eNews – March 2018

VIDEOS OF THE MONTH
Beast from the East? It won’t stop us

THE rest of the country may have ground to a halt, but not microlighters. Graeme Ritchie, who’s an instructor with East of Scotland Microlights at East Fortune, took a customer up for a trial flight before the Beast arrived. “He lives in Kelso and wanted to overfly his house from East Fortune, so we combined that with a low pass of the farm strip at Lempitlaw and a short formation with Kim, my wife, also an avid flexwinger, over the snowy Cheviots, with me in her QuikR and her in my Quik,” said Graeme. After some enthusiastic shovelling to clear the runway after the Beast had been and gone, Graeme and East of Scotland CFI Gordon Douglas then cooled off with another jaunt.

And just in case those hardy Scots were accusing Sassenachs of being cissies, John Fielding didn’t even bother clearing the runway at Priory Farm in Norfolk before going for a spin in the SkyRanger. “Despite the snow being five inches deep, it was as light and fluffy as a… light and fluffy trifle,” said John, who was later taken away to lie down in a darkened room for a while.

Geoff Hill, Editor
mfeditor@bmaa.org

Photo CompetitionPhoto Competition
LUCKY us, with 13 great entries this month, ranging from the Florida Keys to, er, Bagby. Heavens, you lot do get around, and long may it last. As always, the chosen few in your next MF. VIEW THE APRIL ENTRIES.
Back to school – and loving it

A REMINDER of the schedule for the next BMAA courses for pilots. You’ll have to get a wiggle on to catch the first one, but we know you’ll want to clear out your diary for the others:

Paper? So last century, dude

GET to grips with the technology of the paperless cockpit, says instructor Deepak Mahajan. Stand by for a great Old School v New School debate from experts on both sides in your next MF.

Radio gaga

WE’VE said this before, but it bears repeating: if a ground service is still using a 25kHz frequency, you can still communicate with it using a 25kHz radio. Once a ground service has converted, aircraft must use an 8.33kHz radio to communicate with it. In practice, you can only continue to fly until the end of this year with just a 25kHz radio if throughout your entire flight you only need to communicate on 25kHz frequencies. Here’s which ground stations have converted to 8.33kHz, and which are planning to soon.

Brrrrilliant advice

THE Beast from the East may have been and gone by the time you read this, but if not, Deepak Mahajan has some excellent tips on cold-weather flying. He’ll follow it up soon with one on flying in hot weather. Remember that?

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Calling all Eurostars

EVERYONE who’s anyone in one of the little silver delights will be at Sywell on 28 April for the largest gathering of Eurostars ever seen… again! “Last year we had 65 in, making it the biggest single-type fly-in in the UK, and possibly Europe and the world. This year we hope to beat our record again for Eurostars on the field,” said organiser Richard Smith. “All types are welcome, but do park in your own line if coming in something else. This year we’re letting the EuroFox brigade share the event as long as they line up together and don’t mix in with the Eurostars.”

For details contact Richard on rs@smurf24.plus.com or co-organiser our own Paul Kiddell, on paulpam.kiddell@btinternet.com or 07918 052715. Accommodation is available on site at the Aviator Hotel, and flying information and essential PPR from Sywell aerodrome.

And talking of Eurostars…

CIARA Hillyer hopped in with Bristol pilot Steve Smith for a mini-Eurostar fly-in to Fenland – Airfield of the Month in your next MF.

Sweet 16 for Jordan

JORDAN Bathgate, 16, featured on STV after he went solo with East of Scotland Microlights at East Fortune near Edinburgh.

Green light for Alpha Electro in Canada

CANADA has certified the Pipistrel Alpha Electro in its advanced ultralight category, the first certification of an electric aircraft in North America. The certification means the aircraft can be used commercially in its intended role as an economical trainer. AVweb’s Paul Bertorelli got an early taste of the Electro in Slovenia back in 2015.

Ex-microlight pilot saves driver’s life

SPECIAL Constable Kevin Taylor saved a motorist from death by hypothermia by flying a thermal imaging camera drone to find the unconscious driver after a crash on a wintry night. “Kev and I flew to Spamfield years ago in our Mainair flexwings, and he’s moved on to helos and posh fixed-wings. Another good lad, he puts service in unpaid as a Special Constable,” said Kevin Armstrong.

Tomorrow’s here, and it’s still only today

EHANG has now carried 40 passengers, including top government officials, in its autonomous VTOL, the Ehang 184. Previous unmanned flights have seen the single-seater reach 1000ft and 70kt, and follow a course for nine miles. The company is also developing a two-seat version with a payload of 272kg. If range improves, they could scupper the long-awaited flying car. This is where we’re at with that, according to the Beeb.

Sign here to reopen Panshanger

PANSHANGER Aerodrome on the outskirts of Welwyn Garden City was one of the most successful GA airfields in the UK, but has been closed for three years. It may now reopen, but needs your help. See here for details and to sign the petition.

Is it too early to make a Santa list?

AVWEB’s Paul Bertorelli flies the slick Tecnam Astore LSA.

Wheeeeeee! (squared)

ALWAYS wanted to fly an F-104 Starfighter? Course you have. Sign here.

Mum, I got my needlework and CPL badges!

BROWNIES can now add an aviation badge to their collection.

Band of barfers

PASSENGERS keep losing their lunch over your nice clean cockpit? Try this, the Reliefband 2.0 – or for a cheaper option, most chemists or Amazon sell a simple acupressure wrist band which presses on the median nerve for the same result. Just google anti-seasickness wrist bands. “My then girlfriend years ago always got seasick, and that cured her instantly,” said MF editor Geoff Hill.

A microlight it ain’t, even if the weight limit is raised

STRATOLAUNCH, the giant airplane in development in the Mojave Desert, has been doing taxi tests up to 40kt. Paul Allen, the Microsoft co-founder who is funding the project, said the first flight is expected next year. The plane, designed to deliver payloads to low Earth orbit, has a world record wingspan of 385ft and is powered by six Pratt & Whitney turbofan engines scavenged from Boeing 747-400s.

eNews – February 2018

Don’t lose your logbook!

FOR if you do, you’re in for a world of pain, including two CAA interviews and a £200 bill. Where an individual is unable to provide logbook evidence of their required hours due to loss, damage, theft or data corruption, the CAA will no longer accept the submission of a sworn affidavit as the primary means of accepting hours for the grant of a licence, rating, certificate or the revalidation and extension/or removal of restriction of privileges. Instead, you have to go through a process which makes the instruction manual for a Garmin 496 look like a haiku.

