Su­perb SIAI

Pilot - - AIRMAIL -

The ar­ti­cle in Pi­lot mag­a­zine (Jan­uary) was a real nostalgia kick for my wife and I, and a great write up for a great lit­tle air­craft. I owned and op­er­ated one of th­ese re­mark­able SIAI air­craft in South Africa in the 1970s.

The aero­plane was kept on a grass run­way at the re­search in­sti­tute where I then worked. We had fan­tas­tic ser­vice from our SIAI. They are strong re­li­able machines and it han­dled the very hot dry con­di­tions well. In all of the years that I had the aero­plane it proved to be a sta­ble and com­fort­able cruiser on cross coun­try flights, of­ten in fairly tur­bu­lent con­di­tions

We ex­pe­ri­enced only one in­ci­dent on a cross coun­try flight cruis­ing at 8,500ft. About one hour into the flight the en­gine started to cough and lost power. I im­me­di­ately switched the fuel to the left hand tank and power was re­stored with all of the vi­tal in­stru­ments in the green. I turned back to the lit­tle town of Nel­spruit where there was a re­pair and main­te­nance work­shop. The engi­neer car­ried out a thor­ough in­ves­ti­ga­tion. The right hand fuel tank looked like a beer can that had been crushed. Wasps had built a mud nest in the fuel tank breather pipe. A strong feather quill was then in­cluded as part of my pre-flight kit.

Name sup­plied

The writer with his SIAI Marchetti in South Africa The right hand fuel tank crushed af­ter wasps blocked its breather

A sta­ble and com­fort­able cross-coun­try cruiser

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.