Light Aviation July 2022

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Engineering Director


Chief Technical Officer


Chief Inspector



Vice President


Engineering email


Office Manager Penny Sharpe

Head Office Turweston Aerodrome, Nr Brackley, Northants NN13 5YD

Telephone for engineering and commercial 01280 846786





Production Editor LIZI BROWN


Opinions expressed by the authors and correspondents are not necessarily those of the Editor or the LAA. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form without permission.

Some great flying…

It’s been a busy month here, and I’m feeling fortunate to have had enjoyed finding opportunities to fit in some great flying, thanks to some pretty fine weather and long evenings… well, nearly.

One highlight was a brilliant day trip to Glenforsa for its fly-in at the end of May. A tremendous day of pretty stable weather meant the 700nm round trip was free of those niggling doubts of ‘will the weather let me down later’, though there was a fairly stiff, but steady, crosswind at the destination. My aeroplane-building buddy Steve and I took our Van’s RV-8. It was a bit of a landmark trip for us both. While the aircraft had received its full Permit back in August 2019, due to various factors including the pandemic, plus a chunk of time removing, rebuilding and re-installing the engine to satisfy an AD to replace the 50-hour old crankshaft, we hadn’t got around to making a long trip in the aircraft together.

And it didn’t disappoint… proving to be an incredible travelling machine. A little over two hours to make the trip north to Oban to pick up fuel, then a short flight over to Glenforsa. The location certainly is one of the most stunning places in the UK to hold a fly-in, and there were many visitors, including a wide array of homebuilts. The highlight for me was seeing the young guys from Sleap arrive in their Taylor Monoplanes. An epic multi-day trip, proving that lots of fun can be had for very low cost. Expect to see more from them in these pages in future…

Heading home, we went non-stop and thanks to 10kt of tailwind, were back at Wadswick in Wiltshire in two hours.

One other event that I had really been looking forward to, and that was Farway

Common’s combined official re-opening, and the Devon Strut fly-in. The weather though, had other thoughts, delivering low cloud and high winds after a week of almost perfect conditions. Consequently, the pilots at our strip decided we will make a trip there together some other time to make up for it.

When the longest day rolled around, I clocked off from finishing off this issue to go and fly the RV-3. The day had been perfect for flying, although a bit warm, but by 8pm it was perfectly cool and still. While a Cub would have been the perfect flying partner for the evening, without one of those, the little RV was an ideal alternative. Cruising around, I amused myself with 360° orbits to catch my wake, and a few rolls. As the sun set, the aeroplane practically flew itself down the approach. As I pulled the power to idle, the feeling of the wheels running through the grass as it settled to the ground couldn’t help but put a grin on my face…

Ed’s Desk
July 2022 | LIGHT AVIATION | 3
Monoplanes and their ‘support Cub’ make a glorious arrival at the Glenforsa fly-in…



Waterbird replica flies, Tiger Moth restoration and an eVTOL…


IFR/Night approval for Permit aircraft came in six years ago. Peter Bentley has the advice you need if you’re planning your own application…


Stymied by strict Covid restrictions, LAA pilots and aircraft finally made it to Scotland for the LAA tour…


David Cockburn thinks it pays to add to your engineering knowledge…


Engine mount maintenance, propeller bolts and correct torque values, Permit to fly revalidation applications


Retiring LAA Engineering Chief Inspector, Ken Craigie, looks back on over 30 years with the Association


Steve Slater summarises the LAA’s financial performance for 2021


Tamara Leitan chases aerial sunsets and her aviation dreams


Having installed the Oblo, Graham Smith configures and flies this new autopilot

July 2022 | LIGHT AVIATION | 5 Contents July 2022

Save the date –LAA AGM Sunday 23 October 2022

The AGM is traditionally held on the third Sunday of October each year. This year, we will host the meeting at LAA HQ, Turweston, making use of our training facilities both for the meeting and a guest speaker, as well as our traditional LAA Service Awards presentation. We will also have a hybrid meeting capability, using Zoom, allowing members to participate and vote, even if they are unable to attend in person.

Once the formalities are complete we will allocate time to a Member Forum to allow as many members as possible to quiz Board members and LAA staff, and to discuss some proposals for the future. Notices of Motion of any kind for the AGM must be received at LAA HQ no later than Sunday, 4 September 2022. Further AGM updates will be published in subsequent issues of Light Aviation

LAA Members are welcome to fly to Turweston, normal PPR procedures apply. Any aircraft pre-booked as attending for the AGM will have their landing fees covered by the LAA. In the meantime, if you have any questions or comments please get in touch with us, via

New Chief Inspector

Starting in late August, we are delighted that our selected candidate, Lucy Wootton, has agreed to become our next Chief Inspector. Ken Craigie has agreed to work with us through the handover period.

Lucy comes to the LAA with a wide experience of engineering and recreational flying. She has a First Class Honours Degree in Aeronautical Engineering from Loughborough University and has worked at Rolls-Royce and as an Aircraft Structural

LAA Popham Grass Roots Fly-in update

Together with Mike Pearson and the team at Popham, the final plans are being drawn together for the Grass Root’s Fly-In being held at Popham on 2-4 September.

Popham provides a more informal setting for the weekend enabling members to meet up while enjoying many of the regular attractions of the annual Rally. There has

Repair Design Engineer for the MoD. She is also a BGA Glider Inspector, a BGA Board Member, a PPL holder flying everything from modern kit-builts to Tiger Moths, and is a key figure in the Edgehill Gliding Centre. Lucy was the stand out candidate and has huge potential to take the Chief Inspector role forward, as well as integrating it within the rest of the Airworthiness and Design aspects of the LAA Engineering Team.

been a positive response from exhibitors who together with speaker presentations, flea market, homebuilders and hands-on skills demonstrations will showcase all aspects of the Association.

Arrangements are being made for the pre-booking of entrance by road, and air, the latter via ‘windows’ to smooth arrival flows. There will be a range of onsite catering, including the evening together with facilities for overnight camping with tent, caravan or RV. Look out for further announcements as plans are finalised, plus full details, in next month’s magazine.

New Gyro record set at Old Warden

On Saturday May 21, the British Rotorcraft Association recorded 72 arrivals between 0800 and 1600 Saturday, establishing a new world record for most gyros in one location.

Learn to fly tailwheel for free!

Aspiring young taildragger pilots are invited to apply for the 2022 Vintage Aircraft Club Liz Inwood ‘Taildragger' Scholarship. Named in memory of the late Tiger Moth pilot and flying instructor Liz Inwood, the scholarship provides five hours training on a tailwheel aircraft to a licence holder under the age of 35.

The applicant must be the holder of a current PPL, NPPL or LAPL, with 100 hours total flying time, of which at least 50 hours

are as a pilot in command completed at the time of application. The winner will also be invited, as a guest of the Vintage Aircraft Club, to the Light Aircraft Association’s Grass Roots Fly-In at Popham Airfield at the beginning of September, where the winner will be formally announced.

For details, and to apply, please check the VAC website where there are profiles of earlier winners. All applications must be made online and former applicants who were not successful in previous years are invited to re-apply and update their applications. The closing date is 30 July 2022.

6 | LIGHT AVIATION | July 2022 LA News News
Plenty more news is available on the LAA website at check it out every day!
Darran Harbar

RAeS 2022-23 GA Light Aircraft Design Competition

Entries for the sixth Royal Aeronautical Society design competition are now being sought, and the challenge is to design a two-seat electric aerobatic aircraft, capable of being used as an aerobatic training aircraft and also for solo aerobatic display flying.

Designers are invited to undertake the conceptual design of an electric aerobatic aircraft to the standards of CS23 amendment 5, and to demonstrate your design’s capabilities using X-Plane flight simulation tools. Entries are invited for this competition from both undergraduate and postgraduate engineering students, and also from aerospace professionals and amateur aircraft designers. Individual or team entries are allowed.

The submission deadline for entries is 31 August 2023. Winners will be announced at the RAeS Light Aircraft Design Conference in late 2023.

Manchester Low Level Corridor Squawk reminder

Member Dave W writes: I attended a meeting of the North West Local Airspace Infringement Team or NW LAIT, and one of the main agenda items was the amount of infringements that were happening in Manchester’s airspace with a large number involving the LLR. The majority of these infringements occurred not due to lateral or vertical penetration of the

Young engineers at Metal Seagulls

In May, a hands-on engineering day for 23 young people from a local school was run by Patricia Mawuli Porter OBE and Jonathan Porter from Metal Seagulls. Aspiring young engineers were given hands-on opportunities with lathe operations, box-pan folding, guillotine use, snipping, riveting and 3D-printing, alongside introductions to CNC programming and DC electrics, while building a model

Airworthiness engineer

We have a vacancy for an airworthiness engineer to be part of the LAA Engineering team based at Turweston. The successful applicant will be involved with all aspects of continued airworthiness for the LAA-administered fleet of aircraft. Main duties will be assisting with Permit to Fly revalidations, providing technical assistance to LAA members, producing airworthiness instructions and technical articles for Light Aviation magazine.

The ideal applicant will demonstrate experience in all aspects of General Aviation airworthiness, including a thorough knowledge of airframes, engines and aircraft systems. A knowledge of vintage and classic aircraft as well as newer LAA types and modern avionics would be advantageous.

Candidates should be IT competent with Microsoft Office, have a friendly personality and the ability to work within a small team as well as independently.

Excellent communication skills are required and attention to detail is essential.

Training on in-house systems will be given.

This is a full-time post, Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm. It is principally based at LAA HQ, but some travel will also be required. Salary dependent on experience.

Please send your CV to

airspace, but mainly involved use of the ‘wrong transponder code’.

There’s a great Airspace safety document – select the tab for Manchester LLC hot-spot-narratives/. If the aircraft is transponder and radio equipped, squawk 7366 and monitor Manchester Radar 118.580 MHz.

