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Old 01-03-2012, 04:17 PM   #1
AEAJR
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Cool Slope Soaring - This is what you do when you thought it was too windy to fly.

You look at the wind reports and you become frustrated because it is too windy to fly. But maybe not. If you have the right geography you may find those windy days more fun than you expected. Instead of fighting the wind, you use it, like a Jedi Knight using the force.

> How Slope Soaring Works
> http://users.iafrica.com/s/st/stevemac/afc/ssoar.html

Basically you are surfing a wave of air that is created by the wind hitting a hill side. While this is normally done with gliders you can fly most parkflyer type aircraft this way too. I have sloped Aerobirds, Super Cubs, Easy Stars and even a GWS Warbird. A short burst of the motor is all you need. Then you fly without the motor. That 10 minute battery pack can keep you up for hours.



Yesterday my Easy Glider and I had some fun on the slope.


When I left the house it was about 34 degrees and wind was forecast to
hit about 19 mph. That is a little windier than I like to fly on the
flat field, so I headed for the slope.

On go the long johns, the winter flying gloves and a supply of hand warmer
packs go into the flying bag. Those warmers cnd be such a wonderful
help if you get cold but want to keep flying. I have flown at 7 degrees in
20 mph winds with a warmer pack in each glove, each boot and the pockets
of my pants. So nice and warm. Toss one in a cooler and you can keep
your spare batteries warm too.

Tossed the Radian and the old Easy Glider Electric (speed 400) in the
car along with a Zagi and a hi-start. I don't normally use a hi-start at these
temperatures but it was supposed to hit 40 and I would not need a lot of
punch at this site.

I always bring several planes when I go flying. I go to fly and the
trip to the slope site takes an hour so I bring an assortment so nothing
keeps me grounded.


When I got to the slope the wind was in the perfect direction but was
not as strong as forecast, maybe 12 mph. And it was very smooth.

At this site, the lift is on the other side of a stand of trees, as you can see in the
photo below. I am on the top of a ridge and the trees are down a hill below me,
about 100 feet away from me. I need to either hi-start, zip start or use a motor
to get to the lift zone. The speed 400 on the Easy Glider electric is pretty
weak but it is fine for slope soaring as I only need to get over those trees.

I pulled out the Easy Glider electric, gave it a burst of motor to get over the tree
line. I did not use the ballast rod I brought and it turned out that I did not need it
all day. A couple of clicks of down elevator was all I needed for these wind
conditions. If it had been gusty or bumpy I would have popped in the ballast rod.

That Speed 400 motor is pretty weak but it has enough to get the plane
out to the lift and is a great safety net if I were to get into trouble. I hate getting
planes out of trees.

First flight was 105 minutes and 2 phone calls long. Thanks goodness for hands free
head sets that let you fly and talk on the phone while you fly.

One of our club members stopped by to join me. He flies thermal but
he has never flown slope, to the best of my knowledge. Since he is a
competent thermal pilot I handed over the radio and he got his first taste
of slope soaring. The Easy Glider is not very aerobatic but for a first slope
experience, a few loops and zipping round the sky it is just fine.

At one point we had 4 hawks slope soaring with us. I have had hawks attack
my planes at this site, but today they were just enjoying the lift with no signs of
agression.

This is a large site with a big grassy area so you can just slide it in. You can land
composite and woody ships if you know how. I have had some of my 2 and 3 meter thermal
woodies here with great success. But the turbulance can be pretty strong in the landing area.

My friend wanted to see how we land on the slope so brought it down explaining the
value of foam when landing at the slope. If the turbulance grabs you ... well foam is easy
to fix. I joked about "single use foam planes". Turned out we were able to reuse this one
after the first flight.

Second flight was about 35 minutes (still on the same battery pack) and that seemed about enough. I had been
there for 3 hours and my hands were getting a little cold. Overall it had been a
a fun flying day and I got to give my buddy a taste of slope soaring.

Sorry you were not there to enjoy it.

Been slope soaring lately? Let's hear about it.


