A recipe for disaster. The winds the morning I woke up early where nearly non-existent and in my rush to get out to the park and avoid the crowds I hastily grabbed my flight bag and the Parkzone Radian. I was excited to finally get it into the air for the first time in over 2 months. I had just returned from Lake Tahoe, where I was on vacation and was planning on bringing the Radian to get aerial videos of the the lake and surrounding area. There just wasn’t enough room in the vehicle without damaging the Radian so I left it at home. So now, finally getting the chance to get the Radian in the air, I grabbed my flight bag and was off to the a local park where I fly.
Upon arriving, there was just a small family on the nearby playground equipment and a morning walker or two. I made my way onto the expansive green park lawn with basically the whole park to myself. A 350 yard stretch in one direction by another 150 yards in another, rare in this area for a freshly cut grass landing. I caught the attention of a young Father with his two kids who started to make his way to my start location to watch the launch. I put together the Radian, checked voltages on my batteries, checked wing alignment and trim on elev and rudder, did a range check and readied my stopwatch to keep track of the flight. The Father and his two kids settled on the park bench about 15 yards back and we exchanged good mornings as he told his kids to watch the airplane take off. I walked off to my usual starting point and hand tossed the Radian in the air under a little more the ¾ throttle, easily making altitude before I throttled down and began to familiarize myself with the flight controls and flying the Radian, cobwebs were steadily disappearing just under 2 mins into the flight when during a left hand turn one of the wings came off! The Father says, “OH NO!”, I respond “OH NO is RIGHT!” I’m shocked while watching the Radian, nose first with one wing still intact in a death spiral, no input on rudder or elevator is affecting the inevitable. It crashed pretty hard into the grass about 120 yards away, that I can be thankful for. The rogue wing decided it wanted to take a more slower and graceful flight back to earth then gently landed about 20 yards from the plane with no damage soon after. I took the walk or jog of shame with my DX5 radio in hand to survey the wreckage. Embarrassment, disappointment, and the lack of knowing what the heck happened fueled my rush to examine the plane and get back to my flight bag to see if it is repairable.
Picking up all the litter was hard, all the work and time I spent on adding the paint and strengthening the fuselage and other various items. This was the first time really where I had a major crash that was going to require a lot of time and worse MONEY to recover from. The Radian is filled with expensive electronic equipment and the parts like the wing and fuselage are not cheap by any means. It becomes quickly apparent that I will not be flying anymore that day, or the next day for that matter as the fuselage is split and the wing damaged on initial inspection. I got back to my flight bag and original launch area hoping that my accident wasn’t noticed by too many on lookers. Thankfully the young Father spared me the embarrassment of having to show him the damage as he left with his kids allowing me a private moment with the remains of my favorite plane =). So off to my vehicle with a ravaged Radian and my head low knowing I was about to spend a lot of time at the Hobby shop ordering parts.
edit- I just added some post crash pics of the Radian for those of you who enjoy my misery lol. I already have the parts ordered from my local Hobby shop but just recently noticed my ESC has sustained damage! The crash was the result of the carbon spar rod not being installed in wing. It was left at home and the only thing holding the wings on were the neodymium magnets I installed when I first purchased the plane. I only realized this after returning and going over the damage and realized the spar was nowhere to be found. I thought it came off in the wreck and I perhaps missed it when retrieving the wreckage.
Here are some links that I used for the repair:
- Parkzone Main – parts listing home(parkzone.com)
- Hobbyzone.com Radian parts listing(auth retailer)
- Advantage Hobby Radian parts(auth retailer – log in for best prices)
- RedRocket Hobbies Radian parts listing(auth retailer)
- EBAY – search on “Parkzone Radian”