If you happen to be an child trapped in an adult's body, you'll be pleased to know that the toys have gotten cooler, and cheaper, than when your body was a kid. Recently while grocery shopping, this twenty dollar remote control airplane leapt off the shelf and into our shopping cart. It was so cute I couldn't just send it packing, so I brought it home with us.
Our first several attempts to fly the little airplane were met with extravagant failure. Until the little machine gains enough speed, it cannot create lift. That basically means that launching is a crap shoot. If it stays aloft long enough to get up to speed, it will stay that way for a while. The first night we brought it home we crashed several times until it finally started...flying! Since it was finally in the air, I could hardly imagine letting go of the throttle. That's what got it stuck on top of the hardware store. Being the tough guy that I am, I asked my wife to get it for me the next day. And she did.
After a slight modification to the wing, our flights got much better. After several successful flights I decided that Aimee would have to try it, after all, the next crash might be its last. I dragged Aimee out to the park, and despite the slightly brisk wind, launched the plane. It soared roughly overhead for a while, then promptly drifted across the street and landed. On top of the high school. We left a note for the custodial staff, and they saved us with a phone call early the next morning.
That evening we both had several good flights, so the next evening I was excited to try again. Now...this airplane is made of very thin foam, and it has very tiny propellers. Each time it crashes, the aerodynamic properties are altered one way or another. This can lead to unpredictable performance. Such as happened last evening.
After several crashes I tried to launch again. The plane climbed to about 15 feet and veered hard to the right and started diving. I pressed the control stick left, but it ignored me. Repeatedly. At any given time in our small town there are probably only a total of 10 people on bicycles. What are the chances that this plane would behave insubordinately at exactly the same time that an older gentleman was riding by on a bicycle? If he hadn't ducked at precisely the right time, I'm afraid he would have found a small yellow airplane sticking out of his ear. He did duck, though, and I managed to escape the situation looking like a punk kid trying to "buzz the tower".