Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Sadly, my head is still congested, so no-go tomorrow.

But I am really optimistic about flying now, and with one friend nagging me to attempt windier days, I will fly more now, especially if I do move to Great Oakley, where I can stay fully rigged.


if I can shake this cold off, I am flying tomorrow

Am knocking back panadol and drinking loads of water in the hope of shaking off this headcold. I want to fly tomorrow!

Look at Cambridge and Wyton!

Incidentally, in case you are wondering why I don't fly anyway, if you are congested, flying even to a few hundred feet will cause barotrauma.


As you gain height, atmospheric pressure drops and so any trapped air in the body will end up at a higher pressure to the outside atmosphere...and if it can't equalise the pressure.....trauma results...with nausea and considerable pain in flight, even fainting at the controls. And long term sinus discomfort can result.
A friend of mine recently called this thing I am going through, this ambivalence about not flying and about selling the Dragonfly, as my online nervous breakdown :)

He knows and I know that I really do not want to sell at all.

What I want is to resolve all the issues I can, which reduce the likelihood of flying: - Distance from airfield, rigging and derigging time, weather.

Can't do anything about the weather (other than live abroad - currently not an option), but the other two have to be within my capacity to address. So I have been looking to cut my journey time so that, if the weather changes, I can jump in the car and be at the airfield soon afterwards. That is NOT easy in Suffolk which is notoriouslly intolerant of aviation (planning restrictions etc).

I'd like to be able to roll up and just pull the plane out of the hangar fully rigged. When gaps in the weather are fleeting, you really don't want to be arsing about on the ground for too long.

On the BMAA forum people have been very helpful with suggestions of ostensibly GA airfields which tolerate microlights, and I have visited a couple. Elmsett has one runway but then because the aircraft there are heavier, cross-wind take-offs are presumably less of an issue. Grond handling there is the problem as usually there is nobody about and I am told people have gone home disappointed because they couldn't move whatever was blocking the doorway. The day I was there it was a heavy twin-engined beast which needs a tug to move it.

Yesterday I visited Tim Spurge's beautiful set-up at Great Oakley, near Harwich. Forty minutes from my front door, it feels massively closer than Sutton Meadows, so each trip would save me a tenner in petrol, which might -with a few trips each month- justify the considerably more expensive hangarage. I must say that I am very tempted. Security is very good, they have concrete floors, powered, lifting bi-fold doors , all aircraft are fully rigged and they have two wide, prevailing wind strips: 04,22, 27, 09....and quite honestly I could land diagonally across the intersection in any direction.

I am feeling up-beat. Looks like I might be on the way to finding a local field...and possibly even a way of keeping the Dragonfly, though that will mean that if I do three-axis, I will have to find some other way to afford a fixed wing.
In the meantime, the conversion is going to take a while anyway, so I might as well make the most of the next 6 months or so of Dragonflying.


Wednesday, 16 February 2011

aircraft sharing - a multi-aircraft syndicate?

The point of me selling my Dragonfly is to make it possible to fly 3-axis, but I am torn because, if at all possible, I would still like to hold on to it. So it just occurred to me that there may be someone with a three axis out there who might fancy sharing theirs and mine on a quid pro quo basis.

In point of fact I do wonder why clubs don't set up schemes for sharing a range of aircraft, as classic car enthusiasts do. My third party insurance covers any pilot. I think that provided some agreement could be arrived at where whoever damages an aircraft recognises their responsibility for repairs, it ought to be possible to share.

Ownership is less important to me than the possible availability of different types of aircraft...for different occasions.

I proposed the idea of the aircraft "open marriage" here, to get some reaction from fellow pilots: an owner is married to his or her plane (100% ownership) but is allowed to play with others' planes, and they with his.

Friday, 4 February 2011

have the van too!

I have been thinking. If I sell the Dragonfly, I won't need the van and roofrack, or the ramp . So if you buy my machine (8K) and want the van etc it is all yours for £500!

Here you can see how all the kit works to make rigging and transporting a one-person job. I am very proud of the system. It is enormously convenient...and is designed to save my bad back. I hope you approve