It was lucky that I didn’t decide to leave 24ZN at Headcorn overnight and move it to Clipgate today because if I had done, I wouldn’t have been successful. We’ve had a thick, cold mist for the whole day, but it didn’t stop me driving over there as I needed to remove the battery.

I had to get its dimensions so I could order a new one and I also wanted to reshape and replace the waterproof fabric that I’d previously placed over 24ZN’s nose to stop rainwater running down its screen and into the cabin.

After reshaping the latter, rather crudely I have to say, just by trimming it with scissors, I attached some cords to it to secure it in place and here are some shots that I took after I’d completed my tasks.

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I still have a great attachment to Clipgate where I did the training for my microlight licence nearly 10 years ago. It’s a well-organised, well run, pretty little airfield and going back to it revived a few old memories. It’s also a good place for 24ZN to be in the interim as it’s secure, fairly sheltered and well tied-down.

Although it’s a matter of great regret that I’m still stuck in the UK, the upside at least is that after my flight from Headcorn to Clipgate, I now have over an hour in the aircraft without any incident or cause for concern. That’s a source of considerable reassurance in advance of my eventual Channel crossing. The new battery I’ve ordered, a 9AH model rather than the 8AH that’s currently fitted and that also has a massive 165A cold-cranking power, should more than cope with the current winter conditions.

I’ve also ordered a refurb kit for 24ZN’s Mikuni fuel pump. Although Mikunis rarely, if ever, fail catastrophically and the current (low) fuel pressure will almost certainly hold up until I get the aircraft down to its new home, fitting it will be a good thing and will also make me feel even more secure.

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