Poorly secured wing.
-Stall/snap after rotation.
-Battery failure or not charged.
-Rotating before flying speed attained.
-Structural failure or flutter.
-Radio link failure.

Am I missing anything?
Old 12-30-2014, 08:37 PM
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collector1231
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You forgot;
-Receiver Batteries Dead
-Instant Trees
-Being too cocky.

Lol, these all have happened to me.
Old 12-30-2014, 08:59 PM
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thailazer
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Originally Posted by collector1231 View Post
You forgot;
-Receiver Batteries Dead
-Instant Trees
-Being too cocky.

Lol, these all have happened to me.
Yeah, I strained my old J3 Cub through a tree combining "cocky", "instant tree", and "too low for maneuver attempted" in the last year! It was to be a nice fast low pass and the whole time I was sure I was well clear of the tree. Not too much damage, but I cut the tree down to get rid of its potential!
Old 12-31-2014, 08:15 AM
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From my experience, at least 90% of all crashes are pilot error as the root cause- whether it be improper setup, poor construction, inattention to detail, flying beyond one's abilities, improper/poor equipment & maintenance... the list goes on!

Just make sure you check your CG, make sure the control surfaces are correct, engine is happy, batteries are charged- and most importantly make sure the pilot is relaxed! If you have checked everything on the plane, and are confident, you will do fine! Keep it high, keep it slow
Old 12-31-2014, 08:25 AM
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mscic-RCU
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my last crash was due to "dumb thumbs"
Old 12-31-2014, 09:09 AM
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Lets see, wrong transmitter settings, forgetting to check all hardware (especially servo) connections, dead batteries, but mostly just dumb mistakes. I have only crashed a few times,, but I would have to say that of all my mishaps I was responsible in some way for nearly all of them. Only a couple of times did I have an actual component failure that caused a crash or a really bad landing.

Good luck with the maiden.
Old 12-31-2014, 09:59 AM
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Everyone I fly with when they crash state " I got hit"- And the gallery replies "Yes you did-You hit the ground!"
Old 12-31-2014, 10:30 AM
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Hi Gents , Happy New year & all ......

Anyway , in my many years of observing RC model crashes , both mine and those of others , the by far #1 cause is the STALL !!! . Sometimes it's when maneuvering in the air at too slow of a speed . Sometimes , especially during a maiden , a pilot will jerk the plane off the ground way too soon to have enough airspeed for the wings and it just literally falls out of the sky . Don't be afraid of a reasonably long takeoff roll and never forget airspeed is your friend . The notion of "I'll just fly it around low and slow to check it out , cause it's a new plane" has likely cost more new RC aircraft's loss than just about any other mistake has .

And then the excuses start . "I got hit" .... "Crappy design" .... "Cheap @##$ junk" , and so on .

But rest assured , those of us who freely admit when WE oopsed one , are especially astute in observing the REAL reason the model was lost , even if we don't speak up during all the "I was hit" BS that hits the wind immediately following the sounds of splintering Balsa .....
Old 12-31-2014, 11:59 AM
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Originally Posted by collector1231 View Post
You forgot;
-Receiver Batteries Dead
-Instant Trees
-Being too cocky.

Lol, these all have happened to me.
I've added being too cocky to my repertoire. I got an Airfield P-51 and when I was doing some low passes I forgot about the prop swing... I'm used to doing low passes with my Habu. Needless to say, I struck the prop on the ground the plane launched straight up after the motor and spinner went flying about 100 feet. It was kind of amusing. Not much damage to the plane at least!
Old 12-31-2014, 02:34 PM
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jtotten
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A suggestion that has saved me a couple of times. Be gentle on the flight controls during maiden, and after a few circuits of the field to get the trims right, Land, then go over plane thoroughly - make all the trim changes necessary, check all servo linkages for binding, or non-secured clevices, check for fuel leaks, and recheck prop for tightness (particularly wood props). recheck all hinges for tightness and /or binding.
Old 12-31-2014, 08:12 PM
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You forgot mid-airs. Those are always fun.
Old 12-31-2014, 09:59 PM
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thailazer
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Thanks all! And jtotten, that advice to be gentle on the controls is a good reminder and well taken. I normally do a bit of taxi testing and speeding up almost to rotation speed and then double check everything on the bench and then do a full overnight charge. Did move the battery forward as the CG was around 40% aft which is not good. Got it at 35% now which is a good position for this airfoil. Now time to get some gas, 2 stroke oil, and get the engine running but will have to wait until tomorrow as everything is closed for New Year's Day.

