Ailerons ineffective in high wind?

Hi,
I am trying to recall what happened. I did a ground check and
everything seems to be OK. As close as I can get it, I'll describe
what took place with my trusty electric airplane.
I took it off into the wind and the plane rose rapidly into the gusty
headwind (about 15 MPH), but about 50 feet high and 50 yards away, I
began to bank away and about 90=BA from the take off the plane veered
quickly and when it was about 180=BA I had no response from aileron
control. All attempts to regain control failed, By now the plane winged
over and had crashed into the wall of a residence, outside of our
flying area,
Luckily, the homeowners were congenial and retrieved my plane parts for
me, no complaints.
Should I not have turned away from the wind as I took off? Or is it
that I should not have flown such a light plane in that kind of wind
condition?
Plane facts:
AXI 2212/34 powered
3S1P Thunderpower Li Poly
About 8 oz./ sq. ft. wing loading
44" wingspan
22 0z, flying weight.
Over 100 flights for this plane
Reply to
wanjung
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Most likely, one of two things happened.
One is that there was enough turbulence to turn the plane regardless of what you did.
The other is that you didn't keep your airspeed up. Flying a slow plane in a stiff wind takes some practice, because when it's flying downwind it has to have a really cooking ground speed to be maintaining adequate airspeed. The reflex is to make the ground speed 'right' -- which can lead to a stall, and an airplane that has no more control than a piece of tissue floating in the same stiff breeze. You have to fly the plane by feel, and be ready to have it really whip by you on the downwind leg.
Reply to
Tim Wescott
Tell me about it. Twice I have crashed a new slowish glider on finals when for some reason it just fell out of the sky going below 12 feet or so.
Either my brain has turned to jello, or something like wind shear was happening.
The damned thing was practically hovering than thump..it was in the ground.
Ailerons are actually better in wind - well in turbulence..with rudder its hard to steer a straight course AND keep the wings level.
Anyway, trick is to keep airpseed up...I have vivid memories of one parkflyer with its nose up 25 degrees, full throttle, and still getting closer and closer to the ground as a tail wind gust over took it...eventually the gust passed and with a couple of feet to spare it SHOT up with the excess airspeed..
Reply to
The Natural Philosopher
Tim,
You may have it right. I noticed the airspeed of my airplane was very fast on the downwind leg of the flight, I barely had time to say, "I don't have any control of my plane" I probably didn't have much groundspeed. The biggest mistake I made was to cut throttle to reduce damage upon impact. This may have led to less effective control. The ailerons had no effect, neither did the elevator.
By this time the plane was being blown by the wind on the topside as I banked to return and the plane then crashed. All that happened in less than about 30 seconds or so.
Wan
Reply to
wanjung
There is a permanent wind shear close to the ground -- the ground slows the wind down a _lot_; a sailplane with it's long wings gets messed up by the gradient. Apparently it's well known to full-scale sailplane pilots, as well as the good model flyers.
Gusty wind can be fun though, if you're feeling your oats.
Reply to
Tim Wescott
It appears to me that what happened is that your plane was riding on the wind at the speed of the wind and actually was barely flying...then when you tried to use the ailerons, you had little air going over them and had little if any control. I have seen this happen...and more than once. Example the last time I saw it: flyer going down wind in preparation for a landing...literally riding on the wind, tries to turn on base leg and the plane falls out of the air and the flyer turns around to the pits and demands to know "who turned on?"!!!!! Frank
Reply to
Frank Schwartz
: You may have it right. I noticed the airspeed of my airplane was very : fast on the downwind leg of the flight, I barely had time to say, "I : don't have any control of my plane" I probably didn't have much : groundspeed.
Just the opposite. When flying downwind in high wind you may have high groundspeed (the model flies fast compared to you standing still), yet the airspeed (the speed of the model related to the airmass around it) is very low, causing loss of control, stall and crash.
-Tapio-
Reply to
tapio.linkosalo
Always take off into the wind, and in a cross-wind, turn into the wind on climb-out until you get to safe altitude and develop proper airspeed. Airspeed is your friend. Ground speed means nothing to an airplane.
IE: Your 25 mph plane turning away from and WITH (same direction as) a 15 mph breeze is effectively traveling 10 mph- well below stall speed on most RC planes. You wouldn't have any control.
Your 25 mph plane turning into (wind against it's nose) a 15 mph breeze is effectively traveling 40 mph... resulting in lots of lift and control.
Hi,
I am trying to recall what happened. I did a ground check and everything seems to be OK. As close as I can get it, I'll describe what took place with my trusty electric airplane.
I took it off into the wind and the plane rose rapidly into the gusty headwind (about 15 MPH), but about 50 feet high and 50 yards away, I began to bank away and about 90º from the take off the plane veered quickly and when it was about 180º I had no response from aileron control. All attempts to regain control failed, By now the plane winged over and had crashed into the wall of a residence, outside of our flying area,
Luckily, the homeowners were congenial and retrieved my plane parts for me, no complaints.
