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Flight Report, 2023 Feb 19

My AeroScout has been repaired, after the hard crash last week; I used a glue gun to repair the nose, and I have some CA tape and fixative to clean it up further; the prop has been replaced, and bench tests passed, so it’s “airworthy” even if it’s not in pristine condition.

On Sunday, it was drizzly and winds were on the cusp of being too much for the plane, but I figured I’d take a shot anyway, because last week I flew terribly and I wanted to get a successful day in the books if I could.

Goals for the day were really low: take off, fly a few patterns, and land. Given that the plane’s just been repaired, I figured this was pretty reasonable, plus it gives me a chance to literally focus on the basics that I applied so miserably last week.

When I got to the field, I was the only one there; that’s okay, too, because the weather was turning, and this gave me a chance to zero in on flying rather than on anything else. Plus, if the flight went bad like it did last week, I wouldn’t endanger anyone else.

I only got one flight in. I took my time bench testing the plane and letting the radio connection settle in, just in case there was a sync problem that caused the flight last week. Everything checked out, so I put the plane on the landing strip and gave it some power.

It pulls to the left on the landing gear. I’ll have to fix that. In the air, the wind made flying really difficult; I left the plane in beginner mode because I don’t trust myself to fight the wind enough with such a light plane, and the winds were definitely pushing it around a lot in the air.

I landed, took off again, and landed. None of the flying was what I’d term “spectacular,” and on both landings I bounced once – which isn’t that bad, but isn’t quite what I’d hoped. After the second landing, it was starting to rain, so I pulled everything back and left the field. As much as I like rain, I just didn’t think that was the right environment for me to fly in.

In flight, one thing stood out: I had the volume up on my RadioMaster, and the radio kept telling me the connection with the plane was “low” and “critical.” I wasn’t losing connection, but the warnings were unnerving. It turns out this is part of the telemetry setting in the model; if the connection is 45%, it’s “low” and if it’s under 42%, it’s “critical.” This is adjustable; I’ll probably drop the settings a bit, because I think the warnings are a little early to be practical.

So it was a “successful day,” overall, and I’m satisfied with it even if I’m not thrilled with it; it could have been better, but I met all of my goals except for the number of flights I’d have liked to have had.

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