eNews – July 2016

Duxford airfield

Duxford airfield

Deflated of Duxford

THE BMAA Bonus Weekend at Duxford on 30-31 July has been cancelled after Duxford pulled out at short notice. With 73 aircraft booked in, organiser Merv Middleton was looking forward to a great turnout of a huge variety of microlights and a superb photo opportunity after months of work. Only to get an email from Duxford apologising that due to operational commitments and manning shortages the event was postponed.

“After several phone calls it became apparent that postponed really meant cancelled. I apologise wholeheartedly for any inconvenience caused,” said a very disappointed Merv. “I hope you can resurrect other flying plans, because you can now guarantee the weather will be superb! Lot of work for no return springs to mind.”

Geoff Hill, Editor

Photo CompetitionPhoto Competition
TAKE a bow, chaps and chapesses. You’ve done yourselves proud this month with a whopping 21 entries, including some stunning images which made the editor’s job picking the cover and page three shots as tough as ever. He loves it really. As always, find out who topped the poll in your next MF. VIEW THE AUGUST ENTRIES.
Storm passes through Eshott

STORM Smith has sold Purple Aviation to the team behind Fishburn airfield. The new owners will also lease Eshott airfield, where Storm started Purple from scratch 11 years ago with a single flexwing. Since then, he has built it up to an impressive operation which currently has five aircraft, four full-time instructors and 55 students.

“Home to 60 aircraft and 165 members, Eshott airfield is simply a fantastic place from which to fly and the envy of many other GA airfields, and finding a buyer, and the right buyer, has not been easy,” said Storm. “I am delighted to announce that Jeff Pike, Richard Pike and Sam Woodgate, currently operating Fishburn airfield, will be the new operators of Purple Aviation. Purple Aviation will now operate from both Fishburn and Eshott, giving greater opportunities and flexibilities to students, pilots and aircraft owners alike.”

In a joint statement, Jeff, Richard and Sam said they saw linking Purple Aviation, Eshott and Fishburn as a great chance to extend the opportunities for flying in the North East of England. Full details in your next MF.

Design of the times

PLANNING to build an SSDR Concorde? You need to be in London on 14 November. That’s the date of the RAeS’s General Aviation Group annual conference on light aircraft design. BMAA members will pay £66 rather than the usual £118 for the conference. Register here.

The hard way up

AMY Pearson and her cousin Hayley Pearson are attempting to climb Kilimanjaro in February 2017 for the Thames Valley Air Ambulance. They’re seeking fundraising to help with the trip, the idea being that once the costs are covered, any surplus will go to the charity. To help with fundraising, Chiltern Park Aerodrome, which is owned by Hayley’s Dad Dennis, is donating landing fees from its family fun day and fly-in on 30 July.

So good it should be banned

NORTHERN Ireland aviatrix Ruth Devlin exploring the River Bann and Lough Neagh in a C42 out of Kernan Aviation in Tandragee, complete with hypnotic soundtrack.

River dance

FOLLOWING a slightly bigger river than Ruth, Chris Roberts and co-pilot Paul Wear getting a zone transit down the River Mersey, passing Liverpool Airport, then home to Barton for tea.

Elf and safety

A short video of Peter Griffiths in his lovely little Elf SSDR over Lanarkshire, captured by Michael Stalker.

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Student helps restore great grandfather’s Hampden

A YOUNG student from London has helped restore the Handley Page Hampden bomber in which her great grandfather flew in the Second World War. Beth Halbard, 16, worked alongside technicians and apprentices at the RAF Museum in Cosford, helping to restore the wing box section from the Hampden – the very seat where her great grandfather, George Shepherd, sat on the Hampden’s final flight on 4 September 1942. George is second right in the photograph, above.

On 9-14 November visitors will be able to get up close to all of the current conservation projects undertaken by the team at Cosford, which include the Wellington bomber and Dornier Do 17. You can read more about the open week here.

Sully emerges unsullied

THE trailer for Sully, the movie based on the ditching of US Air 1549 in 2009, doesn’t take as long to watch as the 208 seconds it took Captain Chesley Sullenberger to pull off the so-called Miracle on the Hudson. And nowhere near as long as the blame game that went on from armchair investigators afterwards. The movie’s out on 9 September.

Farewell to all that

THE year was 1952, and Britain had an aviation industry that was among the best in the world. “It was the first Farnborough that I attended. Amazing advances in design in the seven years since the Second World War,” said our man Ted Snook, eMF’s head of interesting bits and bobs.

It didn’t last long. Five years later, the last Valiant flew; 41 years later, we said farewell to the Victor; and in 2015, the last flying Vulcan was on its final final.

Son of the sun crosses pond

SOLAR Impulse 2 has become the first solar-powered aircraft to cross the Atlantic, with a 3160-mile flight from New York to Seville in 71h. Pilot Bertrand Piccard had hoped to land in Paris in honour of Charles Lindbergh’s 1927 flight, but stormy weather forced them to Spain.

Mind over water

MF’s cool customer of the month award goes to Toronto pilot Paul Armstrong, after the gear on his amphibian Cessna 206 only partly deployed, leaving him caught between a wet and a hard place. Landing on water would have flipped the aircraft because one of the wheels was down. Landing on the runway would have had the same result because the other one was still tucked in the float. So while Paul did some sightseeing, the fire department poured a few thousand gallons of water on the grass, and Paul did his shortest ever landing in style.

Second place goes to the pilot of this Singapore Airlines Boeing 777, which sprung an engine oil leak after taking off for Milan. The engine caught fire just after touchdown back at Singapore, and the 241 people on board watched as firefighters put out the blaze.

Only the good fly young

YOU know you’re old when policemen and women start looking younger. Really old when the Prime Minister or the Pope are younger than you are. And even older when airline pilots are only 19.

Greece is the word, is the word

BMAA Chairman David Bremner is coming close to challenging the Shuttleworth Collection’s Dodge Bailey as the UK’s leading Scout pilot. He and fellow builders Rick Bremner and Theo Wilford have been having a fascinating time following the Bunny Bremner trail recently, from the Dardanelles to the Somme. You can catch up on their travels here.