Damn near Fucking Disaster!
I checked everything over, and figured I was good to go. Elevator was set at an inch of throw with 25% expo. Ailerons set to 3/4 of an inch with the same. Rudder was set lock to lock. The Kokam charged for a while, until it was at peek.
I set the plane down to do a ROG take off. I pushed to full, and added a hint of right rudder. In a blink, the Ultimate was on it's back, as the GWS landing gear had ripped off. It was held on temporarily with a gob of CA, and I intended to take it off soon anyway. The black gear on the prop shaft had been slid off of the pinion. I threw the landing gear aside, and pushed the black gear back in line with the pinion. A power up said I was good to go with a hand launch. (STUPID!)
I pushed into the power until I felt a very slight pull upwards. Another click or two, and I released the plane into a gentle climb. I guess I was at about 2/3 throttle, and going straight up and torquing like mad. At about 10 feet, I pushed a bit of down to get into flight. The plane bolted forward and level, so I pushed hard left aileron to turn back around and throttled back. There was all but no response from the roll input. At full stick, the roll was very slow. I added rudder and elevator, and the plane completed the turn. I was now nose into the wind, and flying backwards. I powered up and the plane jumped back to vertical and in an instant was over the roof tops, where the wind was blowing much harder than I felt it was on the ground. The controls, except the non-existent ailerons, were very touchy. I struggled to keep the plane pointed at me, and added power when I was pointed home, and dropped to half when pointed away. Moments later, I realized that damage control was in order, and started to chase the plane, as even when pointed at me was flying away. (If you think you are a good pilot, try and fly at a dead run!) Soon, the plane was all but a dot, and over the next neighborhood and moving out fast. I gave up, held the TX nice and high, and put the sticks in the bottom right corners to try and put it in before it got any further.
In the truck, I drove for probably 30 minutes through a neighborhood I'd never been to, with my 2 year old asking me did I crash the plane. A thousand times he must have asked, and he was all but crying as I told him, a thousand times, yes Daddy crashed. He's a pilot in the making for sure. I was easily a quarter mile from home when I found it.
I was lucky that the neighborhood had lots of construction going on, and several workers were able to point me in the right direction.
I found the plane, twitching and quivering, in someone's front yard. Thank God, it wans't a hundred feet up in a tree, or sticking out of someones window. The plane broke into about 10 pieces, and is for sure a loss. After I quit banging my head on the counter, I'll check all of the electronics. There is no dirt on the plane to indicate how it went in, and I think it hit pretty soft, as the prop is fine, and the tape and velcro attachments are still holding.
Post mortem makes me think that losing the gear made the plane super tailheavy, and probably not in the range of flyability. I should have thought of that. (Please imagine the sound of a head banging on the counter.) Secondly, I should have put huge throws and more expo considering the wind. (More bangs.)
Oh yes, I also ran over my landing gear as I pulled out to go look for the plane. That was a real "capper" for my flight.
So, how much are Chuck Flyers going for these days???