A collection of updates from Derick Gunning:
GKEMI has just been returned to service after her departure off Cromer's RWY 04. Fortunately damage was slight and more importantly there were no injuries. After Rudy and Kevin spent last weekend refitting engine, nose gear and prop I flew her back to base. GKEMI needs to be run in so where practicable please use minimum of 2,400 RPM for the cruise.
I have to thank Chris and Kevin at Cromer for their assistance along with 'Smithy' who, I understand, kept Kevin and Rudy fed and watered. I also had the 'Red Flag' treatment from Norvic who turned the engine 'around' in less than 2 weeks(!) and of course my Insurers 'Hayward Aviation' and loss adjusters 'Charles Taylor Aviation' who authorised recovery within hours and repairs within 24hrs of receiving our estimate.
The incident has not highlighted anything unusual. It was simply a misjudged landing too fast/deep into the runway and loss of control due to the ensuing skid. Please be aware though that Cromer, although not particularly challenging, does require a 'short-field' technique. Before attempting it please ensure you are accomplished at flying approaches @65kts (or less!) in an Archer and if you do not touch-down within 150m of Runway threshold, go around and have another go!
We have had lots of activity during last few months and 'incurred' 3 infringements of Regulated Airspace. Two of these have so far resulted in CAA Inspectorate investigations and both could have been avoided with use of an 'Airspace Aware' device. If you do not already own one of these (at £159 there is hardly any reason not to!) please borrow mine. I have had power supply outlets fitted to all the Archers which overcomes the relatively short battery life which is the only shortcoming of the device.
One negative insurance restriction which recently occurred was to increase our excess to £3,000 per claim for pilots over the age of 80 years and require 6 monthly check rides. I am going to subsidise the excess myself by £1,500 as I think £3k is too high and will dissuade my valued senior clients. I have yet to broach the subject of 6 monthly checks and do not relish having to tell one client who successfully ditched in WWII that he now needs to have someone who was not born before he had achieved a lifetime of experience 'check' him out!
Retaining IMC privileges:
It now appears that 12th April 2012 will be the deadline for IMC rated pilots to revalidate their ratings and thereafter retain them. It appears that IMC pilots will have to hold a 'current' rating i.e. not expired, to enable their privileges to be accepted. My advice to any 'expired' IMC rated pilots is to come and revalidate as soon as possible as it will likely become quite busy nearer the time. I genuinely believe it is a significant benefit to hold an IMC rating and this will likely be a once in a lifetime opportunity to retain it.
I would like to welcome some new club members. Even Dave Sexton, who now remembers to turn the alternator 'on' every flight and Rob Kelly who is on first name terms with Heathrow Radar... Andrew Sherratt who bears more than a passing resemblance to Roger Graham and Sam who can never find his car in London to name a few. Welcome to you all.
Christine fell off her horse recently, Rudy is off to USA for a couple of weeks and Laurie's chicken has gone broody. That was the news!
Olympic Airspace Restrictions 2012:
We appear to have been recommended for 'exemption' from Olympic Airspace Restrictions. I have a meeting soon to finalise the details.
Some years ago I was returning from Orly in MD80 with two friends at the controls, one a training Captain and they offered me the jump seat. We got chatting and due to my distraction we ended up turning into a cargo bay by mistake and having to 180 back to runway. Very amusing and of course I never let them forget it. How wonderful to fly with ex Training Captain the other day who lined up for 25 at Fowlmere... well actually the taxiway and took off exclaiming as we rolled 'Er OOOps I seem to have missed the runway'. Boo Boos will occur in aviation. I have one or two 'classics' myself locked away. For some years I used to call 'Vent Derriere' at Toussus le Noble. Marcel kindly approached me one dark night in the bar and enlightened me. Of course 'Vent Arriere' saves the blushes of ATC...
Happy Landings! Derick