It’s been a few years since I had major damage to one of my planes. Unfortunately disaster struck again on Thursday last week. After maidening Georg’s Chocofly JS3, I wanted to have a flight with mine as well. Upon the start in aerotow, the right wingtip of my JS3 touched the ground, I overcompensated and before I knew what was happening it flipped over to the left and crashed upside down just meters after the start.
Fortunately the damage is relatively minor for what was a pretty serious crash. Both outer wings can probably be made usable again with repairs (but will need replacing, also for optimal performance), and one of the small wing joiners of the outer wings needs replacing. There are a few minor cracks in the cockpit area of the fuselage and the EDF cleanly broke off. I was really lucky that there is no damage to the inner wings, elevator, rudder and tail of the fuselage. With a new wing joiner, some work on the outer wings, fixing the smaller cracks in the fuselage and re-attaching the EDF, I should be able to restore my JS3 to flying service again soon. I’ve already ordered new outer wings and will probably have the fuselage resprayed the coming winter to restore the plane to full glory.
The worst thing is that I was really very much looking forward to flying the Chocofly JS3 in Hahnenmoos starting Sunday. That will not be possible.
Another lesson learned. Flipping over after overcompensating at the start in aerotow is not uncommon. Most of my flying mates have had serious crashes (and much worse damage than my JS3 suffered) this way. But it’s something that can be avoided by asking somebody to hold up the wing of your glider upon the start. I was stupid. I definitely won’t forget this for next time.