Thursday, 27 June 2013

Ian Emery, RC Heli pilot news update...

We're delighted to bring you some news from our friend Ian Emery, who has very kindly taken some time out of his hectic schedule to bring us this update on his season so far (& the build-up to it):

"It seems like such a long time since I last sat down and wrote something for the blog" (ed. All is forgiven Ian - we love hearing from you, whenever you get the chance). "I have had quite an eventful winter and workup to this year’s season. I had completely re-built the helicopter to check for wear and tear and replace any parts that were required. All bearings were fine and would be good for another season.

Having spoken to the team at SMB I had decided to use rubber sealed bearings on the main mast and these were really holding up well" (ed. rubber seals are really effective at keeping lubricant in & dirt out, but they do cause drag so you wouldn't want them in the engine - find out more about bearing closures here).

"This year’s goal was to compete in the F3C class and training was going really well, that was until 1 week before the proposed first competition at Tring.

I had just completed a schedule and was beginning my Auto-Rotation. I realised that I was going to be a little short of the landing spot so thought I would bailout and try again. I switched the throttle hold switch off expecting the head speed to increase within a second or so. Its funny how things don’t turn out as you expect, my Speed Controller failed and the helicopter fell to the ground.

I managed to keep the helicopter level, but the undercarriage strut cracked resulting in the helicopter falling on its side. Initially I thought I had got away with only minimal damage but on closer inspection there were quite a few items that would need replacing. I won’t mention what brand the speed controller was, but I can say the customer service was brilliant and the UK supplier replaced the controller within a week. It was going to prove too much work to have the helicopter ready mainly because the parts I needed were out of stock. Rather fortunately the first competition was cancelled the day before due to bad weather; this would give me extra time to get things sorted.

Ian (3rd from right) with fellow competitors at Scottish HeliNats 2013

The next competition I was planning to attend was the Scottish Helicopter Nationals near Aberdeen. I finally got the spares I needed 4 days before I left to travel to the competition and although I got it back together again, I only had time for 2 flights before I left, and that was spent checking the new speed controller. I decided to take my Trex 700e F3C with a newly fitted flybarless head leaving the Rave ENV as my backup.

We finally arrived for the competition and because of the problems I had, I decided to fly the Sportsman’s schedule as this was the first competition that had gone ahead for 9 months that I could fly in. The first round, although a little nervous went quite well although for the Auto-rotation I was just looking to get the heli down in one piece. The second round was similar; a few silly mistakes but as always the judges on hand to provide some constructive feedback. By time my third flight came around the weather was beginning to turn and a band of sea mist was quickly approaching. This caught me out on 2 manoeuvres as my run-ins were slightly too far away and against the dark grey clouds the helicopter just seemed to disappear in them.

Nevertheless I managed to complete the schedule and managed to win all 3 rounds, although the other competitors flew really well and the scores were fairly close. This was the 25th Scottish Helicopter Championships and although it was a bonus to come away with Cup, it was a really enjoyable weekend at a fantastic venue with great hosts".

A quick chorus of Queen's "WE ARE THE CHAMPIONS" please!! :-)
Thanks for a cracking event report Ian, we wish you every success for the rest of the season.

If you want to find out more about how to get involved in RC helicopter flying,
check out the AHA website (Association for Helicopter Aerosports) 
or the HeliNats website & maybe even enter yourself for next year!
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