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Macon Aero Modelers Safety News March 18th, 2009

From the Safety Coordinator

Bill Duncan

      Safety Checklist,

            At this time of year we hope to see the last of the winter snows and start blowing the dust off our RC aircraft. In a few months weekends at OTX should be filled with the smells of "nitro," gas, and the hum of electrics. We expect to polish up those controlling skills that have been pretty dormant over the winter. Many members of our club will return from hibernating in Florida and once again look to take to the friendly skies of OTX. But before you rush out to the field and launch your prized (and costly) aircraft into the air, I would encourage you to take several deliberate actions. This is especially important for those models that had a close encounter with the earth last flying season, or maybe you decided to put in new servos, change the control throws, or repower the little beast.

            First, read and review AMA's National Model Aircraft Safety Code. AMA encloses a copy of the Safety Code when you get or renew your AMA license. You can also find it in the back of any Model Aviation magazine.

            Second, review our club's Field Safety Regulations. This is found in the Macon Aero Modelers Constitution and Bylaws.

            Third, I invite you to use the following check list to check your model, receiver, and transmitter before your first flight. A similar checklist is found in most kits. This one comes from a Top Flite Models, so I give them all the credit. Feel free to print it off and stick it in your tool box.

    Checklist :

  • 1. Fuelproof all areas exposed to fuel or exhaust residue such as the firewall and engine compartment, fuel tank compartment, flap area, wing saddle area, and wheel wells.

  • 2. Check the C.G. according to the measurements provided in the manual for the plane.

  • 3. Secure the battery and receiver with a strip of balsa or plywood, or Velcro strap. Simply stuffing them into place with foam rubber is not sufficient. These items can change the C.G. if they move around in flight.

  • 4. Extend your receiver antenna and make sure it has a strain relief inside the fuselage to keep tension off of the solder joint inside the receiver (applies to 72 MHz). For 2.4 GHz receivers, follow the instructions that came with the receiver.

  • 5. Balance your model laterally. You want a model that doesn't dip to one wing when you hold the nose and tail (this is the "roll axis")

  • 6. Secure critical fasteners with thread locking compound (the screws that hold the engine to the firewall, set screws on wheel collars, screw-lock pushrod connectors, etc.)

  • 7. Add a drop of oil to the axles so the wheels turn freely.

  • 8. Make sure all hinges are securely glued in place. Pull on the control surfaces and check for security.

  • 9. Reinforce holes for wood screws with thin CA (control horns, servo hatches, landing gear straps)

  • 10. Confirm that all controls operate in the correct direction and the throws are in accordance with the instruction manual.

  • 11. Make sure there are silicone retainers on all clevises.

  • 12. Fasten all servo arms to the servos with the screws included with the servos.

  • 13. Secure connections between servo wires and Y-connectors or servo extensions and the connection between your battery pack and the on/off switch with vinyl tape or heat shrink tubing.

  • 14. Make sure any servo extensions and other wiring doesn't interfere with the movement of servo arms, landing gear, pushrods, etc.

  • 15. Make sure fuel lines and pressure lines are properly connected and not kinked.

  • 16. Balance your propeller (and spare props).

  • 17. Tighten propeller nuts and spinners.

  • 18. Place your name, address, AMA number and telephone number on or inside your model.

  • 19. Cycle your battery packs in receiver and transmitter and make sure they are fully charged.

  • 20. When you get to the flying field, range check your radio and make sure everything is working properly.

            Bill Duncan
           Safety Coordinator,
Safety Coordinator
            Macon Aero Modelers

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