Safety Issues
Turbine Flyers

I must urge all who fly turbine models to consider the consequences of a serious accident or forest fire. As the size, weight, fuel-on-board and speed of the models increases, so does the potential to do harm. If we are to continue to enjoy this exciting era of jet modeling we must understand and accept the responsibility that goes with it.

We must substantially reduce the number of crashes.

No one wants to destroy their model - but we are having far too many unnecessary crashes. Here are just two of the reasons why.

1. Control surface flutter and/or failure.
2. Lack of good judgment, i.e. flying the model before it is totally checked out or flying it beyond its structural capabilities.

Control surface flutter and or failure.

The increase in size, weight and speed of the models dictates the use of correct hinging, (control surface attachment), stronger servos (and servo mounts), stronger connecting push rods, control horns, clevises, cables, etc.
If your model is built from a kit, hopefully the instructions are sufficient and the control surface rigging shown has been thoroughly tested. Even if the kit has a good performance record, the builder can still be delinquent in his experience and knowledge of proper gluing, soldering and wire bending techniques. If your experience is lacking, call for help from the manufacturer or other experienced jet modelers.
All control surfaces (including the flaps) must be rigged properly. Should an aerodynamic flutter occur and your model doesn't crash instantly, consider yourself very lucky and land immediately.

Good judgment

This is not easy to define but it is obvious when it's lacking. People are always asking me "when is your new model xxx going to fly?" My answer - the day after I am sure that it is 100% ready.
We must take the time to check everything at least twice. We also suggest the use of a smart battery charger like the Graupner MC Ultra Duo plus.
Should a control problem develop in flight it is paramount that the engine be shut down prior to impact. A few seconds of cooling will substantially reduce the possibility of a fire. Good judgment comes with experience, a commodity that money can't buy, so lets all error on the safe side and stay within the boundaries of our experience and equipment.

Fire suppression equipment and techniques

A few jet flyers have made it a practice to carry along a hand pump water fire extinguisher on all flying sessions. The presence of two of these devices at a recent jet fly-in prevented a crash incident from becoming a major forest fire; these devices are used by professional firemen on controlled burns. One must be in reasonably good physical condition to get the 5-gallon backpack to the crash site quickly. Apply the water stream to the downwind area of the burn first. Do not waste the water supply on the Kerosene spill area until the periphery of the burn is suppressed. The stronger the wind, the less time you have to get to and control the fire.
Use a cell phone to call the local fire department even if you think you have it under control. They can apply a lot more water to the area and be certain that it does not rekindle.
CO², Halon or chemical extinguishers are great to douse a fire in your model but are practically useless against a brush fire.
We tried an inexpensive garden type of water sprayer but it is less effective than the product shown below.

BV and Rafale
The Indian® Series 90 Fire Pump

Available at or at


We thank Gordon Dickens for this info and product source.

This device could be part of your club's field equipment or make it your personal contribution to safe operations and keep it in your jet-hauling vehicle.

The CD's of "Superman" and "Florida Jets" arranged to have water pump trucks on site during the event just in case. This practice should be part of any jet event, the cost is minimum, the reward - we will be able to continue enjoying our sport.

Bob Violett

Thanks to Gordon Dickens for this information.

Another great product to use in conjunction with your back pack fire pump water extinguisher is Drench. Drench is a firefighting additive that dramatically reduces extinguishing time when fighting class "A" fires (i.e. wildland fires, brush fires and controlled burns). Penetration is increased by 400% and vaporization takes place twice as fast, greatly reducing knockout times and water usage. Super-concentrated, you add two ounces to one five-gallon backpack tank of water. Dispersion is immediate and no special equipment is required. Drench also outperforms most class "A" foams in regard to knockout times, water consumption, and heat dissipation.

You can purchase Drench (part #85489 / $15.90) from Forrestry Supplies in Jackson, MS. 1-800-647-5368 or