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TOPIC: "My First Flight..." (By an Unknown RC Pilot)

"My First Flight..." (By an Unknown RC Pilot) 6 years 10 months ago #158

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"The following took place about 8 years ago. It is a funny story, though I certainly didn't see the humor in it at the time, but I still get the occasional ribbing about it from my family:

My first plane was a Duraplane Trainer 40. I purchased the Duraplane because I was determined to learn how to fly on my own, after being dismissed rather rudely by a couple of the local flyers when I asked a couple of newbie type questions. So a package arrives from my Hobby Supplier, with the plane, O.S. 40LA, and assorted other goodies. Putting it together was straight forward enough, the toughest time I had was drilling the engine mount holes properly (I still have trouble with this sometimes) and covering the wing. I hate iron on coverings. Hate 'em, hate 'em, hate 'e.m. Okay, anyway, 3 or 4 days later a Duraplane rolls out of my garage.
After cutting my finger deeply on the prop because I didn't yet have a starter stick, or the common sense to find a substitute, not to mention a few other mishaps and snafus, I was ready (I thought) for my maiden flight.

I took the plane to my brother's house which at the time was on a seldom used road in front of a strawberry field, and both he and my wife were there to witness this spectacle.

I fired the plane up and taxied it around a bit. I was really good at taxiing, let me tell you. I had done it up and down my cul-de-sac for hours. I was the Taxi King.

I was sweating and nervous, I had a lot of time and money invested in this homely looking rig, and an audience to boot. I lined her up and punched it, and surprisingly enough I did something that I didn't do again for quite awhile, I ran a very straight takeoff roll for about 200 ft., it was very impressive, but it had to be blind luck.
I pulled back on the stick, and sure enough it was too much back, I didn't know jack about how much authority just a little bit of stick movement has, with predictable results. The Duraplane shot straight up like a rocket for about 60 ft., then straight down like a missile for 61 ft.
Ha Ha, get it, 61 ft.?

Being my first flight, I didn't have the presence of mind to manage the throttle, or anything else for that matter, so all this happened at full blast.
The Duraplane did not have anywhere near the "Dura" it needed to survive this fateful turn of events, and it was a total loss. Even the engine was toast. I was furious. I was seething. I don't think I've ever been so angry or frustrated in my life.
I had spent hours practicing maneuvers in my head, reading books on the subject, making a nuisance of myself on about a dozen different message boards and newsgroups, etc., only to completely destroy my first creation within 3 bats of an eyelash. Very unfair.

What happened next is the funny part I guess. It would make for excellent "America's Funniest Home Videos" material. I'm glad there were no cameras rolling though...

I marched up to the wreckage like a man with a purpose. I picked the carcass up by the tail boom and proceeded to pound the whole works against the pavement as hard as I possibly could, over and over, like a little boy throwing a full fledged tantrum with a toy bat. I said a few things too. Things I couldn't repeat here obviously. Things that would make a Las Vegas prostitute blush.
I wrenched the dangling engine off it's mount and threw into said strawberry field as hard as I could, with a primal roar. If anyone had been standing next to me, they would have gotten punched, I'm sure of it. It must have been quite a sight. I'm usually a well mannered guy by the way. This was my first experience with R/C airplanes.

Obviously I got passed it and managed to learn how to fly, but still, I almost gave up, just like I believe many folks DO give up after similar, though maybe not quite so spectacular, incidents. If any beginners are reading this, maybe this will scare them off of going it alone."
Let us aim to Promote, Safe Guard, Foster, Advance and To Protect all forms of Radio Control Flying, Control-line Flying and Free-Flight Flying and Building of Model Aircraft!
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