So ensure that before you enter, until you’ve clearly exited the Low Level Route, ensure you are squawking 7366 and not 7000. If you squawk the wrong code it is an infringement.

6061T6 aluminium aircraft – handforming the ribs, and turning the wheels out of HDPE as part of the programme. Patricia said, “Metal Seagulls believes in investing in young people. They are the future, and we must all work to ensure that they receive opportunities to understand aviation, aviation engineering and that the industry is far more than just being a pilot.”

Rufforth East new restaurant

There's a new Italian restaurant at Rufforth East airfield – the Al Volo, located in the main club building. Rufforth East, which although primarily a microlight/gyro airfield, can accommodate a wide variety of GA types, with a 600m tarmac runway, 05/32. Airfield details in SkyDemon, but and 07802 435158

Rufforth East will be the venue for a Meet the LAA event on 6-7 August.

LA News July 2022 | LIGHT AVIATION | 7
Aerospace Wales Forum Above Squawk 7366, not 7000 for LLC!
The Midland Aeroplane Company Limited Ha ng a r 8, Oxford Air po rt Telephone: 01865 601970 Restoration Servicing Repairs VINTAGE AND CLASSIC AIRCRAFT SPECIALISTS BASEDNOWAT OXFORD AIRPORT

We are always pleased to receive your letters, photos of your flying, and your feedback. Please email the editor at

Scottish Tour


Just a quick note to express how much we enjoyed the recent LAA Scottish tour, which despite poor weather (with strong winds and frequent showers) was an enjoyable experience. We found it to be a wellorganised tour.

We met a great bunch of people, and made new friends, all ably guided by Neil Wilson.

We hope to be able to join in with any future such events,

Custom Rotax oil tank


I feel I must reply to the article regarding the Rotax oil tank (see picture, right). Some time ago Andy Best wrote a letter questioning why Rotax made such a heavy oil tank which would not fit into his aircraft project so he constructed his own in aluminium.

When I read his first article with regards to this, I researched the oil tank for the Rotax engines and the result is interesting. The oil system on the Rotax is unusual for a number of reasons. Firstly, it is a dry sump, one where the oil is pumped into a separate oil tank. Usually there is a scavenger pump which picks up the oil in the sump and pumps it to the oil tank.

Rotax, however, relies on the pressure which passes the piston rings into the crankcase to force the oil back. It is important that the crankcase is air tight so the pressure is above atmospheric for this to work correctly. When you burp the Rotax engines from cold you are pushing the oil into the tank so a correct oil level reading can be done.

The oil tank on the Rotax is cylinder shaped and the return oil is fed in at the top at an angle being directed down and round the inside of the tank. Just inside the outside wall is a gauze, not intended to collect debris but to assist in the break up of air bubbles from the oil. As the oil moves around the inside of the tank it also cools down and that is also the purpose of the round tank. The air bubbles rise to the top of the tank and escape into the atmosphere via a tube.

However, there is a restriction in the tank which prevents free access to the atmosphere thereby causing the pressure in the tank to be above the surrounding atmosphere. This is intentional and this assists the oil pump by pushing the oil

through the oil cooler and not fully relying on the suction of the oil pump. It is of benefit at higher altitudes where due to a lowering of air pressure the oil pump would need to suck harder. I am aware of a pilot who did not fit the oil tank cap on correctly and found the oil pressure was slightly lower than normal.

When the cap was fitted correctly the oil pressure returned to normal, so the system appears to work.

There is no doubt the oil tank made by Andy Best will work, but I doubt that it will be as efficient as the Rotax one. I am not sure if Rotax would warranty an engine not fitted with the correct oil tank.

Thank you Andy for your article and I hope this gives you insight as to why the Rotax tank is what it is.

Women’s World Gliding Championship 2022

Hi Ed,

While reading the June issue of Light Aviation I was delighted to see gliding mentioned in Coaching Corner, as both a glider and GA pilot myself it was great to see safety issues of winch cables and lookout for thermalling glider gaggles being discussed.

The Women’s World Gliding Championship 2022 (WWGC2022) is taking place at The Gliding Centre, Husbands Bosworth 13-27 August this year. Part of our recent campaign for WWGC2022 has been to boost awareness to GA pilots on how the competition may affect their flying and give

pilots more of an idea how gliding works overall.

You can find out more about WWGC2022 by visiting our website or on our social media channels (Facebook, Instagram and Twitter).

Regards, Steph Smith, WWGC2022 Social Media Team

Rolling Your Own

Dear Ed,

What have you done with the follow-up to Mike Roberts’ excellent Rolling Your Own series? At the end of his article in the April 2022 edition of Light Aviation, he wrote, ‘Next time, we will populate our detailed specification and determine some basic stability parameters’.

I rather expected the continued analysis to appear in the May issue, and when it did not, then I was convinced it would be in June. And I was wrong!

Ed – Ian, thanks for checking up on Mike’s whereabouts! As we originally mentioned in part one, Mike’s articles were going to form an occasional series, so not every month. Mike has been really busy since he left LAA Engineering and moved back to Wales, which slowed down time available for writing, but the good news is he has just sent me the next two parts of his series, so you’ll see the series back in a future issue of Light Aviation before too long! ■

July 2022 | LIGHT AVIATION | 9 Letters
Above Reader Simon Kettleboro explains his thoughts on a custom-built Rotax oil tank… Andy Best

Straight and Level

Staying positive

Hardly a day passes without news headlines confronting us with one crisis after another. Just as we hoped that 2022 would enable us to emerge from the worst effects of Covid and rekindle our aviation passion, we have been faced with the events in Ukraine, the energy crisis and now the wider cost of living crisis. We are all beginning to see and feel the impact on our personal circumstances. For an Association that emphasises our flying as ‘affordable’, escalating fuel prices means that it’s not just the dramatic increases in aviation fuel we have experienced, but also the costs of getting to and from the airfield, whether that’s to fly or simply to carry out regular checks and maintenance.

And it’s having an effect, as I hear reports of members reconsidering the frequency and duration of flights, while trying to maintain currency. As the causes are beyond our control, we are likely to be faced with higher costs for some time to come.

Against this backdrop it can be difficult to remain positive. Last month’s Royal Aero Club awards showed just how resourceful members can be, and that spirit continues. After two years of planning, but thwarted by a combination of Covid and weather, it was great to see the LAA’s Tour of Scotland take place. Full marks to Neil Wilson for pulling the programme together; Chairman, Ian

Updates from the Chairman and CEO

and members of the Scottish Aero Club, for their hospitality and support; to everyone who made the week possible and, last but not least, those members who flew north to Perth! As always the weather had a hand in events and while this limited flying opportunities in Scotland most experienced the opportunity to fly to Glenforsa and importantly all returned south safely with memories of a successful week. Let’s hope we can repeat the trip again.

Among the features in this month’s magazine there is an in-depth report on IFR/Night; an initiative which reflects the aspirations of a number of members that was a long time in the making and not without its challenges! With the first Night/IFR approvals for Permit aircraft taking place in 2016 progress continues to be made. Along the way there have been many lessons learned which are leading to initiatives to recruit additional assessors and help expedite the process for future applicants.

Elsewhere we continue to evolve the HQ Engineering function both in terms of personnel and how we organise and undertake activity. The Board was recently briefed on a series of measures that Engineering Director, John Radcliffe, and team will be following through in the coming months aimed at improving and streamlining processes and ensuring that actions are chased up both internally and with members.

In closing I am delighted to welcome Lucy Wootton as the LAA’s new Chief Inspector replacing Ken Craigie who is retiring after some 30 years service with the Association. You can read more about Lucy’s appointment and Ken’s reflections on his time with the Association elsewhere in the magazine. ■

Airfields, Airspace and Airworthiness have been at the head of the agenda in the past months, and are fundamental to enjoying our flying freedom.

Starting with AIRSPACE, we are all well aware that there are increasing pressures on access to Class G airspace, with many airport operators seeking to expand areas of controlled airspace to increase their attractiveness to the executive charter sector. It is effectively monetization of airspace.

In our response to a recent strategic airspace review, we have pointed this out and hopefully, it will be acknowledged as policies move forward. But… While there is a positive attitude from many to whom I have spoken, it is clear that so far, the principle architects of the strategy have viewed it only from an air traffic management perspective. Currently, the strategy implies an increase in controlled airspace by around 300 percent!

We also need to think about RPAS, whether small ‘drones’ or larger commercial uncrewed aircraft. It is clear we are going to have to share the air with them and that in the longer term, they may even contribute positively to the viability of some airfields by their acting as road cargo interchange hubs. Understandably, this emerging industry will in future not want an ‘under 400ft restriction.

There is a simplistic assumption in some quarters that ‘electronic conspicuity is the answer’. It may be but, (again)… While more affordable and portable EC has developed significantly in the past few years, there remain at least four incompatible systems in use. It is the GA community that has driven the development of multi-system display platforms, the rest of the aviation community still has to catch up. The Pilot Aware ATOM ground station system has demonstrated that integration can be possible and that investment in a more open approach would be a definite enhancement to effective, affordable, future safety for all.

We don’t do it on our own, and speak as an integrated voice as a member of the GA Alliance, along with other representative bodies. In addition, there is the Airspace 4 All Trust which has been funded both by DfT and GAA members to commission studies and fund more specific expertise when needed.

Likewise in our advocacy on AIRFIELDS, we are active members of the General Aviation Awareness Council lobbies at the highest level with both DfT and the newly renamed Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, working up to Ministerial level to emphasise the role of small airfields in transport infrastructure, as community and social amenities and as vitally important environmentally-friendly open green spaces.

