Smokin’ Flight

Well, I had my first major crash today.  I’ve scuffed some planes on hard landings before but a this was the first totally out of control, nose dive into the desert.  I guess it had to happen.  I’m thinking there was something in the air as I noted a couple of other models in the trash barrels.

In this case the casualty was my Magister.  So I don’t get accused of leading folks on, let me say it weathered the crash amazingly well. Some hot water on the foam and a new motor mount kit along with a new speed control should have her back in the air fairly soon.

The flight had been going on nicely.  I was about 6 or 7 minutes in with some loops and aileron rolls to liven things up.  Most of the flight had been level flight with some horizontal figure eights.  Suddenly at the back side of the field in level flight, it started trailing smoke.  Not good.  I called a landing but within about 3 second it was totally dead and headed straight down.  It hit at about 85 degrees nose down with the wing coming off.

After the long walk to the crash site I was surprised at the minimum amount of damage.  The balsa planes I’d seen hit like this came back in a sack.  Maggie was in relatively good shape.  The windshield piece that covers the motor was cracked in a couple of place and the motor mount was toast.  The motor itself looked no worse for the ware.  Both wing mounting straps were broken but amazingly the mounting plates in the fuselage were intact. Luckily the lipos are mounted amidship and were undamage aside from some soot from the fire. :-O

It was obvious what had happened.  The speed control had caught fire and literally exploded.  There were small integrated circuits embedded in the foam all around the nose.  There was melted foam where the ESC had been mounted and smoke damage. The firewall was blackened and the shrink wrap from the ESC was wrapped around the nose gear support.  I always thought firewalls blocked fire from the front to the back, not the other way around!

I’m pretty sure Maggie was fly again soon.  This time a higher capacity ESC and a voltage regulator to power the receiver so I’ll have some controls should the ESC fail again.

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