View Full Version : Tracking of blades causes loss of eye

Ray Fernandez
03-22-2008, 05:13 AM
Recently here on Guam a fellow heli pilot was attempting to track the blades of his little electric helicopter. While doing so, the spindle apparently snapped, causing one of the blades to be thrown. The blades struck my friend in one of his eyes. He underwent surgery and it was determined that the damage to his eye was so servere, the doctors removed it.

It is a sad time for our club. This RC pilot was moving up in his flying abilities. I cannot over emphasize the importance of the usage of safety goggles while doing adjustments on the helis. He is resting at home and will be undergoing therapy.

Let us all remember to keep it safe out there and to not take any unnecessary risks.

03-22-2008, 06:02 AM
that sucks...

03-22-2008, 07:08 AM
Give him my regards and sympathy please.

03-23-2008, 08:25 AM
Please send along my regards and wishes for a speedy recovery. Safety glasses are such an important item for that kind of task. A $6.00 set of glasses can make all the difference.Let's share the message-pass it along.

03-23-2008, 02:46 PM
My regards to the fellow. getting heli next week and safety glasases good to know.

03-24-2008, 11:40 AM
please send my best regards. I hope he continues the sport of RC heli, even after the loss of an eye.

03-24-2008, 11:45 AM
Really sorry to hear that! I guess by definition, tracking puts your eyeball right in line with the plane of the spinning disk. How far was he from the helicopter?


03-25-2008, 08:11 AM
I am really sorry to hear that. It can happen to anyone. I have to admit it, I have done that my self. I will make sure to wear my safety glasses all the time.

03-25-2008, 04:34 PM
Sorry to hear, but thank you for posting Ray. Would a pair of safety glasses stop a main blade? I have the plastic ones, and I am not sure if it would or not.

Sorry to hear that you friend was hurt. That sucks.

sti rex
03-25-2008, 11:38 PM
Sorry to hear, but thank you for posting Ray. Would a pair of safety glasses stop a main blade? I have the plastic ones, and I am not sure if it would or not.

Sorry to hear that you friend was hurt. That sucks.

if you are not sure the ones you have will stop a main blade go and buy yourself some polycarbonate lensed safety glasses for close work like this probably lense and frame conbined in the one moulding for strength

polycarbonate can be hit with a hammer repeatedly and will resist fracture and penetration (cue beavis and butthead)

the lenses in my oakley sunglasses (polycarbonate) have stopped an errant tail blade that snapped off a T-REX 600 that was flying at a feild close to me before:bomb:
they only got scratched on the iridium coating but it hit quite hard and i didn't even see it coming

set of new lenses $120.00 (polarized)
keeping my eyes priceless:noteworthy

the owner of the heli insisted on paying for the new lenses:cheers

Ray Fernandez
04-06-2008, 03:37 AM
My friend Albert is doing well. I passed on the best wishes to him and he is very appreciative of the gesture. Believe it or not, he still wants to continue flying. Today at the field he took up his Raptor Titan and did a few circuits. He just wanted to get back in the saddle and I applaud his efforts. He is surely a good guy and a good example for those who think they can't do it.

04-25-2008, 11:34 AM
I am new here on Guam, and I believe I fly in the same club as you. I have not been there to fly in a while, but now I need to come down and give my regards in person. I had no Idea that this had happend. Or would happen so close to home.
+1 on safety glasses, I will make sure to use mine every time from now on!!!

04-28-2008, 10:17 PM
Wouldn't only having one eye seriously affect his depth perception?

04-28-2008, 11:37 PM
Your "depth perception" -- specifically, stereoscopic, binocular vision -- ends at around 20 feet in front of you (http://www.losteye.com/depthper.htm) anyway. Beyond that, your brain is just doing math.

Typically RC aircraft are flown more than 20 feet from you. A one-eyed flyer is no more impaired than a two-eyed flyer. Except maybe that if he gets some dust in his eye, he can't squint one eye and keep the other one open.

However, when it comes to the startup duties and working with the aircraft, the blind spot of a single eye can be a significant impairment. You should generally not fly your aircraft alone anyway, so I don't think it would be too tough to work around.

04-29-2008, 12:08 AM
Cool. Thanks for the info. Yay for our brains, eh?

04-29-2008, 01:35 AM
Cool. Thanks for the info. Yay for our brains, eh?

Strangely enough, I have two friends who are legally blind in one eye :) According to them, the only real impairment is the blind spot to one side of their nose... everything else the brain automatically figures out within a few weeks or months.

Not that I want to volunteer for the "poke a sharp stick in your eye" context next month or anything.

Old Sloppy
05-06-2008, 06:00 PM
Would a pair of safety glasses stop a main blade?

You don't have to actually stop it, just deflect it slightly away from the soft eye tissue.

But the glasses I have seen will withstand a .22 bullet if the glasses are simply laid on a table and shot.


Ray Fernandez
05-12-2008, 03:51 AM
Albert is burning up the sky. It's been sometime now and this guy is really a tribute to impaired flyers. He still does some awesome stunts and just yesterday, I was urging him to try a kaos. Almost did one but I guess when he gets comfortable.

Anyhow, he truely is an inspiration to the rest of our group. You go Albert. You definitely are Da Man!!!

05-12-2008, 04:14 AM
Ray, did you find out why the blade was thrown? Was it insufficient loctite? Bad blades? Bad spingle? Metal fatigue? Which helicopter? Could you please share your toughts so we can focus on the potential problem areas to prevent this from happening again in the future?

Ray Fernandez
05-12-2008, 06:20 PM
From what I gathered, the spindle snapped in half. The whole blade arm flew out and the blade struck him in the right eye. I have not seen the heli that did the deed, nor the defective part.