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Sunday, March 15, 2009

Testing Raven for TV9 Live Coverage

It was 21:30 I am still in office! I need to quickly wrap up what ever I am doing. I have 'big' event which I don't want miss on the next day. The event is live coverage of Radio Control Helicopter hobby for the "Nasi Lemak & Kopi O" program. (directly translated to "Coconut Milk Rise and Coffee", but it actually means "Breakfast").

Earlier on the day I sent message to extend the invitation to other friends. There was high probability that I will not be able to fix my Raven on time for the event! At least I somebody can be there. Well, even if I can make it, I would rather have few 'expert' fliers I know present to do the demonstration.

Reached home at about 20:15, after taken my dinner and solat Insya, I started focusing on the Raven again. Continued to fix the Rotor head, make sure the screws are firm enough, using the threadlock I have.

Looking at the situation, it with very low chance that Raven will be able to fly successfully by tomorrow morning. I have not put the blade and checked the pitch, then I will need to test it, if I have the time. And if I do manage to test it, I won't have enough time to fix any problem found in the test!

I made my mind, regardless of the Raven condition, I will still be present at Sri Pentas for the event tomorrow. At least I can just watch how it was made and get to know other fliers. Even if i got Raven in the perfect flying condition, I am not the best flier in town and other better person will be flying for the demonstration any way. Yes, just continue with what I can do. This is good opportunity, I will do my best!

At 00:00 (midnight) I completed the fix, left only main blades and pitch setup. Oh, the main blade got its own story. To cut the story short, Cikgu Vanan do not have any stok, he has given me for free a used wooden blade. I am supposed to balance the blade since it may not came from the same pair and furthermore the blade condition is not that good.

00:41, the Raven is ready for the test flight. However, I was thinking, thinking very hard! Should I test it. It was already very late. Where can I test it? Will I disturb the neibour? I need to find a place far enough from the houses. Yet, I need to find a place where have enough lighting. And furthermore I need some big space for it to fly. Those are a lot of question which I don't have the answers. It is easy to just let it go and wait for tomorrow, but should not I let it go easily and risking the big opportunity of flying the Raven under live coverage tomorrow.

Thinking... am I that insane to do the testing this late?? ..

Then, I decided, I will do the testing! Insane? Well, call me anything, I don't thing it is wrong to do that.

Put all the required stuff into my car, started to drive around Putra Height, I need to find the suitable place.

Found a place, probably it is suitable. It is at Putra Point (shops area in Putra Heights). Entered the area, there was a small mamak food store still open, beside it is snooker center. There big parking space in the front, with some lighting. Yes this should be ok.

I parked my car, brought out the Raven and equipments. After a while, few person from the Mamak store and snooker center came over to watch. Yes, this RC Chopper attracts many people.

- Did the ground check ok
- Then start the engine. Engine started ok.
- Continue to check the controls. All controls response as expected, blade pitch, foward/backward, left right, rudder and engine throttle.
- Continue to watch engine RPM and sound. So far so good.

Then I increase the throttle, slowly, for lift off, the engine spin faster and faster, with louder and louder sound. Suddenly, I heard weird sound! Looks like something has gone loose.

FID: H3.E2.G2.T8.2 2009-03-14:0115
OGT: 0 minutes, Loc: Putra Point Shop Area

Aborted the take off, shutdown the engine. Definitively something is wrong somewhere, need to get it fixed first.

I sat down for a few minutes. Thinking, what should I do, how should I continue..

Regardless, I will be there at Sri Pentas for TV9 "Nasi Lemak & Kopi O" program. If I am lucky enough I will have time in the morning for a quick fix and it will still able to fly during the event!!

Packed all the stuff and get back home. Went to sleep at about 3:15.


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