How to Crash Land a Remote Control Plane

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You are flying your radio control airplane. Suddenly, the airplane becomes hard to control, starts acting erratically, and starts to get away from you. How do you recover from this situation and land? Read on to find out the safest way to crash land.

  1. Do not panic! Keep control movements moderate and gentle. Try to keep the airplane straight and level.
  2. If you can, try to fly the plane to where you can land on grass or a runway.
  3. Decide whether a normal landing is possible. If yes, set up for a descent and land your airplane.
  4. If you cannot make a normal landing, find a safe spot for an emergency landing.
  5. Keep turns wide and do not overcontrol the pitch of the aircraft; you may cause a stall and crash.
  6. If the engine has quit or you have no motor power, keep glide speed high enough to maintain control of the airplane.
  7. Descend as expeditiously as possible and set the airplane down.
  8. Make sure your throttle switch or motor control is in the "off" position once the airplane is on the ground.
  9. Recover the airplane; power down the airplane first by removing the battery or turning the switch "off", and then shut off the transmitter.


  • To avoid problems with your airplane, always perform a range check of the radio control system and a thorough preflight inspection of the airplane before flying. Also, do regular inspections of control surfaces, control horns and pushrods, and servo attachment to make sure that the systems are in good operating order.
  • Remember to check the simple stuff: was your transmitter antenna properly extended and screwed into the transmitter? How about transmitter batteries? Check the airplanes power or battery setup as well.
  • Once you have recovered your airplane from a crash landing or an emergency landing, check it thoroughly and resolve the problem that caused the emergency before attempting to fly it again.
  • Review the aircraft or radio system manual to make sure the airplane and radio are properly set up to fly and for troubleshooting guidance.
  • If you cannot figure out why the airplane developed control problems, take it to a hobby shop for further assistance.


  • DO NOT attempt to fly any radio control airplane that has developed a control problem. You may end up losing control and crashing, possibly striking people nearby, houses, and other property.
  • NEVER turn off the transmitter while flying the airplane. Without the signal from the transmitter, the receiver on the airplane may react to interference which can only lead to a crash, possibly destroying your airplane.
  • If you are an inexperienced pilot, get someone with radio control experience to help you with any aircraft problems. Many incidents involving loss of control of a radio control airplane involve beginners who react improperly and overcontrol the airplane. Get some training, or put in some time on a radio control flight simulator to gain proficiency.

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