However, there is a simple solution from BMAA licensing supremo Aaron Bliss. Read your next MF to find what it is…

Geoff Hill, Editor
mfeditor@bmaa.org

Photo CompetitionPhoto Competition
SOME fabulous examples this month of chiaroscuro, which as you all know is the interplay of light and shade for dramatic effect. Or it could have been the light dancing off Lucy Griffin’s engagement ring. Congratulations, Lucy! VIEW THE MARCH ENTRIES.
Be better with Bell

FORMER MF reporter Lawrence Bell must never sleep. Now the owner and CFI of the North East Flying Club, he also runs Quizaero, an online course for student pilots. His latest really useful blogs are:

Join today
VIDEO OF THE MONTH: White and wonderful

GLORIOUS footage of a flight over winter snow by Ethan Sherry in a SkyRanger out of Carrickmore airfield in Northern Ireland. Editor Geoff Hill, who grew up in a Nissen hut near the village long before there was an airfield, confessed to a manly tear as he gazed at the fields in which he spent his childhood several lifetimes ago.

Life’s a beach, and then you fly

A BRACING winter’s day in Northern Ireland? Perfect for a visit to the beach, thought Gavin Curtis, grabbing the keys to his C42.

Flying in five

FLYLIGHT’s Ben Ashman showing how you can rig the PeaBee nanotrike in five minutes, after the development he promised in Steve Uzochukwu’s flight test in November MF. “The wing will derig on the trike, with the wings folding inwards in the same fashion as the FoxCub, but with the addition of rigging struts,” explains Steve. “This allows the wing to fit in the same short pack bag as the FoxCub, while remaining on the trike, leading to the five-minute rig as promised.”

Make short work of your landings

PROUD of your short-field work? Now’s your chance to prove it: the world’s first aircraft short takeoff and beach landing competition on sand this summer includes a category for fixed-wing machines under 501kg as well as the more usual bush planes and vintage biplanes. It’s on the beach of the fashionable spa town of Knokke-Heist in Belgium on 14-17 June. Click here for some tips and inspiration. Done? Here’s your entry form.

It’s art, Jim, but not as we know it

SOME lovely drone images of the annual Forbes hang gliding competition in Australia, spotted by Owain Johns. One of the competitors was former Flylight employee Ollie Chitty, who as you saw last month set a world distance record of 241 miles.

Crash course

WHEN MF editor Geoff Hill was learning to fly, his instructor said a wise man learns from his mistakes, and an even wiser man learns from the mistakes of others. So watch and learn, especially at a time of year when many of us are polishing our rusty skills. Spotted by BMAA safety guru John Teesdale.

Old, but still bold

SECOND World War Dakota pilot Gerald Parker gets to take the controls of one again – and, at 95, still pulls off the sweetest landing you’ll see this side of Texas.

My flying sucks compared to Hoover’s

Think you’re a good pilot? Think again after watching Bob Hoover do aerobatics in the Aero Commander Shrike business aircraft with both engines shut down. And if that wasn’t impressive enough, here he is pouring tea while rolling – without spilling a drop.

Aussies waive the rules

WHEN two Australian teenagers got caught in a riptide and were being pounded by surf half a mile offshore, lifeguards would normally have faced a punishing jet-ski trip out to help them. Instead, they pulled their new quadcopter out of the box and sent it off to drop a flotation device – a world first.

The height of appiness

NOT sure what altitude you’re at? Download the new Precision Altimeter app from Belite Enterprises, demonstrated here. It’s in the iTunes store free until 22 February using the secret code H77K3PT94XPA. Whatever you do, don’t tell anyone.

Whisper it quietly

LILIUM, the German start-up firm developing the world’s first all-electric vertical take-⁠off and landing jet, has won the 2018 Early Stage Company of the Year award at the Global Cleantech 100 Awards. The awards are for the most innovative and promising ideas that aim to solve the clean technology challenges of the future. Lilium’s planned electric five-seater jet will cruise at up to 186mph, with a flying time of up to one hour on a charge. The company has already flown its two-seater prototype in the skies above Munich.

Must be a wind up

TOO poor to afford a parachute? Never mind: you can still compete in the Wind Games.

Shoot for the moon

EXCLUSIVE from the Suffolk Gazette: a new Norfolk fighter jet designed to rival the Eurofighter Typhoon has been spurned by alleged defence experts. The locals are as sick as a squadron of parrots.

eNews – January 2018

Farewell to a legend

PETER Bell, the Northumberland farmer and pilot who saved Eshott airfield from closure, has died. “He was a mischievous, larger-than-life character who befriended many a student microlight pilot and encouraged us all through our ups and downs with his somewhat colourful language,” said MF reporter and Eshott pilot Paul Kiddell. You may recall Peter being profiled in an ITN News segment a few years back flying his sheepdog around his farm.

On another memorable occasion back in the 1950s, Peter and ​brother Roger had done some flying in gliders at RAF Acklington​ when Peter discovered a JAP​-​engined Luton Minor parked in a field, said Paul. “The temptation was too much​,​ and he decided to go for a spin without the owner’s knowledge. He survived​,​ but his dad went off the deep end that he’d taken the plane without permission. Ah,​ the good old days! He’d been ill for a little while and old age got him in the end… A great man with a great legacy.”

Geoff Hill, Editor
mfeditor@bmaa.org

Photo CompetitionPhoto Competition
THERE’S no business like snow business for you lot this month, with everyone from fixed-wing wusses like the editor to flexwing heroes braving temperatures down to -6˚C all coming up trumps with some great shots. Here in front of a roaring fire at MF Global HQ, we salute you! As always, the chosen few in your next MF. VIEW THE FEBRUARY ENTRIES.
BMAA website relaunch

THE good folks at Deddington are Churchillian in giving of their blood, toil, tears and sweat – we all know that. But did Winnie ever give us a website? We think not. Here’s something a bit special, then: the new BMAA website, launched yesterday.

Safety alert

IT’s never a bad idea to brush up on your hazard awareness. The General Aviation Safety Council is running its annual safety evenings in the run-up to April and the return of longer days and better weather with a presentation entitled Aware Today, Alive Tomorrow. The list of dates and venues is available here.

Join today
Broom with vroom

EUROFLY importer and former world champion Dave Broom having fun in the Snake sub-70kg nanotrike. Flight test by Steve Uzochukwu in your next MF.