Space is tight, so I will leave AIRWORTHINESS for another day, not least because in the coming weeks the CAA will reopen their discussions on future airworthiness oversight. LAA was unhappy with aspects of their original proposals, and it remains to be seen whether the points we made have been heeded. ■

10 | LIGHT AVIATION | July 2022
All the ‘A’s Steve Slater CEO Eryl

Inspiring members to take on their own aircraft build or restoration project

Project News

This month, the New Projects list at the end of this column is looking much healthier than it did last month, with 11 varied types being registered. This is worthy of note because last month there were none, a situation I’ve never known before, but it looks as if order has now been fully restored.

It has been a long road to the goal of flight from the waters of Lake Windermere, but finally in early June the team behind the replica Avro-Curtiss Waterbird achieved their dream. Francis Donaldson was there in person to witness this great achievement, and has a report that follows the trials and tribulations in dealing with the finer points of hydrodynamics, when it comes to being able to break free from the surface of the water.

A project is a project, it doesn’t have to be the latest whiz bang kit

or a part of one. Restoring a vintage aircraft is possibly a bigger task than many modern kits, especially if period fit and authenticity is to be achieved. Steve Barratt tells the tale of what he describes as a most remarkable example of Tiger Moth, Dorothy, whose colours and identity was recreated following the lengthy restoration of his group's own Tiger Moth.

Finally, a glimpse at some future tech, as the LAA announces it is to collaborate with UK company Skyfly for its Axe personal eVTOL aircraft. An exciting project, with some clever design, it gives a glimpse into the future for some LAA projects, as designers consider different ways to fly along with battery and hybrid technology.

To get in touch with Project News, and tell your story, report a milestone or just to send a picture, email: Please share your story!

Avro-Curtiss Waterbird Replica (LAA 392-15352)

In the early hours of a calm Monday morning in June, a hearty cheer went up from a small group of enthusiasts gathered on a promontory on the western shore of Lake Windermere. The cause of the spontaneous outburst was a heady mix of relief and joy at the sight of the replica Avro-Curtiss Waterbird G-WBRD lifting off from the water for the first time and flying steadily for a few seconds before touching down again in a flurry of spray kicked up by the heel of its big flat-sided wooden float. The event, which represented the culmination of a decade-long dream by LAA member Ian Gee, mimicked the first flight of the original Waterbird, Britain’s first seaplane, which made its first and only flights, also from Windermere, in 1911.

Ian had commissioned the replica to be built by Wickenby-based LAA Inspector Gerry Cooper, making use of the clause in the regulations that allows full-size replicas of historic aircraft to be treated as amateur builts even if they are a commissioned build.

The Waterbird was built under the LAA process, and is as close as possible to the original design as can be deduced from the few surviving drawings and components – the rudder and the float. Originally

12 | LIGHT AVIATION | July 2022
Above The Waterbird is prepared by the ground crew on the shore of Lake Windermere.

configured with wheels to allow it to be test hopped more easily, the re-engineered replica was the subject of a detailed stress analysis by John Tempest. So after a few further tweaks had been embodied LAA Engineering was able to clear it to be flown, albeit within a very restricted envelope – rather akin to the Permits that the LAA grants for Shuttleworth’s Bleriot and Deperdussin of the same Edwardian era.

After demonstrating that the wheeled Waterbird could fly across Wickenby Airfield under reasonable control, piloted by Gerry, the temporary undercarriage was removed and the aircraft changed to the original Waterbird’s configuration as a single-float seaplane, with design help from Cranfield University. The first flotation test, carried out at the National Water Sports Centre at Nottingham in 2020, showed that with the original size of float the replica Waterbird was woefully lacking in reserve buoyancy, the front of the float dipping under the surface as soon as the aircraft started to move forward under its own power. In the year that followed, the replica moved by road to Liverpool and a new float was made which is about 25% wider and longer than the original. The replica Waterbird was tested on the new float on Windermere in the summer of 2021, now under the supervision of LAA Inspector Bill Brooks, although on this occasion, in the Experimental Category. The 2021 trials revealed that while the craft could now be motored around the lake fairly consistently at a fast taxi speed, attempts to take off were prevented by a violent porpoising motion which was triggered if it was allowed to accelerate further.

Not to be put off, for the 2022 trials, acting on the advice of a number of experts in naval architecture, the steps on the float were made shallower, and the float position was made adjustable, allowing the aircraft to be mounted at a greater angle of attack and for the float to be positioned fore and aft for optimum balance.

According to theory, these changes would allow the aircraft to skim smoothly over the water like a hydroplane, supported by its twin steps. These changes were carried out through the LAA mod process, the aircraft having returned to the fold as an LAA project. Faced with the job of bringing the aircraft from Liverpool and re-assembling it in the Lake District, LAA Inspector Bill Brooks supervised the assembly and testing of the aircraft at Windermere, stepping into the breach at short notice after Nigel Jones was put temporarily out of action by an accident the previous week – though not to be put off, Nigel nevertheless turned out to watch the historic event.

By this time expecting to have a long programme of adjustments ahead of them, the Waterbird’s support team were delighted that the 2022 trial showed the aircraft’s water-borne behaviour to have been transformed at the

first attempt, and four successful flights of progressively greater length and height were made on this and the following day, flown by Pete Kynsey. Pete reported that the aircraft flew remarkably well, with plenty of power to spare and good controllability for a craft of this era.

The replica is powered by a Rotec 2800 radial engine, substituting for the original’s 50hp Gnome rotary. The airframe consists of a huge number of struts wires and turnbuckles, and uniquely features bamboo poles for the tail booms. The engine, and its Diatex covering are about its only concessions to modernity.

Ian’s long-term hope for his remarkable aircraft is that from time to time, and when weather conditions permit, it will be able to make further demonstration flights on Windermere as a visitor attraction, and as powerful reminder of Windermere’s aviation heritage.

Above … and airborne!

Below A jubilant team, after the successful first flight.

July 2022 | LIGHT AVIATION | 13
Project News
Top The Waterbird, about to break free from the water…

G-BTOG (s/n 86500) De Havilland DH82a Tiger Moth

The de Havilland DH82a is well-known as the WWII RAF training aircraft in which most RAF and FAA pilots completed their basic flight training.

Lovingly restored by the owner’s group, led by Clive Denney, at Vintage Fabrics of Audley End, Essex and returned to the air in June 2022 in the guise of DE745 (serial number 85675), one of a number of wartime Tiger Moths assigned to the USAAF for use as a communications aircraft. DE745 was flown by 353rd Fighter Group USAAF in summer 1943, where it retained its British camouflage scheme and registration with American insignia replacing the British ones. The Americans also gave DE745 a name –Dorothy. The aircraft has been painted out in this unique scheme, one not seen on a Tiger Moth since WWII. The aircraft is fully fitted out with period equipment, including blind flying hood, Gosport speaking tubes and electric lighting.

In American hands the aircraft survived a number of accidents – on landing at Goxhill on 2 August 1943, while taxying at Halesworth on 30 August 1943, and again on landing at Westleton on 7 September 1943. Much repaired, the aircraft was returned to the RAF in 1944 where it was used in glider pilot training. The aircraft was disposed of by the RAF in 1946 and sold to Airtraining of Fairoaks but was never civilianised and is assumed lost.

The G-BTOG airframe itself is Morris Motors built Tiger Moth (serial 86500) built in 1944 for the RAF and numbered NM192, but it never entered service. The aircraft was sold in September 1946 to the French Air Force in March 1946. In August 1951 the aircraft was given the civilian registration F-BGCJ. The aircraft remained in France where it was eventually ‘scrapped’ by Aero Club de Saintonge et d’Aunis. In 1972 it was exported as a project for potential conversion to look like a Curtiss Jenny for a film (but the film was abandoned). It remained stored in a barn in Thurleigh, Bedfordshire until 1991, when it came to Audley End and was taken on by current owners in 2006 for rebuild to be completed as DE745.

Also, and very unusually, the aircraft has been equipped with a new and unused Gipsy Major 1C engine – one of a small number imported in their original shipping crates from South America in the early 2000s. Exported directly from the UK factory in the late 1940s, the engine had only been run on the manufacturer’s test stand and had not previously been installed in an aircraft. Amazingly the engine fired up first time after installation.

Now Dorothy has flown on her LAA test Permit for the first time in 50 years, powered by a brand new engine manufactured seventy five years ago. Test flying was carried out by Clive Denney at Audley End on June 1, and she now awaits the issue of her full Permit. ■

Project News
Top Dorothy awaiting for her test flight after restoration by Vintage Fabrics. Above (left, middle, right) A gorgeous looking aircraft, in a unique colour scheme.
14 | LIGHT AVIATION | July 2022
Below A historic image of the original Dorothy.

LAA and Skyfly to collaborate on personal eVTOL

The LAA and British company Skyfly have agreed to collaborate on a radical new aircraft design.

Dubbed the 'Axe by Skyfly', it is a two-seat, side-by-side compact eVTOL, aimed at private owners rather than the Urban Air Mobility sector. It will be available in kit-built form, supported by a factory build centre and it is hoped that the first customer aircraft will be flying in two years.

The LAA is working with Skyfly in liaising with the CAA on certification and pilot licensing of the aircraft. It is intended that the aircraft will be accepted under BCAR or EASA-derived e-VTOL approvals and we will work with the CAA to propose pilot training to NPPL requirements or similar with appropriate differences training.

The aircraft is capable of vertical flight, but has wings, and uniquely its design does not require swivelling engines or rotating wings – instead the motors are at a

Above Members of LAA Engineering with a scaled prototype, meet with Skyfly Chairman Mark Johnson and project Chief Engineer Bill Brooks.

Inset What the full-size version of the Axe should look like.

fixed angle, saving weight and complexity, improving safety and strength. The two pairs of compact wings give the Axe a longer range, allow glide landings for greater safety and even enable an energy saving, standard 'fixed-wing aircraft' take-off and landing where a conventional runway is available.

