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Club Eurostar Microlight G-KEJY and Virgin Balloon Launching

I snapped this shot of the Virgin hot air balloon launching from Kemble/Cotswold Airport a few weeks ago. G-KEJY one of Kemble Flying Clubs Evector “Eurostar” fixed wing microlights is in the foreground.


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New permit, new suits, cold visit to Windrush!

Time for a blog update I feel.

Well the last month has seen G-CBLX permitted for the first time since I bought her a little under a year ago. I’m pleased to report she passed through fine with just one note, one corner of the radiator air scoop intake mesh had come loose.
So that was quickly fixed with a little bending of the mesh and a re-tightening of the screw/washer in that corner.

I must admit, I didnt enjoy watching the dreaded “betts” test. But the inspector said the wing was in great condition.

Finally the weather has calmed a bit and the last few weeks I have got a couple of local flights in and some circuit practice to get my hand back in after a lack of hours flown this winter.

I’ve dropped into the lovely ex ww2 airfield at Windrush a couple of times recently. It’s a nice 30 mins bimble from Kemble to drop into and stretch your legs before flying back.

Theres nothing much there apart from ghosts ! An old tower, a gun house and some old hangars now used as barns.
The tower was once refurbished and housed a skydiving/parachute club a few years ago but the airfield has no residents now.

However, Roy the farmer very kindly keeps a grass runway mown most of the year, so if you drop in then bung £3 in the box in the bottom room of the tower (side door). If you bump into Roy he can tell you some history.
Also, look for the plaque on the tower wall commemorating a brave pilot who flew an unarmed aircraft into a german bomber overhead the airfield.

There is some excellent information posted here in another blog/forum, well worth a read and more photo links.

On Sunday I planned two possible flights, Kemble to either White Waltham or to Wellesbourne Mountford. As it happenned the wind was quite strong from the East so I decided to fly North to Wellesbourne rather than fight the wind.
Elly my girlfriend was coming with me on her 2nd flight, the last was back in August. It was barely over zero degrees on the ground so we decided to fly to Windrush and see how we felt.

Well, it was cold, despite several layers under the suits and balaclavas etc. So we thawed out at Windrush and flew back to Kemble.
As it happenned it was a glorious blue sky sunny day and out of the wind it was not too cold. In fact we found a sheltered sun bathed area of patio and sat leaning on the old tower wall chatting and enjoying the peace and quiet and imagining how it would have been 60 years ago.

The flight back was 10 minutes quicker than out thanks to the wind and we packed CBLX back into the hangar and retired to AV8 bar/restauarant for a hot chocolate :-)

Other news, blueskyblue are having a closing down sale, so I have ordered 2 new flying suits for us. We really are now set for the new season, bring it on.


Permit To Fly time

Apologies for the great lack of postings on this blog since…..wow…August ! **now updated!**

The keen eyed readers will have noticed some additions to the photogalleries though, which show I have been flying ! But, for various reasons I havnt got around to blogging stuff !

Portsmouth from 2000ft

So, shortly I shall fill in some tales of flights to the Isle Of Wight and other adventures. **update – I have added them, see below, I snook them in backdated !**

I just booked an inspector to carry out my annual Permit To Fly inspection, a kind of MOT test for microlights. So, thats the 20th Feb then we’ll be all set for spring and summer flying.

Been a bit blummin chilly to fly recently but have been tinkering. Since I bought my first microlight last March I have of course taken on the role of performing first line maintenance myself.

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300 Hour Engine Service

Humph, it’s summer, the evenings are long and I’m grounded :-(

Never mind. Part of self ownership is the double edged sword of being responsible for maintenance yourself. It’s great in that you know exactly what state the engine is in, whats been done, when things are due etc etc. It’s bad in that you have to organise all those things and budget for them and spend hours rigging/de-rigging and trailering the trike about.

So, I bought “Red Sparrow” (Lima Xray) when she’d done about 270 hours so I knew the 300 hour service/overhaul was coming up and although slightly concerning, the purchase price seemed reasonable bearing that in mind and I knew that after the overhaul I’d be content I knew all about the engine state and that any hidden demons previous owners might not have declared would have been discovered.

With that in mind after flying her for 3 months the engine was in the mid 290s hours and so I booked her in at Galaxy Microlights with Mark for her 300 hour overhaul service and dropped her off last week. I’d hoped to pick her up today but alas she needs a bit more doing than I’d hoped.

The crank needs a refurb and so has been sent off to a specialist to be done. That will be a few hundred quid – ouch. There are also a few other bits that need doing.  I’m told the cyclinders show signs a previous owner didnt always warm the engine properly before roaring off down the runway (tut tut !). It appears there has been a cold seizure at some time and some work needs doing to the surface of one cyclinder.

A few other bits need replacement, the odd worn hose etc but nothing too major other than above.

So, looks like I’m grounded a couple of weeks yet at the height of summer. My wing is stood on its nose and base bar in the hangar collecting dust. Still, I’ll soon have a tip top engine ready for some more worry free long distance flying. Maybe I’ll spend my time planning that channel crossing holiday I have in mind!

If anyones flying locally and fancies a passenger – hello ! (waves)

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stuff that doesnt fit the other categories….

…will go in here !

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"When once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward,
for there you have been, and there you will always long to return." -- Leonardo da Vinci

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