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Old 07-11-2004, 11:10 PM   #51
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Gus since no one seems to be posting any facts here have you tried your Zone Director???

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Old 07-11-2004, 11:34 PM   #52
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Ok Dennis, whatever you may interest you to know that "Friar Tuck" is a bonna fide Deacon who leads a church in an active MN community. I spoke with him personally, I know what he said and I know he is a very perceptive and honest man.

Doesn't matter;

It is interesting to note that as an assistant ZD, all I know is what I've read on this and similar sites. Here is the latest that has been out in Press Gus.

Thursday, June 24, 2004

Man hit by model airplane

By Michael Jiggins
Times-Journal Staff
A 66-year-old London, Ont., man remains in critical condition in hospital after a remote-controlled model airplane flew into his face in a freak accident in Southwold township Wednesday morning.
Elgin OPP said the accident occurred at the Forest City Flyers Inc. club airfield, 40721 Southminster Bourne just west of Wonderland Road at around 10 a.m.
Club president Bill Richards was visibly shaken Wednesday night when he told the Times-Journal at the airfield, “It’s very terrible. This is very serious.
“I know him quite well and it is very upsetting that this has happened. He is an excellent flyer, an excellent builder and an excellent human being.”
Richards identified the injured man as Tony Van Eck, a veteran member of the club.
According to Elgin OPP Const. Jennifer Wilks, Van Eck suffered serious head and facial injuries when the front propeller of the aircraft struck him.
The model plane, about one metre in length with a wingspan of nearly two metres, was under the control of another club member at the time.
Wilks said the force of the impact broke the propeller off the aircraft, which Richards described as an LT-40 model made of balsa wood and polymer.
Equipped with a composite propeller, the model planes fly at speeds between 30 and 100 km-h.
Van Eck was taken by air ambulance to London Health Sciences Centre, South Street Campus, and later transferred to University Campus where he remains.
Richards was not at the site when the accident occurred, but said he was told Van Eck was standing in a group of four watching the plane fly east-west circuits above the airfield.
“The gentleman that was flying was trying to do a turn and seemed to have lost control of the airplane, it wouldn’t respond,” Richards said. “I understand he passed it on to someone else who was with him and they couldn’t get it to respond either.”
He said there are a number of reasons an operator’s remote would fail to respond and Wilks stressed OPP have not determined what caused the plane to fly out of control.
About a dozen flyers and spectators were at the site at the time.
Wilks said although officers are still interviewing witnesses, they have determined Van Eck was not in an improper area when he was hit.
Richards, meanwhile, was at the airfield Wednesday evening to ensure club members kept their model aircraft grounded.
He said in 20 years with the club he’s never heard of a similar accident.
The club has 110 members from across southwestern Ontario, including some from St. Thomas and has been in Southwold township for about half of its 50-year history.
Wilks characterized the OPP’s involvement at this point as fact-finding.
“If nothing else, we’ll be able to determine what went wrong and try to prevent it from happening again,” she said.
........recent escapee from the nut farm and Loogan hunter!
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Old 07-11-2004, 11:47 PM   #53
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... no.

But, I did start an e-mail to and then figured he would not say more than just hte wait-for -the-results-of-investigation line... So, I just hit the trash, and not end button. I could not think of an officially reasonable reason to ask for details... other than the somewhat redundant "I want to make sure it doesn't happen again" safety reason.

I will try though... if I can think of a legitamate reason....

Anyways, the other reason I did not send is that I would imagine that if the Zone director DID inform me, it would be on the condition that I did not tell others.... (otherwise we would all already know now....)... and, frankly, I don't want to be in the "in the know" club.

I want the relevant information to be public... and the things I feel that are relevant:
Severity of injuries to victim(s), and prognosis (because I really want to care...).
Weather conditions at time of incident (what consitutes "too-bad-to-fly" weather?).
Whether the field was set up according to the MAAC Safety (proposed/suggested/repealed/somewhat-official) Code (Does the recommended setup actually prevent disasters..?).
Whether the victim(s) was in a designated no-fly zone at the time (did the victim have the expectation that he (she) was in safe zone?)
Whether the pilot was experienced/beginner/under instruction (were there circumstances that should have lead the victim to be more conscious of planes in the air?).

Basically, all people at an airfield should have a certain amount of situational awareness, and (just like with driving cars... accidents (mostly) can be avioided by driving defensively...) it should be very difficult for a person to be "blind-sided" by an out-of-control plane. My personal perspective is that planes crash, and you should always be careful that you don't get in the way of a potential accident. I am not trying to blame the victim in this case, because I do not know the facts.... BUT, my "conjecture" is that one of four things could have happened to cause this incident...
1. The pilot flew the plane in a controlled manner, but the victim strayed into an area where controlled flight was happening, and did not have the appropriate awareness of the situation.
2. The pilot was flying in a controlled way in an area that was designated as a no-fly-zone, and the victim was unsuspecting.
3. The pilot lost control of the plane in a "fly-zone", and the out-of-control plane then strayed in to the no-fly-zone and caused the incident.
4. Pitts area accident (accident caused by a pit "malfunction")

In case 1. (unfortunately), the victim could have (probably) avoided his fate with more caution.... (the pilot also possibly could have done some avoidance meaures... but the pilot of RC planes in the "fly zone" is operating within normal procedures....)
In case 2. The Pilot could have avoided the victim by flying in a "proper" pattern, or scuttling (sacrificing) the aircraft to avoid the incident.
In case 3. Well, this is the grey one, and it is the one I am personally most fearful of. As such, I (personally) never try to turn my back on the fly-zone, and I am always aware of the planes in the air. Further, (and to be quite frank), this is one of the risks of being at an airfield, and it is a danger that everyone must be aware of. It is the same sort of danger we face when we clime in a car which we are not driving.... basically, people at the airfield are unwitting "passengers" of the pilots at the field. Anyone who does not want to be the passenger of a particular pilot at the field only has to leave the area to be safe(r). By stawing close to the field you are essentially "consenting" to "riding shotgun" with the peo;ple currently flying.
In case 4. This is always a tough one. Pitts are places where we get up close to dangerous machines on a regular basis. If something is going to go wrong, it is most likely to be the pitts... I get the impression though, that this incident was a flying, rather than pitts area accident.

