Mac Hodges B29, latest crash

red7fifty

BadAss Member
F'N eh!

Lucky no one got hurt or killed! If I were that pilot, I'd quit flying big stuff near crowds!
 

MadMonkey

That's MISTER idiot to you!
Saw it.

Mac is a decent pilot, but not aborting that takeoff the instant it started drifting left with that much right rudder input was a big mistake IMHO. He was VERY lucky that he didn't kill someone.

I had to dodge a giant-scale Voodoo Mustang flown by a "professional pylon racer" at TAS a few years ago. I thought for sure I was going to die... he lost power, panicked and yanked the elevator trying to save the plane (yeah, they say the battery tray broke loose and sent the batteries to the rear, I was there and looked over the crashed plane... [email protected]#$%). Instead, it headed directly for the crowd and crashed right behind the bleachers.

This was RIGHT after Galloping Ghost. Kinda eerie.

ETA: The excuse kinda reminds me of the "instructor" that crashed my brother's first plane, a Kadet Senior (How the hey do you crash a Kadet Senior anyway??). He also yanked the elevator at low altitude and put it in the ground... after the walk of shame, he looked at the plane and found something broken and said "Yeah yeah see, this here's broken.."

Well duh genius, you just crashed the stupid thing. Ugh. Sometimes I feel like the guys at my field are the only ones honest about what happened when one goes in :banghead:

Okay, rant over. Was this Mac's 3rd or 4th B-29 crash?
 
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Classclown

Well-Known Member
I thought it was the third, but could be the fourth, after this blows over, I'm sure there will be a fifth, and a sixth...
 

Tired Old Man

Staff member
When you lose the ability to make critical decisions when such decisions are required it's time to hang up what you're doing. It only took that one take off attempt for me to decide that Mac should no longer be permitted to fly public demonstrations. You only get to make a bad call once, then pay for it forever, and he just made his. It was beyond fortunate nobody was killed.
 
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red7fifty

BadAss Member
Those Hazards (pilot error, coupled with mechanical malfunction) pose a risk to the entire crowd, and other AMA members.
Shame it happened, but, as mentioned, flying over the crowd, and crashing that monster into the pits should NEVER have taken place.
The problem hasn't changed, pilot(s) (in this case, and other similar circumstances) become complacent, and leave "No way Out" in the event of a unplanned emergency. With lack of such contingency, they should not be allowed to fly dangerous objects in front other people.
 

BRUTUS

Plank Junky
Lifetime Supporter
I think he did a good job saving the people in the crowd- by the time he recognized the problem he had 2 options- pull power and plow a 100lb plane with 400cc's and 16 swinging propeller blades into a crowd, or yank it over them.

This could have been avoided all together with a proper run up. I bet he has RPM gauges on each engine from now on! Or at least individually verifies they are all running up at the same time!
 

Jedijody

Proud father of Soldiers
I think he did a good job saving the people in the crowd- by the time he recognized the problem he had 2 options- ...
Not to be contrary, but for the sake of discussion, I strongly disagree with the first statement. By the time he recognized the problem - is exactly the problem. I don't think he did anything to save anybody, I think he was very lucky. It's just speculation from what I see in the video, but it was definitely preventable.

It looks like at least three seconds of rollout, before the mains left the runway, where it was obvious there was a problem. Pulling out of the throttle anywhere during that timeframe would have let the nose down and the max right rudder input he had going would have steered the behemoth away from the crowd via the nose wheel.

Very sad, I hate see such a huge investment in time and resources come to such an end. Very glad no one was hurt.
 

red7fifty

BadAss Member
I agree with JJ. Should have aborted the takeoff, and cut power, instead of trying to fly it out.

In this hobby, mid-airs are considered "No Faults" as both pilots share 50% responsibility.

If a pilot crashes his plane into the pits, and hits my parked airplane, (almost happened to mine by 3 feet!), I will hold him responsible for the damages.

What people forget to keep in mind, since this is a "Hobby" and unplanned bad events are "Accidents", the pilot is still responsible.....Should this example have had a different outcome, and a spectator was injured or killed, I can bet you, there would be involuntary man-slaughter charges filed. It is a good reminder to all that fly, to remember that safety protocols should be paramount, check their egos, and complacent attitudes.
 

JeffinTD

Well-Known Member
It's hard to tell with the camera frame rate, but to me it looked like the far left engine didn't power up on the take off run?

It also looked like there was a lot of right rudder input mid-run?
 

Classclown

Well-Known Member
As soon as he had to pull hard right rudder should have been enough for my brain to command my left thumb to throttle down and hit the brakes. But that's just me. Here's a stupid question. Did the X1 survive? And technically, doesn't that make it, 2 giant scale crashes into the tent?
 

JeffinTD

Well-Known Member
Yeah I'm not that skilled of an rc pilot and probably shouldn't arm chair quarterback that flight, but I think my instinct would have been to hit the ignition kill as soon as it was apparent the plane wasn't responding to inputs as expected.

I suppose that does count as a double crash. Chuck Yeager would have been in for a heck of a ride.
 

BRUTUS

Plank Junky
Lifetime Supporter
You guys bring up very good points. The best accident is the one that never happens. :yikes:
 

kwilson

Gold Member
Wow!! Just saw this. What a blessing no one was killed. You can see he is holding full right rudder, right aileron, and up elevator on take off and the plane is stalled and going left. Tells me at least one of the motors on the left wing wasn't pulling properly. I know hind sight is 20/20, but he should have killed throttle the instant he had to put full right rudder and the plane would have steered right. Also, is it just me or are the spectators awfully close to the runway??!! What the hell?
 

red7fifty

BadAss Member
Outboard engine had stalled in above video.

Back to the most recent crash, he should have rotated AFTER passing the spectator section.
 

Mithrandir

Circus Staff
Lifetime Supporter
if he was a little smarter about his setup.. this could have ended differently....
Maybe a P-Mix between throttle and rudder.... Right rudder woulda retarded the throttles on the right side....???

Flying a model airplane requires several qualities... it requires pilot skill and judgement....
Mac might have adequate pilot skills... but his judgement epically failed....

He is becoming like Evil Kneval... people will go to his demo's to see him crash!!

.
.
Dumb Ass!
.
.
 

BENCHASON

3D Farm Hand
Mac has been a good friend of my for many years. His field is about a hour and half from the 3D Farm. Not sure why he did not abort but he can fly that thing like its on rails. He will even hover that monster and do eight point rolls feet off ground.
 

red7fifty

BadAss Member
Got lucky.....there was no room for error.
Since it appears one engine was running rich that caused the plane to yaw into the crowd.
The problem now, Only have 1.5 seconds to decide on evasive action.
If some other safety protocols were adhered to, it wouldn't have been such a close call.
 
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