November 12, 2011

Yes, still waiting…

For the second time in succession the BMAA have managed to turn MYRO’s permit procedure into a complete and utter can of worms. So after making sure I closely followed all the directions I was given to get MYRO airworthy and back in the air I’m now kicking my heels with an insured, airworthy aircraft sitting on the ground that I cannot fly. We seem incredibly good in this country at introducing unnecessary systems into simple tasks that are so complicated that even the people administering them tie themselves in knots. The inevitable result is that the unfortunate victim, in this case me, pays the cost for what then becomes a total bureaucratic nightmare. And as I say, it’s happened again for the second year running. That’s two-out-of-two, and when you point out the reality of the situation to them, the people running it get upset. I ask you 😐

I now have to make the twin-tank mod fully operational, which it wasn’t when the aircraft was inspected and check-flown as I mentioned previously, because there was no transfer whatsoever between the main and the second tank. Then I have to get MYRO re-weighed, which I was originally specifically told was not necessary, as I again mentioned previously. Then finally I have to get MYRO check flown for a second time. The latter, no matter what reason the bureaucrats come up with, is mind-bogglingly ridiculous because nothing has changed from before and the results will therefore be exactly the same. All that will happen is that yet more delay will be introduced at my cost – but it will ensure that the ‘paperwork’ is in order. This is what happens when people begin to act like sheep and stop using their own brains. And France manages with absolutely none of any of this – no complex airworthiness regulations (the pilot himself is reminded time and time again that he and he alone, the actual words used, is responsible for his own safety and the airworthiness of his aircraft), no permits, no inspections, nothing. And detailed studies have shown that their record in all areas of microlight flying is no different and certainly no worse, than ours in the UK.

So I’m just pressing on to do what I have been asked. Today I modified the twin tank connecting tube by inserting a copper bend inside the rubber tube at the second tank outlet to keep it open in much the same way as I did several weeks ago now with the main tank. That way although the flow may not be quite as fast as it would theoretically be if the connecting tube remained fully open the whole time, at least I’ll know (hopefully!) when I come to test it that there will be some flow which will make the whole system usable rather than very little or none due to the rubber tube collapsing. Unfortunately there wasn’t enough time today to get MYRO re-weighed and now that the tanks have been drained, I will probably have to make this a task for next week.

When I came to leave the field at the end of the afternoon, I found that Chris had locked me in and gone home as the weather was so poor. This was (ahem..) despite driving past my car on his way out. However, although I didn’t know the combination of the lock on the gate and none of the people I phoned knew either, I still managed to do my Houdini act and get free in one bound. I mustn’t mention how I did it though 😉