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The Scale Aviators
How not to crash a model Aircraft.
1. Choosing the correct aircraft
a. Skill level
i. Some aircraft are much easier to fly than others.
1. Wing loading,
a. Lighter wing loading are generally easier to fly as they have lower stall speeds so it is harder to stall when flying at reasonable speed.
b. They are typically only good in low wind conditions as they will have difficulty penetrating into the wind and will tend to weather cock. Be careful in downwind turns maintain airspeed which is different to ground speed.
c. Heavier wing loading aircraft generally can fly in greater extremes of wind conditions.
2. Wing type,
a. High wing with rectangular form factor are generally more forgiving and tend not tip stall to the same extent as other shapes.
2. Building the aircraft
a. Control hardware,
b. Control set up,
i. Are the endpoints set correctly, do any servos stall: especially check throttle.
ii. Has exponential been considered, setup, checked.
iii. Are the control throughs and or rates set correctly and appropriately?
c. Radio setup,
f. Weight and balance,
3. Field features
i. Run way length and surface,
ii. Field obstacles,
iii. Wind and sun direction,
iv. Rotors or gusts.
4. Pre-flight check
a. Fuel: oil and oil ratio, age.
b. Battery status:
i. Charge condition,
ii. flight capacity,
iii. Do you know your battery health and how to check it?
g. Hanger rash,
h. Control surface checks, movement, range, direction.
i. Engine performance check,
j. Weather, visibility, wind direction, wind speed, wind gusts, sun direction.
k. Air traffic, number, direction, skill level, aircraft type and performance.
l. Other pilots, communication, skill, aptitude, attitude.
m. Cloud and aircraft colour, visibility.
n. Fail safeknow what your settings are, discuss with experience pilots what suitable options are.
5. Before the flight
a. Mind set
b. Don’t have to be the best pilot but the most disciplined helps.
c. What is the stall like and what is the recovery performance and procedure.
d. Aircraft in the air have priority.
e. Who else is flying?
f. Do you need an assistance or spotter?
g. Taxi full up elevator for taxi.
h. Anticipate the take off and be prepared, Keep the aircraft level and gain speed before and during lift off. Keep the aircraft straight down the strip. Most aircraft will tend to track left due to torque.
i. What are your common errors, and how to prevent them?
j. What is this flights focus going to be.
k. Study the wing sock and anticipate the effects.
l. Know the aircrafts flight time (Battery, fuel).
n. Line yourself up in the flight box.
6. Maiden flight.
a. Anticipate the aircrafts performance and fly accordingly.
b. Make sure you have confidence in the engines performance and reliability. Flying will only make an unreliable engine mission critical.
c. Obtain plenty of ground speed before rollout, keep the nose low stay in control and gain height.
d. Have a helper to assist with situation awareness. Fly the aircraft and get the aircraft satisfactorily trimmed.
a. Stay two to three crashes high,
b. Understand downwind performance.
c. Understand stall speed and low speed performance,
d. Ensured appropriate, rates, and experiential,
e. Understand high speed stall.
f. Keep the aircraft flying?
g. Fly the circuit, compensate for wind, crosswind and head and tail wind.
h. Maintain height during turns, faster turns need more elevator.
i. Fly in control and consistently.
j. Reference flight with positions/landmarks on the field.
k. Don’t fly aircraft with vastly different flying characteristics together at the same time.
l. If you are having difficulty call out for assistance.
m. In the event of an uncontrollable aircraft or an aircraft that you have lost control of ensure you yell out loud and clear and as many times as you can to notify others. Standard call can be “Heads Up “ repeated….
n. What are your bad habits, and what do you need to focus on…
a. Practice landing circuits,
b. Land down the centre line and try not to land too early or too late, going around is always an option,
c. On downwind leg have sufficient speed to be able to make it to the runway. ( If engine stops on downwind have sufficient height and speed to get back to the strip).
d. Close and low is better than further and higher.
e. Downwind to base set the speed. (Constant speed is the key)
f. War bird set elevator so you can just see the top of the wing, jet set slight nose up.
g. On final, wings level, Set elevator, reduce the throttle to idle. (Elevator sets the speed) (Throttle sets the height).
General good practice.
10. Practice what’s hard.
12. Always have more than 3 flights.
This document is ment also as a reminder to experienced aeromodellers so they don't make the same mistakes twice.
note it is work in progress
Word formatted draft document