Some Important Ramblings Regarding Safety

As fun as flying RC sailplanes is, it is important to remember that it is also very dangerous. Dynamic Soaring is especially dangerous because of the extreme speeds, turbulent air, heavy planes, and limited reaction times. All planes will eventually crash, and it is your responsibility to plan for failure. Because DSing is a rapidly developing field of RC soaring where the speeds are constantly increasing, I cannot guarantee that the airframe will never fail. Be aware that there IS a speed and set of circumstances that will cause all airframes to fail.

There are many factors like the choice of servos, batteries, rx, etc and their installation that are outside of my control. Any one of these things can cause a perfectly good airframe to fail. Also, all planes need frequent inspections and maintenance to ensure that they are safe to fly. Planes are often damaged in landing but the damage goes unnoticed. This prior hidden damage is often the cause of dangerous in flight failures which are wrongly blamed on the airframe. I recommend a thorough inspection before and after every flight, checking for stress cracks, delaminations, and loose electrical connections. Check for play in the control linkages on all surfaces and inspect the hinges by pulling up and down on the surface at the root and tip of every surface to see if a tear has begun.

I strongly recommend taking shelter behind an adequate barrier while DSing and making sure that all others present are in a safe location while the plane is in the air. It is imperative that everyone in the area maintain awareness of where the plane is and what it is doing for the duration of the flight. DSing is an inherently dangerous activity like sky diving, rock climbing, or race car driving. It is your responsibility to develop and employ safety measures that will safely allow for airframe, electronics, or pilot failures and minimize the risk. By choosing to purchase and fly any RC sailplane, you are assuming all responsibility for risk of damage, harm or death that may result from your flying…

Always perform a range check and check the charge of both rx and tx batteries before flying. The nose of all Kinetic sailplanes are now 2.4Ghz compliant and do not contain carbon from ~25mm in front of the wing LE all the way to the tip of the nose. Since radio signals are difficult to predict, range checking should be done with the model in all possible orientations to account for possbile signal interference.

Aerodynamic flutter is a common destroyer of sailplanes at speed. The Kinetic has been designed and built to fight this but the installation of the servos and linkages are equally important and are the usual cause of flutter in otherwise sufficient airframes. Extreme care must be taken to minimize torque on the servos and remove all slop from the linkages. The Transonic DP has proven to be free of flutter to over 500mph, but a poorly assembled Transonic DP could be made to flutter at 300mph…

I recommend joining the AMA and abiding by all of their safety guidelines while flying. The AMA offers insurance that may or may not be applicable if an accident were to occur while flying your Kinetic.

I believe the Kinetic’s track record proves that it is a capable airframe. It is now up to you to build, fly, and maintain it in a safe manner. The bottom line is that you and you only are responsible for any consequences that arise from flying your sailplanes. Have fun and be safe!


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