Crashed my “Trainer”: LISTEN to your model!

Hobbico Superstar in ruins... broken clevis??

WARNING… it TRIED to Warn me!


I awoke this morning putting two-and-two together… and I remembered that about two weeks ago, David Duke mentioned that he’d heard a buzz/flutter? as my model was coming out of a power-dive… I heard it, too… buzzzzzz …

I figured we were hearing a buzz from one of the many rubber-bands that hold the wing on. I have been reusing fuel-soaked rubber-bands (powdered with talcum powder) and so putting on half-again more bands than I would have if using NEW bands.
… Anyway…
I heard that buzz a couple of times on the day of the crash; before the Crash!… that buzz must have been elevator-flutter as that broken plastic clevis pin was working its way out!

I didn’t connect the dots until this morning. Days before the crash, I had heard that buzz… but I never inspected the model to see if I could find a source for that noise. “The model flew fine.”

LESSONS Learned:

  • Carefully inspect your model. Look for breaking/broken plastic parts.
  • LISTEN to your model… it might be trying to TELL you something.
  • Take the warning seriously… inspect carefully… expect the unexpected.
  • No more rubber-bands on “performance” nitro models!

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Bad Day at the Office: Crashed my “Trainer”

Wow… No control as it fell from the sky!

Anyone of us who’s been out to the field, lately, has seen my trainer as I tossed it around the sky! That Hobbico Superstar, with too-big an engine on it has been tearing around since the wing came off my Goldberg “Eagle 2” last summer.

Hobbico Superstar
My Superstar. fully repaired after it’s LAST incident…

So… it was flying great!

… when, directly over “center-field”, at a couple of hundred feet high, way up there… I flew into a stall and let the nose drop… and… I could not pull-up! … I yelled-out “I’ve lost control!” … and, with my finger pulling back on the stick for full up elevator, I could only watch as my model went into the dirt, just outside the fence at the north-end of the runway.

Nothing I could do!

I was helpless! … I would hope that I closed the throttle, but I am not sure. The model did not respond to my call for up elevator, all I could do was watch. I walked over near the crash site and saw that I really needed the truck so as to pick up all of those pieces.

Hobbico Superstar in the weeds, crashed... couldn't help it!

Wow… Great crash!… ON-OFF switch pulled-apart… Receiver cracked open… Needle-valve stem broken-off of my old O.S. 46fx motor… fuselage smashed, wing broken-apart and splintered… really NOTHING left except to salvage the hardware bits for use in the next model!

There was a small crater in the rain-softened earth into which the fuel tank leaked all of its precious contents.

I heaped the wreckage into my Blazer before I carefully loaded my Kadet for the ride home.


I actually couldn’t get much of a clue from that wreckage… EVERYTHING was pulled-away from its proper location. I checked the battery: 6.3V showing on the 5-cell NiMh battery. MT Bob was there to help me. He suggested that, perhaps the elevator servo had failed during my high-speed aerobatic maneuvers… and I know that I HAVE BEEN tossing that model around the sky. Even Jon mentioned, yesterday, that I had given it “quite a work-out!” … But, Bob and I connected the battery to the receiver and tried to run that elevator servo through its paces… and the servo seemed just fine… no issues… and the receiver… seems OK.

Broken Clevis??

But then I noticed that the elevator control rod was not connected to the elevator, itself…

Plastic clevis lets go of my elevator control horn??

No PIN in that clevis! … but did that happen in the air, at high altitude??… or was that broken clevis a result of the crash?

Like my old Goldberg Skylark…

I do not crash my models. … Though in the last two years, I have suffered several crashes!

In mid-2017, while using my FM radio, channel 60, my Skylark fell from the sky without explanation. It simply “locked-up” at altitude 40-sized Zlin model...and all I could do was watch it crash into smithereens. Then, in late 2018, on its maiden flight, my 46-sized ZLIN model came-apart on take-off! … I believe I had not properly secured the aileron hinges; after the crash I was able to simply tug them out of the wing. Also in late 2018, my kit-built Goldberg “Eagle 2” crashed when “the wing came off!” in flight. I had been using too-few rubber-bands to attach the wing; Eric and his ill-fated Seagull Models "Decathlon".fuel-soaked and re-used they were, too! … and then… Earlier THIS year, I actually DID crash my nice Decathlon: my fault! I had too much “up” elevator during take-off and I popped it off the ground into a full stall… could not recover… “Kaboom!”

… and now THIS crash of my Superstar trainer… I was at the stick, but I had no control: something “broke”!

It’s been a tough New Year!

Amazing… lost Aileron servo!

I got home… waited a day, or two before digging-in to peel the tid-bits off of the carcass… that’s My aileron servo was about 14-feet from the crash site!when I discovered that the aileron servo was not with my pile of wreckage… I must have left it out there in the dirt! … Today, Tuesday, I went out to the field and started to search. I found the servo about 14-feet from the little oil-soaked crater marking the crash-site… amazing that it was thrown so far from the point of impact!


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I had decommissioned my green 40-sized “Sky Raider” model last summer… I guess I will re-assemble that model and toss IT around the sky!

Have fun out there… See you at the field!

— Eric