Greenshields puts his stamp on record bid

MICROLIGHT instructor Jim Greenshields is planning to break his own Guinness world record this summer by flying more than 50 aircraft to 2000ft and back solo in one day. The current record of 43 was set in 2014 by Jim at Dunkeswell airfield, where he runs Somerset Microlights with his wife Helen. Full details in your next MF.

Around the block and home for tea

MARK Smith took a notion to jump into his Jabiru at Newtownards airfield and do a circuit of Northern Ireland in a day. As you do.

The Baltic Brigade

SIX below zero at the airfield? Not a problem to Perth flexwing flyer Andy Mackinnon, who set off for a jaunt over snowy Scotland with fellow real man Jim Crosby.

Equally unfazed was Graham Wiley in this Foxbat fly-out from Otherton in Staffordshire, when ATC at destination Coningsby told him most of the runway was covered with ice.

South for the winter

NORTHERN Ireland pilots Gavin Curtis and Sarah Louise Wright enjoying themselves over the Costa Blanca in a Foxbat A22 out of the New Horizon Microlights airfield and school, run by Derek Merritt-Holman.

Ollie on top of the world Down Under

FORMER Flylight employee Ollie Chitty, now living in Australia, has just set a new world hang gliding distance record, flying 241 miles in 5.5h. Handily, he filmed it so that we might share the moment. “The point 9:23 in when he realises he has won the task and is whooping at 5000ft is excellent. It’s had 10,000 views on his Facebook page,” said fellow pilot Owain Johns.

Follow your dreams

JUSTIN McKnight loved flying, but never dreamed he could be a pilot. Now he flies private jets for a living.

There’s no business like slow business

THERE are short landings, then there are landings by Alaskan bush pilot John Bush. That’s a stiff headwind, that is.

Splash with dash

THE pilot of this Piper Pawnee did a nice job of ditching after engine trouble over Miami Beach in Florida. Uninjured, he swam to the boat from which student Alex Hansen had taken the video.

Swansong for Mr Goose

BILL Lishman, who led flights of migrating geese from Canada to South Carolina in his microlight, has died in his home in Ontario aged 78, 10 days after being diagnosed with leukaemia. Bill’s flights with geese and then with rare Whooping Cranes, made in an attempt to re-establish migration patterns for endangered birds, were immortalised in the 1996 film Fly Away Home. He also had some interesting ideas for how microlights might be put to use in disaster response, as he describes in the latter part of this presentation. A highly respected sculptor and artist, he leaves behind Paula, his wife of 50 years, and three grown children.

eNews – December 2017

8.33kHz 1: CAA postpones deadline

WITH aircraft maintenance organisations and avionics fitters overwhelmed by demand to fit 8.33kHz radios before the 31 December deadline, the CAA has agreed that until the end of 2018, 25kHz radios may continue to be used when communicating exclusively with 25kHz ground stations. The CAA’s Bob Liddiard said: “However, if their flight means that they communicate to any ground service that has transitioned to an 8.33kHz channel, then they must also be using an 8.33kHz-capable radio.”

The exemption includes so-called sporting frequencies used by microlights, gliders, balloons etc, where they mostly communicate air-to-air, he said. Full details of the exemptions can be found here.

8.33kHz 2: Icom launches scrappage scheme

ICOM is offering up to £75 scrappage cash on old radios for customers buying 8.33kHz models. “It doesn’t have to be an Icom and doesn’t have to work,” said the company – and if you are turning in an older IC-A6E or IC-A24E, you can keep the battery. The offer is available for radios bought up to 31 December.

Geoff Hill, Editor
mfeditor@bmaa.org

Photo CompetitionPhoto Competition
DRUM roll, please, Cyril, and… we have a new world record for geographical diversity this month, with 6000 miles separating Wilfred van Beek’s shot over Rio and Jed Fisher and Michael Stalker’s shots in Scotland. As always, the chosen few in your next MF. VIEW THE JANUARY ENTRIES.
Glowfly reborn

GLOWFLY, the slick hybrid SSDR motorglider admired by many at Flyer Live a couple of years ago, has been reborn as a crowdfunding project. More details in your next MF, but in the meantime, here’s a reminder of what a little beauty it is.

It’s an unfair cop, guv

A CAMBRIDGESHIRE woman whose rare caravan was stolen tracked it down with the help of a microlight after police failed to find it.

Fee FAI fo fum

The FAI has launched a new website, with a dedicated microlights and paramotors section.

Join today
Open and shut case

READ David Bremner’s great flight test of the bargain Eurofly Minifox in your next MF, but as a taster, here’s the maiden flight, and a demo of how easy the wings are to fold.

Bumps a daisy

HOW windy is too windy, asks Durham Aerosports CFI and former MF reporter Lawrence Bell after watching this video of a student pilot flying a Jabiru J230 with his instructor in rough conditions.

ITV covers Build a Plane flight

ITV News ran this great piece on the Wolverhampton Build a Plane project. “The weather was perfect for the first public flight at Halfpenny Green today. We all had a superb time. Thanks to all who made it happen,” said pilot Graham Wiley.

Low and lovely

A MAGICAL flight around Strangford Lough and the Mourne Mountains by Northern Ireland pilot Allan Lindsay – and all while playing the banjo. Astonishing skill.

Wilmaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!

KERNAN Valley pilots Ruth Devlin and Jack McCluskey in Northern Ireland have splashed out on SkyRanger Whiskey Mike. Naturally, Ruth immediately christened her Wilma and bought a pair of pink furry dice for the cockpit to wind Jack up. To celebrate, they took Wilma to Newtownards for lunch and Derryogue airfield south of the Mournes for afternoon tea.

Bored with shark wrestling?

THEN try jumping from a mountain into a plane, as French thrillseekers Fred Fugen and Vince Reffet have just done. Alternatively, it’s a good ploy if you’ve missed your flight.

Pick of the crop

THINK you can fly? Think your runway is a bit tricky? Think again, after watching this New Zealand crop duster pilot in action.

Belly dancing for beginners

NICE job by the pilot of this eight-tenths scale Spitfire Mk 26 belly-landing safely after his wheels failed to come down.

Pen pals

STÉPHANE Boulenger and his mates – loads of them – decided to paraglide to the top of Mont Blanc and land there, as you do. The mountain, that is, not the fountain pen. How they got back down is not recorded. Bus, presumably.

Wacky Waco

WHAT could possibly be more fun than a classic biplane? A classic biplane on floats, as AVweb’s Paul Bertorelli discovered.