Michael Thompson CEO and Chief Engineer William Brooks of Skyfly predict the Axe will have a range of 100 miles fully electric and 200 miles using a novel, lightweight rotary generator capable of charging the batteries whilst in the air. A remotely piloted scale prototype has already flown and performs well across the different modes of operation.

If your aircraft has been featured in the New Projects list, please let Project News know of your progress at:

■ Replica Plans SE5A (LAA 020-15822)


Ms R Kelly, 2 Ratcliffs Garden, Shaftesbury, Dorset, SP7 8HJ

■ Druine D.31A Turbulent (LAA 048-15825)


Mr A Alamudi, Surpass Inshore, 31 Mill Street, London, SE1 2AX

■ Steen Skybolt (LAA 064-15823) 11/5/2022

New Projects Cleared To Fly

If your aircraft has featured recently in the magazine and has subsequently completed its maiden flight, Project News would like to hear from you at:

■ G-BTOG DH82A Tiger Moth (s/n 86500) 27/5/2022

Name & Address held by LAA Engineering

Mr M Sugden, 2 Cornwall Terrace, Tattershall Road, Woodhall Spa, Lincolnshire, LN10 6TU

■ Van’s RV-10 (LAA 339-15826) 16/5/2022

Mr N Nielsen, 23 Shepley Drive, Hazel Grove, Stockport, Cheshire, SK7 6LE

■ Van’s RV-10 (LAA 339-15830) 26/5/2022

Mr J Lee, 20 Palm Road, Hygge Park, Keynsham, Bristol, BS31 1GH

■ Van’s EV-7 (LAA 323-15831) 30/5/2022

Name & Address held by LAA Engineering

■ Sherwood Scout (LAA 345-15827) 16/5/2022

Name & Address held by LAA Engineering

■ Van’s RV-8 (LAA 303-15828) 20/5/2022

Name & Address held by LAA Engineering

■ Van’s RV-8 (LAA 303-15829) 25/5/2022

Name & Address held by LAA Engineering

■ Aeroprakt A32 Vixxen (LAA 411-15832)



Mr G Fewster, The Old Farm, South Newington, Oxfordshire, OX15 4JW

■ Replica Hawker F.20 (LAA 431-15824)


■ G-NCLA Van’s RV-12iS LAA (LAA 363A15643) 17/5/2022

Name & Address held by LAA Engineering

■ G-RIXA Piper J3C (s/n 18711) 4/5/2022

Name & Address held by LAA Engineering

Right RV-12iS 'Lima Alpha all complete and ready for her test flight.

Name & Address held by LAA Engineering

Project News July 2022 | LIGHT AVIATION | 13

IFR/Night Update

16 | LIGHT AVIATION | July 2022

Back in the day, lack of IFR capability was often cited by the naysayers as a reason for not getting involved in LAAadministered aircraft. Along with the ability to use (some) Permit aeroplanes for flight training, this impediment has now been substantially removed. The numbers cleared for IFR are slowly rising and, as experience grows, the process is getting more streamlined. So, what exactly is involved in getting a clearance to fly IFR and at night?

When talking about aircraft capability, clubhouse (and internet) chat invariably focuses on the narrow specifics of instrument fit. Will my aircraft be accepted with a Dynon ‘this’ in combination with a Kanardia ‘that’? Will a full Garmin G3X system be compliant? What about a conventional six-pack of vacuum gauges?

In practice, the exact instrument fit is almost the least difficult part to get right. A traditional six-pack will do just fine, as will almost any combination of modern EFIS systems. Before we can even get to that, it’s important to consider if the aircraft type is even a suitable platform to fly IFR. Is it fitted with a suitable engine? If it is, we need to be sure all the systems work in harmony, are installed to a proper standard, operate correctly, and have sufficient redundancy to ensure you can get back on the ground if something fails. And of course, everything has to be maintained effectively and operated safely.

Why, some might say, is all this so stringent? Surely it can’t be that hard to fly a Permit aircraft in IFR – what’s the big deal? It’s surely not this hard for Experimental aircraft in FAA-land?

The opportunity for things to go wrong in IFR and at night is probably no greater than by day in VFR. But the consequences of things going wrong quickly multiply in the cloud – and in the dark. This added risk must be balanced by appropriate risk mitigations. From the CAA’s perspective, there is also the added complication that our LAA aircraft will be mixing with other IFR traffic, relying on accurate navigation, calibrated altimeters and good quality communications without the benefit of ‘see and avoid’ to keep out of the way of everything, including commercial air transport. That puts quite a high burden on us to get it right.

Many LAA members are quite understandably looking for a simple ‘cloud break’ capability and reasonably ask, why does this all apply to me? I don’t have a full IR and I don’t fly in airways, so isn’t it all a bit burdensome? The CAA’s view is that the aircraft is either approved for IFR or it isn’t. And if it is, it needs to be up to the required standard.

The starting point in determining the LAA’s philosophy for working out what the required standard is, comes via an agreement with the CAA that Permit aircraft cleared for

July 2022 | LIGHT AVIATION | 17 Technical
IFR/Night approval for Permit aircraft first came about in late 2016. If you are considering an application for your own aircraft, Peter Bentley highlights factors that will need consideration…

IFR and night should be able to demonstrate a broadly equivalent level of safety to its certified counterparts. In practice this means the LAA and, in turn, the owner, must be able to demonstrate the IFR-specific parts of the aircraft meet the requirements of lowest Certification Standard that allows IFR flight. This turns out to be CS-23.

CS-23 is several hundred clauses and sub-clauses long, and makes tough reading even for hardened engineering professionals. Fortunately, a distilled version of the critical elements, in so far as IFR flight is concerned, has been provided in a condensed LAA Technical leaflet. TL2.28 is essentially an aide-mémoire and template to provide all the required information.

Certified standard debates

Contrary to some hangar-chat, none of this means that any of the systems or equipment must be certified. Or that the aircraft will have to be rewired to a certified standard. Or that the engine or propeller must be certified. Indeed, the most basic standard IFR fit is not even required to have any NAV instruments or an approach capability at all. Similarly, there is no need to have any complex instruments (EFIS or glass panel). In most instances, well-built and well-maintained aircraft that look suitable for IFR probably are… (see sidebar, p22: Where might your IFR application go wrong?)

In the most basic terms, all that is required is to show that the aircraft can safely be piloted in IMC, the systems are reliable and that no single failure will make IFR flight impossible. Once approved, there must be sufficient information to fly and maintain the aircraft without specific knowledge of having built it.

As part of the agreement with the CAA, and the need to show equivalent standards of reliability, there is an expectation that the powerplant will be designed and built for use in aircraft. There is no need for certification, though a certified or ‘clone’ engine will be easiest to

clear. VW and other automotive, industrial and agricultural-based units would need to demonstrate the same reliability as purpose-built engines, which in practice could prove very difficult. Historically the LAA has been wary of electronic ignition systems and, where fitted, has required at least one traditional magneto. This stipulation has been relaxed somewhat recently and engines fitted with two E-Mag Model P units are now accepted.

For those who argue life is easier in the USA, you might want to check carefully. It turns out that both Certified and Experimental IFR aircraft in FAA-land must comply with the same requirements, including the required annual inspections by an approved avionics shop. Strangely, the rules are simpler in some respects, in that there is no requirement in the USA to have redundant systems. If your single attitude indicator fails or the power to the whole system goes off, you could find yourself in trouble. The reader can decide for themselves if they think that is a good idea.

Team effort

In practical terms, the LAA’s objective has been to leave individual owners free to make their own choices about equipment and systems, while remaining within the confines of CS-23 and the ANO. The final authority to sign-off an individual aircraft for IFR and night, rests with the LAA’s CTO. In practice he is supported by a small cadre of IFR Assessors, test pilots, a group of IFR qualified Inspectors and as always, members of the LAA Engineering staff. As with almost all LAA activity, it’s a team effort.

All the airworthiness standards, including CS-23, involve some quite complex elements on controllability and stability and, even for VFR flight, the LAA has sometimes insisted on changes to aircraft already approved elsewhere. For IFR flight where stability is more

Technical 18 | LIGHT AVIATION | July 2022
Above This RV-9A was one of the early aircraft to apply for LAA IFR approval.


Above Not all types of LAA aircraft are suitable for consideration for the Night/IFR approval process.

Below If you’re thinking of applying, consider what your goals are. Do you just want to be able to safely make a cloud break, or do you want a full IFR approach capability?

The approval process

Several LAA members have recently questioned the need for such a document-heavy approach to approval when at least some of the necessary information could more easily be gleaned by practical demonstration. As with most good ideas, the LAA has followed up on this and a more practically based process is in development.

Many modern glass-panel systems, and indeed more than a few retrofit upgrades, come complete with internal back-up batteries. These systems, if properly installed and maintained, completely remove dependence on alternators and main batteries and, as such, need a less complex assessment of the electrical system.

The LAA IFR team is currently working on an approval based on inspection of the installed systems in place of some of the more complex investigations and calculations. The process is not yet finalised, but may include a physical duration test of the various systems on the ground. In simple terms, will the required systems continue to operate for 45 minutes without the engine running? Why 45 minutes you might say, CS-23 only requires 30 minutes of reserves? The simple answer is that all the commonly available back-up systems are capable of at least 60 minutes and the extra 15 minutes over and above the required duration gives a margin of safety to take account of the inevitable loss of capacity with age that will be experienced with all batteries.

In addition to endurance checks, there will be a requirement to physically assess the aircraft for single points of failure. Do both radios switch off when the avionics-switch is opened? How is a trim runaway dealt with? Think of this part of the assessment as a practical Failure Modes and Effect Analysis while sitting in the cockpit.

The first aircraft are going through this system now and, once approved, it is hoped the process can be extended to all suitable aircraft.