Should I not have turned away from the wind as I took off? Or is it that I should not have flown such a light plane in that kind of wind condition?
Plane facts:
AXI 2212/34 powered 3S1P Thunderpower Li Poly About 8 oz./ sq. ft. wing loading 44" wingspan 22 0z, flying weight. Over 100 flights for this plane
Reply to
Stanley Barthfarkle
In retrospect, I am wrong about having no groundspeed. The plane was going very fast on the downwind leg. But it was more probable that the high wind was carrying the plane along so the plane had hardly any wind speed.
So most of you were correct. Let's see if I have it right. Taking off in a cross wind, turn into the wind. When flying with a tail wind, keep up on the air speed. If possible land into the wind. Anything else?
I read of fliers who fly in wind speeds as high as 40 MPH, but not around here. In the future, I will not fly in wind speed higher than 12 MPH with my light planes.
Thanks, Wan
Reply to
wanjung
Stanley, is there any chance that you're related to Bertha Maye Barthfarkle of Sweet Teats, Idaho?
Ed Cregger
Reply to
Ed Cregger
Well that's changed. My recollection of little blue pills is they did the opposite...
Reply to
Boo
Yer first mistake was flying a far too wimpy electric-powered airplane in a stiff breeze. I've had 'em blow away from making a similar mistake, then I've had to take a hike in order to regain them.
Non-wimpy electric power planes are available to all of us, but as yet it takes a whole lots more cash than fuel power to unwimp 'em.
My advice? Get an engine instead of a motor and smell the nitro!
TP
Reply to
Texas Pete
Don't let a little breeze scare you off! Practice some very serious slow flight 3 mistakes high until you are comfortable at throttle settings one or two clicks above stall when straight and level. When you do that, you begin to recognize the 'feeling' (hand and eye coordination issues) just before the plane stops flying. This will help you in high wind times and when you have to bring a plane down with a dead engine.
The way to start this is to make sure your engine is well and correctly tuned. You want the engine to idle for 5 minutes and take a slam to full throttle without stumbling. If yours is not like that, fix it but as my friend George Aldrich taught me, do the fixing at 1/2 tank. Most folks tend to run a little rich on the low end which floods the plug when at long idle and slammed to full throttle. For a 2 stroke, use a glow driver to test the idle mix. Once you think it is right, put the glow driver on the plug. If the engine speeds up, you are too rich. If the engine note does not change significantly, you are probably right on.
Now that the idle is fixed lets go flying. Get 3 or 4 mistakes high and trimmed out hands free when at full throttle. The next step is to find the lowest throttle setting that is needed to maintain straight and level flight without stalling. If your throttle won't go that low, land and fix the linkage so it will. Go fly and test again. Then establish a horizontal figure 8 with the plane coming back at you when it hits the crossover point. This will give you a 2 for 1 training flight, slow and left and right under those conditions. Once the pattern is established, begin reducing the throttle a few clicks at a time while maintaining altitude. When you get to the straight and level stall throttle setting, advance the throttle 2 or 3 clicks and just fly that figure 8 for several cycles. The trick here is to get comfortable with the feeling of sloppy controls, recognize your left and right, and to be ready to land.
A little of this is generally recommended for each and every model you fly as all airframes are different.
Jim Branaum AMA 1428
Reply to
Six_O'Clock_High
Yer first mistake was flying a far too wimpy electric-powered airplane in a stiff breeze. I've had 'em blow away from making a similar mistake, then I've had to take a hike in order to regain them.
Non-wimpy electric power planes are available to all of us, but as yet it takes a whole lots more cash than fuel power to unwimp 'em.
My advice? Get an engine instead of a motor and smell the nitro!
TP
Been there, done that. I had glow powered planes before. Now I am all electric. Not intended to offend anyone.
Wan
Reply to
wanjung
Mmm. There were little blue pills that made you gabble and behave like a dork..and some other ones that made the world go away, and you with it, and you were profoundly glad when both reappeared..mind you sex and drugs can be magic...;-)
Reply to
The Natural Philosopher
Anyway, trick is to keep airpseed up...I have vivid memories of one parkflyer with its nose up 25 degrees, full throttle, and still getting
closer and closer to the ground as a tail wind gust over took it...eventually the gust passed and with a couple of feet to spare it SHOT up with the excess airspeed.
It would be a real trick if one is not accustomed to an airplane suddenly appears to fly at high rate of groundspeed when actually it was carried by the wind and it had little air speed. Glad that parkflyer had the presence of mind to give his plane full throttle. I did just the oppposite.
Wan
Reply to
wanjung
Nor did I intend to come off sounding as obnoxious as I did, it was said in good humor. Suppose I should have included a smiley face.
TP
Reply to
Texas Pete

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