Here are some photo's of my crashes as well as descriptive text. Maybe some of my mistakes will assist others in preventing radio controlled helicopter crashes in the future. Maybe not but here have some fun and see what I've done to these poor things.
Crash Description Used sheet metal for tail fin, it bent and the tail got in the ground
Helicopter Thunder Tiger Raptor 60
Damage Rating Minor
Repair Cost Rating Minor
This wasn't too bad of a crash, heck I'd hardly qualify it as a crash, but I was told if something broke while the parts were moving, it counts as a crash.

I had broken off the tail fin for the helicopter while visiting my buddy Joe in Syracuse, hit a door frame or something like that. We needed a tail fin so we fabricated one out of sheet metal, it was wobbly, but hey better than nothing right? It worked fine that weekend.

The next weekend I was in a deserted (!) school yard and hit the tail in the dirt, it exploded and there I was ordering new parts. I even ordered a new tail fin while I was at it.

Crash Description Failure to switch to idle up before a roll
Helicopter Thunder Tiger Raptor 60
Damage Rating Heavy
Repair Cost Rating Medium
I went for a while without having any major incidents, and then this happened. I was flying around experimenting with a piece of equipment and had not planned to do anything special other than fly around.

After a few minutes I got bored of doing that so I did a pass down the front of the field and tried to roll it. Unfortunately I had forgot to flip into idle-up mode and when I went inverted the blade RPM's dropped and I flew it into the ground. The helicopter bounced off it's nose and back into the air and landed straight on the end of the tailboom. There were tons of broken parts on this heli and some people suggested I buy a new kit. Fortunately it wasn't as bad as it looked and I got it put back together again.

Crash Description Failed auto-rotation, blades too loose
Helicopter Thunder Tiger Raptor 60
Damage Rating Minor
Repair Cost Rating Minor
This was pretty much just a normal day of flying. Things were going well and as I started on a gentle climbout, the engine stalled. I did a pretty good job of autoing the heli back to the ground, everyone thought I had it, but about a second after touchdown one of the blades folded and whacked the tailboom, ruining the tailboom and my pretty carbon blades. This isn't the last time loose blades screw up an auto for me though! You think I would have learned (And I did eventually)
Crash Description Engine Seized, poor auto
Helicopter Thunder Tiger Raptor 60
Damage Rating Major (Engine scrapped)
Repair Cost Rating Major (Engine replaced)
I had apparently run the OS 60 engine lean to many times and it finally gave up the ghost in a full power climbout. I wasn't very high above the ground, the flameout surprised me and I botched the auto pretty good.

This is probably the most well documented crash I have to date. I had been experimenting with the Eagle Tree flight data recorder at the time and had the whole thing on 'tape' as it would be.

The landing was pretty rough and the blades folded, hit the tail boom and just flipped the heli about as it launched the back part of the tailboom into the field. As you can see the engine was pretty much fried so I installed an OS 70 in the heli and got back into the air.

Crash Description Bad case of the dumb thumbs
Helicopter Thunder Tiger Raptor 60
Damage Rating Medium
Repair Cost Rating Medium
It was a great day, as usual and the Raptor 60 was flying great. After a few flights I started to feel a little gutsy so I ran the heli down to the end of the field pulled back on the stick to invert it and the plan was to fly it back towards me inverted.

Of course I dumb thumbed it and rolled the wrong way, then panicked. Quciker than I could imagine it was heading for the treeline at the end of the field. I punched the throttle and pulled back on the stick to stop it and maybe gain some altitude. There just wasn't enough there. It rocketed into the trees sending branches and blade parts flying all over the place. It shot through the trees and landed the swamp that the trees were growing in. The engine was screaming it's head off as I tried to find the kill switch. I was still figuring out the GV-1 so it took a few seconds.

It wasn't a pretty sight and there was a fair amount of damage to fix but it sure was an AWESOME crash. My favorite as of yet!

Crash Description Rolling tailslide, one roll too many
Helicopter Thunder Tiger Raptor 50
Damage Rating Medium
Repair Cost Rating Medium
I was getting used to the Raptor 50 and trying some pretty docile but fun maneuvers. At the point of the crash I was playing with rolling tailslides which actually looked kind of cool. In one of the tailslides I let it roll one time too many and was too low to pull it out into level flight. It landed on the tailboom as you can see and snapped the main rotor off the top of the helicopter. It wasn't actually too bad to fix fortunately and all the fancy aluminum parts survived (whew!)
Date 06-26-05
Crash Description Rotor First Landing
Helicopter Bergen Intrepid Gasser
Damage Rating Small
Repair Cost Rating Medium
Was just taking some really nice slow flights and the tail locked out in a piro on me. I put it in because I was nervouse about it becoming a safety issue for the other people around. I'm going with a heavier duty regulator (The Fromeco Helo Regulator, see R&D section) to help rule out the possibility of a voltage sag causing the GY-401 to reset.
Photo's are intellectual property of Jon Caywood and occasionally other sources used with their permission. If you would like to duplicate these photo's or dicuss this website, please contact me at [email protected]