> Introduction to Slope Soaring
http://home.att.net/~charles.french/...lopeIntro.html
http://www.lisfsoar.proboards.com/in...play&thread=22

slope videos
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qp-A5...eature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sGsy8...eature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bk_sojf79z8
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Dd6f...eature=related

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Old 01-03-2012, 04:30 PM   #2
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Sounds like a lot of fun. I may try this with my Wild Hawk, may be a poor choice of plane, I may wait till it warms a bit here, Here in Wyoming wind is never a problem and I have often wanted to go up towords the mountains and let her ride. Eager to read more on this and read other stories.

By the way AEAJR I could not get the noncombat links to work. Dont know if it was me or not but...

A few moments later
Ahh fixed cool videos AEAJR

Happy flying may your crashes be limited and if they are not limited let them be cool.
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Old 01-03-2012, 05:33 PM   #3
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Been slope soaring lately? Let's hear about it.

Pretty much every Sunday

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Old 01-03-2012, 06:57 PM   #4
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Cool

Originally Posted by Fishbonez View Post
Sounds like a lot of fun. I may try this with my Wild Hawk, may be a poor choice of plane, I may wait till it warms a bit here, Here in Wyoming wind is never a problem and I have often wanted to go up towords the mountains and let her ride. Eager to read more on this and read other stories.

By the way AEAJR I could not get the noncombat links to work. Dont know if it was me or not but...

A few moments later
Ahh fixed cool videos AEAJR
Replaced those with working links that are more relevent to this forum.


Wild hawk should do fine. Pick a day when you have about 5-6 mph breeze blowing directly into a hill. Beaches are great because the open water makes for very smooth air. At 5 mph it might not keep the Wild hawk up but you will get the feel of the longer glide. See how long you can keep the motor off. Keep the plane in front of the hill and between eye level and 50 feet.

ALWAYS turn away from the hill. A figure 8 where you always turn away from the hill is best. After you have tried this at this modest wind, try it when the wind is like 10 mph. When you toss the plane over the edge, point it down at about a 25 degree angle as the wind will pick the nose up immediately and can loop it over behind you. You want that penetration that the downward angle will give you as you cross the edge of the hill.


You might like this one - RC eagle -
Slope Soaring P51 Mustangs
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aNnWHe-jPrs


slope Aerobatics - Some of those runs probably exceed 100 mph. Amazing what you can do without a motor.


So grab those parkflyers, warbirds and such. go find a hill and give it a try. You have the motor to get you out of trouble if you have a problem.

Remember the wind had to be blowing directly into the hill.


Dynamic Soaring - Don't try this with a prop on the plane, it will rip it off.
392 mph - Gliders - fastest RC models you can buy!

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Old 01-03-2012, 08:05 PM   #5
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Oh Ed - 392 was so "last year"

468 out of a Kinetic purpose built ship. I live close enough to watch, don't think any of my stuff will be going that fast anytime soon. Building a 70 oz Rodent for the big winds a'comin

http://www.rcspeeds.com/aircraftspeeds.aspx?rpt=BD

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Old 01-03-2012, 08:20 PM   #6
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I liked the 392 video better. On the 468 video you could not see the glider as it went by. I guess the shutter speed is too slow.

You just hear it and the guy calling the radar gun.

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Old 01-03-2012, 08:26 PM   #7
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Yeah, people are starting to realize how hard it is to get a good video when you need to be close and it's coming by (or AT) you fast

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Old 01-07-2012, 01:45 AM   #8
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Hey fishbonez you will love the wildhawk as a sloper.Got a flying bud who used the wildhawk to learn sloping with.It handled 10mph winds great.Anything over 15mph is a little tough on it.With its relatively large wing area it will get pushed backwards in big winds and as anyone whos sloped before knows once you get behind the ridge you loose all your lift & down she comes unless you got a big enough motor to pull you back in.

But dont let that deter you.Under 10mph is spot on for it.

Out my way we got a spot called the cajon pass.Situated in the san bernadino mountain range.On one side of the mountains is desert.On the other side of the mountains is the cooler ocean air.By the middle of springtime when the deserts heat up the hotter air draws the cooler air up & over this mountain range.Winds blow consistently every afternoon 15 to 25mph every day.Thought for a long time this had to be one of the worst places to fly rc planes.That was untill I found out about slope flying.

