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Home✈️Aircraft🚁HelicopterGasser Model RC HelicoptersOther › My luck ran out!
09-10-2006 01:56 PM  14 years ago
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AceBird

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Utica, NY USA

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My luck ran out!
Looks like my luck ran out with a helpless crash. Only two possibilities ... receiver switch turned off in flight or receiver gave up all together.

Symptoms prior to crash:

1. No glitches what so ever.
2. One 90 degree kick on tail
3. No failsafe condition but total loss of control
4. Would not go into idle hold
5. Came down at about 1 1/2 ft per second from 30 ft high
6. Survived the impact with the pavement
7. But tipped over and chewed itself to pieces
8. Rotors eventually locked to the ground while clutch lining continued to smoke
9. I had to choke the engine to stop it

Aftermath:

1. Both batteries registered 5.0 volts
2. JR receiver switch was in the off position
3. Both the battery connection and the generator connection to the servos were disconnected. However, this had to occur after the ground thrashing because the tail held after the initial 90 degree kick.


I am thinking the FMA receiver did me in but it appears to be fully functional now. The receiver switch was in the off position when I finally stopped the engine but the front of the heli took a beating. Has anyone ever had a JR switch shut off in flight? I thought I read somewhere of this happening. I am very pleased on how well my stainless frame held up to the thrashing.

I thank the good Lord that the failure did not occur on take off or who knows where and how high the heli would have gotten in 35 minutes of fuel. This is what really bothers me.

In light of this experience I will be switching to JR and a PCM system. Not that I feel the Hitec system had anything to do with the accident but in using a separate receiver battery for the FS8 it meant I lost the redundancy of the generator back up if indeed it was a switch failure.

Ace
What could be more fun?
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09-10-2006 02:01 PM  14 years ago
AGRAV8

rrProfessor

Mosquito Coast......Houston Texas

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DAMMIT
had a switch harness fail on my p-gasser a couple summers ago...it was NASTY.....but my planning worked....the 8417 servo allowed the throttle return spring in the carb to close and KILL THE ENGINE before impact.
GOOD guy list-39, BAD guy list-0
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09-10-2006 03:40 PM  14 years ago
AceBird

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Utica, NY USA

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Was it a JR switch like the one I used? Can you see it in the photo? It's the top one above the MPI switch.

Anyway, I think the only safer way of dealing with this probability is to have a generator (another power source). So that means giving up on the FS8 copilot. It looks like my only other choices are AP 2000i or the helicommand. And now I think I read a post that someone had vibration trouble with the helicommand on a gasser.

Makes it tough to learn when you can't rely on the hardware you pay good money for. I fully suspected that I would have a crash with this heli but because of my dumb thumbs. One of the big reasons why I designed my own frame. It sure put it to the stress test. No aluminum frame would have come out so good. Carbon fiber would have been a mess.
Ace
What could be more fun?
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09-11-2006 01:32 PM  14 years ago
FCM

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Surrey, England

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Sorry about your crash Ace

It will be difficult to determine exactly what failed on you but the off position of the switch is a bit suspect? Is it possible that something touched the switch, turning it off?

I use a fail-safe type switch/regulator from Duralite. MPI also do a 'Miracle Switch' without regulator. I have used both for some time now without problems.

Now I know why you made stainless steel frames

Paul.
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09-11-2006 01:41 PM  14 years ago
rcadd1ct

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Richardson, Texas

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Sorry about your crash.

Of course all crashes are different, but I have had CF survive with no issues falling from higher than that.

It trashed my engine, pipe and other stuff, but the frames were not hurt.
-RCA .......... Making Cuisinarts Fly!!!!!!!
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09-11-2006 02:35 PM  14 years ago
rbort

rrProfessor

Franklin, MA - USA

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That's a bummer Ace...
Sorry to see that happen to you. Honestly I never liked FM with gassers but you needed it as it was helping you with the co-pilot. Once you feel you are good enough not to need the co-pilot then it is a great choice to go with JR receivers PCM option with failsafe. JR is very reliable and you will be pleased with it I'm sure.

Also, since you have a generator the switch thing should be a non-issue as you have a duel power source. I've had customers lose a battery (unplugged and fell out) and have a switch wire break off and in both cases they landed safely with generator power. Configure it so the generator is always plugged into the receiver switchless and it will add that extra insurance for you.

I hope you get it repaired fairly quickly and get back in the air soon! By the way, DON'T fly over concrete, only grass as in case of a crash concrete damages the heli alot worse than grass...in other words, parking lot is a no no!

-=>Raja.
MA 1005 Hanson 2703D, 4400 flts
Spectra 27 3DMax, 3460 flts
Whiplash V1-2 Hanson 300, 1995 flts
Whiplash V2 Hanson 300, 923 flts
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09-11-2006 04:14 PM  14 years ago
AceBird

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Utica, NY USA

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Raja,

I don't know if I will ever be good enough. My eyesight will not be getting any better and it is too easy for me to loose orientation at the 400-500 foot range so I intend to always have a stabilization device on board.

