Exceeding Vne with the Lady

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After a beautiful day on Sunday at the park, I finally got some time to fly the Lady - just as a thunderstorm cell was moving in. The first battery (1500mAh) ran me 23+ minutes and was great. Flying over a field, the breeze was steady and gentle. With not enough gusto to go up around again I brought her in and swapped batteries. The second battery is a smaller 1300mAh. Smaller also means lighter. The result was faster climbing (although I also realize I would have reduced flying time). About 10 minutes in, I throttled up once again for another burst of altitude. At this point the wind started picking up and I noticed I was quickly gaining altitude. I cut the throttle and continued to climb! Now the wind was really picking up and the storm cell was moving in much quicker - not good! I was caught in a 'brick-lifter'. I put a lot of down elevator into the glider and worked hard on bringing it in as quickly as possible - turns out possibly too quickly.
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The diving must have spun the prop really hard, as one of the blades (already broken) tore off and the subsequent vibration cracked my homemade engine mount.

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Fortunately no further damage was caused - it could have been bad with the engine shaking like crazy. In fact, I didn't realize the prop was broken until I walked up to the landed plane. I had actually given a bit of throttle on the final approach to penetrate the turbulence close to the ground.

Whew!


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