Safety Issues and Concerns
Macon Aero Modelers Safety Thoughts August 2012
Special Safety Suggestion for Electric Flyers..
Safety Coordinator, Macon Aero Modelers
Recently one of our members was injured when the throttle on his transmitter was inadvertantly hit and the prop started turning. He sustained several cuts on his arm.!
Those of us who fly electrics understand that once the battery is connected the airplane is usually armed. While some ESCs require the throttle to be moved up for several seconds to complete the arming sequence, other ESCs are armed once the battery is connected. As many of have found, electric propellers are especially sharp. So, as your Safety Officer, let me offer some recommendations.
First. Sand the leading and trailing edges of your prop to take off the molding marks. You should also balance the prop before mounting.
Second. I highly recommend some type of "arming switch." Some companies such as E-Flite market ESCs that have a built in slide switch. Other products I have used include the Maxx Products, High Current Arming Switch. This is place in-line between the battery and ESC and come with Deans plugs, so no soldering is needed. A new product on the market is the ArmSafe Arming System by Sharp RC. Several club members have used the Mass Products arming system and can attest to its effectiveness. The extra step of getting your airplane out to the field and then physically "arming" it by the insertion of a safety plug should ensure that you are clear of the props before you engage the throttle.
Third. Many of us use the picnic tables to repair airplanes; it makes sense to get out of the heat. It is my recommendation that "Power On" or transmitter binding operations be done at the flight tables. The flight tables offer airplane restraints which are not available at the picnic tables. We need to protect other members, visitors, and kids from an airplane motor that starts inadvertantly.
If you have comments regarding this safety gram, I can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org .
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