The redundancy of the power circuit is exactly why I am giving up on the FS8. The opto isolators did decrease the frame loses but it required a separate battery and no generator back up circuit that would circumvent the opto isolators. There certainly is a strong viewpoint to use PCM so now that I know that I can actually fly a helicopter (granted with electronic help) now would be a good time to switch from PPM.

I don't have a choice about where I can fly. The only other option is a public park. I don't think that is a good option for a bunch of reasons. Besides, the pavement wasn't the issue. Not being able to kill the engine was the issue. The first impact with the ground did not do any damage. I don't think the damage would have been any different had I been on turf.

I am done for the season although I have most of the parts ready for the next two frames. I will need some time to research the electrical gear.

So I have to come up to speed on JR. Is there more than one choice for a 8 channel radio? And what about receivers?
Ace
What could be more fun?
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09-11-2006 04:16 PM  14 years ago
AceBird

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Utica, NY USA

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It trashed my engine, pipe and other stuff, but the frames were not hurt.
That is just it. There is not a mark on the engine parts. The frame did its job.
Ace
What could be more fun?
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09-11-2006 04:32 PM  14 years ago
rcadd1ct

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Richardson, Texas

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I would rather replace the crankshaft and muffler than worry about a tweaked metal frame.-RCA .......... Making Cuisinarts Fly!!!!!!!
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09-11-2006 05:20 PM  14 years ago
rbort

rrProfessor

Franklin, MA - USA

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Some tips
Ace:

Do field a field to fly. Any field will do better than a parking lot. Flying over parking lots kicks up dirt and that ends up in your bearings and especially the one way bearing can get jammed due to this. Also could end up in your engine though the air cleaner definately helps there.

If you crash in a parking lot, something that isn't broken is going to be scratched. Something that broke could have probably survived it if hit grass. Grass/dirt gives, concrete doesn't. My most expensive crash in my Concept 30 was when I crashed on concrete. $170 for repairs and that was high. Back then my average crash was about $60.

Orientation for flying far away is hard to learn but comes within time and practice. I remember having the same issues like that before and wondering how people can make it out that far away. Start out close in and slowly work your way further and further away. In time you will find yourself 400 feet away and can still fly it. Get some white blades as well, they do wonders with assisting in orientation. Even today I won't fly anything non-white. That extra orientation cue comes in handy when you are in a situation trying to recover from a bad move.

The co-pilot is good idea for people who are trying to do aerial photography and such. For a person who is trying to fly for fun it can hinder 3D performance and stop you from making such maneuvers. I know you can probably turn it off and you say to yourself I want to turn it on when I get confused. But if you fly enough you will realize that you can fly out of any confusion with experience and enough altitude. I can't remember the last time I crashed because of pilot error, its been years!

Done for the season? Never! Repair it and get going again. This isn't a summer thing only you know! I fly JR 8103 radio with 649S PCM receivers in all my models. The 649 is an excellent receiver, the 8103 is very capable and for you I don't think you need a 9303 radio.

-=>Raja.
MA 1005 Hanson 2703D, 4400 flts
Spectra 27 3DMax, 3460 flts
Whiplash V1-2 Hanson 300, 1995 flts
Whiplash V2 Hanson 300, 923 flts
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09-12-2006 03:11 AM  14 years ago
bubba01

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NE Pennsylvania

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Wow!! That's a tough break. It looks like you were using a JR heavy duty switch too?

I've had a standard duty Futaba switch fail on my MA1005 but was lucky enough that it was a momentary failure and didn't cause a crash. I could wiggle the wires at the switch and get it to reset the receiver when mine went bad.

Sorry again about your loss....hopefully it won't set you back to long!

Cop: Sir, have you been drinking? Driver: Why? Is there a fat girl in my backseat?
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09-12-2006 10:56 AM  14 years ago
cliffbarrimore

rrApprentice

Welcome Bay, Tauranga, New Zealand

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FMA ---No Way
I recently put an FS8 on my Trex, but it locked out, I had the optional flight recorder plugged in so I could see what happened..

the output said it had no radio signal for 12 seconds, I had the failsafe set to hold last known good frame, so it hovered and gently touched down then I regained control.

I was thinking of putting FS8 on my Predator gasser, but it's too risky,,,

if you want a stabilization device, isn't there some other make (cant think who it is) but if I remember correctly it works with your PCM RX, That would be a better option...