Art with heart

AH yes, 65. Time to retire and put your feet up. On the rudder pedals, that is: retired Marine Corps Lieutenant Colonel Art Nalls bought a Sea Harrier, shipped it home in 5000 pieces, rebuilt it and now displays it. This new series tells his amazing story.

Richard does the ironing

BRITISH inventor Richard Browning has set the first world speed record for “flying a body-controlled jet engine power suit”. Not too many of those about.

I dipped the lights… and the tyres went down

FED up waiting for all the flying cars that have been promised for years? These American skydivers have finally cracked it. Sadly, their Trumpmobile only seems to go in one direction.

eNews – November 2017

BMAA Forum alive and kicking

IT crashed, went missing and was presumed dead, but the much-missed BMAA Forum is back and updated to a new platform. It’s still at forums.bmaa.org, so take a look.

“There are many items to fix, including user levels such as inspectors, instructors and BMAA members, but we can work that out as we go along,” said BMAA Chairman Rob Hughes, the cyberspace genius behind the resurrection. “Your original user login should still work. If your username is not your real name, you must change it by contacting the admin using the ‘contact us’ link at the bottom of the page. Users with non-real usernames will be deleted in December.”

Geoff Hill, Editor
mfeditor@bmaa.org

Photo CompetitionPhoto Competition
SOME glorious examples of climatic diversity this month, from the golden light of an autumn evening and wistful mist to towering clouds. And caravans, of course. As always, the chosen few in your next MF. VIEW THE DECEMBER ENTRIES.
Flight test special

DOUBLE delights await flexwing flyers in your next MF, as Steve Uzochukwu flight tests the new Flylight Peabee sub-70kg trike (pictured above) and the Ace Aviation Magic Laser, available new or as a good value secondhand secret. To whet your appetite while you’re waiting for the mag, here’s a short video by Ben Ashman of an early run-out for the Peabee.

Paging Mr Mitchell to the Spitfire office

FANCY yourself as an aircraft designer? The RAeS has announced a GA design competition, aimed at renewing innovation in the the UK’s aircraft industry, using the recent E-conditions deregulation to make it quicker and cheaper to develop new ideas. “And of course it’s much easier to prove novel ideas in smaller GA aircraft,” said Tony Bishop of the RAeS GA Committee and formerly the founder of e-Go, builder of the slick eponymous SSDR design which came out of a previous competition. “We’d like to invite your readers to get inventive! It includes both complete aircraft and aircraft systems, and we’re encouraging people with limited experience.”

Safety first

CLICK here for a list of GASCo flight safety evenings.

Join today
Pip pip and away!

PROFESSIONAL aerobatic pilot Stefan Trischuk gives the Pipistrel Virus SW a workout in Canada.

Sorry, chaps, it’s all over

MF has sacked its team of flight testers and is in negotiation with Gyrocopter Girl after this flight test of the slick Swedish Blackwing 600R. At 472.5kg and with retractable landing gear and a cruise speed of 173mph, it is a microlight, but we’re unlikely to see it – or Gyro Girl – on these shores. Mainly because she’d freeze to death dressed like that, for crying out loud.

Completely loopy

THINK you can’t loop a Thruster? John Boyce did in Australia, when he was asked by then UK importer Gordon Pill to test the new nosewheel version. Oz didn’t have rules about aerobatics in microlights, and John made the most of it, as you’ll see 5.00 in. As always, don’t try this at home. We know where you live.

The day Greenshields put his stamp on microlighting

IN case you haven’t seen it before, here’s Jim Greenshields’ attempt to land his flexwing on top of a moving lorry. As you do.

Do your checks or pay the price

“THE glider preflight check mnemonic is CBSIFTCB, where the final ‘B’ stands for brakes (airbrakes closed and locked),” said microlight and glider pilot Alan Morton, who sent this in.

“The airbrake lever has a blue handle and is seen to open as the Puchacz glider reaches a path crossing the runway at Husbands Bosworth airfield,” said Alan. “The tug pilot radioed the glider pilot to inform him of the situation, but the glider radio was switched off, and when the Chipmunk / Puchacz combination was obviously not going to clear the trees the tug pilot had no option but to pull the tow cable release. The glider pilot was lucky that the glider hit a berm that stopped it falling into a deep quarry, but the glider is probably a write-off and the pilot suffered back injuries in the crash.”

Bumps a daisy

STORMY weather over Europe produced a couple of, er, interesting arrivals for an Airbus A380 at Frankfurt and a 747 at Schiphol. If nothing else, they’ll make you feel better if you got a little chirrup from your tyres on your last landing and hoped no one was listening.

The plane in Spain

ALWAYS wanted to fly a Heinkel 111? Of course you have. This one was Franco’s personal aircraft after the war.

All together now…

THIS week’s handy hint on going around, spotted by Drew McAvoy.

Then we took Berlin

TWO pilots for Air Berlin have been suspended after buzzing Dusseldorf Airport to mark their last landing before the airline went bust. None of the 200 passengers on the flight from Miami complained.

Lufthansa will buy 81 Air Berlin aircraft and 3000 of its staff. Possibly minus two.

Three chairs for Tom. Hip hip…

BRITISH adventurer Tom Morgan has flown 15.5 miles across South Africa at 8000ft in a camping chair suspended from 100 helium balloons.

Mr Unstoppable

IF Amol Yadav thought building an aeroplane on the roof of his Mumbai apartment block was difficult, he still had Indian red tape to face.

You wait for one bus…

PILOT Todd Rudberg thought he was having a bad day when he hit an elk landing at an airstrip in Oregon. Then he hit another. Spotted by Steve Uzochukwu.

Gentlemen, start your Bentleys

IT took 18 months to build this quarter-scale Bentley B.R.2 rotary, but what a beauty. The 230hp original powered the Sopwith Snipe towards the end of the First World War and into the 1920s. Spotted by David Bremner.

Well, you asked…

AS I approached Sarasota Airport on the downwind leg, a Cessna 172 ahead of me asked the tower for clearance to land.
Tower: “State your intentions.”
Pilot: “I plan to have dinner with my brother-in-law this evening.”
Tower: “Roger, cleared to land.”

From Tom Wilson

eNews – October 2017

Listen up, down and all around

LISTENING squawks, which those of you who have been paying attention will know help us steer clear of controlled airspace, have been updated. The CAA has introduced a number of new codes and changed some existing ones, all available on this downloadable chart. It normally costs bugger all, but for eMF readers we have negotiated a special rate of bugger all squared. We know, we spoil you, but you’re so worth it.

