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Old 08-06-2007, 07:24 AM   #1
Short Circuit
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1st Crash

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I bought a Nexstar for my son for his birthday so he(and I) could learn to fly together. Got it at a price I could not resist.
The first flight was last Wednesday and there was a few issues that instructor wanted me to fix before the plane went up again.
So issues fixed, out we go yesterday morning.
He gets me up in the air and I am flying large circles and figure 8's when I go to make a sweeping right turn and the plane goes into a spiral. He takes control and almost gets it out but a wingtip hits the beans( there is beanfields all around us) and it goes into the ground.
As my boy and I are walking to get the wounded bird, I feel terrible because it it his plane I just crashed and I tell him so and all he said to me after patting me on the back is, Dad sometimes S happens !!!
Made me feel a little better.
The first thing I notice when we get to the crash site is that the aileron servo arm is detatched from the servo and there is no screw to be found. the servo is ok and the threads are not even damaged.
Made me wonder if the screw was in there tight and if it backed out somehow and when the arm fell off it caused the spiral to happen.
We get the plane back to the van and 4 of us survey the damage.
Ripped out landing gear,the metal bar in the wing was ripped out of one half of the wing, breaking up at the joint end, the other wing half survived, broke the rudder at the bottom and part of the tail mount on the fuselage.
Everyone tells me that it is not that bad and can be fixed easily.
So armed with all the suggestions off home I go to fix.
I was kind of overwhelmed when I started to tear things apart but the more into it I got the more fun I was having doing the repairs.
I was actually enjoying repairing my smashed up plane. Not that I want to make that a habit!!!!
I am to the point where I need to get some sheet balsa and covering to finish up the repairs and then I will be ready to fly again.
I also think that all screws will now be getting blue LocTite,whether this was the root of the cause or not.
I was better off than the guy there who was flying his warbird, went into a dive and couldn't pull the plane out.
Straight into the ground. Left a 6" divit in the ground and the plane was a writeoff.

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Old 08-06-2007, 07:58 AM   #2
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The Nexstar is a pretty solid plane. I have been lucky in that I have not had any serious crashes yet despite numerous dead sticks and a few hard landings. The only casualties have been a couple of broken props.

One thing that I will warn you about. For some reason for all the info and advice I got before I bought this plane nobody mentioned this "little" problem. When you remove the speed brakes from the underside of the wing be prepared for the thing to want to nose in. We had to readjust the elevator throws and trim set up a lot more than anybody thought we would have. I got lucky and had a very experienced pilot take it off for me the first time after removing the speed brakes because there is no doubt in my mind that if I had done it the plane would have been turned into kindling.
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Old 08-06-2007, 09:12 AM   #3
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Its good to here you enjoy the other half of the hobby (fixing). While your at it you should start building your next plane. Sounds like you got the bug. Just don't be surprised when your son is flying circles around you.

Cheers. George
I keep having the same mechanical problem. I've got a loose nut on the transmitter!

G-manz35 AKA. George St.Amant MAAC#75084
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Old 08-06-2007, 09:27 AM   #4
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1st crash

I've read somewhere that some of the newer servos have gears made out of material that don't like the smell of Loctite. That is, there tends to be a chemical reaction which causes damage to the gears. I think this was in reference to some newer expensive JR servos that have metal output shafts & machine screws holding the arm on.

Other that this, use loctite on any metal to metal connection.

P.S. Your repaired plane will fly better than ever, you won't be quite as afraid if you make a mistake!
no such thing as too fast!
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Old 08-06-2007, 11:07 AM   #5
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You don't really need locktite on servos with nylon splines. (the nylon is the same stuff they use in locknuts). However, it is a good practice to ensure that ALL the servo screws are snug in ALL the servos.

One thing I do with my bigger planes is to do a walk around before the first flight of the day - just like the full size guys do. Everything that moves gets tugged or twisted to make sure that it is tight -hinges, linkages, servos, wheel collars, landing gear - even motor mounts.... I have fouind out (the hard way..) that it is much easier to fix a fault before a flight than afterwards.....
There aren't enough days in the weekend. -- Steven Wright
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Old 08-06-2007, 11:12 AM   #6
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Hey Mark.... That is to bad but if you are going to fly you will have to get good at repairing also. I have never had a servo arm fall off but I had some come loose. But I think that was because I had forgot to tourque them down after setting up the radio gear. So now I check and recheck them for the first few flights religiously and have never had a problem since. I'm sure you'll have it back in the air in no time and your son will soon be teaching you . And like one of the previous posts state make sure you adjust your elev trim when you take the speedbrakes off because it won't have as much lift and will nose down at neutral stick.I'm gathering that you havn't flown your Twist yet or what


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Old 08-06-2007, 01:42 PM   #7
Short Circuit
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I did the same thing, let an experienced pilot take it up for the first flight to make sure everything was ok and there was a few things wrong with it and he wouldn't let me take it up until I had those things fixed.
When he flew the plane last week we discovered the nose over and had to put more elevator in it.
I have another plane ready just a matter of time for that one.
The plane was flying real nice before the incident. In repairing the damage, there was a few more spots in the plane that needed attention also while I had it apart.
I think checking screws more carefully will be more a part of my pre flight inspection now.
I did have that screw out and I am wondering if I didn't tighten it fully when I put it back in.
Funny,the guys at the field said he will learn faster than me and will take more chances with the plane. You know, being young,10 feet tall and bulletproof......
And no,I haven't flown my Twist yet.....

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