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2010/02/27 Minimag Crash Lipo Fire
π 2010-02-27 00:00 in Rc
Right after receiving my new motor and mounting it on my plane, I went for a quick test flight at the local park which I've flown at before since it's closer than Rancho San Antonio. I thought I'd save a few minutes by going to the park since I just wanted to have a feel for the new motor.

Ok, I'll save you the details, there was wind (no big deal), I was too close to the street at end of the park and when I made my turn to land back close to where I was, the plane flew right into the sun. I got blinded and by the time I could have seen it, I tried to dodge a power/phone line and lost. The plane hit the line motor first, and the plane fell right onto the street outside the park.

I have to say I actually had a string of good luck there:

  • cars avoided running over my plane (thank you).
  • plane actually got fairly little damage, glue to the nose will fix it.
  • the motor shaft didn't get bent and the motor looks fine.
  • prop is broken, but that's why I buy packs of 10, no biggie.
  • the only reason why the plane wasn't flying 1H later was the plastic piece that is holding the motor is broken and I'll have to buy another one. It's more the time to go get one than the $3 it likely costs (update: very strangely, one of my aileron servos died, considering I have zero impact damage on the plane, I was very surprised when I went to the field after fixing the plane, and it failed preflight due to a broken servo. Bummer, now I have to wait a few more days for a replacement...).
  • lipo got compressed during the sudden stop but looked ok.
  • Plane damage isn't too bad
    Plane damage isn't too bad

    I had a look at the lipo and it looked like only the connector piece of it got compressed but the 3 sheets of lipo were otherwise unbent/unarmed. The lipo looked ok so I put it back in my car with the rest of the pieces and drove home.

    A good 25mn after the crash, it self ignited on the desk I was working on. I was able to throw it on the ground and then away from close to my car where it landed while the 3 layers of lipo ignited one after another. Nothing actually got burnt despite an otherwise intense fire as the 3 mostly fully charged layers caught fire one after another (it shot pretty vivid flames 2 feet sideways). Sorry, I was too busy watching the fire to take a video :)

    this is what's left of the lipo
    this is what's left of the lipo

    Needless to say that on top of very limited damage to my plane, I'm very lucky that the lipo didn't self-ignite in my car's trunk, or later on when I wasn't watching it.

    Moral of the story, a charged lipo that got any kind of reasonable shock is a ticking timebomb! Check Lipo Fire on youtube for more examples.

    See more images for Minimag Crash Lipo Fire

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