The bad news is that yesterday I lost the house I wanted to buy in Plazac. The agent was as astonished as I was because the property had been empty for nearly two years and after showing it to over 30 people, in that time there had only been one offer for it that had fallen through. Then after all that time, after I’d made an offer which had been informally accepted by the vendor, another buyer came out of the blue and made a higher offer at the very last minute. I was due to view the property again on Monday and had even booked my Eurotunnel tickets to drive over. Gazumping is unheard of in France so how ironic and typical to find that the other buyer is also English. There is also a possibility that they don’t even want to live in it because they already have a property in Spain and another already in France, apparently. If so, that makes me even more disappointed, if it’s true 🙁
So I now have to begin searching for another. I can’t afford to stop my sale in the UK for fear of losing my buyer, so I could well end up with my own property sold and the furniture and belongings that I want to keep, in storage. However, if I could then dispose of my business so I have no ties whatsoever, I could then spend my whole time in France looking for another property, and given that I was only there for a few days and found this one, there must surely be a chance of finding another. But it’ll be a very hard act to follow because this one had so much going for it, being close to my friends and the airfield I’ll be using and in such a perfect area for me too 😐
So what’s the good news? Well, after receiving MYRO’s permit a couple of days ago, I was back flying again. It was a bit touch and go, though, because although the wind was not too bad, the weather was very murky with lots of low cloud around. I busied myself taking MYRO’s covers off (the wing covers are still in my garage waiting to be repaired after the high winds), putting fuel in the tanks and mounting the new placards that need to be displayed while a clump of low cloud went through and when it was clear that the cloud base had risen quite a bit, I got off at 2.00pm. As I’ve now got the twin tanks working nicely, I loaded 28 litres of fuel, more than enough for my planned flight and sufficient for me to check that the tanks are actually performing correctly (which they are). First I did a circuit to get the feel of things again. That went really well and I made a really decent job of the cross wind landing onto 06. So after a touch and go, I decided to leave the circuit and head north over the Thames into Essex via Canvey Island. It was pretty obvious that there was still a lot more clag to come from that direction so I curtailed my flight north and headed west alongside the north bank of the river. Then I crossed back into Kent and headed down to Ken’s place where I knew he was working outside. He saw me but I didn’t see him but I was able to do a PFL into the sheep field by way of practice.
Then I headed back to Stoke where the low cloud I’d spotted earlier in Essex was just coming in and landed on 06 in a light shower. The cross wind landing was a greaser and without wanting to boast, a chap who had seen it (a PA28 Cherokee 235 owner) came over and complimented me, which was a nice end to the afternoon after my disappointments of the past 24 hours 🙂
OK, I’ve just popped back to add one little thing that I’ve just remembered, which was a lesson for me and may be a warning to others. Because MYRO has flown very little lately, I decided to do power and mag checks before lining up for take off. Usually I just check the mags once after start up and then make sure I’ve got full power when I give full throttle for the take off. Well, today because the brakes and the grass were a bit wet I guess, although I had the heel brake bar pressed pretty hard, when I opened the throttle and began my mag checks, MYRO began to creep forward. More than creep actually, so I had to close the throttle, get the nose wheel under control and get the brakes back on again a bit sharpish. When I came to take off and during the flight when I applied climb power, I noticed that my revs were a hundred or so on the low side and thought that maybe I had a problem with my throttle cables stretching a bit or something.
The flight went fine though and MYRO performed very well – it seems to fly much better since the repair and the rudder especially is much better and in balance with the ailerons. Even Martin commented on it during the test flights. I also found that with the new Ivo Prop, I’m getting a higher air speed than before at 5500RPM – 55-60mph whereas previously I had trouble getting 55mph. It may just be down to the cold weather, but I don’t recall noticing it last winter. But I mustn’t digress – what did I find when I came to switch off after landing? I’d flown the whole flight, including the take off on just one mag! I obviously hadn’t switched the mags back on properly in all the kerfuffle to do with the power checks right at the beginning, so there’s a lesson for me and possibly others too. If your revs look lower than you expect them to be, they probably are, so investigate. Don’t just accept the situation. I also found that after an hour and a quarter’s flying, I’d used 20 litres of fuel which I thought was a bit on the high side but probably a reasonable price to pay if I am getting 5mph more air speed for the same revs as before. But in fact it looks as though the consumption is over-stated because of my mag cock-up. I’ll bet when I fly properly on both mags, I’ll find it’s a lot less. Or I’m a monkey’s uncle 😉