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PostPosted: Sat Oct 18, 2008 3:36 pm
by yankeflyer
Well this kinda sucks to report this but the hard and ugly truth is, after about 100 ft. and just getting the wheels in the air, the plane started banking left I corrected without effect, and as the left wing tip touch the ground it was quickly over.

PostPosted: Sat Oct 18, 2008 3:42 pm
by yankeflyer
It was a beautiful day it in a great place to fly as you can see from the pictures there is lots of room. The track that I left showed that though both wheels did get in the air I never felt that I had aileron control.

When the right wing came up I applied control input to try and lower it and bank right. At this point I feel it simply I didn't have enough power to get the speed necessary to make the control surfaces effective.

It seemed like a good idea at the time to try the pioneers and now the plane is broke -- and I have this terrible feeling I will never fly again.

The front wheel did as I had hoped assuming the worst happened and it did the wheel and forks would take up the impact.

PostPosted: Sat Oct 18, 2008 3:43 pm
by yankeflyer
And the damage to the right wing.

PostPosted: Sun Oct 19, 2008 12:42 am
by lazairiii
This is not good news. After all that work, and now this. I'm very sorry to hear of this.

I have to say though, if you were off the ground, you should have had ample aileron roll control. I have control of the ailerons on takeoff roll well before I leave the ground. I'd look into this problem further.

Don't give up. This is not the end. You may have to do some repairs, but she can fly again. That prop strike is concerning as well. Check your crank and props very carefully before putting them back into use.


PostPosted: Sun Oct 19, 2008 12:31 pm
by JPXman
I hope you didn't fall prey to the "lazair hanging stick phenomenon"

many pilots who first fly a lazair with a hanging stick for some reason input the OPPOSITE control than what is required. I was warned of this many years ago, but have never flown a hanging stick lazair. I know of two people recently who's lazairs have gotten bitten on a maiden flight due to this.

I'll bet you can't remember, but which way did you put the stick when the wing came up?


PostPosted: Mon Oct 20, 2008 1:07 pm
by yankeflyer
So Tyler as I remember the moment I kept adding right control stick while managing the pitch control to keep the wheels just off the ground. Until it became obvious the left-wing was about to touch the ground and I thought what had I done hooked up the ailerons backwards, by then the rotary skid was coming apart the forks were sticking in the ground -- the tail was coming up and I was hanging from the seatbelt.

A very humiliating moment. I had pitch control but never felt any reaction from the plane after input to the ailerons. My experience tells me that my airspeed though enough to keep the wheels off the ground never exceeded stall speed, so I basically went along in ground effect until the variable wind lifted a wing. Pilot owner operator error.

What a comedy of errors; I invited Bruce Lazzarini, a recent acquaintance herein Winslow who happen to own a studio style camera and related equipment, to film the event. And as described above it turned out to be a very short event.

After we I returned to the shop, I received a call from Bruce and after introductions, I related the brief version of my day. Though at the time I said I was gald it wasn`t on film.

Bruce then proceeded to relate his experience of the same afternoon trying to film the location -- drove the truck to the top of the Mesa to film tucker flats from above but arrived at a location too far south on the rim.

Heading north along the rim of the Mesa a spindle breaks off the truck and he loses a wheel. He thought he was close enough to maybe a holler at me and the guys that were helping me put the plane together, Bruce grabs his equipment and starts hiking for the rim. When he got there all he saw was all of vehicles in a line headed north, back to the highway.

Hours later after Bruce had hiked all the way back to the highway with his equipment and hitched a ride into town, he gave me a call from home to tell me of his experience.

Today I got the following e-mail from Bruce,

Hi Miles,
Took 3 hours but we got the truck out with a lot of help from Winslow Ford Towing. Shattered brakes, broken axle spindle, etc. What an adventure, the hardest part was finding a way to get the flatbed into where I was without getting stuck, which it did twice.
When do you think you might be ready to fly again?

Miles Mulloy <> wrote:
Hi Bruce

Tucker Flats tomorrow - easy to find we will have a trailer or two out there and we are going out late this afternoon.

