Aileron - Autumn 2005

G-MPWT you are cleared to destination on the Osnabruk 6 Sierra departure climbing Flight Level 80, squawk 6531 and contact Bremen Radar 131.32 after departure …… As we lined up runway 09R at Hannover I was timing the departure of the previous A320 Airbus. I advised the tower at the hold we would require 3 minutes – “zat ees OK G-MPWT - line-up 09R. Roy’s fingers manipulated the throttles like a pianist playing a concerto – ever conscious not to hit a “blue note” or in Roy’s case not to over-boost the engines! Power up to 39” manifold pressure, 77 knots, rotate, brakes on, gear up, check fuel flows and speed 100 knots. Roy has chosen to hand fly the first stage of the departure and no dialogue is required between us as this is a routine that we have performed many times before. We brief for the initial departure, Roy flies the aeroplane, it is simply cockpit resource management made easier by 16 years of familiarity with each other and many years experience in this actual aircraft. We are not, however, complacent, too many times one of us has noticed something astray which alerts us to the benefit of two crew ops. Usually minor things like the nav slaving dropping out during an airway segment, or mishearing a COM frequency ……… 2 hours later we are taxying in at Fowlmere – another mission accomplished


Some of you will have noticed G-BORS dismantled in the hangar looking quite sad. The good news is that Eric and his father both walked away from their unscheduled landing unscathed. Both were airlifted to safety from the site near Dalmally, Argyll right beside Loch Awe and were full of praise for the rescue services.

The cause of the stoppage was fuel exhaustion – one tank was empty, the other contained approximately 35 litres.

Kevin and I took my Grand Cherokee with tools to Scotland and with local assistance dismantled the aircraft and loaded her onto one of Roy Burt’s trucks – thanks Roy! The dismantling operation and recovery took five days and was hard work but we made new friends and Kevin attracted some local midges and wasps.

We bought the salvage because we initially thought we might repair her but it is not cost effective for us to do this due to the specialist nature of some of the repairs so G-BORS is for sale for spares or repair.

John Milner purchased a PA28-181 Archer II
G-BSXS recently and is available for rental. soon.

G-DJJA is having an engine strip and rebuild due to degradation of the cam shaft and followers i.e. there was metal contamination found on her last check and further investigation suggested the engine could be saved if it was inspected/repaired sooner rather than later. We hope to have her back in service shortly.

Unfortunately, this appears to be quite a common problem with the Lycoming 0-360-A4M series engine and I am not persuaded by Lycoming’s suggestion of corrosion due to under utilisation as the problems we have had have been in engines with continuous utilisation.

G-DJJA will benefit from a new interior whilst she is being repaired. The pilot’s seat has never been particularly comfortable especially after a couple of hours!!


We are currently coming to terms with CAP 747 and EASA and what it might mean for our kind of operation. Some of the requirements are reasonable some will put undue financial burdens upon the whole GA flying community. The administrative burden is immense with constant revisions to publications in the light of experience and general tweaking by the CAA. We bought CAP 747 as soon as it was available and just had to buy another as the revisions are out of sync already even though we paid for the updates. 

It is easy to blame the CAA but remember, they are no longer in control! They appear to be at odds with EASA and we can see storm clouds ahead.

Talking of storm clouds our fuel price has been escalating recently (currently 1.17 per litre) resulting in increases to our rental prices. We cannot see any improvement on the horizon, in fact, we have been told to expect a further increase before the year end. Please remember, in the interest of economy and care for the environment, always lean for either best power or best economy – even on “local” flights. If you are unsure as to how to lean pleased ask – all our aircraft have their pilot’s operating handbook on board with detailed instructions and performance charts showing the benefits.

Please avoid excessive ground running – especially prior to taxy – Lycoming advise performing pre-flight ground check within 2 t0 3 minutes at temperatures above freezing having run at 1000-1200 rpm. In freezing conditions warm up will take slightly longer, so please do not use the post start period to programme your GPS – start the engine, taxy, perform your power checks and depart.

Taxy at minimum power settings if you are having to use brakes whilst taxying on grass you are probably using too much power, reduce power well in advance of brake application.

Lycoming publish key reprints from their “Flyer Newsletter” which was first published in l964 and can be purchased through CSE 01865-84420 or direct from Lycoming 001-570-327-7278 – it is a fascinating read!

None of these tips will reduce your cost of flying (unless you are an aircraft owner) but could make you a safer pilot and certainly a more environmentally aware one.

Final note for those of you who responded to my Pilot Quiz comments regarding flap extension at VX in a PA28 and how it does not induce a stall and early gear retractions - my feeling that it was in appropriate to retract gear in a single until the runway/clearway has been used – apparently I might be suffering from “parallex”. I suppose after 7000 hours sitting in the right hand seat I am bound to be suffering from something! Thank you for your supportive comments – I decided not to respond and engage in the debate as I am clearly at odds with the quizmaster (James Allen) over the issues and have booked a session at the opticians. Be careful when you fly with me I have taken to covering up the airspeed indicator even more frequently recently!!!!!


Our Christmas Party has been booked for 9th December at:

The Plough Shepreth - tel: 01763-260523

This is yet another excellent restaurant run by Simon and Luciana with a quiet ambience and is proving popular with many of our friends. 

We intend occupying the venue exclusively and to do this only need 65 diners to avoid a surcharge. 

As usual we intend subsidising the event and plying you with copious amounts of wine – other drinks will need to be paid for by individuals.

We anticipate a charge of 28.00 per person and have some menu options available. Please advise your interest by return to Anna.


Membership subscriptions become due at the end of October – please join us for another year with all the fabulous benefits of the Modern Air Aircrew Card (!) access to our fleet of super aircraft, emotional support and advice on all subjects from early Volkswagens to Para-gliding to hanging curtains, servicing outboard motors etc etc ……………

Please check your licence and medical for validity - every month we meet another club member who did not realise their licence/medical was out of date.

Dr. Brian Wallace 01763-262034 for the medical or contact Anna or Derick for guidance.

Winter is coming – please ask for assistance if you are not familiar with operating hangar doors etc.


Please remember to check our website for latest prices and news