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Tell us about your most embarrassing stories from the field...

...(and especially ones NOT related to the actual flying)

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The Wright Stuff12/05/2017 13:04:19
1383 forum posts
226 photos

Since it's a Friday afternoon, I thought I'd post something fun and hopefully non-controversial.

I have been rather out of touch with model flying for the last year, following the birth of our daughter. There was just no opportunity to get down to the patch whatsoever, and in fairness to SWMBO, it would have been selfish to try too hard! In the spirit of being determined to find time, now that the evenings are lighter, I decided that late evening, after the mite was in bed, might be the best opportunity.

I usually bath the baby each evening, and change into my pyjamas beforehand to avoid getting my work clothes wet with the inevitable splashing. Since the weather was nice, at about 7pm, baby asleep, I looked out of the window to see it was dead calm and still bright, and spontaneously decided that rather than collapse into the sofa for some quick telly with the missus ahead of a 9pm bedtime, I would make an effort to actually get out and get some stick time in. Permission was sought and granted, I hasten to add!

So hack in hand, I headed down to the field, and finding myself alone there, managed to get 5 quick flights in. Amazed that I could still remember how to fly after a year off, and after a tentative first flight just doing circuits, with my back to the low sun, I managed to throw it around a fair bit on the later flights. The sun set with a beautiful red hue reflecting from the model during the turns, and then the full moon rose. Of course, challenging myself to fly across the face of the moon was good fun. Eventually, it got too dark to see - the final flight was cut down to a single circuit when I discovered I couldn't actually see it well enough to fly.

So all in all, a very enjoyable evening, taking in some very rare me-time and rediscovering a passion for model flying. In general I love flying in the evening: often the wind drops and it becomes eerily calm. Once the darkness had descended, I discovered that early May evenings can still be very chilly indeed...

...especially when I suddenly realised I was wearing my pyjamas!!!

Have a good weekend, everyone!

onetenor12/05/2017 14:55:01
1900 forum posts

Good job you weren't arrested He ! He !

Geoff Sleath12/05/2017 16:44:26
3297 forum posts
251 photos

I'd certainly be arrested if I was down the field wearing what I normally sleep in! Or not wearing blush

My most embarrassing experience was when I was getting accustomed to my Taranis after years of flying with a Multiplex 3030 transmitter. I'd set up my Acrowot FoamE with Frsky receiver and it was flying OK except it needed a bit of elevator back trim. Unfortunately through lack of familiarity instead of the trim button I caught the switch and turned the transmitter off! I'd been a good boy and set the fail safe but, of course, that was with too much elevator down trim with the inevitable result as I wasn't high enough to give the transmitter time to reboot!

I felt rather foolish to say the least.


cymaz12/05/2017 17:15:25
8577 forum posts
1160 photos


Excellent story. Last Sunday SWMBO was off to work as usual but was followed by 2 lost dogs. In a panic she came back and I had to drive her to work in my PJ's.....and she told her work colleagues blush...( good job it wasn't a very hot night......ahem)

Not a field tale, I know. But I did go Flying no later in the morning.

Edited By cymaz on 12/05/2017 17:16:21

Edited By cymaz on 12/05/2017 17:17:12

Cuban812/05/2017 17:16:37
2638 forum posts
12 photos

Two hour drive to a slope soaring site..............thirty minute climb with a model up a very steep and icy incline..............slipped whilst negotiating a stile...............falls on model, crushing it spare model!angry

Glyn4412/05/2017 18:08:13
698 forum posts
92 photos

30 odd years ago I built a Keil Craft rubber powered, tissue covered , free flight model, I think it was my first build. On completion, one Sunday morning, I drove to Bradgate Park, where there was a hill used as a flying site. There was no one there. I explained to my two young children that I had to do an unpowered test flight to check out the trim/balance. I gently hand launched my pride and joy down the bracken covered slope. Looked ok. Alas my brainless springer spaniel saw it, chashed after it, and pounced on it. 10,000 pieces!

25 years before I built another model. Kids thought it hilarious of course.

David Davis12/05/2017 18:19:34
3368 forum posts
591 photos

I seem to have some affinity with trees.

Years ago I had a similar experience to Geoff's with a Sanwa Conquest radio.The on-off switch is in the middle of the transmitter on these. I was flying a Detroit Custom Cruiser powered by an OS40 Surpass. I was coming into land when I realised I was a bit too high. The throttle stick was back against the stop so I reached for the trim and switched off the transmitter. There were other models in the air at the time so the receiver was picking up all sorts of spurious signals, the model went mad and crashed into the top of a tree. I had to hire a tree surgeon to climb up the tree and retrieve the model!

Sometime later I was teaching my girlfriend Sam how to fly. She was ok on a Radio Queen and a buddy box but neither of us had very good depth perception. She flew it into a tree and I had to get the tree surgeon out again to rescue it! My fault of course.