Geoff Hill, Editor
mfeditor@bmaa.org

Photo CompetitionPhoto Competition
GEOGRAPHICAL variety is yet again the spice of life in this month’s competition, with flights ranging from the Scottish Highlands to the French Atlantic coast. As always, the chosen few in your next MF. VIEW THE NOVEMBER ENTRIES.
Gate swings open

BLACKPOOL Town Council has bought Squires Gate airport for £4.25M from developers Balfour Beatty, intending to keep it open for aviation use, hurrah. Here’s some more info about the sale.

Sign up for a right royal bash

THE BMAA is sponsoring the RAeS’s Light Aircraft Design Conference again. The event has gone all futuristic this year, with electric powertrain and electronic conspicuity themes. It’s on 20 November at the RAeS headquarters off Piccadilly, and BMAA members qualify for a reduced registration fee of £72. The full event programme is available here, or if you’d rather just pile straight in and sign up now, go here. If you’re not already registered with the site you’ll need to do so first, as either member or non-member.

Safe havens

NO better way to spend a dark winter evening than at a GASCo safety briefing. Here’s the list.

Now that didn’t happen in training…

STILL on the subject of safety, newly appointed BMAA Safety Officer John Teesdale has some good advice. “We have seen a number of accidents resulting from a stall after takeoff or during go-around in recent months”, he explains. “This excellent video shows how stalls in real situations differ from the synthetic simulations you did in training and offers some advice on how to avoid being caught out.”

Marketing guru wanted

THE BMAA is looking for a marketing coordinator to develop, oversee and participate in campaigns to promote the full array of BMAA-supported activities, increase participation, expand BMAA membership and enhance the experience of BMAA membership. If it could be you, click here.

Join today
Look, Ted, it’s a little aeroplane! Or maybe it’s just far away…

A FABULOUS scenic tour of Ireland by Gavin and Pat Curtis in a C42, taking in epic sights such as the Cliffs of Moher and, of course, Father Ted’s house.

Just chillin’

A LOVELY evening flight up the River Bann in a Kernan Aviation C42 with Jack McCluskey and Ruth Devlin.

First-time fun

“JESS Edge, my wife’s cousin, had never been in a microlight and was a bit nervous before the flight, but as you can see she loved it,” said Chris Roberts, who treated her to this flight from Barton. “The Ikarus T-shirt is made by a good friend of mine, John Maxwell, at AV Addict.”

Chippie on our six, skipper

A DOGFIGHT with a Chipmunk, a spot of wing walking and a missing yoga teacher – Robin Horne’s whizz in the EuroFox around Salisbury Plain had it all.

Air to the throne

THE Voliris has just set a record as the world’s smallest airship, but since it’s negatively buoyant and requires aerodynamic lift to fly, maybe it should be classed as a microlight, says reader Tony Prentice, who spotted this clip of it in flight. “It’s certainly a fair-weather machine, whatever class it fits best,” he said.

Short final for the parking lot

PILOT Manfred Forst, 79, was lucky to walk away from this collision with a tree in a rented Cessna 172 from Robertson Airport in Connecticut. How the tree felt about it is not recorded, but you have to applaud Forst for his parking skills. A fuel leak apparently led to a loss of engine power in the 1981 machine.

Pass the sick bag, skipper

FANCY upgrading your licence to something like the RAF Typhoon? BBC Defence Correspondent Jonathan Beale was doing fine until the pilot piled on some G. As in gee, I think I’m going to lose my lunch.

Up, up and Uber

DUBAI took another step toward providing an autonomous flying taxi service when an unmanned Volocopter flew a demo flight above the city. Don’t download the app just yet, though: Dubai officials say it could take years to establish the standards and specifications that must be met to operate the air taxis safely.

And while we’re on the subject, the Swiss-built two-seat autonomous PassengerDrone has now carried passengers on board for several flights. The company plans to build five more prototypes for a test programme and start commercial production next year, with prices £150,000 or less.

White lightning

STEVE Hinton on setting a new world speed record for piston-engined aircraft of 551.53mph in his all-white P51 Mustang, Voodoo. And you thought your Dynamic was fast…

Biggles would be pleased

SECOND World War ace James “Ginger” Lacey has been honoured with a blue plaque.

Nothing new under the sun

THINK microlighting began in the early ’80s? Think again, says reader Tony Prentice: Alberto Santos-Dumont was at it a century ago in his Demoiselle, which probably only needed a 912 to get it into Section S.

Prepare for lift-off

BOEING has launched this $2M competition to create a personal flying device that can be safely used by anyone, anywhere. Since it’s for a machine that can take off almost vertically, MF Editor Geoff Hill was last seen down at the airfield practising full-flap takeoffs in the Foxbat. Here’s the BBC’s take on it.

Groundhog day

Cessna: Uh, Tower, caution: some sort of otter or marmot just went right in front of my plane.
Tower: It was a groundhog. That is our airport groundhog.
Cessna: OK, regardless of type, he just crossed Alpha without clearance. Tell him to check his frequency.
Tower: We’ll have a talk with him. Cleared for takeoff 23.

From US pilot George Mendenhall

eNews – September 2017

Rob hits the spot

ROB Grimwood nailing a spot landing in his SkyRanger at the European Championships in Hungary, filmed by Povilas Kalinauskas, president of the Lithuanian ultralight aircraft federation. Team GB came home with three bronze medals, as you can read in Mary Russell’s report in your next MF. Mind you, Rob had better be looking over his shoulder, with this little chap perfecting some very tight circuits at the event.

Geoff Hill, Editor
mfeditor@bmaa.org

Photo CompetitionPhoto Competition
ANYONE complaining of lack of variety in this month’s competition will be shot at dawn, as we have a bulging digital postbag of 22 great entries covering everything from the south of France to the Scottish Highlands, and Blackpool to Barbados. As always, the chosen few in your next MF. VIEW THE OCTOBER ENTRIES.
Evektor to change Eurostar exhaust design

EUROSTAR manufacturer Evektor is to change the design of the aircraft’s exhaust system after some owners reported problems with the new design of the rear exhaust tube fitted to Rotax 912s. In the meantime, UK importer Light Sport Aviation is testing several options for existing owners: replacement, repair or a third-party exhaust. Full details in your next MF.

CAA goes for Plan B

THE CAA has launched a major push backing ADS-B to help reduce airspace infringements and mid-air collisions. The system uses 1090MHz through transponders for increased electronic awareness of other aircraft. A CAA survey is seeking information on the types of devices private pilots already use and what they would prefer to use in future. It closes on 29 September.

