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"Tree-Smacking with Darryl's Butterfly" Cox_ba12




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Post  Kim Mon May 03, 2021 10:02 am

Suffering from some sort of cranky indifference over the weekend, I passed on traveling to Breezy Hill for our annual memorial fun-fly to our late/great buddy, Darryl Wilson.

After a few hours of sitting in my chair like an old man waiting to yell at kids to get off his lawn, I noticed that the wind had really dropped, and decided to bring out the Dynaflite Butterfly Darryl had built several years before his passing.

I'd charged it up the previous night, on the chance that I might feel more sociable on Sunday, so it was just a matter of strapping on it's wings and going for it.  I KNEW I wasn't at the top of my game, as far as flying, but just went for it, and got a reasonable flight that was right on the verge of being fun.

After a successful return, out came the Go Pro cameras and their selfie sticks, and the Butterfly was refueled for another round.  In spite of my freshly mowed yard, I chose to hand-launch from the cow lot, as the wind was now rapidly picking up from the southeast.

This went well, with the O.S. .25FP hauling the motorglider through the downwind turbulence of the back barn.  I flew only a few laps, with a couple loop sessions before the rising wind convinced me to bring the Butterfly home.

Instead of going for the wonderful tall grass of the cow lot or pasture, I elected, as I'd done in the previous flight, to "shoot the chute"...that somewhat narrow approach to my front yard between the powerlines and cedar tree.

When the breeze is up, this approach can be a little dicey...having to keep power up for control of the plane, AND knowing when to cut it to keep from going through my living room window.  I let the Butterfly get too slow, and when it entered the chop and rotors from the cedar tree, it started wallowing around, with me about a half-second behind what was happening.

I SHOULD HAVE jammed power on and climbed out (ever mindful of not letting it hit the wires on the left and shutting down power to the subdivision), but continued to fight it with my slow reflexes as it went after the cedar tree like an angry chihuahua.

The impact wasn't very violent, as the plane's groundspeed, against the wind and my wobbling, was negligible and the Butterfly just sort of stopped and fell to the ground.  Amazingly undamaged, the only real trauma was the loss of one of it's Go Pro cameras (ALWAYS search the crash site for material and debris before carrying the mess back to the bench!).  The camera fell of the wing, and was lost in the tall weeds for about half an hour.  It was finally located (as I knew it would be) embarrassingly close by, having even recorded my stomping around as I searched for it.

So, all is well, and I really ought to drag it out again for some practice/polishing of my gradually degrading flying skills!

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wqWtLGqEffA


Last edited by Kim on Mon May 03, 2021 1:59 pm; edited 2 times in total
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Post  andrew Mon May 03, 2021 10:39 am

I had watched the video on YouTube the other day and couldn't figure out what had happened -- the shot of the tail feathers showed you were working pretty hard. That cedar tree must be a pretty strong plane magnet the way it sucked the Butterfly in.
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Post  Kim Mon May 03, 2021 11:01 am

@andrew wrote:I had watched the video on YouTube the other day and couldn't figure out what had happened -- the shot of the tail feathers showed you were working pretty hard.  That cedar tree must be a pretty strong plane magnet the way it sucked the Butterfly in.

Well, people are always asking me how many times I've hit that tree and, short of the time I stalled a Zagi wing into the top of it (stuck there for two days!), it HAS interfered with approaches, but not been hit.

The cow fence across the road has caused me much more trauma (dead-stick short approach) than the cedar tree Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy

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Post  rsv1cox Mon May 03, 2021 12:53 pm

I enjoyed your video Kim. Nice country side, green fields, water for irrigation, red roofs and barns compliment the scene.

Beautiful shot of the model approaching the tree. Then crunch. At least it fell out. I retrieved my Lanier from the top of a pine tree using a ladder then climbing up to get it. Little damage like yours too, just a slight dent in the vinyl covered foam wing.

Got those wheels on one of my Nieuport 28's.

Welcome to the grumpy old men's club. I have been a member in good standing for the last forty years.
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Post  Kim Mon May 03, 2021 1:32 pm

@rsv1cox wrote:I enjoyed your video Kim.  Nice country side, green fields, water for irrigation, red roofs and barns compliment the scene.

Beautiful shot of the model approaching the tree.  Then crunch.  At least it fell out.  I retrieved my Lanier from the top of a pine tree using a ladder then climbing up to get it.  Little damage like yours too, just a slight dent in the vinyl covered foam wing.  

Got those wheels on one of my Nieuport 28's.  

Welcome to the grumpy old men's club.  I have been a member in good standing for the last forty years.  

Thanks Bob!

Yes...if I ever wondered what made grumpy old men grumpy...I now know.

Things like:
Feet, ankles, and shoulders hurting (especially when waking up) for no known reason.
Ears ringing in varying intensities..."Thank you Bees, Bikes, and Guns!"
Hyper-sensitivity toward perceived idiots and their self-gratitous pity parties.
General irritation, even with friends, and needing the solitude and comfort of numerous "People Breaks".
Barely---and I mean BARELY---suppressing hurtful outbursts when told, "Well, YOU were young once too!"

Hand me my membership card!!! Old Bugger
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Post  rsv1cox Mon May 03, 2021 3:02 pm

Five points Kim, and I'm especially vulnerable to number 3. But, I take out my frustrations on the politicians with due respect of course. Bill Clinton was a favorite target along with several Senators and Congressmen of the era. All answered, some with the standard "Thank you for your............" But, it is nice to receive an answer on White House stationary. I kept them all.

Senator Manchin of my State of West Virginia is the current focus of my attention. 2nd amendment, National debt. Twenty eight trillion and counting. What the heck Joe?

My son complains. I tell him - Don't tell me, write your congressmen, err....congress person....err whatever they are known as now.
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