The flying monkeys got me...

Helis and fixed wing

AMA 957918
IRCHA 4345
AMA Intro Pilot Instructor

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Last Flights of the Pulse #3

After two great days of flying I felt I had my flying fingers back. Today something was off... I kept telling Aidan (my eldest son, new pilot) that I was screwing up my right/left orientation in odd flight orientations, and a couple of times I had to make quick saves. I flew the first battery otherwise fine, but on the final landing approach, I deployed the spoilers and underestimated the loss of airspeed and lift. Despite adding power she was mushy and landed short and hard, ripping off the landing gear, tossing the fixed canopy (its glued on, it doesn't come off), and poking holes in the wing and bottom of the fuse. I've done this before, easy fixes in the pits. The second flight was similar, making stupid orientation mistakes, then on landing I made the same mistake in a less forgiving place, the perfect storm.

The spoilers were certainly reducing lift, but they were also increasing drag and making control movements sluggish. I had mastered them last time I flew, but today was flying behind the aircraft. As my Marine pilots would say, "We're on takeoff roll and he's still in the parking lot getting out of the car...".  I came in over the trees on the south end, always gnarlier on approach, and she started to waffle. Power... she stalled rolling right, I tried to correct, but rolled her more right with dumb thumbs and she rolled quickly right into the last tree before the field and fell into the woods with a whack...

First run up before first take-off.

Out to the center... and off!

Landed short on the other side of the road...

Scene of the resting spot after the slide following the crash. It was actually pretty cool...

Surprisingly not destroyed. The wheel pant punched a hole in the wing as the landing gear were ripped off the plane, the wheel pants off the landing gear. 

On the bench, discovered a few other problems. Had to repair a wing rib under the hole the wheel pant drilled. Used super cement to put the landing gear back on (its probably why the wheels didn't fall off in the second crash, but the fuse ripped in half). Aidan put the wheel pants back on.  Used "field cote" (packing tape) to repair the holes. 

Everything back to normal! Electronics all good.

Field repairs look good.

And we are off for the second, final flight. Flew fine, whipped it around a bit. Wind shifted to require a southern approach over the woods. I didn't make it.

Aidan in the woods immediately off the south end (The Woods of Mordor). Nature all over him. The plane wasn't more than 10 feet in, but it was thick. He was a good egg going in for my plane, my being in shorts and flip-flops...

The carnage did not look so bad at first...

Aidan said, "This man did this...".

Yes... yes I did.

Aidan conducting the autopsy. He removed all the hardware, all of it was fine. Battery was not "crashed".

It became obvious that the cote was holding the forward fuse together. This is really not repairable.

Wing is twisted. I have always considered the wing the heart of the airplane, and breaking it up to put it in the trash was heartrending.

Her ignominious end, the bottom of a MCRCC trashcan, stripped of her hardware... sniff.

I have received funding authority to purchase a new Pulse 25XT airframe! Ordered and shipping tomorrow! This, I am embarrassed to admit, will be number 4, in 7 years.

Not being a fool, I decided not to maiden the Sbach. It not being Kenny's airplane, he cajoled me into flying it anyway... Next post!

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