The flying monkeys got me...

Helis and fixed wing

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Friday, April 14, 2017

I fly, I cry...

So... I reset the accident clock. But its not so bad. Sure, a foamie bit the dust, but, I don't like foamies so no tears shed. Though I sort of liked this one... More on that in a moment.

I got out on a beautiful though gusty day, flying today out of Southern New Hampshire Radio Control Club, on the top of the Trash Mountain in Hudson. Its always windy up here. Today was no exception.  I met Ed van der Veen as he was finishing up seeding the field. Nice to meet him!

Pretty windy day, but more than not, straight down the runway.

Brought out the Stik. Ran great, until she didn't.

Brought out the Hobby King foamie Sbach. Flew lousy, right to the scene of the crash. I knew it was too windy for her, but really didn't care. I don't know why, but I knew there was a risk and decided to give it a shot. I had no doubt the Stik cluld handle it, and she did,  but the foamie I wasn't so sure.

All set!

Beautiful up here on the top of the hill!

The top is curved, so, the runway is too.

Looking over the field to the dump that we have to drive through to get to the top of the hill. 
You can see how steep the access road is.

She flew fine in the wind, with the stabilization system taking out the wind buffeting.
Before her last flight of three, she stopped in idle twice when I moved her from the table to the runway. 

So it was no surprise when about 5 minutes into the flight the engine quit on a downwind, and I had to dead stick her into that heavy wind. She came down fast and I lost sight of her as she dipped below the curve of the dome, and I had to land her sight unseen. She landed without a scratch.

Looking good!

But when I went to restart her, she wouldn't, and on the third try this happened. I have no idea where the prop nut went. I am sure the engine turned over a couple of times, but then the prop came off. I can't find the prop nut anywhere. I think the "pops" I heard was backfire, but this suggests the spark was working? See below.

So I flew the foamie Sbach. I had flown her fine last fall, and she flew perfectly. I rather enjoyed it I always do a control check before every flight, and everything was curiously backward. Every one of the inputs. I reversed them and they were fine on inspection. I took off, she was a bit erratic, attributed it to the wind, clicked on the stabilizer and all hell broke loose. Turned if off, and it was still all I could do to land her as her inputs were erratic, over reactive despite low D/R. I brought her to the bench and the inputs were fine, so I checked the stabilizer settings and the ailerons and elevator were backwards, but the rudder was fine.  Was this because I changed the direction of the controls? If so, why didn't the rudder change? I set them correctly, and then again, had to change the control inputs! But this time, the stabilizer system responded correctly. Took off fine, but started to get erratic, turned on the stabilizer, and it didn't change anything, turned it off, and tried to land. She got blown over to the runway behind me, so I tried to land her quickly, but she dived then porpoised up and belly flopped hard, tearing off the gear, which essentially ripped the bottom and front of the plane off. I am amused that I really don't care that she is busted up. I suspect it was too windy for her. Not sure what the control reversals were all about...

I put the 4 blade prop on the Stik because I could, took her out to the garage to see if she would run. No joy, no start. Took her back to the bench, pulled the plug, no spark.  Its never the spark plug, but I tried another spark plug and no spark; put the original back. While its never the Hall sensor, it was the cheapest thing to replace next if it was, so I swapped it out, and still no spark. It has to be the ignition that failed. The $70 ignition. This RCGF one isn't old, and it isn't cheap. It must have failed in flight leading to the dead Stik landing (see what I did there?).

I wonder if the plug connector is the same size on all of these ignitions, or do I have to by the 10cc RCGF one? 

Dropped the ignition. Can't believe its the ignition... I ordered a new one. Of course HobbyKing has them for $42, but they are out of stock, and the only other place I could find one is RCGF-USA for $70. I should have put a date on it, not sure how old it is, but when the new one comes I will. I really hope this is the problem.

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