Flying on the Beach

by FliteTest | June 17, 2015 | (7) Posted in Tips

On our recent trip to the Bay Area we could resist flying off the beautiful big blue. 

There are a certain set of challenges that comes with a salty ocean and a sandy beach. It's not like that calm lake you might be used to. 

Peter brought along this modded Tidewater he likes to call the Zone Fly Riptide! He added two brushless motors and ESCs to replace the center mounted motor turning this into an awesome twin. 

Before you get anywhere even close to the shore, we strongly recommend that you watch the video below and seal off all your electronics. It's going make matinence a breeze and help you protect your craft. All the steps have been applied to this airplane. 

You can find CorrosionX in every kind of style you'd like on their website:

Regardless if you dump your plane into the ocean or not, the air near the shore carries more salt than you would think. We recommend this kind of maintenance after every flight near the shore. 

Once you've landed make sure to shake off any loose sand. Grab a container of distilled water and begin to rinse any metalic components first.

It's important that you use distilled water because it lacks the little minerals found in regular tap water.

The main components you want to pay attention to are the push rods, servos, and the motors. Salt does evil things to the metal on your plane so keep your attention on the surfaces. 

After you wash it down it's recommended that you oil any high friction areas. DO NOT USE WD-40!

WD-40 is ment to displace water instead of protect against moisture. In the long run it will actually start to rust out your components. 

Let's say you had a not so perfect landing. The waves beat you around a bit and your motors ate a lot of sand. 

First of all, DO NOT RUN UP THE MOTORS! This will only make things worse. 

Unplug the battery and shake off as much of the sand as you can. Keep and eye out for caked on wet sand too. This can dry up and fall back into the motor later if you're not careful. 

Then, as before, rinse off the motor with clean distilled water. Keep in mind this motor is treated with CorrosionX. 

Gently rotate the motor by hand and listen for any grinding. If you hear or feel resistance, there is still sand in there. Rinse and repeat...literally!

If you took a really hard hit, you might have to dismount the motor and remove the bell to be thorough. 


There is nothing quite like flying near the ocean, especially if you are equipped with FPV gear! Keep in mind there may be a little more maintenance involved but we promise, the extra work is worth it!


boraFitetest on June 17, 2015
I was thinking maybe you guys could make a under water plane. Tell me what you think.
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Tom123 on June 18, 2015
when will ft foam be released
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Yogenh on June 17, 2015
I find this very helpful. Will have to do my stuff
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onelesseye on June 17, 2015
It would seem that a can of compressed air might be a good thing to have in the flight bag for getting small things out of your motors and such. Good idea or no?
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oscarmok on June 17, 2015
Excellent video. Very informative. The mod Peter did on the Tidewater, did he just use the FT cruiser twin engine pod (is it the same size of the prop and esc for the FT Cruiser) and close the hole at the top of Tidewater? I would like to do the same to my TideWater too. Thx
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Flying on the Beach