It should also be noted that there has always been a fast-track process for aircraft previously type-certificated aircraft historically cleared to fly IFR. In simple terms, if the aircraft has previously held IFR certification and it can be shown to be in substantially the same configuration as it was when certified, the process is quite simple. There are some caveats. For obvious reasons, aircraft originally certified under some very old standards with a primary and back-up AI both powered from a single venturi, are required to fit an alternative power source for one AI and accept strict limits on OAT to ensure they are not impacted by icing.

July 2022 | LIGHT AVIATION | 19 Technical
There is an expectaion that the powerplant used will be designed and built for use in aircraft.

Certified, Approved and STC systems

The absolute key instrument for IFR flight is the attitude indicator. For an individual aircraft to obtain approval, it will need both a primary attitude indicator and a back-up. Historically the AI would be vacuum-powered with an electrically powered turncoordinator as backup. Increasingly we are moving to multiple electronic instruments and the reliability of these need to be assured. Initially the LAA was concerned about common mode failures and insisted that the primary and backup instruments were from a different manufacturer, but the advent of STC approved systems has greatly alleviated this concern.

Even in the CoA world there is some confusion about STCs, PMAs and a whole host of other alphabet-soup approval standards. We’ll not get too involved in that here, but suffice to say that any flight instruments that are either approved as part of an STC or very close cousins to STC approved kit will be accepted by the LAA.

A good example would be the Garmin G5, where both STC’d and non-STC’d versions are available. In practice it’s the same hardware (possibly with slightly different software) from a major corporation. You can install it without further approval in a CoA aircraft and it would be unreasonable for the LAA not to accept such equipment.

Where complex (glass) attitude instruments are not STC’d they will need to be on the LAA approved list, with primary and backup AI from different manufacturers. There are no stipulations about traditional single-function instruments, either electric or vacuum powered.

Similarly, ensuring continuity of power for primary and backup instruments, especially if they were both electrically powered-required, historically required very careful checks of both electrical loads and battery capacity. Anyone who has completed an instrument rating will be familiar with the concept of load-shedding to ensure sufficient endurance from the battery to return safely to Earth in the event of an alternator failure.

While the requirement for load and capacity checking has not gone away, the advent of individual backup batteries for each instrument massively increases reliability and the consequences of the loss of all power after an alternator failure are enormously reduced.

important, the first step in the approval process is to assess the suitability of a given type via a first-of-type (FOT) test. This needs to be flown by a qualified professional test pilot approved by the LAA. The test pilot will be looking at a type’s suitability for IFR flight, including stability, manoeuvrability, ergonomics and ground handling – among many other things. Following this FOT test flight it may be that specific limitations are imposed for a particular type. Typically, these might include reduced aft CG limits (to enhance longitudinal and yaw stability) or in some cases aerodynamic changes to reduce (or increase) control forces. The good news for the majority of owners looking at IFR and night approval is that the majority of the LAA fleet likely to be suitable for IFR have already been type-approved. There will shortly be a Permit IFR page on the LAA website where this information will be available. Types not already approved will need one-off testing.

Assuming the aircraft is type approved, the next step is to look at the individual aircraft design and specification. For Permit IFR approval the configuration of the aircraft must be better defined than for a standard VFR clearance. That is done by creating an aircraft equipment list. All essential items on the equipment list will be required operative for an IFR departure. The good news, as noted above, is that individual owners don’t

have to swat-up on the contents of CS-23 or the ANO as the LAA team have condensed the required information down to a couple of forms.

IFR Assessor

All this information is gathered together and used to complete an LAA Mod 15, which is a coarse filter that will hopefully weed out any unsuitable aircraft with little chance of acceptance and save the LAA and their owner’s unnecessary work. Once the Mod 15 has been accepted, you will be allocated an IFR Assessor. Your Assessor will guide you through the process of working through TL2.28 and supplying the accompanying documentation (see sidebar on page 21).

Once all the required paperwork has been created, it’s time for a test flight. The IFR element of the flight test can be conducted in VFR and as such needs no special permission. As with all simulated IFR flight, an observer will be required to keep a lookout while the test pilot gets on and does their stuff.

LAA members often question why they can’t do the test flight themselves? Surely, they are best qualified to fly their own wonderful creation. And therein lies the problem. The owner and builder all too often become accustomed to the idiosyncrasies of their own aircraft and see past deferred defects and overlooked issues.

Technical 20 | LIGHT AVIATION | July 2022

Process and paperwork

There is an old saying in aviation that the aircraft is not fit for flight until the weight of the paperwork exceeds the weight of the airframe. Of course, that’s not strictly true, but it would be disingenuous to suggest that there is not a fair amount of form-filling and document creation required for an IFR approval. In practice, some of the paperwork will already have been created for the initial VFR approval but, rest assured, there is plenty more to do.

Why so? Given the higher risks involved and the increased complexity of an IFR aircraft, there is, not unreasonably, a requirement to have both a Pilots’ Operating Handbook (POH) and a Tailored Maintenance Schedule. If you built the aircraft, there is a realistic expectation that you will know how to fly and maintain it. But what about the next owner? Or the next Inspector who must oversee the maintenance when your current Inspector hangs up his / her spanners?

The POH need not be long nor complicated. Aircraft have been approved with just five pages of A5, while

LAA Mod 15

Equipment List

Data to show the requirements of TL2.28 are satisfied

Power budget

Power Distribution Schematic

Failure Modes and Effects Analysis

Pilot Operating Handbook

Maintenance Schedule

Pitot-static system check

Avionics Check

Weight and Balance Report

IFR Permit Inspection

Flight Test report

LAA IFR Assessors Report

others run to more than 100 pages of ultra-detail.

For the latter, the LAA does recommend a simple quick reference handbook for the pilot in flight with all the basic numbers and the response to most likely emergencies clearly set out.

These documents can be compiled by the owner or a representative. Your LAA IFR Assessor will have experience of compiling the documentation and will be able to provide sample documents and assistance where required.

In completing these documents, the owner will have demonstrated suitability in six separate areas:

• Airframe and Powerplant

• Aircraft Reliability

• Instrumentation

• Electrical System

• Night Flying equipment

Similarity of this particular aircraft to the FOT cleared for a basic IFR approval the LAA requires 13 separate documents.

Initial screening of aircraft type and specifics to ensure that there is a reasonable chance of acceptance.

This forms the basis of the approved equipment required to be operative for IFR operation (template available)

If not provided elsewhere, information to describe the aircraft systems and how they comply with the requirements.

Required to make an assessment of the reliability of the power distribution system

Required to make an assessment of the ability to power systems in the event of an alternator failure

An item-by-item assessment of the reliability of the aircraft and the impact of all significant failures (template available).

Sufficient information to allow any pilot of average competence to operate the aircraft in IFR or at night

Necessary maintenance to keep the aircraft operating safely in IFR or at night

A physical check with test equipment on the ASI and altimeter systems

A physical check with test equipment on the communication and navigation systems

For obvious reasons…

A one-off special inspection by an IFR inspector to confirm that the information provided is correct and that the aircraft is of a suitable standard for IFR or night operations

Flown by an LAA authorised pilot (other than the owner) to ensure the aircraft performs in a similar manner to the First of Type aircraft and that all systems function satisfactorily. (The pilot does not necessarily need to be a qualified Test Pilot but does need to be suitably experienced and acceptable to the LAA)

A summary of the above information to make the LAA Engineering team’s life a little easier and support the recomendation made by the assessor

July 2022 | LIGHT AVIATION | 21 Technical

Where might your IFR application go wrong?

There are a number of factors that aircraft owners and builders should consider, that can cause delays to a Night/IFR application.

Electrical system single points of failure. The most common issue that has to be rectified before an aircraft can be considered for an IFR clearance, with the dreaded Avionics Master-switch as the prime culprit. The idea of a single switch to turn on all the avionics might look like a good idea until the day when the switch converts itself into a collection of small plastic and metal bits in the footwell. The outcome is much the same as turning the avionics switch off, potentially no radios nor navigation equipment. It’s easy to design this problem out, but you would be surprised how often this single point of failure is seen.

Multiple pieces of required avionics equipment wired to a single circuit breaker comes a close second. Deferred defects. Some owners (and Inspectors) seem remarkably tolerant of deferred defects, shifting rectification of known, but ‘non-critical’, problems to some point in the future. While this might just be acceptable for VFR aircraft, the increased reliability requirements for IFR flying preclude this approach. Obtaining an IFR approval often involves resolving a number of issues that could, and perhaps should, have been dealt with previously.

Battery capacity. IFR flying requires that all the essential electrically powered systems need to keep working for at least 30 minutes in the event of an alternator failure. The calculation is slightly complicated, such that the IFR Assessors tend to look for 45 minutes safe operation using a simplified method.

With modern, individually battery backedup EFIS systems, this is almost trivial to achieve, but older systems with power-hungry equipment might struggle. Garmin GNS series navigators are but one known power-hog… Placards and lighting. Most owners who have built their own aircraft can pretty much operate the switches and controls with their eyes shut. But what about the next owner when the aeroplane is sold? Or a group-operated aircraft? CS-23 says the aircraft shall be capable of operation by an average pilot without special skill or knowledge.

Put a blanket over the cockpit and decide if you could undertake immediate actions in the event of any particular emergency, based only on the placards and lighting fitted. If not, changes will be required.

Birds-nest wiring. The standard of electrical installation in Permit aircraft is spread over a wide spectrum. We can only speculate if some of it is really suitable for VFR flying, but the demands of IFR require a high level of reliability and thus a higher build standard.

Cabling needs to be of an appropriate type (aviationgrade wire) installed in such a way as it cannot chafe or get damaged by control runs, baggage or passengers. Pitot-static faults. In deference to the more critical requirements for the pitot-static systems when flying IFR, a physical validation of the pitot-static system using calibrated test-equipment is required.

Leaks are sadly, surprisingly common (and often very difficult to track down).

Issues with static-ports often give rise to off-limits ASI calibrations.