The final tree episode involved my Flair Hooligan which was powered by an Irvine 46. I hit the top of the same tree that Sam had hit with the Radio Queen and just as I thought, "Here we go again!" I pushed the throttle stick forward and mirabile dictu, the engine was still running! I brought the model into a good landing trailing foliage. Wish I'd never sold that model now. I haven't hit a tree for many years. I think I've had my allowance.

Picture of the offending models and foliage below!

Kim Taylor12/05/2017 18:46:56
274 forum posts
53 photos
Posted by Glyn44 on 12/05/2017 18:08:13:

Alas my brainless springer spaniel saw it, chashed after it, and pounced on it. 10,000 pieces!

In a similar vein, I returned from the flying field a couple of weeks ago, having had a bit of an 'oopsie' with my 'lectric WOT4XL, dislodging a couple of bulkheads when the lipo broke free on a (very) heavy landing (OK, it was a crash, really). Luckily the wing was completely undamaged - until I got home and our boxer dog saw the open tailgate of the car and thought it was time to go out. She jumped in and put her front paws straight through the wing!!

Bless herangry

Oh how I laughed!!

All fixed now, just hoping the weather allows me to get out this weekend.


Mike Etheridge 114/05/2017 09:55:24
1509 forum posts
408 photos

My parents-in-law had a Boxer dog,the daftess but funniest creature I have ever met. It slept through a house break in but barked at the Police. It chewed and swallowed some Christmas presents including some perfume and threw up one year. The first year I met the dog I gave it a rawhide bone for Christmas. It spent all morning chewing and playing with the bone until my mother-in-law announced that the Turkey was ready and asked that it be removed from the oven. The Boxer took one look at the Turkey and being very possessive swallowed the rawhide bone which lodged in it's throat. Christmas dinner was promptly cancelled as we took Archie the Boxer to the vets where he was 'put under' to have the bone removed. That cost £50, Archie was returned to the Household later and spent the rest of Christmas day and most of Boxing day snoring in the Living Room.

Erfolg14/05/2017 21:14:38
11313 forum posts
1121 photos

Many years ago, my eldest daughter was asked, do you believe in farther Christmas? Oh yes. was the reply. Why asked the questioner. Because my daddy is to mean to buy all these lovely presents.

On another occasion my eldest daughter was in tears, with a few other children. She was asked why she was so upset. Its because daddy has said Christmas is cancelled, as farther Christmas and Rudolph have been killed on the M6. I said it was the M60. So very near, yet could have been on another planet. It was a joke. Kids have no sense of humour.

Hamish14/05/2017 21:37:07
642 forum posts
47 photos

I had an early Spektrum DX6 with the single AA batteries which failed to contact resulting in my Nebula glider doing a perfect flight of about a mile and landing on a barn roof with no damage done. Replaced battery pack with NiMi soldered in. Although annoyed I was delighted that the model was in perfect trim and flew on its own, never managed that with power models as they just want to dive to terafirma.

Like previous posters I have mistaken the on/off switch for down trim and switched off. Why do Tx manufactures not make the on/off a horizontal action?

Braddock, VC14/05/2017 23:13:08
1626 forum posts
76 photos

When my kids were younger, I used to take them to the field as they liked to swing on the gate(!) We had some steers in the field so an electric fence was in place around the strip.

Kids walked out with me to help me take down the fence but for some reason beyond the ken of man I grabbed the wire instead of switching off the capacitor. I think I did all the B test manoeuvres before my feet touched the ground.

Naturally my kids thought I'd done it for them and were hysterical, so were a couple of clubmates watching from the sidelines.

Peter Christy14/05/2017 23:40:21
1517 forum posts

Like Geoff, I've also managed to switch off a Taranis whilst fumbling for the elevator trim - much to the detriment of the model - and really, I should have known better as I accidentally switched off a transmitter at an inopportune moment many years ago.....

I had just finished test flying my new - and first "modern" - helicopter. I offered to let the club expert (Hi, Dave!) have a go on it, and in unhooking the neck-strap, I must have inadvertently caught the power switch! Now this was an FM PPM set, and in the absence of any meaningful signal, the servos would twitch erratically. The throttle twitched wide open, and the model leapt off the ground and headed straight for me! I started running, but the thing locked on to me like a heat seeking missile, and followed me around the field! Realising that it was gaining on me, I threw myself forward, and it hit me right where I keep my brains!

Now luckily, it was mid winter, I was wearing ski trousers on top of my jeans, and a thick poachers jacket on top of that! The blades were only wood, but the thwack to my posterior was certainly painful!

Luckily, at this point, the motor stalled (Did I mention that it had quite a pokey 61 installed?). Damage to the heli was limited to broken blades and a bent flybar. Damage to my self-esteem was considerably greater, and it was only when I got home and started to change that I discovered that the blades had gone right through the poachers jacket, ski trouser and jeans, and inflicted a long cut to my rear end! Of course, by that time the blood had dried, making removal of these garments more than a little painful! I got very little sympathy from my beloved, who could barely assist me for laughing!

I developed a very large bruise that made sitting uncomfortable for several days, just to rub my stupidity in!

After that, I fitted another lock to the slide switch on that transmitter, so that not only could I not switch it ON accidentally, but also I could not easily switch it OFF!

