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256. 22 June 2016. Frustration


It had been too late to fly on Tuesday evening, and it was immediately apparent from a look at the forecast that there was likely to be a strong wind for the remainder of the week. Gloom set in, and we decided in the morning to see if we could sort out the starting problem.

So we hauled her out of the hangar – not an easy exercise, since the entrance is only just wide enough, and by the time the middle supports are removed the top sags far enough to contact the upper wing. But the problem was resolved by the contractor who’d graded the additional airstrip. He backed his Jeep into the entrance to give us a secure platform to stand on, and helped us invert the central fitting which had caused the problem. that sorted, there was now additional slack in the joints that the intermediate fittings also caused a problem, but once again he came up with a simple practical solution that enabled us to get her out.

Theo suggested that yesterday’s starting problem may have been caused by the speed of evaporation of the priming in the high temperature and set up a new starting team, with himself on priming pump, Noel on propeller turning and me in the cockpit. It worked a treat, and she went second pull.

2016-06-23 static test

We ran her long enough to demonstrate the performance to the contractors, and put her away. We noticed that the propeller had sustained some minor damage from stone chips on the hard surface, but these wouldn’t be a problem for the rest of the season and could be repaired.

But the forecast was a bitter blow. It made it vanishingly unlikely that the display flight would go ahead, and indeed the only foreseeable possibility of any flying at all would be tomorrow morning, ahead of the live broadcast on national TV.

So we had the rest of the afternoon off. Sue and Stephen’s wife Claire went to the beach. Theo and Noel and I spent a pleasant 2 hours driving round the periphery of the island.

And to add to the frustration, my attempts at connecting to the internet were all thwarted.

We wondered if flying might be possible in the evening, but it clearly wasn’t, so we decided to meet up at 0530 to catch the calm of daybreak.


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