October 18, 2008

Measles……hmmmmm

You just can’t help making words out of 4-letter UK registrations that automatically become the names of the aircraft. The old AX3 was and always will be referred to as MYRO by anyone who knew and flew in it. Now that’s all very well when the name is friendly, somehow, like MYRO – sounds as though he’ll always be looking out for you up there (strange, but MYRO sounds masculine to me whereas we usually think of aircraft as feminine, like boats). But what if the name er….. isn’t?

Allow me to introduce you to Measle ….. sorry, G-MZEL, the new AX3. Come on now, stop sniggering. She can’t help her name after all. Sure, we’ll get to love it in time, but it is a bit strange, isn’t it. Anyway, she’s a good little looker (especially for her age, but don’t let her hear you say that), as you can see from the following pics (click on them to see larger versions).

I managed to sneak away yesterday afternoon and got in an hour in MZEL. I was very happy at the end of it because I think I put in my best series of take-offs and landings that I’ve done in the microlight so far. I was always very proud of my landings but 20 odd years is a long time and like it or not you do get rusty. Plus age does take its toll and I have to grudgingly admit that my foot-hand coordination isn’t what it used to be. Sad but true.

But yesterday was a time for a small personal celebration, not for thinking about what used to be. There’s always room for improvement but yesterday I felt that I really could see some progress.

And let me tell you something else, especially all you flyers out there who think that microlights are not real aircraft. Having now flown both microlights and Group A light singles, I have to say that the former are much more tricky, at all times and especially in the landing phase. You can’t just set it up, trim and sit back – you have to fly it with constant control inputs the whole way to the ground. Greasers are far easier IMO in a Group A. And the same applies in level flight. The microlight is constantly at the mercy of the wind and weather. Even in fairly docile conditions like yesterday, due to the lightness of the microlight, it’s easy to find enough lift on downwind to gain 200 feet or more when ideally you want to fly level and you’re thinking about descending! It’s fun flying to be sure 🙂

October 17, 2008

Back up there

Got 1hr 20mins in last Sunday I’m glad to say, in the new AX3, which is a very tidy little machine. Whereas MYRO has a couple of thousand hours on it, the new one only has a few hundred and it shows. I’ll do a couple of pics when I get the chance.

The trouble with having such a large gap between flights (I last flew on July 26th) is that you have to spend so much time on revision. And you get rusty, even in just 2 or 3 months. While practising slow flying, we just began to enter the stall and my reactions were far from instinctive. Not good at all.

I’m typing this on Friday morning. Looking out of my window the sky’s blue and clear and there’s little or no wind. I’ll ring Rosie soon to see how things stand for flying this weekend. Alternatively, if I get all my jobs done and it’s quiet this afternoon, might even sneak off for a flight later.

I’ll let you know how I get on 😉