A model display at a recreation center brought
interested spectators to model-flying sessions.
The PBY Catalina is on the right side of the
Guess this airplane
via email and get
plans for a NoCal
so take a shot!
Don’t ya just love statistics? We are in a hobby with all types of potentially dangerous equipment, but the numbers show that if a modeler gets hurt at he field, it probably didn’t involve a model.
Whether it’s traveling to the RC field or a park, an outing involves driving,
parking, unloading, walking around, and other supposedly safe activities. We take
such things for granted, but people get hurt in mundane accidents at or near the
flying field. Tripping, vehicle incidents, mowing the grass, barbecuing—you name
it. Most pilots don’t consider those things part of the sport, but an insurance
adjuster would. It seems odd, but it’s true.
This is why well-organized clubs evaluate their fields from a variety of
viewpoints, and try to eliminate hazards beyond the obvious flight-related issues.
Less-obvious hazards can sneak up on us when we’re busy dreaming about our
I enjoy doing the Mystery Airplane game because of the great email messages I
receive from readers. Old friends and new acquaintances write in, mostly saying it
was too easy or too hard and how did I ever make it through sixth grade English
composition (answer: I wore a disguise). Plenty of great comments and stories
come in along with the guesses. Here are a few.
James Liska is an old-school RCer who started in the 1960s
with single-channel equipment. At the age of 75, he switched
from gas-powered to electric-powered models.
“All my modeling experience and 50 years as an A&P
[Airframe and Powerplant mechanic] was of little value with
the new computer-style radios. One
day, I grabbed the wrong transmitter
to adjust blade tracking on one of the
helicopters. I didn’t disable the motor
on the heli first.
“I turned the transmitter on
and plugged in the battery to the
helicopter, which immediately went
wild. I was lucky to escape the rotating
blades until the ’copter shut itself
down. Now, each time I pick up a
transmitter, I have to stop and assure
myself that the model and settings are
This hobby always has some new
tricks for us old dogs to learn, James.
Henry A. Smith IV wrote:
“I always enjoy reading your column.
Stories of people getting hurt are
never boring. I’ve been noticing over
the years that etiquette at flying fields
sometimes is lacking. Old rules like
not taxiing in the pits aren’t taught
85 Model Aviation MAY 2014
SAFETY COMES FIRST