I followed my plan through pretty much to the letter today. Bought fuel and made up a 20 litre jerry can of 50:1 2-stroke mix on my way over to Ken’s and on arrival there, uncovered MYRO and topped up the tank. The flight to Stoke is only a 20 minute one but it’s always nice to know you’ve got plenty of fuel in case you have to turn back or divert for any reason. Then we pushed MYRO into the field and I gave it a really thorough walk round inspection. My original idea was to give it another 30 minutes of ground running and power checks but after 10 minutes or so the engine was running and powering up so smoothly that I didn’t think it was necessary doing any more.
Ken then had to pop out for 15 minutes or so, so while he was away I got MYRO ready for the flight and was all ready at the top of the slope at the high end of the field with the engine running when he got back. I have to say that from there the field looked a lot shorter than it did before and although I knew that MYRO would accelerate like mad down the slope to take off speed, there’s always that little doubt in your mind that something could go wrong. I knew that if there was any doubt, I’d have to close the throttle very quickly to give myself enough time to stop on the damp grass before running out of field, but having made that decision I found that it wasn’t then the foremost thing in my mind as I put on full power and accelerated away. I didn’t even notice at what point I became airborne – Ken said afterwards that it was in 40 yards or possibly even less – I just watched the Ts and Ps and airspeed as usual and took off at the normal speed.
I’d decided beforehand that if I’d had an early EFATO I’d have no choice but to turn right onto a newly ploughed field – there was nowhere else to go – but once it was apparent that that wasn’t going to happen, I concentrated on climbing away through the gap in the trees to gain as much height as I could as quickly as possible. I also turned left to stay clear of neighbours’ houses and really that was all there was to it. It was exciting to be the first person ever to take off from the field and also to be doing my first down-slope take off, but otherwise it was fairly uneventful. But that’s just how you want it to be, isn’t it? No heart-stopping moments, no high drama. And that’s what your planning is all about achieving.
The vis on the flight across to Stoke, which did indeed only take 20 minutes, was terrible, but I know the area and all the landmarks so well that it wasn’t a problem. Pretty soon I was calling up to join overhead for runway 06 and my circuit and landing was just routine, mainly because the wind was so light.
So how did MYRO perform? I seriously do believe that MYRO flew better and more balanced than it did before the accident. Maybe it is now rigged a bit better than it was, I don’t know but what I do know is that I’ve tightened up the rudder cables a bit and it definitely seems more stable now in yaw than it was. I found before that on final, for example, even in fairly light winds, it was possible for the nose to go into a side-to-side oscillation which you had to quickly nip in the pad by quite rapid and powerful rudder inputs. I didn’t feel that happening today and in fact the final approach to 06 was rock solid all the way down. I hope I’m right because it will make flying MYRO even more enjoyable than before. I mentioned to Ken while I was covering MYRO up for the night that while I was doing the repair I was worried that MYRO would never be the same again. I think I was right. It’s even better now 😀