Then again, I am only speculating....

if only...
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Old 07-11-2004, 11:57 PM   #54
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Took me so long to send the last post that I did not see that the news item had been posted.....

case 3. my most dreaded.

Thanks f the info. At least I feel that I have some form of reference to gain a perspective on.


if only...
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Old 07-12-2004, 12:32 AM   #55
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My feeling on all this... Individuals such as Mr. Brown.... naw, you know what. Its not worth it...

Stooping to the lower levels of confrontation say alot about individuals. Lets lay it to rest, instead of continuing to feed the flames of childisness. We will all find out the full story sooner or later. And no doubt, bad policy will be made in the wake of this accident. And banting "rumor" about will just assist in the event. Lets all leave it as is, let dead dogs lie, but I always say, when you see behaviour and comment that dosn't sit well with you, tuck it away and always use it as a measuring stick for future dealings.

May our "brother" see a full and speedy recovery.
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Old 07-12-2004, 08:23 AM   #56
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Gus I am curious....we all cut our grass...we all work with power tools...we all drive cars.....etc...etc.... Do you put as much effort into finding the cause of accidents realated to the above activities as you have spent sticking your nose into this incident. The fact of the matter is simple......the people involved have asked that we mind our own affairs....most everyone in this hobby is consious of any risk associated with the sport and what has happened is unfourtunate but part of life. So out of respect for all those directley connected and affected.....move on and find some other topic. The "what if scenario" is huge and vast and no matter what safety measures are in place accidents will happen....that is why they are called accidents. At the end of the day if MAAC feels it is important to share the facts and findings with us then I am sure they will...after all most of us here hold the MAAC organization in high esteem so why challenge them now. When the rest of the world feels you need to know what when wrong I am sure they will let you know.

Out of respect for us all...........mind your own affairs.
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Old 07-12-2004, 09:57 AM   #57
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This is everyone's affair. All responsible MAAC members have the right to discuss this issue because they are concerned on how this may affect them.

I agree with Gus, stifling discussion only promotes suspicion and more rumours.

MAAC should take the lead on getting info out to the membership on a regular basis.

Mike Sebastien
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Old 07-12-2004, 11:14 AM   #58
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Originally Posted by Holly Smoke
When the rest of the world feels you need to know what when wrong I am sure they will let you know.

Out of respect for us all...........mind your own affairs.
The bury your head in the sand and wait for the boss to tell you what is good for you, attitude is gone along with the Cold War, Compliments of ; Freedom of the Press, the Right to Know (Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System) and other land mark decisions that have been around for the past 40 years (give or take).

The free access to information has discovered that Radiation is not good for you, the Tar ponds cause Cancer, Smoking is not a healthy past time and dumping chemicals into the aquifer does mean that they magically disappear.

That being said we want facts and not rumours so that we can ensure that the root cause is addressed and (if possible) a similar accident never occurs again.

This is called an intelligent action by a concerned group that wants to behave in a responsible fashion. Hiding the details from the world and condemning any that would ask pertinent questions is not acceptable and for the record I agree with Mr. Sebastion – this is everybody’s business.
Life is either a daring adventure...
...or nothing.
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Old 07-12-2004, 01:15 PM   #59
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Bbbair.......since when are the personal events of another person your business. Just because you and the parties involved participate in the same sport does not give you the right to get the facts about something that is personal to the group concerned and non of your business. When you back into a car in the parking lot does that give the whole world who drives the right to question you or stick thier nose in your affairs....I think not. When I haved a mishap with my r/c aircraft.......what busines is it of yours or anyone else not involved.

You speak of the FOI (Freedom od Information Act) and if you knew anything about it you would not ask these questions.

The next time you have an incident while flying your model aircraft I think you should let us all know so that we can make a big deal out of it.

Just consider how everyone involved feels.....responsibility, embarrasment, intimidation etc... etc... and you want to make sure the whole world that you will feel you really think that there was something going on at the field that dosn't go on at most you really think that no matter what you get out of snooping it will protect you from the same thing.

Heres the facts....when the equipment's out of your hands and you could be 10 miles from the field, bent over working on your lawn more or standing right in the middle of nowhere and still get hit......and that the cold hard facts.

The same risk is there during golf, cutting your lawn, riding your bike or even standing on a what....get over it.

This whole issue and the accident that has happened is non of my business and non of yours. Give these people a break, quit trying to make the sport more dangerous that it is. More people get killed by lightning every month that have ever been seriously hurt flying model aircraft............common sense and respect are all that is needed to participate in this hobby and minimize the risk to you or anyone else...

This is not atomic enrgy you are PLAYING with it is radio controlled model aircraft.
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Old 07-12-2004, 01:27 PM   #60
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We don't know the TRUTHFULdetails and everybody is going off
HALF COCKED speculating and fighting and deciding what safety precautions need to be implemented.
Put it to bed until the TRUTHFUL DETAILS are release from the PROPER PEOPLE and then it can be discussed with integrity and honesty.

Jason! Save everybody the agrivation and lock the thread AGAIN!
Rob Harway
Sun Parlor Flyers
Windsor, Ontario

"Artificial Intelligence is no substitute for Natural Stupidity"
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