Lessons Learned, Instructors, and Fun

  • Lessons from a recent crash outside our boundary
  • Instructors needed for Training Tuesdays
  • Our rules, Simplified
  • Mount Rainier club summer events

New (or old?) Lessons Learned:

Outfits like the military and airlines strive for a modern safety culture. One that is NOT punitive, so that lessons can be shared, for obvious benefit. I'm sharing this with the blessing of the pilot who had a recent accident.

Being in a public park, we cannot stand having planes crash outside our boundaries. This is why we strongly emphasize the need to use FAIL SAFE and conduct RANGE CHECKS to prevent an accident due to loss of signal.

But loss of control can occur other ways too, like being badly out of trim. Last week one of our members was conducting a first flight after repairs. Immediately after takeoff, the airplane was strongly out of trim, turning to the north -- the bad direction. The pilot fought it for as long as he could but then, realizing that it had gotten too far, chopped the throttle and let it crash. It landed near the next parking lot to the west of ours.

After discussing with the pilot, here are some take-away lessons:

First, Prevention:

  1. Make trimming easy:
    1. Have another pilot near to make the trim changes.
    2. Change how much the surfaces move for each click of the trim switches. Most radios have this feature. Double the normal amount for a first flight, making it twice as easy to get into trim. You can change it back later for fine tuning. This can take some stress out of a first flight.
    3. Make sure you have full trim available in both directions prior to the flight. If the plane is out of trim, you want all you can get.
  2. Finally, treat any flight after repairs as a first (maiden) flight. Check for wings without twist and control surfaces in their correct neutral positions. Get another pilot to look things over. Of course, you should also check the operation of Fail Safe and do a thorough Range Check.

Losing Control for Any Reason

  1. Prepare yourself to decide what to if you are losing control and the plane is headedout of bounds. You'll be preoccupied with controlling the plane, but you must also think. If your plane is headed outside the boundaries, you must rapidly assess whether to make the sacrifice and cut the power before the plane gets too far.
  2. If you are just disoriented, try rolling a little left and right. This often unscrambles your brain.
  3. If you can't get it back, do this: A trainer will glide at a gentle speed with the power off, controls neutral with a bit of up-elevator. Maybe a little rudder or aileron to make a turn back toward you. If not a trainer, command full up-elevator, full aileron and rudder, and cut the throttle. This will stop the plane going further and put it into a spin or a sideslip depending on whether aileron and rudder are put in the same or opposite directions. Either one increases drag and slows the plane to reduce damage on the ground.

Training Tuesdays Have Begun!

New signup tools are ready. One for instructors and one for students: mar-c.org. Look on the right side of the page.

We've already had two Tuesday training evenings. Turnout has been good, so we need more instructors to sign up.

If you want to be a student, just show up on Tuesdays at 5:00! It helps us if you sign up as well, but doing so is not required.

About all those Pesky Rules:

We are awash in rules. But they're easy to follow if you can remember 5 things. All our rules fall into at least one of these categories:

  • Membership and registrations
  • Proficient Pilots
  • Safe Aircraft
  • Protecting People
  • Courtesy

Finally, for some Added Fun

The Mount Rainier RC Society (MRRCS) has two big events this summer that would be great fun to attend as observer or participant:

June 25 Summer Electric Jet Rally

July 23 Warbirds Over the Mountain