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Disorientation Phenomenon when Flying RC Model Aircraft

November 08, 2007

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Vienna, Austria
Posted:October 2nd, 2007
10.42 PM
Thank you for this valuable information!

There's three more things to say which are probably too obvious to you so you did not think it is worth saying:

1) I get bydly disoriented when I watch someone flying, but it is much better when I actually fly.

2) Mind the weather. Bright sun is good, overcast skies make it worse.

3) Keep the sun in your back.
 Bob Dible
NW Kansas
Posted:August 11th, 2007
3.17 AM
It's impossible to prevent D-O, but you don't have to crash when it happens. I always tell people that I instruct never trust your eyes, but trust that the airplane is doing what you told it to do. But if you do find that you have no idea what the airplane is doing, here is how you can save your bacon:
The first thing is to release all controls, allowing the control surfaces to return to neutral. The second thing is to hold up elevator, so that the airplane starts looping. What surprises most fliers is that a model will start looping over and over with very little loss of altitude each loop. When I demonstrate this, I usually turn my back to the airplane for 5 or 10 seconds. It doesn't matter too much what attitude the model was in at the start of the elevator input, assuming that the model was fairly well trimmed to begin with. Anyway while the airplane is suspended in multiple loops, it gives the pilot time to figure out what is going on, or call for assistance. I also demo to them what happens if they continue to hold both elevator and aileron - a spiral dive that results in a new model or lost modeler.

I hope this helps the next time you try for one more flight in the twilight or range check in the air.

Bob Dible

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