This past Friday evening I took my wife to the park to show her how my cub looks to fly at night. There was a pretty stiff breeze, but not anything worse than what I’ve flown in before, so we went out into the field and I took off. I did a few low passes, eliciting several Ohhhhhs and Ahhhhhs from my wife, then I took it to the far side of the field and turned it back towards us. The wind was stiff enough that it appeared to just hover there over the edge of the field, maybe 50′ off the ground. Then, suddenly, it nosed over and went into a perfectly vertical dive straight down, ignoring all my control inputs on my transmitter.
A cub makes a pretty sickening crunch when it augers in. 🙁
I don’t have a definitive answer about what caused the crash, and likely never will. All the control linkages survived the crash and still work just fine, and the radio transmitter has good batteries in it, and the receiver and other electronics on the plane still work fine. At this point all I can think of is radio interference – which occasionally happens for a second or 2, but not for long enough to bring a plane down like this.
Here are some pictures of the carnage:
Saturday night I spent a few hours deciding if it would fly again. Turns out, with enough epoxy it looks like it will:
Dude, get that thing glued back together and get back in the air! That’s an order!
Seriously, though, I have seen interference like that in the past, but not usually for such a long duration as to cause that kind of carnage. Also, the motor usually turns off during an interference event, if my memory serves. If you’re flying in winds so strong that you can’t make forward progress, that’s probably too much wind. 🙂
Yup – it’s all put together again (see the bottom pictures of this post – those show the successful result of the surgery) and It has flown again.
The prop that I have on there now is WAY too big though – I think it’s a 12×6 or something massive. It was the only extra prop I had in my box the night I made the repairs, and the motor has a hard time spinning it. But, I did take it out for a short flight the night after I repaired it – it flies great!
Time to order a few more props for it.