Thanks Don for the update. I had some repairs to do on 3 planes, before I could come out. My goal was for 11 ish, ended up being 12:30 ish.
Got there and the gate was open. YEE!HAW!, someone is here. Get nearer to the hangar, and I see a pickup. Not sure who it is, also see an 8’red plane on one of the plane stands.
It’s Marc McClellan. He had global emailed that he was coming out, but I thought it wasn’t till 3 ish. No matter, he’s here.
The plane he brought is a Super Decathalon. New to him. He bought it at the Burlington swap meet a couple weeks back.
As I got up to the plane, I noticed that it was in really good condition. Still had that “new car” smell.
Mark was going thru the setup procedure. Putting the wings on, filling it with fuel……..
By now the windsock was at 90 degrees constantly. I asked Marc if that is a problem. He gave me this big Cheshire Cat grin. Never too windy to fly.
I also noticed his ballcap was from the IMAC bunch. International Miniature Aerobatic Club. Do a search on the internet, you’ll be amazed.
Basically, these guys are the formula one drivers of the r/c world. They know there sh..t.
Plane is all set, plug hooked up, prime the motor, 3 flicks of the prop (no external start, except for his middle finger) and it comes to life.
The prop on this thing is carbon fiber. I squawk at having to pay $5 for a prop. This thing is $60. Ouch.
Put the plane on the run way. Run the engine up a couple of times, no spit, no sputter. Do a controls check. I slowly make my way back behind the
Pilot stands. This is to take pics.
Marc revs up the motor.
Pic one: Marc behind the plane
Pick two: the plane is going forward (this is about 8’ in front of Mark).
Pick three: no plane, I look over the camera to see what happened. The plane is now 30’ in the air at 15’ passed Mark, going vertical like a scalded rabbit
Pick four: ain’t none. Plane is still going vertical. A straight 90 degree vertical.
Pick five: are you kidding, plane is still climbing. Somewhere around “I can’t see it anymore”, Mark kicks it over to head left to right. He drops the altitude so we can
See it better. Once in a safe height we can see it, he does a left to right knife edge, flips it over and does a right to left knife edge, flips it over and does STUFF!
Mark is mumbling to himself. Don’t hear him, the wind is messing up my hearing aids. Plane comes down across the field for a landing.
Straight as an arrow, heading towards the runway, BUT, it’s crabbing at about 20 degrees due to the wind. But still stable (pilot).
Lands on the grassy area past the runway, kicks it around to bring it back to him.
Plane ends up at his feet. Motor still running, he’s pushing buttons on his DX18. Plane goes up again, same routine as the first time. Only this time, the knife edges are
Cleaner and sharper. Hmmmmmmmmm……. Something tells me this isn’t his first rodeo.
Brings it down again, same as last time. Plane at his feet, mumble. Plane is facing towards our right, throws more throttle into it, plane starts down the grass,
At about 80’ to our right the plane, buries itself into the grass on it’s right side, motor quits.
Mark “must have his a hole in the grass”. I’m tilting my head and thinking to myself, wait, I just cut that area of the field on Tues. I don’t remember and holes.
We walk on over to retrieve the plane. Sure enough, the right side of the plane is down on fuselage in the grass. But so is the right landing gear. The right side landing gear had separated
From the fuselage. Well! I guess no more flying for the day.
I help carry parts back to his truck. He loads up all his “stuff”. So, Al, what are you going to fly today? I look at the windsock, NOTHING!.
Do want to come over to my place to see my “stuff” and maybe we can go over to Wayne Huffman’s place. Hmmm, let me think about that.
Now. The story of going to Mark’s place and then Wayne’s place is for another letter.
The phrase that comes to mind is: DIED AND GONE TO HEAVEN. Film and way too many words and pics, at 11.