Come in, Blue Two

ALL pilots and instructors should have an RT licence, says Deepak Mahajan.

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Night of the air

A FABULOUS video of an Idaho flexwing taking to the air during the eclipse, spotted by Roger Pattrick.

Ham to Spam

A SIX-hour flight in a two-stroke from East Durham to Spamfield for a brilliant weekend,” said Al Charlton. Full report in your next MF.

Ben scores a PB

BEN Ashman testing the dinky new PeaBee nanotrike, expected to cost around £9960 when it comes on the market any day now. We’ll have a flight test in MF asap.

Dib dib and chocks away

EVERY four years, Kent Scouts host a jamboree for more than 5000 Scouts from around the world at the Kent Showground in Detling, and this year, as always, the Kent Scouts microlight team provided air-experience flights for as many of those Scouts as they could during the camp.

Birds of a feather

JACK McCluskey was just rounding out on a day trip from Kernan Aviation in Northern Ireland with Ruth Devlin to a private strip, when a feathered friend got a bit too close to their C42 for comfort. It may be only a coincidence, but Ruth switched to a Eurostar for her next video of three of the little silver darlings having fun at the hands of pilots Jack McCluskey, Shane Kearney and Gary Nicholson.

Splash with dash

LIKE Foxbats? Like lakes in forests? Favourite colour yellow? Boy, are you in for a treat with this trip to Baboosic Lake in New Hampshire by PilotWorkshops founder Mark Robidoux, spotted by John Hughes. And if you’ve bought a floatplane on eBay after too many glasses of wine, then realised you live in the desert, here’s a handy alternative takeoff method, spotted by Drew McAvoy.

A grand day out

ON any given Sunday, the pilots of The Chase, a farm strip near Chipping Sodbury north of Bristol, go flugelling, and Ciara Hillyer not only went along for the ride, but took this excellent video of the day.

Don’t fumble into a tumble

THERE are some sobering videos on YouTube of trikes taking a tumble, such as this one of a trike tumbling from a failed loop and this one, of a tumbling hang glider following a failed spin entry: read Bill Brooks’ excellent guide on how to avoid getting yourself into the same mess in your next MF.

Flying with Foster

MICROLIGHT legend Richard Foster, who died from a heart attack last month at only 39, flying a Cyclone AX3 from Plaistows farm near St Albans to Roddige airfield, Lichfield, with Thermic Phil Strangward. Back home, Phil set his alarm for stupid o’clock and went for a dawn flight in his Pegasus XL-Q over the Howden, Derwent and Ladybower reservoirs in the Derbyshire Peak District, where 617 Squadron practised for the Dambusters raid.

Dublin here I come!

FANCY a spin at the sharp end of a Boeing 737? Member Gavin Curtis has built his very own full-size sim. Join him on this flight from Southampton to Dublin.

Yes, that wood work

ALWAYS wanted to build your own Mosquito but not known where to find the plans? Here you go: 20,000 of them have just been found in an Airbus office. They were in the filing cabinet marked Mosquito Plans.

Engines? So last week, dude

A GLIDER has been flown to a record 52,172ft over Patagonia.

Flying a drone: everything you ever needed to know

IF you got a drone for your birthday last week and it’s crashed into the neighbour’s garden twice already, Jess Miller has written this detailed, up-to-date 7000-word guide packed with tips and advice on how to fly one.

Bunny: the movie

A GREAT mini-documentary on the building and flying of Bunny Bremner’s Bristol Scout by grandsons David and Rick and friend Theo Wilford. You may recognise the distinguished chap in the leather coat.

And if you like this, the feature-length documentary Bristol Scout: Rebuilding History is available for purchase here.

eNews – August 2017

BMAA launches cable saga survey

THE BMAA is conducting a survey for owners of Pegasus, Mainair or P&M Aviation aircraft affected by the recent frayed cable saga.

As we reported in MF, in May P&M Aviation issued a service bulletin following the partial failure of a GT450 side cable, that is, a flying wire. The bulletin, which was then backed by a CAA emergency mandatory permit directive, called for the replacement of rigging cables with roll-swaged end terminals on all P&M aircraft over seven years old or with more than 750h on the clock. The full list is the Flash range, Scorcher, Mainair Mercury, the Mainair Blade range, Quik GT450, QuikR, Quik GTR and PulsR.

“The BMAA has been made aware of problems experienced by owners who have received parts which are sub-standard, incorrect for their aircraft or without adequate documentation,” said chief inspector Rob Mott. “We are conducting a survey to identify the extent and range of these issues to assist with the rectification process. “Please respond to it as fully as possible and no later than 14 August. We apologise for the short time period.” You can find the survey here.

Geoff Hill, Editor
mfeditor@bmaa.org

Photo CompetitionPhoto Competition
HEAVENS, you lot do get around: this month we’ve everything from a balmy summer day for haymaking in Worcestershire to -29˚C in snowbound Norway. As always, the chosen few in your next MF. VIEW THE SEPTEMBER ENTRIES.
AGM now in December

THE 2017 BMAA AGM will be held on 16 December in Deddington, Oxfordshire, rather than at next year’s Popham as planned. Full details in your next MF.

Because the plans for an AGM have changed, there will be an election process for council membership as usual, so nominations are sought from BMAA members wishing to stand as directors of the BMAA, starting from the 2017 AGM. The process for nomination is described in the BMAA council membership nomination form, downloadable here or available on request from the BMAA office. Nominations must be returned, fully completed, no later than 1600 hours on 15 September.

If there are more nominations than places available on the council, an election will be held. Nominees’ details will be published on the BMAA website from 16 September. Your manifesto and image, along with supporting messages written by your proposer and seconder, should be emailed to Geoff Weighell at geoff@bmaa.org.

A quiet do

INTERESTED in electric aircraft? You need to be in Switzerland on 9-10 September, when the regional airport at Grenchen hosts the first fly-in for electric-powered machines.

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Tom earns Citation

STUDENT pilot Tom McNicholas had a slightly more interesting lesson than planned when Flight Sport Aviation instructor Tom Harding spotted a Cessna Citation bizjet heading straight for them at 276mph. Tom, who was taking his student through stalls practice over Beachy Head, flung the C42 into a sharp right-hand turn and avoided what the Airprox Board report said was a “serious risk of collision”. The Airprox Board commended him for maintaining a good lookout while he was instructing.

Feathering the prop

NEWTOWNARDS Pioneer 200 pilot Mike McCrudden regularly takes his dog Lexie flying, but Perth SkyRanger owner Allan Gilruth has gone one better with his pet budgie. “He’s a born flyer,” said Allan.

