Before 2013 I had been flying small RC helicopters on and off for several years, namely the Blade mCX, the Blade mSR, and the Blade mQX. I found I enjoyed tinkering, fixing, and modifying the helis at least as much as flying them, which created a perverse sort of incentive to fly recklessly, since I wasn't particularly worried about the consequences of a crash. (I'd get a strange little thrill after each crash, wondering what I'd get to analyze and fix this time.) For a brief time I was into customizing the mSR with silly aftermarket parts (eg machined aluminum swashplates), but that got old pretty quick--what I really wanted to do was build things from scratch, maybe even things of my own design.
Scratch building is possible with helicopters, but it's pretty difficult, and nearly impossible at the scale I was comfortable flying. (I often need to fly near my kids if I'm going to fly at all, and so larger scale helis scare me.) Thus in early 2013 I decided to try my hand at RC planes.