I joined the Radio Control Association of Central Florida (RCACF) on Saturday January 9, 2010. I got my membership card and made arrangements with one of the club members, Fred Hale, to give me a check out flight. I took my Bridi Dirty Birdy. I had run the engine here at the house and had done some taxi tests with the plane. I got to field and I met Don Lowe! Don has been one of my heroes in the RC world. He was a bomber pilot in WWII and he has been president and vice president of the Academy of Model Aeronautics. He has an impressive resume. I was thrilled to get to meet him. He graciously let me take his photo.
I had agreed to meet Fred at the field at 1:30 and I got there early so I could have my plane fueled up and ready to go. Well, as luck would have it, I had fuel problems. The plane would not start. I checked the glow plug and it was bad. I changed that but still couldn't get the plane to start. It acted like the fuel line had come off. So, I took the front gear out of the plane and then we discovered that the clunker was stuck. We got that fixed, got the nosegear in and then got the plane started. The idle was running rich and we leaned that out some but the engine still wasn't running great. I went ahead and took off.
I have only flown the Dirty Birdy once and I had to land without power. I didn't make it back to the runway and buggered the plane up. I got it all fixed and have it ready to fly. When I got in the air, I got it trimmed out. The plane had originally been pretty nose heavy. I added some lead to the back of the fuselage but the plane felt just a little tail heavy. I've got to take a couple of the weights off to get the balance where I am more comfortable with it. I came in to land and the plane just floated like crazy. The idle was set a little too high and I had a hard time getting the plan on the runway. I went around about four times and finally put it down way on the opposite end of the runway. I was nervous flying a new plane which is nothing new for me and I was really nervous having Fred watch me. I really appreciate him coming out. He has a cold and wasn't feeling well at all. He got me all checked out and I'm ready to go now though. I brought my Giles 202 in and I am going to get it ready to fly. I took the receiver out the other day and I need to put that back in. I can have it ready to fly tomorrow.