eNews – June 2013

First return flight to Canada

BRITISH flyer Jon Hilton has become the first microlight pilot ever to fly from the UK to Canada and back. He landed his Flight Design CTSW at his home base at Barton in Manchester on 10 June, where he was met by BMAA PRO Steve Cooke and Chairman David Bremner, champagne bottle in hand.

Remarkably, this amazing trip was just a trial run. Jon made the flight to get the feel of long-distance flying in difficult conditions, to prepare him for a solo round-the-world flight, in aid of Clatterbridge Cancer Charity.

Steve Cooke, who kept in touch with him throughout, comments: “Along the way Jon encountered instrument failures, icing, severe turbulence, and the odd peckish polar bear. He told me that my message – ‘Failure is not an option from a PR point of view – ha ha Steve’ – drove him on during his flight!”

BMAA members can read the detail of Jon’s adventures in forthcoming issues of MF. But while you’re waiting for the full story, why not get behind John and his chosen charity – it’s worth a few quid of anyone’s money. You can donate here.

Norman Burr, Acting Editor

Photo CompetitionPhoto Competition
NO fewer than 15 images for your delight this month; all good, some very good, some absolutely cracking. As ever, we’ll have the winners in your next MF. VIEW THE JULY ENTRIES
Respect, respect

THE 70th anniversary of the famous Dambuster raid of the Second World War has focused attention on the remarkable skill of the pilots involved. This video, filmed on the memorial flypast over Derwent Dam in Derbyshire, gives some idea of how precise their flying had to be. And remember, the wartime pilots had to do it at night, under enemy fire, and approaching from the low side of the dam rather than the high.

Paul Haxby, a paramotor instructor in the Peak district, puts it into context: “When we fly paramotors over Ladybower and Howden dams we fly higher and slower than the 70th anniversary flight.”

Don’t touch that, Dad!

WHEN New Zealand-based Alex Turnbull returned to the UK to visit his father, a trip to a microlight field seemed a pleasant way to spend a day. Alex, after all, is a commercial pilot, with a keen interest in all things aviation. His dad, in contrast, is strictly earthbound.

Or so Alex thought. As the pair admired a Eurostar, father Mike climbed into P1, and things started to get interesting… Steve Cooke has the story.

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Henstridge celebrates

HENSTRIDGE airfield in Somerset will celebrate its 70th birthday over the weekend of 29-30 June, when the field will hold an open day for aircraft, classic cars and bikes. There will be games for kids, a coconut shy, craft stalls, live bands, and more – including, of course, a barbecue.

Admission is £5 per car, including all occupants, or £5 landing fee if you fly in. Overnight camping is available, with breakfast served from 9am on the Sunday. There will be a spot landing competition on the airfield’s unique dummy deck (the only one left in the country) between 10.30am and 12.00pm on the Sunday – just £3 per landing, or three attempts for a tenner. What’s not to like?

Getting the best from your engine

WITH more and more microlights being equipped with engine-management instrumentation, the chances of detecting a problem before it becomes an emergency are better than ever – if you know how to interpret the information.

A new programme from the American company Advanced Pilot Seminars aims to help pilots do just that. Engine Management Made Easy isn’t written specifically for microlights, so some of the content won’t be relevant to BMAA members, but nevertheless there’s a lot of interesting stuff there. Click here to read more.

Through the corridor

PILOTS will know this already, but newcomers to flying may be unaware of quite how busy UK airspace can be, particularly in north-west England, where the controlled airspace of Manchester and Liverpool airports joins together to make an invisible barrier to non-radio aircraft. To avoid these aircraft having to fly round the obstruction the Manchester Low-Level Corridor was created. Manchester Barton airfield is right in the middle of this vital link.

This video, shot by Philip Strangward, shows the leg of a recent flight from Arclid, near Sandbach, to Manchester Barton via the low-level route. You think you’re alone up there? Think again.

Just for Geoff

A TEAM of British motorcyclists is set to travel 1300 miles to a Harley Davidson meet in Rome, to raise money for the only remaining airworthy Avro Vulcan bomber. Our esteemed editor is biking his way around the world, but thanks to the wonders of technology he is sure to be reading this. So to keep him happy, here is a biking story with an aviation twist.

Solar Impulse lands in St Louis

WHAT red-blooded pilot could fail to be impressed by the progress of Solar Impulse? A month after its departure from San Francisco, Bertrand Piccard landed the unique solar-powered machine at St Louis International airport, at 01:28am local time on 4 June. Ten days later, on 14 June it set off again for Cincinatti.

The St Louis stopover was remarkable for the first use of the inflatable hangar that was designed for the planned 2015 round-the-world flight, as the hangar space in St Louis had been damaged by storms prior to the aircraft’s arrival. You can follow the expedition here.

You’ll need some snow for this. And a hill

FROM our internet anorak Ted Snook, some video of speedflying across the hills of Wengen, Switzerland. Speed flying is also known as speed riding and involves flying what is essentially a small paragliding wing in close proximity to a steep slope. Looking at this, we’re thinking a very steep slope.