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Newbies Log dated: 030308 (First Flight)

Posted 03-03-2008 at 01:32 PM by aceman365

Remember the first time you were going kiss a girl? The first time were going to get behind the wheel of your dad's car and solo on a short trip to the 7-11? or Possibly, the first time you interviewed for that dream job?

Got that feeling in your head? Yeah? Well that's just what I was feeling yesterday when I was ready to put my Trex 450se into the air for the first time.

Alittle history before I recount my first flight. A few years ago I purchased a Nexus 30 gas powered helicopter and a Futaba 9c radio. But due to life, work, and lack of funds, that helicopter never got off the ground. It wasn't until around Christmas of this year that I decided to try and get back intot he hobby, after about 2 years away from it.

I knew I wanted to switch from Nitro to Electric, so I got on several website and sold my Nexus online for about 200.00 (Great!). It was in mint condition, so the buyer wasn't getting cheated, it was a brand new heli in fact. It had been sitting on the shelf for sometime.

During this process, I considered selling everything I had and try and get all new stuff. But discovered that I did have some nice equipment. GY401, FUT9CHP, but I needed a smaller RX and servos for a 400 sized helicopter.

Along came a deal that I couldn't pass up. A great guy in Texas contacted me, he wanted to sell his 450se, and needed my RX (R149DP) and a digital servo for a 500 sized helicopter. I had both so with the money from my Nexus sale, and the extra parts I had, he and I negociated a trade. And the result was great for the both of us.

The 450se was in pretty great condition. It had a RX (R146iP) in it, I just needed to get a new frequency crystal, and I would work with my radio. I also had to upgrade the servos as one of them was stripped (my fault, and it was a cheap s3114 servo) and purchased a charger/balancer and extra battery.

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So the moment was upon me.. it was fly now, or leave it on the shelf, so I strapped on the radio, checked all my links, connections, nuts, bolts, etc and headed out side.

The first thing I did was ensure that my radio was setup properly and that collective was all the way down, before turning on the heli.

Next I put the helicopter on my stoop which is at the top of a gentle slopping hill, I backed up about 10 feet and powered up the bird. She waddled just a little at first then after the head speed got up, she steadied. I wasn't going to lift off at this point, I was merely getting her upto speed just before lift off and then checking the blade tracking, which was just slightly off. One full turn on the high blade's link, and a retest and the blades tracked perfectly. I powered down and headed for the safe open area where I would hold my first flight.

I think this is a good point to mention that I have logged about 40 hours on RealFlight G4 and on the computer I'm able to hold a nice hover. Still working on forward flight, but I'm able to (while tail towards me) move the helicopter around in various patterns.

So I rechecked my radio, the throttle, and replugged in the ESC to the battery on the helicopter. I was ready. I was terrified.

I very very slowly climbed the helicopter's head speed such that it was light on the skids and just about ready to lift off. I was committed.. it was time.. and with a push of the collective, ever so slightly the trex450se with all the countless hours of TLC, lifted off the ground. She climbed at a brisk pace till she was about 10 ft off the ground, no tail wag, no unstead hover.. HOLY HELL.. she's HOVERING... pretty damn good! I was stoked, honestly.. I kind of feel like I let myself get too caught up in the moment, I stopped thinking about the helicopter in front of me, under my control, and started thinking more like, "ohhh man that's cool.. it's flying"..

This was my first REAL lesson on paying attention to what's going on with your helicopter.. this wasn't part of the simulator.. the VIRTUAL heli didn't have money associated to it, if it crashed.. I just pushed the red button and blam.. try again.. THIS HELI.. the real one was a big screen TV hovering off the ground about 20 ft away from me. OMG..

It was at this point that mother nature decided it was time to remind me that she was around me and the helicopter. A small gust/breeze got ahold of the helicotper.. nothing a pro would even have noticed mind you.. but for me, it might as well have been a gail force wind. I panicked. As the helicopter drifted to the left, I over compensated and pushed it right.. as I did so the helicopter started to decend.. so I gave it collective.. At this point.. imagine reactions over compensating for the previous reaction.. all hell broke loose and the heli nosed in, turned.. and the skid struck the ground and heli tipped over. The blades were the first to go with the blue grips still attached, then the flybar smacked the ground, and the heli came to a rest on it's side.. crashed.

I first reaction.. well I guess the saying that "EVERYONE" crashes is true. My next reaction was concern over having all the parts to fix my heli. So I took hold of all the parts I could find and took her back into the house.

I am VERY happy to report that after 2 hours of repairs (in part due to my lack of knowledge) I was able to fully repair my helicopter with the parts I had. The results of my crash were: Bent - main shaft, flybar shaft, feathering shaft; Broken Main Blades.

It goes without saying that my next flight i will be putting some training gear onto the helicopter to ensure that I don't repeat this crash without really loosing control. But I did learn from the crash which is a good thing.

I'll be back in the air tonight I hope.

Aceman
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