I’ve now phoned Romorantin and it appears that their fuel system only accepts Total cards, so I’d be relying therefore on the aeroclub there to accept my payment. I’ve also just checked with Blois and the same goes for them and their fuel system which only accepts BP cards. I’d have to phone either club beforehand to let them know my ETA to make sure that someone would be there to do so and I surmise that as Blois is the bigger and the more prestigious of the two, that would probably be the better bet.

I’ve also rechecked my possible route going via Blois and it’s a bit more direct and a few kilometres shorter than via Romorantin so I’m now leaning towards routing via Blois rather than via Romorantin. However, I’ll need to check carefully to ensure that as the leg from Malbec to Blois is slightly longer I’ll be able to make it there safely with the prevailing wind on the day, which will probably be northerly.

Watch this space for future developments! Now I most go to Malbec and adjust 77ASY’s engine idle.

Well, I’m back from adjusting 77ASY’s idle and I was very pleased with the results. I don’t have a carb balancer but I did my best to equalise each carburettor by inserting a thin feeler gauge under each adjustment screw in turn until it was just being gripped and then opening both throttles slightly by turning each screw by an equal amount until I got the idle speed that I wanted.

At the end the engine was ticking over very smoothly but I forgot to take some Loctite with me to put on the adjustment screw threads. It doesn’t matter though as I’ve got to go back and give the aircraft a good clean as it was covered in mouse droppings and splats of bird poo.

I also enjoyed a very welcome bonus. My altimeter was noticeably out when I flew up to La Rochelle, and before that also when I checked in with Bergerac a few weeks ago and was able to compare my indicated altitude with the height shown on my transponder. There will always be a difference as the latter is calibrated at standard atmospheric pressure ie 1013.2Hp but the difference was much too great to be acceptable. The technician at La Rochelle also commented on it.

I was thinking that I’d have to apply a manual correction during my upcoming UK flight but today I learnt something that I’ve not known for all the many years that I’ve been involved and tinkering with aircraft.


As the above image shows, to the left of the altimeter’s pressure indicator adjustment knob there’s a small screw that today I thought I’d investigate. When I unscrewed it, it didn’t come right out because it was evidently attached to some kind of spring inside the instrument. This set me thinking and I carefully tried turning the knob with the screw hanging out. No change, the pressure scale moved normally.

I then tried doing the same after gently pulling the knob, and success! The altimeter needle remained stationary but the pressure scale rotated! Previously, the altimeter was showing an elevation of 850 feet, which is about right for Malbec, at a pressure setting of 1018Hp. I checked the QNHs for Brive and Bergerac which were identical at 30.2InHg or 1023Hp and was then able to set my altimeter’s pressure scale to that figure.

So that was job done! Now I’ll be able to fly confident in the knowledge that my indicated altitude will be as it should be. Incidentally, while I was there I checked the Weedhopper’s altimeter and that was giving an elevation of 850 feet at 1028Hp, so it too is out by 5Hp, but in the other direction. I don’t think that there’s an adjustment screw on its altimeter but I’m not going to lose any sleep over it 😉

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