MiG mug

THIS Belarus Air Force pilot may have some explaining to do after he raised the undercarriage of his MiG-29 when it hadn’t quite reached flying speed. Mind you, the BAF seems to have a rather freeform attitude to the rules, if this landing on the Minsk-Mogilev road by a Mig-29 and a Sukhoi Su-25 are anything to go by.

Every little boy’s dream

PUT this on your bucket list: go to New Zealand, visit the Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre, and go flying in one of Peter Jackson’s 70 First World War aircraft.

How fast?

EVER been pottering along in the days before GPS in your AX, X-air or Thruster and asked ATC for your groundspeed? Well, sorry about this, but prepare to be outranked by former Blackbird pilot Major Brian Shul.

Goodbye, cruel world

Ever felt a burning desire to throw yourself out of the bomb bay of a Flying Fortress? Of course you have. Be our guest.

All hail Alexander the great

CAPTAIN Alexander Akopov did a brilliant job of landing his Airbus blind in Istanbul after giant hailstones smashed the windscreen.

Smoothly does it

A greaser from this Airbus pilot. Watch and emulate.

Water matter

AVweb’s Paul Bertorelli ditches some ditching myths.

Let’s give James a nice wake

BORED being inside the plane? Then stand on it and go wingboarding with James the android, who’s busy testing the next extreme aerial sport: wakeboarding in the sky.

eNews – July 2017

One lucky man

AN incredible escape for flexwing pilot Eric Rhodes, who fell from 2300ft after a wing collapsed. Convinced he was going to die, Eric said goodbye to his wife as the ground rushed up. Swns.com has the story.

Geoff Hill, Editor
mfeditor@bmaa.org

Photo CompetitionPhoto Competition
A FEAST of fabulous entries this month from readers who’ve made the most of some glorious weather. As always, the chosen few in your next MF. VIEW THE AUGUST ENTRIES.
He ain’t heavy, he’s my brother

YOU may remember Irish teenager Mikey McMahon from his first nervous steps into the air with dad Paul in a documentary on Fly-UK. Well, he’s come a bit of a way since then: now a British Airways pilot, he’s treating little brother Robbie, who suffers from a rare genetic disease, to a year of flying fun, as reported in the Irish Mirror. What’s nice is that Mikey’s filming their adventures together, too: here’s film of Robbie’s first flight, in an Ikarus C42 out of Kernan.

AAIB’s 57 safety varieties

THE Air Accidents Investigation Branch annual review has all the details of its activity during 2016 and includes an overview of the 57 safety recommendations and safety actions. There are also a couple of interesting articles on the AAIB’s use of simulators and drones in accident investigation.

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It’s a fly-in, Jim, but Knott as we know it

LANCASHIRE Landings at Knott End is the UK’s biggest beach fly-in, with 54 aircraft taking part this year to raise £600 for veterans of the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers. “Sand, chips and ice cream! A great day out!” said organiser Chester Potts. Picture special on the event in your next MF.

Keep it simple, stupid

AT £16,000 ready to fly or £12,000 for a kit that takes 40h to build, the Eurofly Minifox, revealed at the BMAA SSDR Freedom Rally by importer Skydrive, is one of the simplest and cheapest ways to go flying. Flight test coming soon, but there’s a sneak preview here. The UK version has an electric start.

Yearnin’ for Kernan

IF you haven’t flown into the friendly Kernan Aviation club in Northern Ireland, here’s something to tempt you. Sure, why would you want a runway wider than your undercarriage anyway?

Peak viewing time

PAUL Haxby takes the high road to Snowdon. Paul notes in the comments to the video that “I only touched the controls during take off, landing and to change direction. Very warm air with excellent visibility, and so, so easy to sit back and enjoy the view.” So that’s what those guys do up there…

I used to shoot these down, you know

A FORMER Luftwaffe ace has achieved a long-held ambition – to fly in a Spitfire. Hugo Broch, 95, was credited with 81 victories in 324 missions during the war, all on the Eastern Front.

G-VOLO turning final for the taxi rank

E-VOLO, the German company that’s been developing a two-seat VTOL for several years, has signed an agreement with the government of Dubai to test-fly autonomous air taxis there by the end of this year. As already reported in eMF, a sky taxi service was already supposed to be starting in Dubai this summer.

Volvo on our tail, skipper

THE Terrafugia flying car company has been sold to the Zhejiang Geely Holding Group, the Chinese conglomerate that owns Volvo and Lotus. Terrafugia, founded by graduates from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, has been working on the vehicle since 2006. It flew at EAA AirVenture in 2013. Since then, the company has been working to develop the design, and on a concept for a four-seat hybrid-electric flying car capable of vertical takeoff and landing.

Factor 50 sun scream

HANDY hint for sunbathers: don’t do it too close to a runway threshold. This chap nearly came a cropper at a beach in Heligoland, northern Germany, when PA-28 pilot Juergen Drucker cut things a little, er, fine.

DC does it

THE next time you’re in a DC-3 and the stewardess comes running down the aisle screaming: “Can anyone here land this thing?” you can say with masterly calmness: “Sure thing. I’ve seen the video, so how hard can it be?”

Miracle escape

HOW only three people lost their lives in the 2013 Air Asiana crash at San Francisco International Airport, when you see this new footage of it cartwheeling down the runway, is astonishing.

Homeward bound

HEARD from a foreign student turning off after landing at a strange airport.
Tower: “What are your intentions?”
Student: “Returning to China as soon as possible!”

Submitted by Robert Reser

eNews – June 2017

Future pilots one and all

GREAT work by Dave Sykes and his York Flying Club mates at Rufforth, introducing the children of Pickering Community Junior School to microlighting during a week of flight-based activities. “What better can we do than inspire the youngsters of today to fly?” said club member John Teesdale.

Geoff Hill, Editor
mfeditor@bmaa.org

Photo CompetitionPhoto Competition
A BUMPER crop this month of 17 glorious entries, including a hilarious photo of Ollie Chitty wingwalking on Ben Ashman’s FoxTug. We know we can trust you not to try this at home. VIEW THE JULY ENTRIES.
Freedom!

THE BMAA Freedom SSDR Rally on 30 June to 2 July is proof that you don’t need two seats or a pile of paperwork to enjoy yourself in the air. This is the fourth year of the event at Enstone airfield in Oxfordshire, with ​a Classic Film and Curry evening on Friday 30 June for £7 with a licensed bar. (You’ll need to reserve a place for Friday evening: email angela@enstoneflyingclub.co.uk or call 01608 678204 to book.)

