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What Happens If An RC Plane Goes Out Of Range?

Have you ever owned an RC plane and wondered what would happen if it goes out of range? Maybe you are looking at purchasing your first RC plane and you want to make sure you buy one that won’t crash if it goes out of range. Well, in this article we will go over everything you need to know about RC planes and what happens when they go out of range. 

So what happens if an RC plane goes out of range? 

Although some planes may fall from the sky and crash, there are some models that will actually be able to automatically fly in a circle where they lost connection. This will allow you time to get back in range and to safely bring the plane back to you. 

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You will also want to keep reading this article to learn more about RC planes and what happens if they go out of range. 

High Performance And Neutral Stability Planes.

Once these specific planes go out of range, they will keep to their current direction until any force, maybe, the wind pulls them off from it. If this happens, the plane will sometimes be able to get back on its path, or it may just continue on the new path. If the wind is strong enough, it may even make the plane crash. 

High Stability, Medium/High Dihedral Equipped Planes. 

These types of RC planes are designed to automatically level themselves. When out of range, they will continue to fly around in the air until they run out of battery or fuel. At that time, they will either land or crash somewhere. This is obviously assuming that you do not get back in range of the plane and take back control. 

Gyro Stabilized Planes. 

If you own one of these planes and they ever go out of range, they will continue their forward and level course and react to the wind, keeping a relatively straight, but deviated course until they run out of power.


For efficiency, drones are designed with a stabilization software and flight controller software. Although this is amazing software, this is not true of every drone. 

Some have been programmed to find their way back or just land when they’re out of signal. Although these may be more expensive than a cheap drone, they make up for it, as you never have to worry about it crashing and being damaged or damaging something when it crashes. 

Cheaper drones that don’t have this set-up will be aware of the loss but do nothing. Some will simply just stay flying in the air. While others will immediately begin to fall from the sky. This is why it is important to make sure you know how high your drone can go, as well as make sure you are always in range of the drone. The last thing anyone wants is for their drone to crash and break. 

What Could Make RC Planes Go Out Of Range? 

Below are some circumstances that could cause your RC plane to go out of range. 

  • Lost signal

Some planes may simply lose their signal. If this happens, their throttle will normally cut off while the ailerons and rudder return to their natural position. Some planes in this situation might make a forced but recoverable landing, or simply fly out of control. Others would stick to their course until they get the signal back.

  • Poor device 

Most times there is a fault in the mechanism of the controller, which leads your drone to difficult gear shift, lifts, and lands. This is why you have to check your drone carefully before buying it. It should be thoroughly tested and examined. 

  • Human factor 

Sometimes you get so excited while flying your drone and you get curious about the farthest distance it can fly. This can lead your drone to go out of your range and crash. When the drone goes out of the limited range, then the signals between the remote and the drone is lost, this might cause the drone to collide with something and crash as you will no longer have control. 

At times, the range of your camera is shorter than the drone. This is why when that range is crossed, the video will disappear, and you will lose it, but the drone will keep on flying. In some cases, some drones automatically return to home while others return to their radio contact range. There are also some drones that will not let you go out of the range.

How to Prevent Your RC from going out of Range.

Sometimes there is a fault in the mechanism of the controller, which leads your drone to difficult gear shift, lifts, and lands. This is why you have to examine and test your drone carefully before buying it. If it does go out of range, here are some steps to help you regain signal. 

  • Use the alarm transmitter 

Before your fully charged battery runs out, there are alarm transmitters that you can set a time alarm to alert you once your plane goes out of range. Once you have some experience, you will be able to know how long it would take for your battery to run out. You can also have a telemetry system that sends the flight pack battery voltage reading back to your transmitter so you can keep track of it in real-time.

Even with this, from time to time, things get out of your control, and your RC plane goes out of range. If the plane continues to fly straight and level, it will simply fly away and be lost.

If the flight pack battery goes flat, often the servos will twitch, and the plane will fly (or descend) in a spiral. This will make the plane easier to find, especially if you had the foresight to install a model finder. This emits a high pitched scream upon either the loss of transmitter signal or operating a switch on the transmitter. 

  • Avoid high winds

Windy weather isn’t perfect for a flight, for it could force the drone out of control and fly away from you. This will make the signal weak, and you might never find it again. Once the signal is lost, you cannot guess where your drone might be. Bad weather is the sole reason for the weakening of a transmitter or controller’s signal.

Also, It depends on the plane and pilot. If you’re new to flying, it is not advisable to fly in anything greater than 8 mph. That may not seem like much, but an 8-mph wind can be much faster at higher altitudes. A micro-sized plane shouldn’t be flown with winds higher than 5 mph, or they’ll be thrown around the skies and be very difficult to control.

The old 27mHz Super Cubs used to have a ribbon that could be tied around the antenna – you can use that to gauge wind direction and speed. If you set the antenna parallel to the ground, you could use the angle of the ribbon relative to the antenna to get an idea of the wind. If the angle was 20% or less, it was too windy to fly. That’s still a good rule of thumb that many people still use. You can also take a long pole and put some ribbon on it to use that as a guide. After a while, once you learn to gauge the wind better, you don’t really need to measure.

  • Be alert 

A good pilot shouldn’t be too emotional. He must be observant and be able to read situations before they happen. It is very important to always be alert of your surroundings. 


Now that you know about RC planes and what happens if they go out of range, you can see why it is important to make sure your plane never goes out of range. The last thing you want is to lose your plane, or have it come crashing to the ground.