RIP: DW Foamies Yak 54

I like to offer a minute of silence for a lost airplane....[1 minute pause]. Goodbye DW Foamies Yak 54. I had a great time flying this plane. It was a great 3D trainer, and even better after installing a Hobbyking 401B gyro to help out with hovering and knife edge maneuvers. But where and how did I lose this plane? Well, something very odd happened in mid flight:
Lost Plane Report (LPR) I was on my 4th flight that day, the plane was behaving as expected and I was getting very comfortable hovering and doing knife edges. I tweaked my expo/dual rate settings to 50% expo 100% travel on acrobatic mode and 40% expo 70% travel for sport flying. I also had tweaked the gains on the gyro to 15% / 65%. When the plane was about 50 feet in the air after coming around after a round of maneuvers, I lost elevator control and the plane started drifting with the wind, which was blowing pretty intensely for a regular summer afternoon. I struggled with getting it back down using throttle, ailerons and rudder, but pointing the plane to a specific direction was becoming more and more challenging was the plane kept drifting further and further away. At that point the plane was well into the golf course next to the Apollo field (where I usually fly) and I was losing visual contact with it. The winds kept blowing pushing the plane further away and I finally lost visual contact with it.
Well, why did you lose elevator control? At the end of the flying day, I realized that I had forgotten to secure the elevator servo arm with the supplied screw after making last minute adjustments at home. ONE TINY SCREW! One forgotten tiny screw was the reason why I lost a plane to the wind. From now on, I double, scratch that, triple-check all my servo screws and connections before taking off. A lesson that had to be learned the hard way.



Julian Melo

Julian Melo has been around the R/C hobby since 2001. His first plane was PT-40 trainer from Great Planes he built as a kit, powered by an O.S. 40 engine. Nowadays you can find him flying fast EDFs or FPV multirotors. Professionally, he's an L.A-based web developer, Wordpress ninja & SEO Analyst. He is quite fond of good coffee, gadgets and loud garage rock. Check out his site/portfolio at or read his technology blog. He also recently started a new site/podcast titled UAV not Drone. Check it out!