There will be a series of seminars by manufacturers and experts on the Saturday and Sunday​, and on the Saturday evening a ukelele band and barbie. BMAA members get a discount, and two-seaters are welcome. Register here to make sure you get a burger.

The event is sponsored by Skydrive, Enstone Flying Club, Sprite Aviation Services and SD Planes.

Set your altiportmeter to max

MIKE Rhodes has been flying in the Alps with expert Franck Toussaint of ULM Alpes Ardèche, the lucky boy. Read all about it in the next MF, but in the meantime, feast your eyes on these: his first off-piste landing and takeoff (pictured above); landing and departure at Meribel, which skiers will recognise; and an even steeper off-piste arrival. And if that’s not enough for you, there are one or two others in his brand-new YouTube library.

Crunch time

DENIS Morgan’s Chaser Pinky came a cropper at his home strip, which using the MF micrometer screw gauge we estimate to be 2mm wide. “Lesson learned – cut the grass before landing here again – and be more flipping careful!” said Denis.

Kevin Armstrong had a slightly less terminal arrival after his engine quit almost four miles from home after a 125-mile flight. “This one taught me not to be a smartarse and not go to a field because it was handy for a field gate, road and village nearby, only to find it had dull grey and dirty power lines across it and a bog in the middle,” said Kevin.

Benny and the jets

EVERY year the mixed flex and fixed-wings of the Cheshire Flyers do a few circuits over the local steam rally. And like all good aerobatic display teams, they do a ground run first, caught on video by Ian Macbeth – although we suspect the Red Arrows don’t do theirs to the Benny Hill theme tune. Their loss, we say.

Spot the difference…

…BETWEEN the bijou runway at Kernan Aviation and the endless one at Donegal Airport, rightly voted one of the 10 most scenic approaches in the world last year, in this C42 flight by Ruth Devlin and Jack McCluskey.

MF Editor Geoff Hill flew to Donegal once in an AX2000, and was just about to leave when the air traffic controller wandered over. “Here, are you the lad who filed a flight plan to leave at 1500 local?” he said. “Could you make it 1510? I’m just finishing my soup.”

And just in case you think Ruth’s a one-trick pony, here’s another lovely compilation of balloons over Banbridge, then creeping sea fog on the Co Down coast.

A few days later, the occupants of this Kernan C42 miraculously walked away after crashing in a forest in the foothills of the Mourne Mountains in low visibility. Also lucky to be alive is flexwing pilot Eric Rhodes, after his flexwing came down hard from 2000ft in Lincolnshire.

Upsy, downsy, almost-goaroundsy

“FROM the entertaining video of the PulsR and QuikR in last month’s eMF, it’s plain they would be unable to cope with landing in downwash such as that created by an R44 helicopter at RAF Church Fenton, now Leeds East Airport,” said Kevin Armstrong. “Fortunately, despite pilot skills of the lowest order, the Ace Aviation Magic Cyclone can.”

Titfield – the sequel

REMEMBER The Titfield Thunderbolt, that great Ealing comedy about a group of villagers determined to keep their branch line open? Over 60 years later, Robin Horne jumped in his EuroFox and revisited the locations for this brilliantly made short film.

Hey dude, where’s my trike?

POSSIBLY the world’s first movie about a flexwing repossession. And possibly the last. Spotted by Peter Kelsey.

Stirling work

CLIVE Mason takes local pilot Rab Cameron for a potter around Stirling castle and the Wallace Monument.

The Carrickmore the merrier

A NICE approach and landing by Damian Molloy in his X-air shows the great turnout at the recent Carrickmore airfield fly-in in Co Tyrone, Northern Ireland.

Oldies and goodies

SOME vintage classics from our resident YouTube archivist Ted Snook: the Skyhopper, the Weedhopper, the Hawk, the RANS Stinger and the Maxair Hummer. In those days, as you can hear, all aircraft came supplied with a funky soundtrack, man.

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There was low, and there was Ray Hanna

MF EDITOR Geoff Hill once had the honour of meeting Spitfire display pilot Mark Hanna, who with his dad Ray ran The Old Flying Machine company, flying warbirds for displays and movies. “He very kindly let me sit in the cockpit, and I remember sitting there and wondering how such a big thing as history could have been unfolded in such a small space,” said Geoff. Ray, Red One with the first Red Arrows, was an astonishing pilot, and here’s a reminder of how astonishing: flying a Spitfire under a bridge in the 1988 TV series Piece of Cake, and coming a bit too close for presenter Alain de Cadenet’s comfort. Warning: the second clip contains strong language. You would too.

And if you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to fly in one, wonder no more after watching the reaction of these lucky chaps and chapesses in the Grace Spitfire.

Wind over matter

EVEN those incredible Alaskan bush pilots who land at 17mph can be caught out when their headwind suddenly disappears. It wasn’t a problem faced by British wingsuit pilot Fraser Corsan, who’s just set a new world record of 249mph.

Dear Santa…

YES, yes, we know it’s much too early to write to the fat, cheery bloke in the red suit, but he’s going to have to start saving now to raise the £3.7M for the editor’s new HondaJet, since Geoff’s now almost given up hope of getting the BMAA to get him a Sherwood Ranger as a company aircraft.

At the other end of the scale, Cambodian car mechanic Paen Long built his own plane after watching YouTube videos. Crashing it on its test flight hasn’t put him off: he’s now planning a seaplane. Love the name at the end of the reporter: Ouch Sony, which up to now we’d thought was what you said when your TV fell on your head.

We’ll believe it when we see it

IF any of the current flying car projects actually, er, gets off the ground, the editor will eat his flying helmet. With a dash of Dijon mustard. Here’s the latest plan, from Toyota. The team behind the Skydrive hopes the prototype could be used to light the Olympic flame in Tokyo in 2020.

Er, when I called “Rotate”, I meant…

WE love gyros when they’re called Little Nellie and James Bond flies them, but not when they blow their top like this.

Lift and separate

SKYDIVER Ingus Augstkalns does the world’s first parachute jump from a drone, although we can’t help but notice he got most of the way there on a tower.

Top tips

JUST because we’d like you to stay alive to enjoy the next issue of MF

Worth repeating

SAN Francisco Bay Area TV station KTVU was left with egg on its face after reading out what it claimed were the names of the Air Asiana crew involved in a crash. Asiana wasn’t as amused as the rest of us, but dropped its threat to sue when KTVU issued a formal apology.