peewee's New Toy - Destroyed                 Back Home

In another life, years ago, I flew radio controlled (RC) airplanes.  It was a consuming hobby, both time-wise and financially.  That was before THIS hobby (keeping up the Weeville website).  I was a pretty decent pilot in the air, but I couldn't hit the runway to save my butt.  I'd miss it to the left, to the right, whatever.  Once I tried standing in the middle of the runway and flew the plane directly toward me.  I set it down SHORT of the runway.  I could do amazing stunts in the sky and then dork the airplane in the tall grass trying to land it.  Embarrassing.

The issue is and was depth perception.  I have none.  There's an optical explanation for it, and it doesn't cause me any problems in normal life like with driving.  But I can't tell for the life of me how far away a distant object is, as compared to the the surrounding scenery.  Is it a large object far away, or is it a small object getting close?

So I got an itch this past week that I missed flying.  Wow, flying RC is fun.  It really is.  So, I miss doing that.  I contacted my buddy Yankster who is still into all of that and told him I want to fly.  He offered up the perfect solution.  A helicopter you can fly in the house.   At $129, this item is affordable and so very fun.  I took his advice and ordered the piece shown below:

       

That's a quarter on the table in the foreground for reference. This thing is tiny.  But it's a real helicopter in every sense.  A toy, but not a toy.  A real helicopter with every control surface and every movement in flight.  Amazing in that they can make motors and servos and batteries so small these days.  But there it is.

To make the story shorter, I flew it in the living room for two days.  Huge fun.  I mean, the thrill of flying is back.  Then I hit the living room wall with it.  I had no idea it was close to the wall.  I forgot about my lack of depth perception.  That very real lack is still very much there.  I was totally surprised when the rotor blades slapped the wall and it fell about 10 feet to the floor (we have an elevated ceiling).

I picked it up and tried to fly it again.  After all, I'd dorked it 50 times already with no ill effects.  But no, this time it was broken.  It will not fly again.  I got out the magnifying glass and studied it.  The parts are so tiny.  I finally saw that I had broken the tiniest part of the tiniest helicopter.  The stabilizer flybar linkage, according to the parts list.

So, don't fly RC if you can't see well.  There's no future in it, no matter how much fun it is.  But WOW is it ever fun.  But I wrecked the microcopter.  And I'd wreck it again if I could fix it (but I can't), so I have a very small hole dug in the back yard for it.  A very great and special but very short-lived friend will be laid to rest.  Such an untimely end at the hands of an inept pilot.  My bad.

Editor's NOTE:  No, I did not bury the copter.  I got the parts and fixed it looking through an electron microscope.  Now, does anybody need brain surgery?  I'm now qualified, and I work cheap.  You'll have to schedule the surgery around the times when I'm flying the copter in the living room, good as new. 

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