Cliff
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09-12-2006 06:01 PM  14 years ago
AceBird

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Utica, NY USA

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Raja,
Looks like the 8103 radio is not available anymore.
Ace
What could be more fun?
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09-12-2006 07:50 PM  14 years ago
shuttlepilot

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Mullins, South Carolina

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I had my luck run out also.......throttle sevo decided to quit plain and simple. Pretty much a "crash kit" for the gas her. I can feel your pain.Gas is Great
Camper Fuel is Better!!
QWW Helis
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09-12-2006 09:53 PM  14 years ago
copperclad

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NY

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Came down at about 1 1/2 ft per second from 30 ft high
hi
am i confused or are you saying it took 20 seconds to descend 30 feet , dana
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09-13-2006 10:34 AM  14 years ago
markrwalker007

rrApprentice

Invercargill New Zealand

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Ace Sorry to here about your crash man.
It sounds almost the same as mine with the fs8.
I would get a jr pcm receiver mine is right by the spark plug and has never glitched for 4 years. They are $110 for a 900s 9 channel. You can do what Raja suggested practice close in then go further soon youl be 400ft away again.
The stabilisation is nice, but try without it, at least you know it isn't going to lock out like that again on pcm. And your alternator will provide redundancy because youl need only one battery pack.
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09-13-2006 10:43 AM  14 years ago
Autoeject

rrKey Veteran

Ashtabula, OH, USA

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if you want a stabilization device, isn't there some other make (cant think who it is) but if I remember correctly it works with your PCM RX, That would be a better option...
As Ace noted in an earlier post, the Spartan AP2000i will work with your PCM rx allowing you your normal failsafe settings.
Mark Webber
wai-rc.com
Spartan RC Distributor
Outrage Helicopters
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09-13-2006 02:21 PM  14 years ago
AceBird

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Utica, NY USA

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The stabilisation is nice, but try without it, at least you know it isn't going to lock out like that again on pcm. And your alternator will provide redundancy because youl need only one battery pack.
That is the real problem. Had it gone into a lockout, the engine would have dropped to a high idle and not kept the heli in a hover with the clutch fully engaged which ate itself to pieces on the ground. Secondly, the cheap MPI switch remained in the on position while the expensive JR switch was in the off position. It is not a case of forgetting. If you don't turn on the receiver you can't get off the ground in the first place. The JR switch is supposed to be heavy duty but the detent pressure is very light compared to the MPI switch. Finnally, the JR switch is the most protected. You can clearly see there isn't a mark on it. The voltwatch at the bottom got repeated hits that abraded the wires off but when reconnected it still works.

I have an unbearable need to know. It's the way I am. I am seriously considering putting this thing in the air again with one battery and generator back up. It won't get away because it will have a safety line. If it craps out again it will be concrete proof that the receiver is not safe on a gasser.

There has to be a way of filtering the power lead jumper from the opto isolater to the receiver to get a clean DC source to the receiver. I wonder if the buffers they make for long lead servos would work?
am i confused or are you saying it took 20 seconds to descend 30 feet
Yes, it took about 20 seconds. Remember it was in a hover. The tail kicked and then it stayed for at least 10 seconds before it started to drift backwards and loose elevation. As is normal if you don't add collective the rate of decent continues to increase so the 1.5 ft/sec is an average guess.
Ace
What could be more fun?
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09-13-2006 02:35 PM  14 years ago
rbort

rrProfessor

Franklin, MA - USA

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Maybe the switch turned off during the violent thrash on the ground?
I fly the JR switches and none of them have ever turned off on me in flight. There is enough drag on the switch this will never happen. But when you crash on pavement and its beating itself to death there is a distinct possibility that it could happen then.

Don't put it back together and fly with the same receiver. You are inviting another crash and if nothing else more frustration. Also you don't need those opto isolators if you are using a PCM receiver like a JR. I know some guy here on RR loves them and recommended them to you, but I'm proof that they are not needed -- 1737 gasser flights -- is that enough? Also you don't need the shielded spark plug either, never used those just stock boot.

Use the generator as a second power source, the JR switch or the MPI whichever you prefer, and get a JR 649 receiver and go with that. I saw like you said the 8103 isn't sold any more, guess new products are always coming down the pike, but I'm sure you will find a radio that will work with it.

-=>Raja.
MA 1005 Hanson 2703D, 4400 flts
Spectra 27 3DMax, 3460 flts
Whiplash V1-2 Hanson 300, 1995 flts
Whiplash V2 Hanson 300, 923 flts
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09-13-2006 09:09 PM  14 years ago
AceBird

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Utica, NY USA

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Raja,

I totally hear what you are saying, it could have happened by the thrashing on the ground whether it was turf or pavement. I admitted that in the begining.

What buggs me about going to JR is the 9303 radio. You said yourself, I don't need that much radio but if I am going to go for another system I want more than 7 channels so in the future I can upgrade to a governor system. The radio and receiver is $600 plus another $263 for the APi. Five more servos is around another fin.

Can you guarantee that it was not the switch so I am not making this change because the switch kicked off? I assume the JR receiver will operate my Hitec servos. Is this correct?
Ace
What could be more fun?
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