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Good Bye Cmelak...RIP

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  • Good Bye Cmelak...RIP

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ID:	42033 I was towing Tim Mattsson up today at his place and at 100 feet the propeller left the plane just over the top of trees lining the field... Tim succeeded in getting off and landing the glider safely while I was descending into those trees...I banked right and spun and the result is a totally destroyed Cmelak. I had just recently gotten all the bugs out and it was really flying well and I felt I
    was able to master flying it so much better than my Pegasus. I'm in a bit of shock and NOT sure I have it in me to build another one...this took me years...Maybe I should just fly gliders after all..

  • #2
    Sorry for your loss Kevin!
    Steve K

    Kremer Aerotowing Team


    • #3
      Aargh...........I hate it when a tow plane becomes a low altitude..... .....Looks like it was a good Viking death.........


      • #4
        Post Mortom...all six prop bolts were sheared off and still in the hub...3 of the 6 front half of the bolts were found in the intact prop found in the field...engine hic up ??
        I know they were tight...I had like 5 seconds, hit the trees or try to turn a bit...then stall and spin and go straight in while shredding through a barb wire fence......screwed either way...


        • #5
          Kevin, Sorry to see and read about the death of your Cmelak. A friend told me, at the death of my Pegasus, they all have an expiration date, we just don't know what it is. Maybe a fresh new one can be born this Winter. You know you'll have time to build during your winters in the frozen North.

          Larry Fitch


          • #6
            As Scott said... Arghhhh. That's horrible and just after you got it dialed in.

            It would really take some presence of mind to fly straight ahead and take your chances with the trees when the immediate reaction is to "get the plane home". Don't know that many have that kind of calm under those conditions.

            Fly some gliders and see what the winter building season has in store,



            • #7
              i know its not the same as an ARF, but I really enjoyed getting to build a Bidule a second time. It seemed to go so quick and I could do the same or different at each step and that was refreshing. I'll come build with you for a weekend or two when you need motivation this winter.


              • #8
                Thanks Guys...Pete Goldsmith is going to cut me parts for one wing since my left wing is okay....I will need to build a new fuselage for sure...maybe not a total rebuild then...
                I was really wanting to spend this winter building a Pete Goldsmith 1-26 kit sitting in my basement as I write this....funny how life flashes in front of like 5 seconds my life changed from
                being a proud Cmelak owner to being Grieving Cmelak owner....


                • #9
                  Kevin, You could buy Peter's Cmelak (if still available) and build the 1-26 as you had planned? Options are good?



                  • #10
                    Pete's Cmelak has a new home here in Minnesota, but not with me...
                    Will re build, slowly salvalging what I can from the dead corpse....
                    Thanks for the kind words guys...


                    • #11
                      Hi Kevin,

                      I know that you have moved from shock to grieving over the Cmelak mishap and we all feel your pain. Looking at the picture you posted, I see a lot of airplane structure still intact. It has been my experience that a kit built plane, with plans to measure from, can be reconstructed accurately after such an event.

                      My suggestion is to take time to gather all of the parts and consider what needs to be replaced and what can be saved. I would piece the fuselage together as much as possible using splints where necessary. You can then fabricate new parts to repair the damaged areas. You may be surprised at how fast you could do the repairs!

                      We will call this the Phoenix Project!

                      A Site for Soar Eyes


                      • #12
                        Thanks Jim...There is so much fractured plywood at the front of the fuse that I just don't trust I can secure the firewall for that much power...the right wing has endless rib fractures
                        and I literally have a garbage bag of balsa and plywood pieces. landing gear attachment points on fuse...literally gone...side walls of fuse in 5 pieces of plywood with 3 of the 5 layers gone.. Pete has agreed to cut me a short kit for Fuse and one wing....I think it actually will be easier to build a new fuse than
                        try to splint and pray it will hold on the fuse...the wing tube is surrouned by fractured ribs...Yes possible to put humpty dumpty back together again...but I will feel better with structural integrety of
                        new construction...Pete is a saint on this deal...


                        • #13
                          What about the landing gear...did it survive without damage?

                          Peter had aluminum gear made that avoids the complexity of the Pawnee gear and simplfies the fuselage mounting. If you need to build another fuselage, you may want to consider using it instead.
                          A Site for Soar Eyes


                          • #14
                            Thanks Jim, yes the Pawnee gear survived, and due to my less than perfect pilot skills, I prefer the functional landing gear that the Pawnee set up provides....I know I am a lone wolf
                            on that preference.....YOu have never seen me land !!!!


                            • #15
                              I bet he heard the crash at your place last week all the way in Maryland !!!! BOOM....