Heres a vid of me flying my speedo out at cajon
http://youtu.be/Br6NM8VEjvk
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Old 01-07-2012, 02:09 AM   #9
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Well that means I will have to give it a try. Cool video by the way. Definitly going to wait until this spring wind is far to cold for me to handle. I know I am woosy in the cold. I dont think I will go as high as you were. My fear of heights may take over OK so I am big woose when it comes to cold and heights LOL Definitly looks like a way to enjoy flying and enjoying the mountains. Good excuse to go camping and hiking

Happy flying may your crashes be limited and if they are not limited let them be cool.
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Old 01-07-2012, 03:29 AM   #10
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If the wild hawk has a wing tube that is straight and hollow, like the Easy Star, then you can ballast the Wild Hawk so that it can handle higher winds. When the wind comes up you add a steel rod inside the wing rod. this will make the plane heavier and it will glide faster allowing it to slope soar in higher winds.

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Old 01-07-2012, 05:43 AM   #11
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I'd love to try this, but I live in the middle of the flattest land imaginable.


It's a shame, cuz we've certainly got the wind for it.

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Old 01-07-2012, 07:01 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Fishbonez View Post
Sounds like a lot of fun. I may try this with my Wild Hawk, may be a poor choice of plane, I may wait till it warms a bit here, Here in Wyoming wind is never a problem and I have often wanted to go up towords the mountains and let her ride. Eager to read more on this and read other stories.
depending on how far you are willing to travel, and where in Wyoming, we have some great slope sites and even some good DS stuff just south of you, check out this thread: http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showt...8#post20346303

There is ALWAYS room for some levity in your brevity!
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Old 01-07-2012, 07:14 AM   #13
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I actually learnt RC flying on slope soarers first. Butser Hill in southern UK is a mecca for Slopers ... with near 360 degree capability.

I can honestly say that I miss SS ... as latvia is flat and lacking suitable slopes, ridges.

It usually comes as a surprise to some that SS can be fully aerobatic .. and also cross country. Butser hill had various dips and butts that allowed riding from one updraft to another ...

I would suggest that for many power only flyers - a few lessons on SS .. would be beneficial to show gliding and therefore enhance the powered side of their flying .. knowing that pitch can be as useful as the throttle ..

Sloping ... wonderful ... I really miss it.

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Old 01-07-2012, 01:00 PM   #14
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TOO FLAT?

You may feel your area is too flat for slope soaring but I would bet that is not true. You just don't understand enough about slope soaring to recognize a good slope spot when you see it.

When you look at the pictures and videos of cool slope sites the look like monster mountains, sweeping vistas of grassy hills and suff like that. Well, yes, those are the true heaven of slope soaring, but you don't need that much to slope soar.

I have sloped 4 foot sand dunes, large buildings, commercial excavatoins.

YOu can slope Dams, bridges, barns, large houses, rock walls, retaining walls, stockade fences, and I have even heard of people flying slope off of tractor trailers and railroad trains.

WHAT DO YOU NEED FOR SLOPE SOARING?

1) Wind
2) Blockage - something to get in the winds way

What makes it better

Open space in front of the blockage so the wind hitting the block is smooth

Height - 4 feet is enough but 400 feet is spectacular


Slope Soaring in New Mexico - a pretty flat place
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VKd8csYiM68

Slope site - Wyoming
http://www.slopeflyer.com/artman/pub...-soaring.shtml


Mcclarkson - These people are Slope Soaring in Kansas
http://www.slopeflyer.com/soaring/ka...lson-lake.html
http://midwestslopechallenge.com/
http://www.slopeflyer.com/artman/pub...index_29.shtml
http://www.audubonofkansas.org/Mount...tmitchell.html
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WsTn8Egg8_0




TOO FLAT AROUND HERE FOR SLOPE SOARING

I live on Long Island, just east of NY City. When I joined my glider club they told me that Long Island was too flat for slope soaring. Being the P in the A that I am, I did not accept that and went hunting for help. I found a guy who showed me that this was not true. Now I have 7 slope sites near my home.

Look at the photos below. These are all viable slope sites:


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ID:	156146 Hill side - about 40 feet high

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Old 01-07-2012, 01:57 PM   #15
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But ... what may look good may actually be a death trap for a sloper .. ie a sharp vertical rock face .... the air rise of it is often violent or not smooth.

