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Old 09-03-2012, 11:29 PM
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Whoops!
Repairing a Pilot Plane with Replacement Wood!

What a great flying Yak

Setup with the DA 50, hitec HV servo's and Futaba HV FASST system.
After some trim flights adjusting expo and balance, and finally a slight shim to the motors thrust, it began tracking like a pattern plane! No weird tendencies, on and off throttle held perfect lines in all attitudes, the works!

And then... after some basic loops with a roll over the top, four points, knife edge's, slow rolls and stall turns with a snap on up line being about the hardest maneuver.. coming out of the last stall turn, the wings began to flutter..... extremely bad... got her slowed at idle to a near stand still in the air and still severe wing fluttering.. she tip stalled over, I caught it for a split second on the down elevator..... and she tip stalled one final time, pile driving near nose first from about 15 feet.

I dont fly hard.. and have never even tried 3D, being an older pattern guy.. all I can think is one of the vertical snap rolls broke the wing cradle free in the fuselage, and the wings shook the thing to pieces.
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Last edited by shimano; 10-08-2012 at 02:18 PM. Reason: Title change
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Old 09-04-2012, 12:08 AM
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Know God,no fear!
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Send Tony a pm about what happened.
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Old 09-04-2012, 09:13 AM
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Well I did learn some things after the fact...

Hitec 5585MH servo gears are stronger than the aluminum arms (thank god)
Velcro really does hold that good (bottom half or receiver held but top half popped free)

And you dont have to stomp the plane to pieces to get free wood
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Old 09-04-2012, 11:19 AM
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Huckin Fire Trucker
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I hate to see that plane in a pile. I have the exact same plane and love flying it. That has to be one of the best schemes I have ever seen !!!!!!!!!
Just wondering, did you go through the fuselage and CA glue all the wood joints you could get to ?
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Old 09-04-2012, 11:31 AM
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Yeah I did. Although doing that does not always make a better bond.
I wish they would build them with real glues, and ditch the hot glue. Its strong, for sure.. but it just doesnt soak into wood like other glues will.. and will eventually just separate/delaminate from vibration alone. However, in a rebuild, hot glue comes off very easy, and makes rebuilding easier.
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Old 09-04-2012, 12:02 PM
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True, just wondering what if anything could have prevented that. I don't 3D like the true meaning of 3D, but I do like to throw my planes around fairly well and the thought of losing my race green machine to a failure like that just makes me real nervous.
A friend of mine thins epoxy with alcohol and goes over every joint he can get to with that, maybe I better think about doing something like that to mine
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Old 09-04-2012, 01:02 PM
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Well.. stuff happens. I had noticed the inner socket of the wing cradle of the fuse started to delaminate a few days before this happened, and I had seperated it enough to get it reglued back together.. I suppose I should have taken that warning a little more seriously. However the other side looked okay. Id take a pic of what I am talking about.. but I dont think I could actually identify that area too well in the condition its in right now It wasnt at the wing tube socket, but the light ply skin that the bolts go through, when securing the wing. And it was just the very trailing edge of that skin as well.

I always do an inspection of key points on my airplanes before the first flight of the day.. scan each servo for set screw's, pushrods and ball joints are still secure, I tug on each control surface to verify all hinges are still bonded.. I grab the wings and stab to check for any slop after assembled.. etc, etc.

I love hot glue for certain things... I understand its much faster on the assembly line.. cheaper than other glues, and all that.. But using it to construct the entire airplane is only ever going to be a temporary bond.. It also prevents other glues from soaking into that joint, and will only spread and soak in around the outside of the joints..

I suppose though, using hot glue as they do (not just referring to Pilot, nearly all of them do) definitely gives them a better job security, because the lifespan of the hot glued airframe is limited.

Pilot though, has raised the bar on this. In fact, having Tony offer this new free wood for repair service, has made me feel like they want to be the best. Think about that, you know they will try to make their airframes as solid as possible, or they will risk loosing a lot of money down the road in wood they give away.

