Adventures in Stupidity

I recently got my brother-in-law into R/C planes. His first plane was a Dynam Hawk Sky which, after a few obligatory crashes, he was learning to fly pretty well.

In preparation for adding more planes to his fleet, he purchased a Spektrum DX6i to replace his Spektrum DX5e. (The DX6i holds up to 10 models.)

I helped him bind the plane to the new Tx and he went to fly it for the first time. BANG, right into the ground. I threw it a second time and, again, in rolled over to the right and went straight in.

He handed the Tx to me, threw the plane and … BANG, right into the ground.

So I took it home with me, fixed the damage, tested everything out. All seemed well. I bound the plane to my own Tx and went for a couple of test flights. Everything went great.

Today, we met up at our flying spot. I flew the plane to show him it was working again.

We rebound it to his DX6i and … BANG, right into the ground. WTF?

We rebound it to my DX7 again and it flew fine. He flew it around for a while on my Tx and had no trouble.

I had my ultra-micro Trojan with me, so I bound it to his transmitter, using the Hawk Sky’s slot with no changes. It flew just fine.

It wasn’t the Rx. It wasn’t the Tx. It wasn’t the airframe. I was out of ideas. Clearly, magic was at work here.

And then, a couple of hours later, it hit me: reversed controls! If his Tx had the aileron channel reversed from mine (and from his original Tx), we’d see exactly this behavior. The plane would start to roll and you’d try to correct but your corrections would only make things worse and worse.

In over two years of flying, I’ve never before made this stupid mistake. It only happened this time because of the distraction of switching Tx’s. I’m pretty sure it’ll never happen again, but boy is my face red.

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