What Are The Top 5 RC Glider Crashes?
It’s a pilot’s biggest nightmare – to have your beautiful glider soar breathtakingly into the sky, do figure eights, flips and whatever else your skills allow it to do, only to come crashing down in what seems like no time. This has happened to many people, it seems, if we’re to judge by the sheer multitude of YouTube videos on the subject.
In this post, we’ve collected the top 5 glider crashes we were able to find with links to the original videos. After that, we’ll explain some common reasons for crashes and how to keep them from happening. You’ll become convinced that yes, there is life after your glider crashes, and what doesn’t kill it makes it stronger.
Image source: http://scienceguyorg.blogspot.com/2015/12/dealing-with-frustration-model-aviation.html
1. Shutdown Fail
This glider crashed at the end of the aerotow when its shutdown failed. It is spectacular. To be fair, this was an old RC glider (made by Alois Sild) with quite a big wingspan – 2.35 m. This happened at Syrovice RC Toy Airport in the Czech Republic in 2018.
2. Light Wind DS Crash
A 3-m long Caracho F3B glider fell victim to light wind. You’ll be happy to know it’s been repaired and is now flying again.
3. Weak Material
This huge RC glider crashed after just 1.50 mins in the air because the material making it up was too weak. Moreover, its pilot has been criticized for flying it “like it’s a pylon racer.”
4. Crash due to Loss of Control
This turbine jet model glider was completely destroyed in this crash. A complete loss of control was evident as you can see in the video. Was it down to nature….or poor flying?
5. Not Gaining Flight
Finally, this crash occurred because the 3-m Fox glider failed to gain sufficient thermal flight, which is one of the most common reasons crashes happen.
Glider Crashes: What are the Most Common Reasons?
We’ll begin with what we just mentioned – many gliders crash because they don’t gain enough thermal flight. The fun doesn’t start until the pilot has found a strong and steady thermal. This is done by circling in or in and out of the thermal to gain height. The glider will start dropping once you lose one thermal, so you need to find another one as soon as possible! Your ability to do so is impacted by weather conditions. Slope soaring seems to be the fastest way to launch your R/C glider into thermals. Mind you that the wind must be blowing against the slope, from which you’re planning to launch your glider.
Wrong Elevator Assembly
Tahoe Daily Tribune recently wrote about improper assembly of a glider elevator in its rudder being the cause of a fatal crash at the Minden-Tahoe Airport. A Florida man actually died – on the spot – when his Genesis 2 glider plummeted to the ground soon after taking off. The horizontal stabilizer (elevator) fell off the machine, making it dive, according to eyewitnesses.
How Can I Fix my Fiberglass Fuselage?
This is the third most-common cause of glider crashes. One way to fix it is to add more weight, but if it’s already tail-heavy, this isn’t a viable option. According to these experts, you need to add epoxy resin and some glass. You can glue the fiberglass back after you sand the fuzz off the fracture. After sanding the inside, clean it and apply epoxy laminating resin with a few layers of 3 ounce fiberglass. Each layer should be a bit wider than the previous one.
This is where we get really technical. Sand the outside until it is completely smooth and apply a layer of 1.4 ounce cover over the fracture. The total added weight shouldn’t be more than an ounce if done right.
Of course, you can prevent crashes by investing in a quality product. You can read more about what makes a good RC glider here.