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Ribcracker
12-22-2005, 01:26 AM
I posted this over a year ago on RCU so some of you may have already seen it...
This past Sunday I was flying my SlowStick in the field next door when it caught a thermal and rapidly began to rise. I thought "Great, free ride" so I cut the motor and watched as it climbed even higher. My neck was sore from looking straight up so I laid down in the grass on my back and flew lazy glider-type circles. Pretty soon the plane was higher than it's ever been and I could no longer determine the orientation of the tiny speck. I leapt to my feet in alarm and pushed the stick forward to make it dive. Nothing...it was out of radio range. And then I lost sight of it. I scanned the sky for what seemed like half an hour. Nothing...the reality that I had lost the plane began to sink in. I panicked and then tried to calm myself by reading the wind and trying to envision where it might end up. It should land directly west but how far? I got into the car and drove west searching the sky and the fields on both sides of the road. No luck. I went back and got Chris and we canvassed hill and dale and drove the back roads for about a mile to the west. Nothing...so I made up flyers, put them in mail boxes, and affixed signs to stop sign posts.
This plane carried about $250 worth of equipment on board so that was one aspect of my grief but I'm used to losing money (stock market?), moreover, I had become very fond of this plane as we had spent a lot of time together (upwards of 200 flights, surely). I felt a deep sense of loss and sorrow. That night I had fitful sleep with frustrating dreams of fighting the controls to get my plane back. By morning I was starting to let go and accept the loss.
When I got home from work on Monday there was a message on my answering machine. A man had found my plane. It was in the top of a tree in his yard...a mile and a half from here! As fate would have it, the section of the tail with my name and phone number on it had torn away from the plane and landed in his yard. He had not seen my " wanted" posters because we didn't disperse them that far.
Anyway...an extention ladder and some dicy tree climbing had my plane back in my hands. The damage was pretty extensive but I was able to salvage most of the electronics and I had some replacement parts left over from an earlier model that I had crashed to death. This morning the plane is almost completely rebuilt. I should be able to fly it tomorrow. I'll be watching it very closely. You can bet.
Peace,
Bud

qban_flyer
12-22-2005, 01:36 AM
Lucky fellow. My ACE High glider is still out there somewhere after being taken over by a voracious thermal.:p

777
12-22-2005, 10:00 PM
Happy ending!

What kind of TX & RX were you using that it was out of range?

Brad

Ribcracker
12-24-2005, 03:17 AM
Brad,
The radio I was using at that time was the AM version of the Hitec Focus with the Hobbico brand name stamped on it. It was advertised as having a 900 ft. range. I honestly don't know if a person can see an RC plane @ 900 ft. but I would think that you could. I suppose it's possible that the plane was responding to inputs but when you can no longer see it...well, I guess that's that.
Peace,
Bud

losi24
12-24-2005, 07:21 AM
man, these thermals sound pretty wicked! i have yet to catch one with my slow stick or any of my neighbors slow sticks. even in the summer time flying about 50 feet in the air. im glad that you got it back and it didn't hurt someone(but your heart)

777
12-25-2005, 08:08 PM
Brad,
The radio I was using at that time was the AM version of the Hitec Focus with the Hobbico brand name stamped on it. It was advertised as having a 900 ft. range. I honestly don't know if a person can see an RC plane @ 900 ft. but I would think that you could. I suppose it's possible that the plane was responding to inputs but when you can no longer see it...well, I guess that's that.
Peace,
Bud

I have the same Hitec radio ('cept mine isn't re-badged) on my Unicorn. There have been times when I try to fly it a long way away from me (not high, just far away) & it gets a little glitchy and weird. It's a little hard to tell what's going on at that point because it's so far away. At first I thought it was just my inability to see that far, but I heard the brushless motor's rpm's going up and down & I realized that something wasn't right.

Brad