I will buy more Pilot aircraft! Thanks Tony
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Old 09-04-2012, 01:56 PM
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Huckin Fire Trucker
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Very interesting. I can picture what you are talking about and I will certainly check that area of mine often as well after this. Thanks for the heads up.
I agree with you on Pilot's quality. For a model aircraft that is made for mass quantities, Pilot does a great job. Granted, if I would get better at kit building then the worries of glue joint, etc. would be reduced. But seriously, for the money, and I consider my time worth a decent wage, then these Pilot ARF's rock !!!!!!!!!!!!
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Old 09-04-2012, 09:34 PM
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Ouch! Sorry to see your new plane in that state. I love those Pilot Yaks! I want a 150cc one day...
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Old 09-04-2012, 11:20 PM
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I received confirmation to have replacement woods shipped out from Tony at Pilot
I will document the rebuild here, but I dont know if it will be any over night deal

Thanks Tony Tan!
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Old 09-05-2012, 08:24 AM
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Pilot and Tony are at the top of this hobby with their customer service Some of the other top brands could learn a few things from him.
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Old 09-10-2012, 12:21 PM
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Received an email from Cady Yang the other day. What great customer service! They not only offer the replacement woods, they are good enough to send an image of the pieces prior to shipping, to give the customer a chance to have a look, verify it, and confirm prior to delivery to keep any chance of a mix up to a minimum I tell you, they just keep impressing me!

Maybe they need some sort of purchase program like say, buy 5 airframes, get the next one half price or even better.. free?? Well, one can dream..

Well anyways, heres the image sent of my replacement pieces prior to shipping out.
I am also requesting the pre cut covering as well, so all said and done, this should be like brand new again!
Thanks Tony Tan, and Cady Yang!
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Old 09-15-2012, 01:04 PM
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It's always bad to see a downed plane, but always good to hear the company stepped up to the plate and is getting you some replacement parts

Iv'e never bought a Pilot plane, but this thread will always be in the back of my mind (knowing Pilot did the right thing) when it comes time to buy the next one.

Iv'e only had one structural failure and that was a GW Yak 55m....the fuse snapped right behind the canopy on the maiden flight, it was hinging on the right fuse plate, but got it down in with only a ding in the wing tip and the fuse failure. I didn't bother to contact GW as I new it would be a waste of time, so I fixed it and flew the snot out of it for a couple of years then sold it to a club member...he still flies it to this day
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Old 09-15-2012, 02:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by superstocktx View Post
It's always bad to see a downed plane, but always good to hear the company stepped up to the plate and is getting you some replacement parts

Iv'e never bought a Pilot plane, but this thread will always be in the back of my mind (knowing Pilot did the right thing) when it comes time to buy the next one.

Iv'e only had one structural failure and that was a GW Yak 55m....the fuse snapped right behind the canopy on the maiden flight, it was hinging on the right fuse plate, but got it down in with only a ding in the wing tip and the fuse failure. I didn't bother to contact GW as I new it would be a waste of time, so I fixed it and flew the snot out of it for a couple of years then sold it to a club member...he still flies it to this day
Well I was not going to contact Pilot for the replacement parts. I was prepared to write it off as a loss, but they started this new program for replacing wood to repair a damaged airframe.. and even still, I figured this one was so trashed that it might be beyond what they were willing to replace.. But to my surprise, Tony didnt seem the slightest bit concerned with the amount of replacement pieces needed.
I never pointed any fingers to blame anyone, and still dont feel it was anyones fault but my own. I believe no matter how well a company builds their airplanes, its up to the buyer, and the buyer alone to finish the airframe to be airworthy. Honestly I get irritated at the few people out there that wreck a plane, and refuse to take any responsibility for the indecent, and blame the company for design flaws, poor construction or whatever they can come up with. Never their fault..

Anyways, thanks. And if this helps someone out with deciding to buy a Pilot airframe next time, Great. Do I get anything out of this?? nope, nothing more than any other average Joe would get I will have my Yak back in the air soon though, and built with my glue of choice! Thats all I could ask for
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Old 09-15-2012, 03:43 PM
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It was not my intent to blame GW for the failure, nor get a new fuse from them, I just figured it would be a waste of time to even mention the failure to them. Probably just a bad batch of wood as no glue joints failed and had a bottle or two of thin CA in it. I have a GW MX2 that I use and abuse, fly hard and put up wet and it is still holding together after 2-3 seasons

Offering pre cut replacement pieces is a great option from Pilot!
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