The flying monkeys got me...

Helis and fixed wing

AMA 957918
IRCHA 4345
AMA Intro Pilot Instructor

Saturday, July 30, 2016

That would be... about exactly 1-to-1

"What is your flight to crash ratio?"

"Right now? A solid 1-to-1".

I first checked out the field near me, Joppa Hill fields, that place that rips my landing gear off every single time, and there were people laying down chalk lines. I wanted to just fly, not have a lot of people watching, just fly, so was hoping no one would be there. So I drove out to Hudson with the plan to maiden the Stik and the newly repaired Trex 600E. When I got there it turned out to be Dump day, which means no flying until noon. Apparently it also means not driving up to the field to wait an hour either, according to Moose who manned the gate. So I turned around and drove to Merrimack. I was rather surprised to see no one was there flying. I unlocked the gate, and a family parked at the edge of the road asked if they could watch me fly.

It was odd gusty, but nothing significant. I took the Eflite Cub 450 out, tossed in a 3S and flew her around to their amusement. I showed the young girl the plane and let her hold it. I put another battery in and took her up again. The winds aloft were brisk and I almost hovered her, and on the downwind she did 100 mph. I turned over the trees at the south end and she got hung up in the wind, and the battery timer started sounding off.

"Wow, its frozen in the air!", I heard the girl exclaim excitedly. And it was, just hovering there, full throttle into the wind. But I was trying to make headway. Then the wind dropped and so did the cub, her battery drained and the low voltage cut out kicked in. She dropped right into the trees. She made it all the way to the ground, and broke her left wing off clean, and the prop in half.

But WAIT! There's more!

I told them I was calling it a day, and they left thankful, the dad saying he would be back, he had been thinking of joining. I suspect they were there hoping someone would show up and fly, but they got me. But I still wanted to fly. I wanted to at least hover the Trex 600E to see if the gyro would hold and check out her settings.

And that's when another family drove up (where the hell were you guys?). Their son Jacob would be joining and they came by hoping to meet some of the members.

I was already on the runway, had her spinning, checking out the match of the blades and making a few changes. Got her tuned up, and decided it was time to hover. She came up sweet, and the gyro held. I took her up and the blade paths were spot on, one disk. I decided to fly and took her up and about, flying a simple circuits, and the gyro held her heading perfectly. I brought her back in and started to turn in about 3 feet high when I noticed that the elevator was getting sluggish, and she started to pitch nose up despite down elevator. I hit HOLD and set her down, nose high and tilting left. She stopped and the blades didn't strike anything, in a cloud of dust. I checked her out and the only thing seemingly amiss was the elevator snap link had separated from the control arm. This was the same thing that brought her down a couple of years ago.  This and the fracturing of the boom stays was all the damage externally.

When I got home I found out that the boom was a sort of bent, curiously it was stove in on itself and had accordion-ed at the power-takeoff end, and the front torque tube gear had stripped. I took it apart and the torque tube was ever so slightly bent. They would need to be replaced

Parts are ordered. I fixed the elevator snap link such that it will never come apart again.  I noticed that parts for the 600e are hard to find, hoping that the EFL parts will fit, as I suspect they will.



You can see the slight bend in the torque tube, and the curious "stove in" accordion like bending of the boom.



Awaiting parts. Easy fix ahead. Had a new boom on hand, but ordered a torque tube, stays and the front torque tube gear set.




This is how clean the wing broke. I drilled two holes in the wing joiner on both sides of the gap. I used dowel wood to act in its place. Epoxied with 15 min Epoxy and she was as good as new.




New prop on.



And back where she sleeps.


I am coming to terms with my continued ineptitude. Knowing that there is always a third, I wisely packed up for the day and didn't maiden the Stik.



I have been looking for something that I can throw around, a helium-bird, like the Veloxity but not, low cost. I found this Edge 540 from Hobby King   (Videos). I have a 10 sized electric motor, new 9g digital servos, a 40A ESC, everything I need to fly this 3S with about 300W of power. Can't wait.

I am confident that between this bird and the Stik I will get my mojo back. I am counting on it.

Oh. And just after the heli went down the Dad asked me what my flight to crash ratio was. 

"Right now? A solid 1-to-1".

(Shamefully resets Crash Clock...)

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