June 23, 2007

Friends Drop In

So last Sunday we managed to get almost all of the airframe inspection work completed. We finished off the re-cabling but the problem was that when we eventually reconnected the battery and fired up the engine, the RPM/Engine Temp gauge didn’t work properly. We don’t have a wiring diagram and just had to rely on the fact that the original connections were correct. That might be a dodgy assumption. In any case, on closer inspection the gauge is U/S anyway, so until we obtain and fit a replacement, we’ll not know for sure. It would be nice to have a proper wiring diagram, though, so we know that what we’re doing is correct, so we’ll have to get in touch with Medway Microlights, who now officially support our trike model, to see if they have such a thing. My guess is they do ๐Ÿ˜‰

Final job today was removing the wheels and checking and regreasing the roller bearings. Bit messy but we didn’t find any problems and it’s good to know that they are now packed with nice fresh grease.

As the weather was fine, I wanted to take some pictures of the field. Now I have a confession to make. After just taking delivery of my lovely new Pentax digital camera a few days earlier, I have to admit that I forgot to take it with me. Luckily, Ken’s son Marc came to the rescue and loaned me his, so I was able to take the following pics which give a good impression of the lie of the land.

As you can see, the field can hardly be called level, but we think there’s a strip angled slightly right to left from the foreground into the distance that will be long enough and flat enough for us to use. There are some tallish trees along the boundary of the field behind where the pics were taken from, but again these should not cause too much of a problem as the field is pretty long, as you can see, and microlight approaches are also steeper than fixed wing.

Then there was a bit of a din and Ken’s brother, Peter, decided to drop in with a friend for a cup of tea. Din, you say. Motorbike? Sports car? Not likely. Jet Ranger helicopter!

Toddie, my Springer, is an ex-Gun Dog so he was not too perturbed by the noise. The afternoon was warmer than it looks in the pics so after Peter had switched off he decided to take advantage of the helo’s shade. Bit cheeky eh ๐Ÿ™‚

Anyway, at the end of the day. we’d made a bit more progress. More or less got everything back together and have run the engine again. Pity about that flippin’ gauge, but C’est La Microlighting Vie, I guess ๐Ÿ˜‰

June 14, 2007

Wot… No Pix?

Should hopefully from now on be a thing of the past!

First thing was, took my good ole Minolta digital camera down to Ken’s at the week-end and took a few shots of the field from which we’ll hopefully be flying at some time. Weather was sunny and bright, field was being mown by the local farmer’s tractor. Conditions – more or less ideal. Took shots. Result – rubbish! Exposure a total disaster, and I’ve found this quite a lot with this camera just lately.

ACTION – order a lovely new Pentax 7M pixel Optio S7ย  ๐Ÿ˜‰

Have now got it – it’s tiny and really nice. So now there’s no excuse – expect to see a few more pics in future postings ๐Ÿ™‚

Couldn’t resist slipping this pic in here. What a nice piece of kit it’s turned out to be! 3x optical zoom plus 4x digital, 23MB internal storage (and an extra 1GB fast memory card that will hold about 1000 pics cost only an extra ยฃ10!!), 2.5″ LCD screen, captures sound and movie clips and all only 85.5×53.5x19mm. How do they do it.

Pentax Optio S7 Ultracompact Digital Camera

Moving on…… we nipped down to Medway Microlights as well on Sunday to get the info we need, on membership, training, hangarage (if we decide we’d like to have any part of our training on our trike), stuff like that. Was rather quiet for a week-end but we had a very pleasant couple of hours drinking tea and chatting with staff and a couple of members.

Ken’s now thinking of training on a 3-axis aircraft rather than a weight-shift (which ours is) because at the end when he’s got his licence, he’s thinking about splashing-the-cash and going for a 3-axis with an enclosed cockpit. An Instructor we spoke with thinks that he should make a choice because the skills required are different and not immediately transferrable. For example, with a weight-shift, you push the bar forward to ascend whereas with a 3-axis you pull the stick backwards. This can obviously be quite critical at certain times – eg when you’re flaring to landย ย ๐Ÿ˜• – and it’s at times like that when stress can be relatively highย for a student that accidents can happen, if they keep switching from the one type to the other.

He doesn’t have to make that decision quite yet as after a small recent op he can’t fly yet anyway, but he probably will go 3-axis I think.

I’ve taken the decision to start dual training as soon as possible. Unfortunately I’ve not had the time this week (I wanted maybe to do a couple of hours on Wednesday but I was too busy with work commitments) so whether I’ll be able to do any this week-end or have to wait till next week, I don’t know.

I’ll let you know as soon as I do ๐Ÿ˜‰

Oh – by the way – we have managed to get a bit more work done on our trike. The week-end before last I replaced the dodgy cabling. Well, almost. There’s a panel-mounted single fuse in the circuit and that turned out to be naff, so I couldn’t finish the job. Have looked for a replacement but not found one yet. But we will, we will….