Last week was a fabulous week of flying! It made up for not getting out for about a week prior. Last week was the first time in what seems like a very long time that I got out flying back-to-back nights. I went out Monday, Tuesday, and Friday! It was a week packed with excitement at the airfield. Each night I got in three flights, which was really good considering the days are getting much shorter, flying time wraps up about 730PM now.
My nights consisted of flying basically however I saw fit, basically flying whatever patterns I was feeling. Their was some pretty windy evenings up in the air which provides quite a workout. I’m always practicing something though and as I’ve probably mentioned before if your not working on improving something then you’re doing something wrong. Over these three evenings of flight certain events stick out in my mind.
I needed to readjust where I fly as I was flying in to close so I need to remember to go farther out across from where we stand to ensure that when I’m making my turns to come around I am coming approximately down the runway. Essentially I need to be flying all my patterns such that the closest I get to myself is approximately the middle of the runway to make it easier to keep my eye on the plane and save me from having to crank my neck.
I believe it was Tuesday I had the malfunction where while flying going South over the runway, getting quite far to the right, my engine cut out. Their was no way I could turn the plane around to land where I’d have enough runway as I’d of had to turn the plane to sharply and with no power I’d of likely tip stalled and essentially ‘fall from the sky’. I did the next best thing which was bring her down in the direction she was going. I ran out of runway prior to touching down so the plane went right into the tall grass at the end. Thankfully the plane never had much airspeed and after inspecting the plane (especially the underside of the wing) no damage had occurred.
The heart stopping moment of the week happened Friday on my last flight of the night. I was flying patterns as usual, figure eights, boxes, some randomness and fly-bys at various heights. My mistake came on my landing attempt going South to North, or so I was suppose to be. When coming in didn’t line up correctly causing me to go more across the runway and though the engine was fully cut I was running out of room to land as the plane wasn’t descending fast enough. I realized that staying the course would ‘land’ me in the tall grass so I thumbed the throttle to full and applied full up elevator simultaneously causing the plane to rise and pull up over the tall grass, barely, lol. Looping back around I was then able to successfully come in for a landing.
I have been loving my Saito .62 engine (pairs perfectly with my Kadet LT 40) and thankfully, as Dwayne mentioned, the engine decided it wanted to perform as that was a moment where if it decided “No I don’t want to” I would have been hooped.
Out of this I learned that when low to the ground you want to steer the plane using the rudder as using the ailerons, especially if your speed is low, could lead to a tip stall or just flat out hitting your wing on the ground. In the aforementioned saved landing what I should have done on approach is applied rudder in the direction I needed to steer the plane in order to get it back on course and pointing down the middle of the runway.
I dragged my hiney in getting this post written up, but now I have caught up in chronicling the adventures of an R/C Airplane hobbyist.