Complex centralised electronic circuit breakers. Systems such as VPX are popular in some quarters. They also introduce a potential single point of failure that could take down all electrical systems in a single hit.

There is no prohibition on the use of such systems, but, where they are fitted, the owner will need to show that the failure of the power distribution system will not produce an adverse outcome in terms of flight in IMC. It may be that individual instruments are provided with stand-alone battery backup, or that an emergency-power bus is provided to power the essentials if the power distribution system should fail.

Electric trim. There are a whole host of bad things that can happen to electric trim systems, not all of these easily mitigatable. Flying IFR, or at night, out of trim is not fun so this needs to be thought about.

Trim runaway is the obvious issue, but what about a motor failure in the trim servo? This is hard to resolve and there is no requirement under CS-23 for duplicate systems.

The emergency checklist in the POH will need to provide guidance.

Document control. The document pack, used for IFR approval, forms an integral part of the Permit to fly in IFR. As such, it’s necessary to have proper document control with dates, issue numbers and a record of changes incorporated into each document.

It goes without saying that everything must be appropriately signed and that any modifications will need to be processed in the normal way.

Above Placards are one of the most common causes of issues with Permit IFR applications. These are good clear examples.

Above right While installing avionics is a big part of the job, configuration and testing is also vitally important.

22 | LIGHT AVIATION | July 2022 Technical
Left Clamp on current meters can be purchased at reasonable prices and provide a good way to establish real-world current consumption of your avionics.

01 If your wiring looks like this, the aircraft might not be a good candidate for IFR or night approval.

02 Take care that upgrades and repairs don’t cause issues. Swarf is the single biggest enemy of electrical wiring, so protect existing equipment if working in situ.

03 The required testing of all avionics needs some expensive equipment, and you’ll almost certainly need to engage the services of a Licensed engineer.

04 A new wiring loom ready for installation.

05 Thought must be given to the design of the aircraft’s electrical system, and how backup power is provided.

Someone new to the aircraft comes with fresh eyes and a clear remit. The test-card includes checks on control response, ergonomics, instrumentation and systems. It needs to be flown by an experienced and current IFR qualified pilot, ideally with experience on type.

Such is the breadth of experience of the LAA membership, an experienced commercial pilot, fast-jet pilot or flying instructor, also with time on pretty much any LAA type is never far away. The test flight is almost always flown with the owner / builder as the observer, and without exception they have always admitted (if sometimes reluctantly) that it was a very valuable learning experience.

Evidence gathered in defence of the IMC (now the IR(R)) some years ago, showed a clear safety benefit gained from private pilots holding an instrument rating. With the opportunity now available to LAA pilots to fly their own aircraft in IMC, if only to undertake training, maintain currency and revalidate, the time is right for more of the LAA fleet to become IFR approved.

The (now not so) new LAA Engineering Director, John Ratcliffe, is aware of historical issues with lack of continuity and delays in the IFR approval process, and has prioritised improvements. Given the likely increase of applications following the publication of this piece, there is also a high likelihood the current complement of IFR Assessors may prove inadequate for the task. The LAA would be interested in talking with suitably qualified individuals who might be interested in boosting the numbers.

Night flying

While it is possible to gain a night approval without IFR, the requirements for night flying follow closely from the IFR approval. In most instances, aircraft have been

cleared for both in a single process.

Clearly the main additional requirement for night flying is lighting, both internal and external. This can be approved via a simple check by an IFR-approved Inspector.

The night test flight is not so simple as it requires flying the aircraft outside its initial permit limitations. Before the night test can be completed, an additional flight test authorisation must be issued by LAA HQ and agreement sought from the airfield operator confirming that they’re aware of the mildly increased risks involved with flying under test conditions.

IFR Inspectors

Taking account of the added requirements for IFR flight, the LAA has designated a subset of the Inspector community to act as IFR Inspectors. These are listed on the LAA website. Aircraft flying under IFR and night privileges will require both the initial documentation and continuing inspections to be completed by an IFRqualified Inspector.

LAA Technical Leaflets

Process guidance advice

Assessment of aircraft suitability

Peter Bentley is one of the LAA’s IFR and Night Assessors, guiding owners through the process of gaining IFR and night approval. Peter is a Luscombe owner, restorer and pilot who runs Aeroplane Electrical near Winchester, offering a full electrical service for Permit and Vintage aircraft owners. ■

July 2022 | LIGHT AVIATION | 23 Technical
01 02 03
04 05

Bonny and braw delights…

As the Jodel cruised towards Breighton, the radio came alive and we heard a slightly muffled voice announce, “Lancaster returning to base, turning 180.” Looking ahead we saw it, the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight’s Avro Lancaster, which was seemingly giving us our very own flypast. We knew right there, that the LAA Scottish Tour was off to a very good start. And so it proved…

After first discussing the idea for a tour and much planning since late 2019, due to the Covid pandemic, the last two years’ attempts were dashed. However, with Robert the Bruce’s famous words ringing in my head ‘Try, try and try again’, things finally fell into place in May of this year.

I teamed up with Devon Strut chairman David Millin with his Jodel D.117 to join in, departing Henstridge in Somerset on Sunday 22 May – a glorious morning. We headed north to Leicester with a tailwind and sun behind us, and not a ripple of turbulence, to refuel and grab a

bite to eat, before heading to our first overnight stop at Breighton.

This tour had always been about aircraft and their owners being able to dip in and out of the route and its schedule. To begin with, 17 aircraft arrived and were looked after by Charles Sunter and his wonderful Breighton crew, which included a look around the hangars for all the tour participants. It was my first ever visit, and I was amazed at what a fantastic collection of vintage and classic aircraft they have.

While some of the visitors set up camp, others headed off to local accommodation for the night, and the following morning the group departed for Eshott Airfield via the coast of Sunderland and Newcastle. There, we met the great duo of Richard Pike and Sam Woodgate, the operators of the airfield, and subjects of the May LA issue’s Meet the Members feature. After another bacon sarnie (food played a big role in this tour) we routed via Alnwick Castle, passing over the lovely Northumberland beaches, and the River Tweed, before heading across

Flying Adventure 24 | LIGHT AVIATION | July 2022
Above Tourers meet up with East of Scotland Strut members at East Fortune.
Having been dashed by Covid for the last couple of years, Neil Wilson and his band of merry LAA pilots and aeroplanes finally made it to Scotland for the long-anticipated LAA tour…

RV-builder and pilot Ian Corse is chairman of The Scottish Aero Club, and he and his fellow club members, plus those of the LAA Strathtay Strut provided a lovely welcome. By now the group numbered around 20 aircraft, including Kitfox, Taylorcraft and RV’s, plus about 35 pilots and crew.

The morning’s weather briefing indicated that conditions looked OK for Tuesday, but predicted increasing northerly winds from Wednesday onwards, so we decided to head for Glenforsa and not go via the Isle of Skye or Plockton as the clouds and high mountains looked a bit daunting for many. David and I navigated our way on a more southerly route, having initially looked at a more direct route to the Isle of Mull. The scenery was spectacular with lochs, towns and sea, plus some very

Top left First of the torers gather at Breighton.

Top right Sunderland harbour.

Middle left Eshott Airfield.

Middle right Firth of Forth.

Bottom left Arrival at Perth.

Bottom right East Scottish coast and Bass Rock.

remote hamlets (not too good for popping out for a pint of milk…) scattered around the mountains and hills. We even saw a Royal Navy Frigate moored in a loch. Routing via Oban we arrived at Glenforsa and met up with the other tourers for a great lunch at the beautiful Glenforsa Hotel run by Brendan and Allison Walsh. Some of us then went for a lovely walk along the coast, found a waterfall on the river, bluebells, and back through woodland to the hotel. Some tourers stayed overnight, while others headed back to Perth for the evening – and some going more direct, while both Charles Monsell (Piper Pacer) and Javad Rahman (Piper Archer) flew via The Great Glenn. Angus and Fiona Macaskill headed for The Isle of Skye to visit a centre dedicated to an earlier relative (who was once the world’s tallest man). Regular LA magazine contributor, Nigel Hitchman, and his mate

July 2022 | LIGHT AVIATION | 25 Flying Adventure
The Firth of Forth and onto Perth. Above Enroute to Glenforsa. Above Glorious Glenforsa airfield Above Lovely river walk near Glenforsa.

Steve, took a trip up around the north of Scotland, flying over Scapa Flow and some of the outer isles. Good in a speedy RV, but a little too much for others in slower machines.

As forecast, the wind was too strong, gusting 30kt, for most on Wednesday, so a group of us headed via a taxi to Dundee for a day trip, where we looked around Captain Scott’s Royal Research Ship Discovery. Dundee was a good city to tour around with some grand buildings plus the new V&A museum, too. Brown and Blacks, a local pub, had a great menu at nearby Scone and was a perfect stop for an evening meal.

I had set up a WhatsApp group before the tour, which

proved very useful in coordinating tour participants as they joined, and left, at various points on the tour, including matching people to hotel bookings where they became available. Plus it was a fun way to share photos, places to visit and provide a focal ‘check in’ for the group.

On Thursday, tourers split up for various land-based trips. One group headed to Edinburgh via bus, Tony Gibson hired a Transit van (cheaper than a car!) to go to Stirling, while David and I did a bit of fettling to the Jodel. Jodel work completed, in the afternoon Ian Corse kindly let me borrow his car, and we headed a few miles away from the airfield to Scone Palace. Being a palace it has a good budget and the gardens are fantastic. We saw the most spectacular yellow laburnum trees and brightly coloured rhododendrons – and there was also a superb arboretum with sequoia and spruce trees from California and Canada.

