Our latest foray into float flying started out a bit cooler and windier than advertised, but the wind dropped and things warmed up as the morning wore on. Unfortunately, I forgot to bring my camera, so you’ll have to depend on your imagination to provide the pictures of today’s outing.
We had a flurry of “Tidewaters” on hand, as well as Dan Nicar’s good flying “Icon”, my “Tundra” which had not been flown on floats before, and Don Haines’ nice-flying “Apprentice”. Paul quickly discovered that although his “Tidewater” was a dependable and easy to fly float-plane, it would not recover from a spin. It entered the water like a lawn dart, still in a tight spiral. Little damage was done to the plane, but it was a lesson learned.
As a change of pace, while the float plane flying commenced, Tom Regan alternated between his “Tidewater” and his “Lanzo Bomber” which he launched from the rise just to the south of the lake. It provided some pretty gliding circles out over the lake before returning to the rise where he launched it. Despite cries to set it down in the water, common sense prevailed.
Things went along swimmingly after that until Steve Jakubiszyn, who was holding my “Tundra” for launch said, “The motor’s running backwards!” Not sure how that could be, since I hadn’t touched it since I flew it on land last, I quickly changed out two of the battery wires—only to have it do the same thing in the middle of the lake. I finally remembered that the “Tundra” came equipped with a reversing ESC to let it back out of weeds or flotsam and jetsam and I was clicking that switch instead of the flap switch. Geez! It flew well after that and holds some promise for the future.
Late in the morning, Mike Hervey brought out his new Dynam “Beaver” and did an excellent job of getting it off the water and into the air his first couple of flights—his first time flying off water. The plane is very realistic in flight and appears very solid. On this third or fourth flight, the water bit him as it has so many of us, and he flipped the plane on take-off. I have a Zebco/tennis ball arrangement for just such retrievals, but badly miscast four or five different times. Steve used his “Tidewater” to try and ease the “Beaver” to the shore, but became entangled with one of the floats and his prop, so both drifted toward the rushes on the west side of the lake.
Don Haines became the hero of the day with his cleverly designed “Shepherd’s crook” pole, primarily intended for sail boat launch and retrieval. Don braved the edge of the water in his boots and then both beat down the rushes and separated Steve’s “Tidewater” from the “Beaver”. After a little more finagling, Don was able to lift the “Beaver” up out of the rushes and return it to it’s owner. You are both patient and persistent, Don. You saved the day for Mike and the “Beaver”. Good job!
That episode pretty well exhausted all of us, so we all headed home—with the thought of returning and bringing some burgers and buns at some point to make use of the grill under the big shaded shelter. If you’re not float-flying you’re missing a whole new modeling experience!