PostPosted: Tue Oct 21, 2008 8:19 am
by russell
Gee Miles, sorry to see you bent your plane. I can surely feel your pain. It sure deflates your spirit to have worked so long and hard just to have it turn ugly in an instant. During the 8 years of flying my series 1 I had some butt-puckering moments but never like you discribe. Before I installed the 3 axis control retrofit kit crosswinds were quite a challenge. In an attempt to keep the plane going in a fairly straight path, dragging a wing tip was not unusual, but I always had good control of the plane and the ailerons were always responsive. After the retro fit kit all that went away. It inherently rolls very slow. It's anything but snappy! You should have had a better response from aileron input than what you discribe. Cross wind or the loss or lessoning of power on the low wing could give you similar results because once the upwind wing gets a good push of air under it it's not going to be forced down very quickly and I found it eye opening at just how quickly the upwind wing can rise with a cross wind.
The airplane is tuff and can take some abuse but Shannon is right about the marginal power of the chainsaw engines. I always had to keep that in mind. Those Pioneers are merciless and unforgiving, but at the same time it gives one great pleasure and it's the ultimate in "low and slow" and flying on the edge which is very exciting.
I did a stupid thing recently by thinking I could jump into my extensivley refurbished Lazair and take up where I left off 18 years ago! I had forgotten just how sensitive to wind it can be and how the lack of power requires a flying area to not be close to power lines; however I don't think low power had anything to do with your situation.
Good luck in getting it back together and good to hear you weren't injured, aside from your pride.


PostPosted: Fri Oct 24, 2008 1:14 pm
by JPXman
hey shannon - where did you get that picture of my bent series III! yep, that was over 3 years ago when i had an engine failure (one of many during that period of time while i figured out the JPX) and had to land in a ploughed field. New tubes from Curtis Lazair Factory and its good to go again.

I still remember my first few flights in a lazair - if i had had personal mentoring at the field there's no way i would have had problems. the landing rollout for me was hard to master and took at least 5 full landings to figure out, and not without one trip into the corn field in those first five.

maybe people should start bringing experienced lazairheads to their maiden voyage to test fly and offer tips. i know when my old man first completed his lazair, it was test flown by and experienced lazair guy and then handed over to him and carefully watched during taxi tests and lots of ground briefing before first real flight.

PostPosted: Fri Oct 24, 2008 2:23 pm
by russell
Good advice Tyler. I had never flown an airplane before my Lazair. I did; however, have a good friend that was at the time a high time pilot and flew for the forestry. As a matter of fact he was the reason I decided on the Lazair. He went to the Lakeland, Florida fly-in and was very impressed by it. Anyway, he flew it the first time it was flown to check it out and carried me up a couple of times in the forestry plane and gave me some hands on and instruction. He wasn't crazy enough to let me have the controls while taking off or landing, but did let me fly and do several figure eights. But when all is said and done, when you climb in the sling seat you're on your on. The biggest rush I've ever had and I've done a lot of drugs!

PostPosted: Sun Oct 26, 2008 1:16 am
by Don
Hey Guys,
I'm going to echo Tyler and Russell's coments. That was my Series III in the Youtube video. Dale Kramer test flew it for me and gave me his seal of aproval on it's construction. He explained alot about what to do and what to expect but once I sat in the seat it was all up to me to do the right thing. That bent down tube is accompanied by a bent axel. When the mishap ocured I had about the same piloting experience as Russell with the exception of about an hour of pilot time in a Swietzer 232 glider. My Lazair experience was about 3hours of taxi time 30 or 40 2-6 foot high hops. The bent tubes came from a fast taxi then I pulled back on the stick for a hop and with a comination of more speed than I should have had and applying the up stick too hard I found myself about 30' in the air in an exhilerating blink of an eye. I had good control but that was my first real altitude achieving take-off unplanned as it was, the adrenilin was really flowing. I still had lots of runway to set it back down. I eased the throttels back then I saw the left propeller stop spinning. I remembered to put the nose down and I cut the throttel on the still running engine and applied full right rudder. but being that close to the ground didn't leave me much time to collect my thoughts and do the right thing drawing from my limited experience. After seeing the prop stop spinning I realized right away that when I brought the throttels back I had accidently hit the kill switch with my wrist. Since then I've got my new axel from George Curtis and made my own down tubes out of strut tubing. I'll be back at practice soon. Just one more coment since we kind of highjacked your thread Miles the airfield that I use is prone to cross winds. On the days I practiced I made sure that the air was absolutely calm. On one of my first taxis where I got close to take off speed I had the right wing start to lift. this was my first close to solo flight experience, I stayed calm moved the stick leveled my wings and kept going. I found that the roll rate was close to that of the glider which made me much more at ease. You've came along ways with your rebuild, now the repairs should be more comfortable to make. It won't take away the fact that you wrecked your plane but just make it easier to repair.
Good Luck and Be Safe, Don