Happy New Year everyone and thanks for your additions, stories, and advice. Here are some aviation related photos to help bring in 2015.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=58ix...em-subs_digest

Last edited by thailazer; 12-31-2014 at 10:05 PM.
Old 01-01-2015, 04:34 AM
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lopflyers
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Although my last crash was due to the elevator horn being loose, I still forgets pre-flight inspection. When I get to the field im so ready to fly that i just put the wings, connect the battery and take off.
It is while Im flying that i remember i didnt check the plane.
Old 01-01-2015, 07:42 AM
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mcreeves
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Having 2.4 and FM equipment has caused me some stupid crashes from forgetting to extend antennae.
Old 01-01-2015, 11:30 AM
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One of the things that always amuses me is the things the guys find "wrong" with their plane after a crash to shift the blame away from themselves. I believe that about 99% of the time, the pilot did something stupid either before or during the flight to cause the crash and attempting to find a reason for the crash to absolve blame from themselves in that pile of splinters and shattered plastic parts is hilarious.
Old 01-01-2015, 07:11 PM
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1. dumb thumbs
2. dumb thumbs
3. dumb thumbs
4. mechanical failure - bad links, servo gear stripped (common helicopter diseases), hinges come unglued..
5. wrong settings
6. engine poorly running - dead stick at take off with vertical climb out
7. some unforeseeable technical defect - mainly radio problems
Old 01-01-2015, 07:54 PM
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It helps if you have the very latest in radio technology.
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Old 01-01-2015, 09:39 PM
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In 34 years I have had one........ mid-air, and one servo plug broke and one pin backed out of the plug it was on the batt. After that dumb thumbs has all of them for me.........and I admit it after each and every crash.
Old 01-02-2015, 04:39 AM
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thailazer
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Flew the Super Scout today and what a gentle lady this plane turned out to be. I stayed high so the plane is hard to see in this video but that 19% thick wing really allowed some slow flight. Did some stalls and you can see the pitch stability flight in the video. I am going to increase the aileron deflection to increase the roll rate but everything else is perfect with no trim adjustments needed. (Pure luck on the set up.) Dumb thumbs took over on the landing though as it hit the rough on the roll out and I broke a prop. Seems that I was flying it too far away due to its size of 100 inches being twice what I have been flying. Not bad, and in a way, I am glad as I need to check over the plane thoroughly now. Only had the one 22 inch prop so will have to wait for a new one to be shipped in from Bangkok. This is going to be a fun and well behaved plane to fly!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DKYL...ature=youtu.be
Old 01-04-2015, 02:51 AM
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Originally Posted by JollyPopper View Post
One of the things that always amuses me is the things the guys find "wrong" with their plane after a crash to shift the blame away from themselves. I believe that about 99% of the time, the pilot did something stupid either before or during the flight to cause the crash and attempting to find a reason for the crash to absolve blame from themselves in that pile of splinters and shattered plastic parts is hilarious.
I couldn't agree more!
Old 01-05-2015, 10:15 AM
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Most of my causes have been covered, including reversed ailerons. Another cause leading to pilot error is distraction. It is too cold, you got kids hanging around, worse yet - you step in a fire ant bed on the way to the flight station and do not find out about it until after take-off. Oh what fun it is.

Bedford
Old 01-05-2015, 01:39 PM
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You already realized one of these, and most others pertaining to set up and control checks have been mentioned, but some of the most common mistakes in general that I see new pilots make are:

Flying the model too far away from yourself and losing visual clues and orientation.
Flying too low because you think it will be safer and easier to see. Altitude is your friend, get three "trees" high to give yourself time to correct mistakes.
Flying directly overhead. You lose orientation when you do this. Don't do it.
Flying into the Sun.
Flying directly towards yourself. You inevitably will freeze or panic and do the wrong thing, always keep the model out in front of you and traveling at some angle that will pass you by.
Old 01-05-2015, 05:03 PM
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I just had one come to mind that was earlier in a fall day when the sun was low, I accidentally lost it against the ball of fire and crashed before I got sight of it back. Now I always fly with sun glasses (safety Glasses)
Old 01-06-2015, 01:26 AM
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i gave the controller to my 4 year old nephew and he crashed it
Old 01-06-2015, 09:30 AM
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porcia83
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Usually a combination of these two things. I think a fair amount of problems, for me at least, comes from impatience. Knowing that everything might not be 100% but trying to fly anyway. Sometimes, things go well. Other times not so much.
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