The flying monkeys got me...

Helis and fixed wing

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AMA Intro Pilot Instructor

Friday, July 6, 2012

The Cost of My Education

Paul Verger once lost a beautiful giant sized plane that disintegrated in flight when a wing folded on him. It came down as confetti for several minutes. I was new to the hobby, and to me this was one of the most spectacular ends to a flight I had ever seen. I was speaking with him later as to me he seemed entirely non-plussed. He said something that has stuck with me throughout the high cost of my education in RC flight. He told me,"If you don't want to crash, don't fly."
Anyone in the sport will tell you that there comes a point where you just have to let go and fly. You have to let go of the fear of a crash, any thought to the hours that will be spent putting the aircraft back into flying condition, and that a once pristine, unblemished aircraft is no longer virginal. A corollary to this is, "Don't fall in love with an airplane, it will break your heart." And it does, not just for damaging something you've worked hard on, but to know that a split second decision was often the mistake that changed it all.
Flying RC is incredibly rewarding. Like in golf there are those moments you are about to give it up and you make that one sweet, perfect swing that brings you back to the fold. RC flight has its challenges. When you get them right, they make you fall in love with the hobby all over again. For me, the biggest challenge has been learning to fly helis, and recently I had that crossing over event when I just decided to start flying, and it all came together. Since then I have had several excellent flights, but every now and then, I shank one. I have learned not to let those mistakes spoil it for me, and chalk it up as the cost of my education. I bet this has been true for most of us. This is why I strongly recommend learning to fly with a flight sim, and putting these skills out in the field using a good quality clone. You will fly. You will crash. You will get very good at repairs. And you will fly again! And in time, you will crash less, and for more complicated reasons. And it is all worth it!
Today I took Frankenheli up, and flew a couple of packs. That vibration came back; I think its the cheap FBL head I have, that I couldn't get apart and grease. I know I shouldn't fly it this way, but what the hell... I already have a good Tarot head coming to replace it, but I wanted to do some light flying. Got into a low nose in hover and the vibration kicked up, and she dipped in roll and struck a blade. Saw it coming, hit hold. Only damage was the tail boom bent. No big deal.
I noticed in preflight that the Erazor's tail servo stopped working, and I didn't want to field fix it. Got it back to the hotel, and it was just a loose connection to the gyro. A little nervous about flying with the wood blades, the only ones the local hobby shop had, especially since I had to remove the lower plastic hub fairing to get them to fit. But for my pattern flight it should be fine. Looking forward to flying her tomorrow!
Up here in Meridian for a couple more days. When I get back I should have received all the parts to complete the FBL on the HK500cmt, and to move the parts on the Erazor over to a new EXI 450 Sport from Ant the Tarot FBL head will go on Franky whan I rebuild his tail. Psych!

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