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RC Journal

JCRC Spring Wing Ding Fun Fly, April 2nd, 2000 (first landings and takeoffs): The wing ding was a fun fly and a pitch in where the club provided hot wings and everyone else could bring their own food if they wanted to. I got there at around 12:30, set up my Thunder Tiger Trainer 40 ARF, which took about 10-15 minutes, counting the fueling time. Afterwards I grabbed a bite to eat. At around two o'clock, I asked Rick, one of the instructors at the club, if he would help me up with a flight, he agreed. He took it off, let me have it in the climb, and told me to take it around. I made a pass, and did an inside loop on the second pass, however, immediately after, the engine started working funny so Rick landed it. After I retrieved it, I discovered that the tube connecting the fuel tank to the muffler was loose. I lengthened the gap on the connecter piece (If the tube that goes to the muffler is ===, the tube that goes to the tank is ---, and a little piece of hollow copper is <>, the whole pipe looks like ===<>---) and we took it up for another flight. This time, after just a few laps getting the hang of the airplane, rick told me to practice approaches. My first attempt had to much potential energy, it was both too fast and too high, so Rick brought it around and showed me how it's done. He did a touch'n'go and ask me if i wanted to try and land it. That kind of stunned me since I'd never even taken off before. I asked him "So you want me to land it?" I think he said something like "Well, we'll see." After one lap getting the plane under my control, I brought it over into the approach pattern, reduced the throttle, made the base leg turn, and turned the plane towards us. I flew it that direction until it was lined up with the runway, and then I turned onto final approach. Up to this point I had prepared it to be a missed practice approach, and then Rick, while I was on final, told me to land it. It took me a while to react as I brought the altitude down, a little too slow. The throttle trim was a little too hot so I couldn't get the engine to idle. It didn't seem real to me when the wheels touched the runway 3/4 of the way back, it seemed like someone else was landing. And then, as the reality hit me, I panicked. I didn't know what to do, I'VE NEVER TAXIED BEFORE! So, my plane disappeared over the end of the runway. Rick annouced that it was my first landing as I jogged over to it, Well, it was in one piece. On my way back, I got congradulated by most members of the club for my first landing. I had the feeling that I had just accomplished something. It felt great!

I waited an hour for everyone else to get their flights in, then asked Rick if I could fly again. I specified that I wanted to taxi it around a bit. He let me taxi it to the end of the runway, and on the way back, I felt confident enough that I just took off. I flew the whole flight. except for one instance where I got too close to one of the barns on an aproach. I flew it around for a bit, did some rolls and loops, and a few close passes. About ten minutes later, I was going for an approach, I was too high, so Rick told me to cut the throttle. This time, the trim was too low and I shut off the engine (:-S). I bunted the stick, got the nose down, flared just a bit (I haven't learned that yet) and landed it deadstick. (not to bad). Coincidentally, the plane also went off the runway and ended up in almost the same spot as before.

An hour or so later, I asked Jim, the other instructor if he could take me up. I didn't land the first time around because it went deadstick (I cut the throttle again). Jim, being cautious, landed for me. We took off again, and halfway in the flight, I heard Ken, one of the members who had a Somethin' Extra, yell out. I looked down in time to see his Extra plummet into the void behind the runway. Jim landed my plane in the grass in a hurry, denting the nose wheel gear. And went to help Ken pick up the pieces. We had an "incident review team" until about five. And then I asked Rick if he could take me up again since Jim was working on his Stinger. He took me up and we practiced touch'n'goes. (I didn't get to the go part as you will see). When I came around, I didn't have enough energy and I landed right on the edge of the runway, resulting in a cloud of dirt behind my wheels. Well, at least I landed. I think it went deadstick either before or after the landing, I can't remember. We soon took off again, and this time when it came to landing, I didn't flare and steer right and got it in the grass. It was getting late so Rick took me up one last time. On the approach, I was kinda rushing because Jim was ready to take off. And I really messed up the flare and ended up boucing about eight feet (all my other landings didn't bounce) and ending up so near Jim that Rick took over and got it away from him. Well, I've got 4 and a 1/2 landings under my belt. On Tuesday the 4th, I'm going to be flying again. If anything significant happens I'll write up a report. -Yang Shen 4/2/2K