I have an old American transmitter on which the trims are crossed - ie: the elevator and aileron trims are on the LEFT stick (assuming mode 2), and the throttle and rudder trims on the right. This avoids having to reach across over the power switch when attempting to trim whilst holding the stick in the desired position. On my own home-built transmitters with mechanical trims, I always used to install them with the trims on the OUTSIDE of the sticks, nearest the edge of the case, for the same reason! I never understood why the bulk of manufacturers insisted on putting the elevator and throttle trims in the middle! Its just plain WRONG!

I think you can program the Taranis to have crossed trims, but it has to be done on a model-by-model basis, and is not available as a default setting. But at least you can do it!

And of course, computerised transmitters take quite a while to reboot when you restore the power, and will often only come back up when the throttle is shut and all the switches are in the right position! Not easy to remember in the ensuing panic when you've managed to switch one off in flight! So if anyone wants a very bent WOT-4 Foam-E fuselage, I have one in my garage.....!




Shane Sunday15/05/2017 00:15:04
342 forum posts
160 photos

i'd built, repaired and set up 3 models for nigh on a month waiting for the weather to change. FINALLY THE DAY CAME. Sunday bright, dry and calm perfect conditions. loaded the car and the patner and i headed 45 mins to the field. She dropped me off and I started to get ready only to find i'd left my trany at home. Called my partner and bless her she brought it all the way back out. I felt about 6 inches tall.

onetenor15/05/2017 03:21:30
1900 forum posts

Perhaps you should use a lighter motor/engine or learn to trim using hand launches over long grass. This is the long tried and trusted method of having the model glide power off. Oh you already know this? So why didn't you go it ? Saves a lot of grief and balsa. LOL

David Davis15/05/2017 05:44:14
3368 forum posts
591 photos

Posted by Hamish on 14/05/2017 21:37:07:

...Like previous posters I have mistaken the on/off switch for down trim and switched off. Why do Tx manufactures not make the on/off a horizontal action?

Spektrum transmitters have horizontal action switches.

Peter Miller15/05/2017 08:37:59
10062 forum posts
1189 photos
10 articles

My early Spektrum DX7 had the swith up and down in the middle. Like others I manahegd to switch it off while flying and the model crashed well out in a field that had had oil seed rape recently harvested. so basically bare earth.

We walked out several hundred yards and recovered all the wreckage. but when I got home I found that the satellite receiver was missing.

The next day was a lovely calm sunny day so I went back to the field and started searching for the crash site. Unfortunatley we had tidied up too well so not a splinteer to be seen and to be honest I was sure within a hundred yards where the crash had been.

Now I like to do a bit of field walking looking for nacnient stuff and after an hour I gave up and decided to go home.Moving over to another area I started back and then saw a stone that looked interesting.

As I bent down over the stone there was a little black receiver. Someone was with me that afternoon.

Peter Miller15/05/2017 08:43:20
10062 forum posts
1189 photos
10 articles

On another theme and I have told this one before.

I claim to be the only person to shoot myself down without touching a transmitter.

Flying a vintage model and I asked Fred if he would like to fly it. He took over the tranny.

After a while someone said "I am going back to the cars, Anyone want anything?"

I said "Yes, Could you bring my other Tx back."

As he returned he called out "Your battery is very low!"

I replied "No, that is an RF meter, pull the aerial out and it goes up."

"Oh," He says, "yes it does."

And Fred says "I've lost it!"


kc16/05/2017 11:46:31
5954 forum posts
168 photos

I had 2 models on my Futaba 6EX transmitter each on their own memory. I had a successful flight with my Vic Smeed Electra which is electric powered and after landing stood it in the pits. Then I switched memory to another model and that model ( a Moronic) took off OK but I heard the sound of another model taking off and immediately crashing with the usual balsa crunching into grass sound. Some fool has crashed I thought - I bet it's old ******* ( club's most careless pilot )

When I landed the Moronic OK I checked to see who it was that crashed and was amazed to find it was me! - my other model the Electra! The Electra was still live with the Lipo plugged in when I put it back in the pits and due to being distracted by talking to anothe modeller I had forgotten to unplug............So when I opened the throttle on the Moronic to take off the Electra took off too. Fortunately the Electra is a slow vintage model and miraculously missed every modeller and every plane in the pits and barely took off but just crashed lightly. Zero damage to all my clubmates and their planes and cars and hardly a mark on the Electra. Very lucky indeed. Lesson learnt too.

I always point the model into the bushes or away from other models but not on this occasion!)

But why doesnt Futaba have Model Match like Spektrum which would prevent this type of stupid pilot error.

But at least I got away with it and am still the only pilot in my club to have flown 2 RC models at the same time


Edited By kc on 16/05/2017 11:52:06

Andy Meade16/05/2017 11:59:23
2595 forum posts
677 photos

One of my Spaniels pee'd up against Tim Mackey's RCM&E jacket when we were slope flying on the Lleyn a couple of years ago blush

Ah well, everyone's a critic I suppose!

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