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The mid-air collision

Some of the most spectacular rc airplane crashes happen in mid air, when one aircraft unintentionally (usually...) makes contact with another, particularly at high speed. This is almost always down to pilot error, and it's an easy mistake to make in crowded skies. You only need to fly once with one other plane in the sky to know how easy it is to misjudge, or not know, the position of the other plane!

Anyone who has witnessed such an event will know the unmistakable noise of impact, immediately followed by complete silence as tiny pieces of shredded airplane fall gently to the ground.

One mid-air collision that I personally witnessed in my early aeromodelling days was particularly spectacular... Two planes met head-on, so you can imagine the result. While walking around the wreckage, one guy accidentally kicked what was left of the plane's shattered wing. The owner, as a natural reaction, cried out "Hey, don't break it!"

But laughs aside, understand this...

RC airplane crashes are all part of the hobby, there's absolutely no doubt about that. Any RC pilot who tells you that he/she hasn't crashed his/her airplane obviously hasn't been flying for long enough!

This page shows what can happen when things go wrong, and is written in a way that might appear to be making fun of the pilots involved. Not so! I've merely tried to take the sadness out of the experience.

I myself have crashed my fair share of rc airplanes, some of which had taken many hours to construct from a kit. I've flown with many rc pilots who have crashed their beloved, and often expensive, model planes. And although the moment of a serious crash is heartbreaking, one thing usually happens soon after the crash - the pilot smiles, even laughs and jokes about it! Maybe it's just his/her way of expressing the sudden grief of losing something so precious, but it happens.

So what's my point?... Don't get too upset if you crash your rc airplane. It happens. Be a man about it. Smile about it, even laugh and joke about it.

Yes, it's a great shame that your airplane has met an untimely departure, but pick up the pieces and move on! Look on the bright side; you can have an early beer, even get home in time for the big game. Not to mention the sympathy you'll get from your other half, when you do return home, plastic bag in hand...
In fact, milk it all the way. Phone home in advance and give the bad news. There'll be a cold beer in your hand as soon as you walk through the door.

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