The flying monkeys got me...

Helis and fixed wing

AMA 957918
IRCHA 4345
AMA Intro Pilot Instructor

Sunday, November 7, 2010

"Trying is the first step towards failure!"

OH, YEAH, BABY, Homer Simpson was right!

Frustrated with helos that just aren't flying right out of the box, I took my CB180D, the one with the least issues, out to a large field. I just couldn't deal with trying to hover in the breeze within the confines of my yard, and wanted to let the bird run and see how I could do. I really felt like I was ready to fly.  I needed to see I could control the bird, and to get over my fear of failing, I mean, flying.

And boy, did I!  The soccer field was large, no one around. The wind was calm according to my wind vane, but with intermittent quick brisk gusts. I was going to fly, damn it.  During a calm I took off, and I had excellent control in hover, and then in flight. I let her run high and fast, great turns, tail flips, pirouettes, dive and recover! Gusts would take it on occasion, but I was on fire! Fly, baby, fly!  Giving up the fear of running into things in a narrow confine made a difference. I got skills, man!

Coming back in near the end of a run I turned left to bring her back, flying from right to left then making a left hand turn to final. A gust coming from the right caught her in the descending turn, and before I knew what happened she went to ground in a big hurry... Rotor blades went flying, knocked a ball off the training gear. "OH! The humanity!"

The pics show the damage. Looks like the rotor shaft is still unbent, but I'll find out.  I knew it was bad, but I was grinning from ear to ear!  These past lessons trying to trim and fix my aircraft had taught me I can fix it, and the parts are cheap. I also had learned my time on the sim paid off: I was flying patterns I had practiced on the Clearview and FMS and I had complete control, right up until I didn't. R/C FLIGHT SIM TIME WORKS!

So, the CB180D is grounded big time, the boys at Helidirect will get more of my money, I flew in conditions I knew I shouldn't and paid for it, I get to figure out how to get the rotor head off, and I couldn't be happier!!! I am no longer afraid of failure! I'm free!  I'm free!

UPDATE: Unfortunately Helidirect was out of stock of most of the parts I needed, so ended up ordering them from xheli. The rotor shaft is good. The main drive gear has a flat spot. Getting the rotor head off was a cinch. Pulled the pin (it was loose after the crash) at the linkage guide, disconnect linkages and remove the blade grips, then the whole thing lifted right off.  Not sure yet how to get to the main gear...

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