The maze proved too tempting, and we made it to the centre in about six-seven minutes, snapping a photo of the nymph in the centre to prove we had done it! Yes, we managed to find our way out again too…

In the evening, instead of going out to a pub we ordered some pizzas and Chinese and had a really nice social evening in the airfield clubhouse, talking about past and planned future trips, while adventurous tourer Nigel Hitchman filled us in with places he has visited around the world. Nigel is a mine of information on aviation museums and airfields worldwide, plus all the associated places to stay and how to get there. Pick his brains if you are planning an epic trip – he’s probably been there!

Friday dawned, and was still too windy, so David and I took a walk to a local monument overlooking the vale where Perth City and the countryside is set, while others did Perth City and the palace. Although it was rather unfortunate that we lost three days flying, it did mean we made more of an effort to explore on the ground, and

Flying Adventure 26 | LIGHT AVIATION | July 2022
Above left Centre of the maze at Scone Palace. Above right Scott’s research ship Discovery Above left Tobermory, Isle of Mull. Above centre Great Glen Bamburgh Castle. Above right Great Glen Ardnamurchan Peninsula. Top Perth Evening. Centre Strutter East Fortune Above bottom East Fortune museum
x 3
Charles Monsell

occasionally, just kick back and enjoy the moment, instead of flying each day from one airfield to the other, just going from café to café.

Saturday, while still breezy, was better for flying. At Perth, Keith Griggs and his team of The East of Scotland Strut (EOS) said there was hardly a breath at East Fortune, so we mounted up, and around seven aircraft headed for the museum located there. A few other flyers went up The Great Glen and over to Skye. EOS had a BBQ going, so another bacon sarnie and coffee was consumed, before we were loaned Keith’s car and drove to visit a new-build Sopwith 1 ½ Strutter that is nearing completion. This fantastic project has taken the local chaps 20 years so far, and it has recently had its first engine run.

Next up was a visit to the East Fortune Museum, which is set on the old airfield and still has many of the original mess huts and buildings from WWII. There is a wide variety of aircraft to see here, from civil, military, light, plus a British Airways Concorde.

Keith is in the process of raising money towards the fight against cancer this year (£300 was raised during the weekend of our visit alone), and is planning to fly around the UK mainland, visiting many airfields while giving flights for a donation to Cancer Research UK. If you’d like to support him, go to and make a donation with your name and details, and Keith will contact you to arrange a flight. Keith plans to be at Popham for the LAA Grass Roots Fly-in, so please do say hello.

David and I routed back to Perth via St Andrews golf course, as it was somewhere I have always wanted to visit. Preparations were well underway for the 150th Open. I hadn’t realised quite how on the edge of a peninsula it is… No wonder they lose so many golf balls in the wind!

We managed to get back just in time for some stovies (a Scottish dish made from potatoes and often leftover meat, in this case it was hashed beef). Saturday at Perth had also been the Meet the LAA Day, which had been very successful, with flyers visiting to say hello. Steve Slater (LAA CEO), Eryl Smith (Chairman), Roger Hopkinson (President) and Ken Craigie (Chief Inspector) were in attendance, along with the LX Avionics and the LAA-branded exhibition trailer. The latter helps not only give the LAA a real presence at events, but shows interested aircraft builders and owners upgrading their aircraft panels, which is a good way to see and understand the various bits of instrumentation that are available. Pooleys was also there with its sales manager Stuart Bannister offering help and advice with flight equipment. Saturday evening we were entertained by a local ceilidh band in the big Perth hangar, with Scottish dancing (and, yes, more food) – and pie and peas afterwards. Our Scottish hosts looked after us very well all week, with Ian Corse and his team, including Elaine who does the food and logistics, providing everything we required, from the clubhouse being available all week, to food, tools and equipment on hand for maintenance when needed. A big thank you to all!

Sunday meant preparing for the journey home. David and I were delayed initially because of weather, and we made an overnight stop at Nottingham. This was made

more memorable because Nottingham Forest had just been promoted to the FA Premiership that afternoon, so it was a bit loud in town to say the least! We finally got back to Henstridge at lunchtime on Monday, having dodged a few rain showers on the way. Having dropped me off, unfortunately David had to divert to Exeter due to bad weather, but made it back to Dunkeswell on Tuesday afternoon.

And so ended a very enjoyable LAA Scottish Tour. Everyone got on very well, made new friends, found out information and shared stories and enjoyed each other’s company. While we were a little sad we couldn’t make it to all the places planned, all those we had met at the places we did visit made the trip truly memorable.

I’d like to add my personal thanks to everyone who took part and those who helped me put the event together, including LAA board member Ian Sweetland, Ian Corse and his team, local strut leaders and members, personnel at NATS Scottish Information, local ATC (including RAF bases nearby) and the owners and operators of the airfields we visited.

The only question that remains is… where next? ■

Share your adventures!

If you’ve made a really memorable flight either solo or with friends, or visited a great destination be it in the UK or abroad, then there’s a good chance that LAA members would enjoy reading about it. So why not share your travel tales by contributing to the Light Aviation Flying Adventure feature slot?

A typical Adventure can range from 1,500 to 3,000 words. Include a selection of high-resolution photos of highlights, ideally 1mb or greater. Phone photos can be great for this, but pictures from a camera usually give the best results.

Got an idea in mind? Drop me a line! Email:

July 2022 | LIGHT AVIATION | 27 Flying Adventure
Top St Andrews. Above Scottish Dancing Perth hangar.

Coaching Corner…

There’s always more that we can learn…

The pre-flight check

While the Association was conceived for those who built their own aircraft, a considerable number of LAA members are, like me, pilots with limited engineering knowledge. I have to admit that quite a lot of the regular monthly contents of this magazine, including much of the safety information, is above my head. There must be quite a few owners around who are in a similar situation.

Nevertheless, even if we pilots do not have much engineering expertise, we do have the responsibility to ensure our aircraft is airworthy. We should learn as much about it as possible to help us identify when it might not be. Anything out of the ordinary should be inspected. Engineers are not always available to assist, and so we tend to rely on our own knowledge and common sense to decide whether the aircraft is safe to fly on a particular day. However, even if we as pilots are content that what we have noticed will have no effect on our flight, we ought to get the advice of an engineer as soon as practicable.

I was recently reminded that, whether or not our

Below Alarm bells rang when a couple of bolt threads were clearly visible in the gap during an inspection.

experience and knowledge renders us capable of deciding an aircraft’s serviceability, neither are of any use if we don’t notice anything wrong! For that we need good eyes and attention to detail. At the time, I was watching a couple of engineers carrying out a 150-hour check on a fairly new aeroplane of a type which appears on the LAA register. I had been helping with whatever unskilled labour I could provide, but was keeping as far out of their way as possible during the actual inspection because, as we know, distraction can be a serious hazard.

I had recently been flying this aeroplane quite a lot. I had carried out several daily checks, as I thought carefully, without noticing anything out of the ordinary. Certainly there had been nothing to suggest any unserviceability, and as a group we had always emphasised the importance of keeping the aircraft clean, so one would have expected any abnormality to have been obvious during the pilot’s daily pre-flight inspection.

This 150-hour inspection procedure started with the removal of a number of external panels, after which I took the opportunity to improve my understanding of the aircraft by seeing where and how the controls were connected, and where various other systems were positioned. However, it was not the hidden systems which caused one of the engineers to catch his breath. He was inspecting the undercarriage mountings underneath the aircraft, which were always visible during a pre-flight inspection. Looking from the front, he had noticed that the gap at the mounting bolt between the fuselage structure and the undercarriage leg on the port side was slightly different from the gap on the starboard side, as if there were more washers around the bolt. Although he had carried out several recent pre-flight inspections himself, he had not noticed the difference during these, and he berated himself for that fact.

So what was important about that difference in the size of the gap? It indicated that the bolt itself was not fully tight. In fact, as can be seen, on closer inspection a couple of bolt threads were actually visible in the gap.

Moreover, as the investigation continued, it became apparent that of the four bolts which were used to hold the undercarriage to the fuselage, three were loose enough to turn with finger pressure. This should of course should not have been allowed to happen, and a suitable engineering solution was implemented to prevent it happening again, hopefully with a report to the LAA, which could be distributed to warn other users of the same type. However, as a pilot, the incident reminded me

Coaching Corner 28 | LIGHT AVIATION | July 2022
If your engineering understanding is limited to a basic pre-flight, Head of Pilot Coaching David Cockburn reminds us that there are some easy ways to help improve your know-how…

that any slight inconsistency visible on the pre-flight inspection could well be a warning of a future problem, and that I should be a lot more conscientious with my pre-flight checks.

Magnetic or true?

Readers may be aware that the position of the North Magnetic Pole is changing increasingly rapidly. Several articles in scientific and aviation journals have appeared, suggesting that the world of aviation should stop using the Magnetic Poles as its primary reference, and consider all its directions relative to True North. That would be quite a change. Most of us have got used to our sole means of heading reference being a magnetic compass. For all its faults, it fits the VFR flight legal requirement for ‘a means of indicating magnetic heading’, while being relatively inexpensive.

Traditional pre-flight navigation planning is carried out on charts with reference to True North, and headings are only converted to Magnetic at the final stage so that we can use our compass, or a gyro aligned with it, to set and maintain them in flight. However, as an instructor I know that student (and other) pilots frequently struggle with the variation and deviation which we have to apply during that planning stage, even if (or perhaps because), at the moment we have the advantage that variation over most of mainland UK is less than two degrees.

Most of us nowadays, even technological dinosaurs like me, carry some sort of satellite navigation device, either fitted to the aircraft or ‘handheld’. Even the simplest of these devices make their initial determination of position and track (and sometimes heading) in relation to the Earth’s centre and True North. They need an internal variation compensator to display their output in relation to Magnetic North and produce an output similar to that of a compass. Most, if not all, commercial aircraft flight management systems operate on the same principle.