Long ridges / slopes are best to smooth and have wind as a more uniform rise along a longer length.

Best slopes are those that curve up from the flat to an angle of 60 - 80 degrees - this then has smooth air. Trees at base can be a pain as they disturb the air before it hits the slope.

One of the worst is in fact a closed valley or gulley leading to a slope ... the gulley funnels the wind great IF direct on ... but any angle to wind and it can create rolling air ... where it comes over the ridge into the gulley, drops and then gets pushed up ... and can if strong get pushed over ... death to the soarer ...

Last comment on this - using seagulls, hawks, other birds as indicator of a slope is to be honest not a good idea - they've been playing this game for centuries .. millenium ... !!

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Old 01-07-2012, 02:21 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by solentlife View Post
But ... what may look good may actually be a death trap for a sloper .. ie a sharp vertical rock face .... the air rise of it is often violent or not smooth.

Long ridges / slopes are best to smooth and have wind as a more uniform rise along a longer length.

Best slopes are those that curve up from the flat to an angle of 60 - 80 degrees - this then has smooth air. Trees at base can be a pain as they disturb the air before it hits the slope.

One of the worst is in fact a closed valley or gulley leading to a slope ... the gulley funnels the wind great IF direct on ... but any angle to wind and it can create rolling air ... where it comes over the ridge into the gulley, drops and then gets pushed up ... and can if strong get pushed over ... death to the soarer ...

Last comment on this - using seagulls, hawks, other birds as indicator of a slope is to be honest not a good idea - they've been playing this game for centuries .. millenium ... !!
Let me respectfully disagree with much of what you have said.

I don't disagree with your assessment of the perfect slope site, but if I only flew those, I would not have had hundreds of hours of soaring joy. I don't believe I have any sites that you would consider suitable, but I have 7 that are lots of fun to fly.

Those verticle walls and rock faces make great slope sites, especially if there is water or a large grassy meadow in front of them.

Following birds who are slope soaring is, in my opinion, one of the BEST ways to identify a slope site. If it works for the birds it can work for you.

I say, fly what you have. Give it a try. You might fail, but you might succeed. If you don't try you are guranteed to fail. If you do try you have the opportunity to enjoy a wondeful experience.

I have sloped my house with my Parkzone Vapor!

Just a different approach to things I guess.


Always use a foam bird for your first attempts. Assume you will crash and plan your escape before you launch.

Make sure the wind is directly into the hill on your first try. It doesn't have to be raging wind. In fact if you are flying something light like an Easy Glider, 4-10 is perfect. If your winds are typically higher than that you might want to ballast the plane first.

The Weasel is also a good one for lighter conditions.



I like e-gliders for slope soaring as well as pure gliders. And I usualy start new slope pilots with e-gliders. Saves a lot of time looking for and getting gliders out of trees, water and other bad places.

I like e-glider for testing out slope sites. You have the motor to help you get out if the site turns out to be unsuitable or if you got into a bad place.

I once sloped a construction site where they had dug a BIG hole in the ground and piled up the dirt on one side. It was about 20 feet high for about 50 feet. Great lift but wild turbulance. But I used my Easy Glider electric so the motor allowed me to get out of there and find a suitable landing spot.


To repeat myself:

I say, fly what you have. Give it a try. You might fail, but you might succeed. If you don't try you are guranteed to fail. If you do try you have the opportunity to enjoy a wondeful experience.


If you avoid failure you will never find success. All success rises out of failure.

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Old 01-07-2012, 04:02 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by AEAJR View Post
TOO FLAT?

You may feel your area is too flat for slope soaring but I would bet that is not true. You just don't understand enough about slope soaring to recognize a good slope spot when you see it.

When you look at the pictures and videos of cool slope sites the look like monster mountains, sweeping vistas of grassy hills and suff like that. Well, yes, those are the true heaven of slope soaring, but you don't need that much to slope soar.

I have sloped 4 foot sand dunes, large buildings, commercial excavatoins.

YOu can slope Dams, bridges, barns, large houses, rock walls, retaining walls, stockade fences, and I have even heard of people flying slope off of tractor trailers and railroad trains.

