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

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.

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.