Jeff Higginson gets his picture in the
magazine—just because. His indoor AMA Racer
flies exceptionally well.
“I sometimes think this is from flight
simulators. Students progress so fast
on the computer that being with an
instructor isn’t so important anymore,
but they miss out on key safety
parameters like taking off and landing
into the wind, announcing intentions,
and no taxiing in the pits. I’m always
working with people to try and teach
these things, but the hardest habit to
break is a bad one learned first.”
Henry sure has a point! When using
potentially dangerous equipment
alongside strangers, nothing beats
politeness and courtesy. I hear too
many stories of incidences that
could have been prevented by pilots
knowing and following proper field
It boils down to not doing anything
that puts nearby modelers at risk.
Some people don’t know when they’re
doing it, and a few don’t care. Taking
chances with someone else’s safety is
the height of rudeness.
Lance Novak wrote to me about
how modern technology for our sport
brings new ways to get hurt if we’re
He wrote, “After 20-plus years of
staying clear of spinning blades, I was
testing my helicopter’s controls while
holding it by the skids. [It] turned out
that back cyclic was just right to let the
blade tips hit my inside forearm below
the elbow. Two nice little cuts.”
Thanks for sharing, Lance.
Okay everyone—don’t hold your
models by the skids while testing the
controls or you might find out why
they’re called choppers.
Self-confessed “avid reader,” George
Hamby, wrote about a TV sitcom that
showed modeling in an unflattering
light. The characters tried an unsafe
stunt and someone got hit by a model
Funny, right? Nope. Stuff like that
makes us all look bad.
Shows live and die by the sponsors’
impressions of public opinion. A quick
email, especially if 1,000 modelers each
sent one, could make the producers
decide to do more research the next
time they want a quick laugh at our
expense. There’s enough humor in our
hobby without portraying it that way.
This Little Piggy Went Flying
On the subject of funny vs. unfunny,
a reader wrote about his four-stroke
engine backfiring, throwing the
propeller nut and propeller. The still-spinning airscrew arced and amputated
the sandal-wearing pilot’s second toe.
Doctors reattached it—more or less.
He said he wasn’t standing in front
of the model, but the loose propeller
found him anyway. If it had been a tail-dragger, the angle could have sent the
propeller toward his head.
Impromptu amputations are no joke,
but thankfully propeller ejections are
a rare occurrence. We take great care
86 Model Aviation M AY 2014
SAFETY COMES FIRST