WHAT DO YOU NEED FOR SLOPE SOARING?

1) Wind
2) Blockage - something to get in the winds way

What makes it better

Open space in front of the blockage so the wind hitting the block is smooth

Height - 4 feet is enough but 400 feet is spectacular


Slope Soaring in New Mexico - a pretty flat place

Slope site - Wyoming
http://www.slopeflyer.com/artman/pub...-soaring.shtml
This looks very promising for guy like myself. I cant wait to give it a try hopefully this spring or summer.

This thread is very interesting read.

Happy flying may your crashes be limited and if they are not limited let them be cool.
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Old 01-07-2012, 07:28 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by AEAJR View Post
Let me respectfully disagree with much of what you have said....................
No prob ... I never said you couldn't soar on small ridges etc. I was commenting on what is good and commenting on what can be bad.

I shall now hide my Slope Soaring Trophies from those far of UK days when I sloped as often as I could keep my radio charged !

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Old 01-07-2012, 09:15 PM   #19
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I'll keep looking, AEAJR, but so far I haven't found any place where I can slope my Radian. Even tiny little hills and slopes are almost non-existent around here. Somewhere, there's probably a barn that would work, if I could get permission to fly on the property.

I'm sure if you were down here we could drive around for an afternoon and you'd pick out a spot for me, but so far I've drawn nothing but blanks.

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Old 01-08-2012, 01:00 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by mclarkson View Post
I'll keep looking, AEAJR, but so far I haven't found any place where I can slope my Radian. Even tiny little hills and slopes are almost non-existent around here. Somewhere, there's probably a barn that would work, if I could get permission to fly on the property.

I'm sure if you were down here we could drive around for an afternoon and you'd pick out a spot for me, but so far I've drawn nothing but blanks.
I had hoped that one of those videos might be near you.

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Old 01-08-2012, 01:33 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by Fishbonez View Post
Well that means I will have to give it a try. Cool video by the way. Definitly going to wait until this spring wind is far to cold for me to handle. I know I am woosy in the cold. I dont think I will go as high as you were. My fear of heights may take over OK so I am big woose when it comes to cold and heights LOL Definitly looks like a way to enjoy flying and enjoying the mountains. Good excuse to go camping and hiking
Are you kidding me this is southern california....we dont go anywhere are cars cant get to,hehe
My cars less than a 100 feet behind me and thats not a sheer cliff Im standing on.It can be walked down and back up if need be.Just ask a couple of my friends who had to retreive their planes
Yes while the lift out here is phenominal unfortunately the landing area is just the opposite.Just a small clearing maybe 30 feet in diameter with lots of rocks & shrub around the edges which makes it impossible if you wanted to slope a nice 4meter plane
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Old 01-08-2012, 02:20 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by AEAJR View Post
I had hoped that one of those videos might be near you.
Sadly, between 150 and 170 miles away. Something I could do occasionally, but not somewhere I could just head out to on a windy day, spur of the moment style.

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Old 01-08-2012, 03:32 AM   #23
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Went slope soaring today. I flew an Easy Glider Electric and my friend flew his Radian. 5 hours of fun!

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Old 01-13-2012, 02:21 AM   #24
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Yeah, I'm in the same position. I could get slope lift off the dunes next to the Atlantic Ocean, but I know from experience the mischief salt air plays with radio equipment. Otherwise I live on a billiard table. I have heard that over by Orlando they have a couple of slope flying spots though, and it sure looks like a lot of fun!
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Old 01-14-2012, 11:34 AM   #25
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I have not had too much problem with my radios near the ocean. Keep them out of the sand and salt spary and tey seem to be fine.

I did drop my Zagi wing into the Long Island Sound one time. I got it out of the water, brought it back to the car, and cut it open so I could get to the electronics. I poured two bottles of fresh water over everything.

I pulled everything out, cleaned it out with fresh water. I took the cover off the receiver and flushed it with water, then alcohol.

Only loss was the receiver battery. Salt water shorts the battery out so that had to go, but every thing else was fine. I let it all air dry for two days. Then I tested and put it all back. Still flying 5 years later.

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