Many hands make light air­craft work

Pilot - - PREFLIGHT - Philip White­man, Ed­i­tor

Af­ter a long spell of be­ing grounded, the ed­i­to­rial Cub is fly­ing again. It has taken a while to sort out the prob­lems that I dis­cov­ered last Oc­to­ber but I have had lots of ad­vice and help from peo­ple in the fly­ing com­mu­nity, se­cur­ing re­pairs and spare parts for a very low cost – and any ex­tra de­lay in get­ting the aero­plane fixed is down to in­do­lence on my part.

I am not sure we pilots al­ways recog­nise and ap­pre­ci­ate the sup­port we get from friends, fly­ing as­so­ci­a­tions and main­te­nance peo­ple (the lat­ter group charg­ing hourly rates well be­low those of the garage in­dus­try and ac­tu­ally do­ing a proper en­gi­neer­ing job, rather than the car world’s nor­mal run of top-ups and re­plac­ing, in lieu of ac­tu­ally ser­vic­ing or re­pair­ing sys­tems).

So I would like to thank skilled welder Paul Sawney, who is based at Wy­combe Air Park, for mak­ing a beau­ti­ful job of let­ting in new sec­tions to the Cub’s holed star­board ex­haust man­i­fold. Years ago, I could hardly be­lieve the rough welds done by a car spe­cial­ist that got my old VW Bee­tle through an MOT: Paul’s (and I am go­ing to em­bar­rass him here) are a work of art – and he even re­sisted when I pressed ex­tra money on him.

It was Alan Tur­ney of Per­mit air­craft main­te­nance spe­cial­ists ATSO En­gi­neer­ing, based at Tur­we­ston who pointed me in Paul’s di­rec­tion. ATSO was not able to re­build the Cub’s mag­ne­tos – which on strip-down proved to have coils that looked like spent fire­works – but Alan did have a dead A-65 en­gine in his work­shop and its owner, fel­low Cub pi­lot Alan Vo­gel, was kind enough to part with its ser­vice­able mag­ne­tos. And when it came to the tricky task of fit­ting and tim­ing them, Alan Tur­ney made his way to our farm strip to do the job, tak­ing great care in get­ting it spot-on.

Light Air­craft As­so­ci­a­tion CEO and Pi­lot con­trib­u­tor Steve Slater also lent his sup­port, just as he did years ago when the Cub’s wings had to come off and be trans­ported to fel­low LAA mem­ber Arthur Ma­son’s work­shop for re-cov­er­ing – which re­minds me of the time Arthur, then half way through build­ing his Pi­eten­pol Air Camper, loaned the White­mans the car­bu­ret­tor from his A-65 un­til we could find a re­place­ment for the dud one on the Cub.

For­give me if the list of peo­ple named here keeps on grow­ing be­cause this is the point: with­out the LAA and the Per­mit to Fly sys­tem, and all the in­di­vid­u­als who put en­thu­si­asm and friend­ship ahead of in­come, it would be im­pos­si­ble for me – and many oth­ers like me - to op­er­ate our own air­craft. There are many avi­a­tors and en­gi­neers out there in the C of A world who show sim­i­lar lev­els of ded­i­ca­tion to keep­ing their friends and cus­tomers in the air – light avi­a­tion is a small world and its in­cred­i­ble re­silience in the face of all man­ner of chal­lenges is a great re­flec­tion of the spirit of the GA com­mu­nity.

So, just for once, I would sim­ply like to thank all those in­volved, named and anony­mous, work­ing on not just my air­craft but all the oth­ers, for keep­ing me – for keep­ing us – fly­ing.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.