Check your rubber bands

An incident was reported to the Committee this month about the total loss of a plane and potential damage to property when the plane landed out of bounds. Luckily no harm was done, other than to the plane, but a lesson might be learned. And that’s why we do incidence reports – to get multiple people looking at any crash in the no-fly zones so that we can all learn what we can from other’s misfortunes and hopefully reduce the number of crashes in the future. I believe everyone on the committee has had to fill out an incident report – I know I have!

In this particular case on the 4th or 5th flight of the day, the rubber bands securing the wing to the fuselage allowed the wing to move out of position, resulting in the model being nearly uncontrollable. The resulting crash in a no fly zone destroyed the model. While the rubber bands looked OK apparently, they must have lost some of their strength and let go at the worst possible time. It’s a reminder to check our rubber bands and replace them before they look like they are ready to go.

Update: I’ve just talked to our CFI Andy Hollitt and he suggested that rubber bands should be stretch tested before fitting them and that they should be replaced every few months if they are under continuous tension on our stored models. And nylon bolts should be considered instead of rubber bands for heavier models. The G forces on the wing can really add up and you don’t want the rubber bands to go in the midst of a loop.

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