Sunday, 30 August 2009

See link for news of progress in my workshop and of deals done with neighbours for crossing gardens and renting a garage etc. Not WINGS stuff, but all part of why I now have a strained back so that I can't work on my wing-transporting roof-rack today or go flying tomorrow.

Yesterday's efforts

Satisfyingly close to symmetrical (pigeon shit welding, though)



Tuesday, 25 August 2009

Inspired by this chap's efforts, I have been making a similar support at the front of my van to hold up the front of my ladder (wing support), which will stretch the length of my van, but I have designed a bracket, pretty much on the hoof, which unlike his, will allow me to open the bonnet with my roof-rack in place. Granted the welding is crappy, but I think the concept is sound.

The bracket will be clamped to a lip inside the engine bay, beneath the bonnet. There is plenty of clearance to allow the bonnet to close. I have used a hole which is already there on both sides, but will put in two other holes on each side. A vertical will slot into the bracket and be either bolted or cotter & split pinned in place (the more temporary solution). I am pretty certain this system will not break any rules, but may well take the precaution of removing the bracket for MOTs, and may well remove the ladder and front support anyway, when not in use.

Monday, 24 August 2009

Transporting my wing

I ordered a 14' ladder today, which arrives tomorrow. It is the length of my van and will provide excellent support for the wing, which will stick out 18" front and back. It'll be secured to the roof bars and to a support sticking up from the front bumper bulkhead. Feel really pleased about it.

Sunday, 23 August 2009

Jobs for the last week of the holiday

1 Fabricate a wing support for the front of my van and pad and secure a ladder to the roof-rack
2 Go and collect my wing from Sywell
3 Ask Ben to help me fit bungees and adjust the struts on my undercarriage
4 Arrange for Bailey (manufacturers of my engine) to fit one of their fantastic quick release propeller bosses, which I know will make life enormously easier. Didn't fancy re-using nyloc nuts (or having to frequently replace them).
5 Make a ramp for the van loading


Wednesday, 19 August 2009

The variety in the quality of training is a revelation

I had to ring Neill this morning just to thank him again for the quality of my training, having talked to another pilot yesterday who, like me, recently finished his licence, though at a different airfield - one in the South. We met this chap at Davidstowe. He was on holiday in Cornwall, and like me had popped in there to see what it was like, shoot the breeze with "fellow pilots" etc.

He seemed embarrassed to have done his licence in 41 hours; I didn't tell him how many more I had done - far too embarrassing. But once we had talked and he had admitted to still finding landing difficult, I realised the benefits of my more thorough education. But what astonished me more than anything was that this chap said he had done ALL his course flying on GPS, including his GST, and I think he meant his cross country qualifiers too! He admitted that he had punched in the wrong airfield when asked, on his GST, to find his way back to base, and had been oblivious for quite some time to the fact that he was flying in completely the wrong direction.

Meeting this chap has really opened my eyes to the fact that not everyone will have been as well taught as I was at Sywell. Neill has always said that he wants me to have the benefit of his experience, not just the bare minimums required by the syllabus. Consequently I am really well prepared to fly the nest.

Monday, 10 August 2009

I have my flying licence!

It came in the post this morning. Granted, it is a restricted one and I am qualified for the lifting of the restriction, so that no sooner does it arrive than it is due to be sent off again, but it is exciting nonetheless.

People are right, it is a decidedly unimpressive document. You fancy it will be something grand like a passport - stiff, gold-leafed, crested and important looking, when it is just a few sheets of folded paper slotted in a plastic wallet, a little like a driver's licence counterfoil.

Looks like my design and bookbinding skills will have to be brought to bear on this one. I saw a hard backed, embossed 1930s licence, with loosely stitched-in inserts at an evening show at Shuttleworth recentl. I wish I had bought it now.

Thursday, 6 August 2009

I did it!

Thinking it out - I have been thinking of different routes for a month, as weather has forced me to postpone several times.

Above is laminated crib-sheet of Hdgs(T) which I put in my see-through pocket, just in case, but which I didn't need to refer to.

My legs

Triangles of velocities to work out the effects of wind on headings and speed at the planning stage

G-CEGJ parked up at Sutton Meadows, where I landed on runway 01, having originally planned to land on 23
( I had taken off on Sywell's 23 with a cross wind). The change of plan was a sensible response to the wind sock at Sutton; the wind had veered....Though I nearly got confused by a signal square which hadn't been changed, as there was nobody there.

I did it!

More about this later....but for now, I have done my final cross country....of 72 miles.....and am now a fully qualified pilot!

As soon as my restricted licence arrives -a process which cannot be forestalled now that the CAA cogs are turning - I shall send off my Form 102 to de-restrict. No problem waiting though, because I am off to Cornwall for a few days, so wouldn't have been itching to fly anyway...and as yet, need to collect my wing from Flylight.