Story time! Here's how I crashed my nnMiG 800mm. No video to share but here is a rundown of what happened.
Plane was set, CG was good, throws were medium. I throttled up to 50% and threw her hard. Torque roll hit immediately and I rolled right to correct. My elevator must have been trimmed down because she started to dive 30 feet out. Quickly I pulled back on the stick to correct but I had too much throw. Immediately I stalled the plane. At about 40 feet up she rolled over very fast and nosed into the ground. My heart sank. A few other pilots who I see often were watching and it was the worst walk of shame in my RC career so far.
I walked over to my busted plane and could see it was wrecked. The wing broke free, nose was bent in half, motor mount was broken, pod shredded, and electronics were ejected.
Determined to fly this thing I quickly made use of my field hot glue gun and patched her up. After about 10 minutes she was ready to go, ugly, mangled, and about 20g heavier, but she was ready to fly. My level of disappointment in myself at this point was pretty high.
I adjusted my trim, dialed my elevator from 50 to 40, ailerons from 65 to 44. Set throttle to 75% and threw her harder than the first flight. I tried to correct lightly for torque roll and didn't touch the elevator until I was stable in flight.
She flew amazing. I cannot believe how fast this plane is, I didn't have radar ready but it was significantly faster than my nnChipmunk 800mm and I got that on radar last week at 107mph. The sound this thing makes is very quiet as it zooms by, there is little to no 'air' noise coming off of it. It felt better than the full size with how slippery it is in the air. Ailerons were still too touchy and my elevator needed some more expo. The 4 minutes I was in the air felt like only a few seconds and I wasn't ready for it to end. My voltage telemetry started to chime telling me I'd hit 3.4v on a cell and that meant it was time to land. I'm never nervous to fly a new plane, but the first landing always puts me on edge. You never know how it's going to handle a landing and a hard hit can be the end of a plane. Even though she was already mangled, I was still uneasy about the landing.
I cut throttle very far away and started my glide in. She came in fast and didn't bleed speed at all. Normally I cut throttle at the same point with my other planes and can land close to my feet every time. Not this time. By the time I made it to where I was standing I was still 5 feet off the ground and doing at least 40. I've had issues in the past trying to land going away from myself, I usually underestimate my speed and land hot. Welp, that's exactly what I did here too. I hit so hard that I somehow broke both of my prop blades.. and I use a brake.. and my prop was not vertical. No idea how that happened. This thing is a fuel prop too, not a thin electric one, you could cut a steak with this thing, or go ice climbing or something.
Changed my prop, dialed back ailerons to 35, added 50 expo to elevator and was ready for my next battery. With the added expo I was able to launch very smoothly and it looked great. I was doing large racetrack laps and enjoying how awesome this thing sounded as it flew me at full throttle. After about 3 minutes I was high up to my left and about to begin my dive/return home when suddenly she started to dive and spiral. I was about as far as line of sight would allow for this size plane and wasn't able to tell orientation during the dive. At about 150 feet up she plummeted into a huge tree. I must have been 300 yards away and I could hear the tree branches snap and crack. AUW with my speed setup is over 800g so this thing is solid.
As I watched and heard the crash I waited to see if she made it through the tree and hit the ground. Nope. This makes 4 planes I've gotten stuck in trees to date. It was just about sundown, cold, my wife and son wanted to go home, and I was completely defeated. It was also dinner time, and I was starving. My wife encouraged me to go try and get it down from the tree though, so we walked over together to see how bad it was.
As we approached I could see a wing on the ground, "how did this happen?" I kept thinking to myself. "All that hard work.." There were a few kids that had run over to investigate the crash, their parents stood back and observed also. My plane was stuck up really high, about 50 feet up or so. The tree had no branches for the first 10 feet so it wasn't climbable.
I started to collect sticks and rocks to throw. After a few tosses some of the kids went and got a soccer ball and helped me find more sticks. Some of their parents joined in as well. I didn't ask for help they just started helping. My plane was just high enough that you had to throw as hard as you could to even get close, it seemed hopeless. All of us were throwing sticks and balls into the air trying to get this plane down for a good 40 minutes. Now that I think of it, I can't believe they even helped to begin with. I half expected them to yell at me for crashing since it was fairly close to a little play area where they had been. So that was actually really cool to see them want to help. A half dozen kids and 4 parents all trying to get a RC airplane out of a tree, it was a sight to see for sure, lol.
The sun had now gone down and it was starting to get dark. One of the parents had been collecting long sticks and trying to use it as a poker to knock the plane down. There weren't any sticks long enough so I focused on throwing the soccer ball. I hit the plane many times and was able to shift it here and there but no luck. It was really wedged. The kids found some of my servo extensions, battery, and battery telemetry sensor on the ground 20-40 feet from the tree. Impact must have sent everything flying.
A few of the kids had to leave and parents said good luck and left. There was just a few people left and the guy who was looking for big sticks to poke the plane came up with an idea to tie more than 1 stick together. This was the best idea yet and my arm was getting really tired throwing that ball over and over. We took off our belts and fashioned the sticks together to make 1 big, mega, poker stick. It must have weighed 60lbs and took 3 of us to lift and put into place. As we moved it to the tree we saw that it was tall enough to reach.
It took about 5 minutes to move the plane enough to get it down. Lifting up from the bottom allowed us to knock it from the branches it was stuck in. It came crashing down and one of the kids caught it, awesome. I was really glad to have my plane down as the motor, ESC and RX were still in the plane. The airframe is 100% destroyed but all electronics seem to be okay.
I've never been so bummed about losing an airplane as I was tonight. I spent a lot of extra time on this one getting it perfect. I'm still looking over my TX logs to see if I just suck at flying or if there was some kind of failure. I don't trust my ESC or RX right now and that's really crappy. So with all that being said I'm grounded for now until I can figure this out. It was really cool to see all the people come and help me, that was really unexpected and ended up being what got my plane down.
The failure was caused from being tail heavy. I have since adjusted the CG on my nnMiG 3 (plans are updated too) and it flies even better now!
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