The CAA is concerned with airspace infringements and recommends the use of moving map displays as a means of reducing the risk. As our electronic devices become cheaper and even more widespread, it would seem quite logical to use them as our primary direction indication, and to operate using True directions rather than complicate matters by introducing possible calculation errors with variation (and deviation – a GNSS unit isn’t affected by aircraft magnetic fields).

There are, of course, pilots who will be either unable or unwilling to invest in a satnav device. For them, their current magnetic compass, with all its errors, will still be able to provide a heading reference, but in order to identify their True heading they will have to include variation and deviation. The only difference will be that if ATC ask for their heading, it will be the True heading which should be transmitted, so they should have to apply those factors before replying. However, as mentioned earlier, in the UK variation is currently a lot less than the ± 8° accuracy we can expect of a simple magnetic compass ‘in straight and unaccelerated flight’, which in any case is far from easy to maintain in typical UK weather.

Aerodrome owners would no longer have to keep repainting runway directions every time a change in

magnetic variation brought them closer to a different 10° mark. Chart producers would not need to republish instrument approach and route centreline markings, or the compass roses for the VORs which remain.

Of course, any change would take time to implement, and commercial aviation will have a large say in the matter, but as I have hinted, there are many advantages for that sector, and ICAO has decided to consider the matter at the next meeting of its appropriate navigation committee.

The International Association of Institutes of Navigation believes this change should be implemented at the earliest opportunity. If you have strong views on the matter, either for or against, you might like to write to the Royal Institute of Navigation, or to the editor of this magazine with your views? Although, any decision will take time to implement, and it is not certain that ICAO will change its standards, I think we should be prepared for it, at least mentally.

Mor to strip flying

Below The CAA’s recently revised Safety Sense leaflet on strip flying. There’s an LAA Pilot Coaching course you can take, too.

April’s Coaching Corner mentioned the CAA’s SafetySense leaflet on ‘Strip Sense’, with a picture of its front cover. As sharp-eyed members will have noticed, the CAA has recently updated that particular leaflet with a different cover. The new version is not quite so comprehensive as its predecessor with regard to strip ownership, but does provide a lot of useful guidance. However, if you are new to strip flying, proper practical training is available from LAA Coaches via the Pilot Coaching Scheme Strip Flying diploma – ■

Coaching Corner July 2022 | |

The latest LAA Engineering topics and investigations. Compiled by

Engineering Matters

Including: Engine mount maintenance, propeller bolts and correct torque values, Permit revalidation applications…

Welcome to Engineering Matters – the section of Light Aviation that is dedicated to discussing all manner of topics concerning both technical and operational aspects of the LAA fleet. If you have anything to say that you think would benefit others, then please email words and pictures to LAA Engineering at

Engine mounts

Engine mounts have to cope with a lot as they transmit the loads from the engine and propeller, through to the airframe.

It is not uncommon for the taildragger variants of the Van’s RV engine mounts to suffer from cracking, as they are also the mounting points for the main undercarriage, and are therefore subjected to the associated loads from that area, too.

There have been two examples found recently on Rotax-powered aircraft where engine mount tubes have cracked through completely and not at the more common failure area of a weld cluster.

LAA Inspector, William McMinn, reported that one of the aircraft he oversees is a Sting TL200 UK that has flown for approximately 1,000 hours. After landing, recently, the engine started to run roughly with a lot of vibration. Once the engine cowlings had been removed the owners discovered a fractured engine mount tube. The engine mount is to be replaced by a new one.

It is always good to not instantly jump to conclusions, but look at the complete picture. A vibrating or rough running engine might be a physical issue with the engine itself, such as an ignition system defect or a failed cylinder. It can also be as a result of something like a failed engine mount, which allows the engine to vibrate and that in turn upsets the engine, causing it to run rough. With the Rotax 912

series of engines, the carburettors do not take kindly to excessive vibration as it can upset the fuel delivery resulting in a rough running engine – a result not cause.

The other aircraft with a failed mount was a Zenair CH CH 601UL, with around 500 hours total time flown. The owner spotted the failed engine mount tube on the pre-flight check. It is not always practicable (i.e. easy!) to remove engine cowlings on a ‘Check A’, but it can certainly pay dividends at times, such as in this case.

As engine mounts are stressed items, a repair should be carried out in accordance with the requirements of LAA Technical Leaflet TL 3.05 with an LAA/MOD 8 Repair Proposal submitted to LAA Engineering.

There are various ways to mitigate potential problems with engine mounts, such as having propellers dynamically balanced and ensuring that the engine shock mounts are in good order. The shock mounts can easily be contaminated by oil and suffer if exposed to excess heat, such as being close to the exhaust system.

It has long been an industry standard on certified aircraft to paint engine mounts black. A lighter colour is a much better idea, as cracks tend to appear as a dark line, so are not easily spotted on something painted black. As was mentioned last month in Engineering Matters, powder coating can also mask defects.

Engine mounts are often used as a convenient place for securing hoses and wiring looms and whatever is used as the securing device, ensure it cannot move, as it is this relative movement that will lead to chafing, removal of the protective coating, leading to corrosion issues. Suitable securing methods might be rubber coated ‘cushion clamp’ P-clips or even the relatively new invention (1956) of cableties. Some will no doubt reel away in horror at the thought of using cable ties but they do work provided decent quality ones are used and fitted correctly.

30 | LIGHT AVIATION | July 2022
Above Sting engine mount fractured tube – not an easy place to inspect. Above The Zenair engine mount failure –fortunately, not a common problem. Above With the Sting engine mount removed, it is not hard to see why the engine vibrated.

Propeller bolts and torque

LAA Engineering design engineer, Andy Draper, deals with the majority of the propeller change modification applications and has been looking into the correct torque values for propeller attachment bolts.

There are a number of factors involved in ascertaining the correct torque of any bolt and this is particularly important when it comes to propeller attachment bolts.

Not only is it the strength of the bolt that is important in working out the correct torque value but also the material used for the actual propeller. For instance, there have been a multitude of different woods used in propeller manufacturing over the years and each type of wood will have a specific ‘compression strength across the grain’ value, i.e. a ‘crush’ value.

The primary source of information to correctly install a particular propeller should be the propeller manufacturer. If the propeller manufacturer does not specify the attachment bolt torque, then the next source of information should be the airframe manufacturer and then, the engine manufacturer.

If all other attempts at finding out the required information fails, then it must be ensured that the maximum torque value for the bolt is not exceeded. The type of bolt used should also be specified by the propeller, airframe or engine manufacturer. When smaller diameter bolts are specified (it is not uncommon to see ¼in AN bolts called up on the smaller airframe/engine/propeller installations), the required torque can be quite close to the maximum allowed for that bolt.

Various locking methods are used for propeller bolts – sometimes they use nuts (normally of the self-locking variety, something else to be considered if calculating a torque value), and at other times they screw into threaded bushes pressed into the engine crankshaft propeller flange. Quite often, propeller bolts are wire locked, which in itself might be considered a bit of an art form, but is easily achievable by everyone, with a bit of practice.

Bolts produced specifically for propeller attachment normally have a longer threaded section than standard bolts. Something to be considered if the installation calls up the use of a standard bolt.

Bulldog fatigue meters and Tiger Moth tie-rods

Mark Miller of de Havilland Support Ltd has good news for Bulldog owners, the fatigue meter overhaul capability is shortly to be restored and DHSL will be issuing an associated Service Letter shortly. Also, DHSL have had 300 Tiger Moth tie-rods manufactured and should be available for purchase soon.

ELT retention by velcro strap

Although intended primarily for certified aircraft, the FAA have issued Special Airworthiness Information Bulletin HQ-13-32 concerning Emergency Locator Transmitters ELT) that are secured by ‘hook and loop’ (commonly referred to by the trademarked name of ‘Velcro’) straps and mountings.

EASA has highlighted this FAA SAIB by issuing its own Safety Information Bulletin SIB 2013-04R1.

From the EASA SIB: “In several aircraft accidents, ELTs mounted with textile style fasteners have detached from their aircraft mounting. The separation of an ELT from its mount could cause the antenna connection to sever, rendering the ELT ineffective. The separation of an ELT from its mounting may also cause damage to other parts of the aircraft or pose a risk of parts detached from aeroplanes.”

‘Hook and loop’ fasteners are used in a variety of ways in light aircraft, including for the ‘temporary’ installation of handheld radios and tablets. This recommendation by EASA is relevant wherever this method of installation is utilised:

“EASA recommends in addition that textile style fasteners are inspected for signs of damage, loss of function, wear, or onset of deterioration over its entire length but especially where contact to other materials (buckles, loops, rings) or where it is glued or welded.”

Operating limitations document

An Operating Limitations document is issued for most LAA administered aircraft and are airframe specific. Currently, the types that are not issued with an Operating Limitations document being factory-built gyros, factory-built microlights and aircraft still operating on an EASA Permit to Fly and the Permit to Fly will include the relevant information.

The Operating Limitations document forms part of the legally required Permit to Fly documentation and is directly referred to in the actual Permit to Fly:

‘This Permit to Fly is issued subject to the Conditions listed on the subsequent pages and Light Aircraft Association (LAA) Operating Limitations.’

From the emails and telephone calls received, it is apparent that many owners do not realise the importance of the Operating Limitations document or indeed even know where the one is for their aircraft.

When aircraft are sold, the new owners should ensure that all the required documentation is supplied, including the Operating Limitations document. Replacements are available from the LAA for a £20 fee.

July 2022 | LIGHT AVIATION | 31 Engineering Matters
Above ANC 18 ‘Design of Wood Aircraft Structures’ includes an incredible amount of information on a wide variety of types of wood. Wire locking of propeller bolts is a routine – and an art worth practising.

Kitfox low fuel alert sensor

Kitfox owner, Dave Piercy, has alerted us (if you’ll excuse the pun) to a failure in his aircraft’s low fuel warning system. The fuel system header tank has an optical sensor fitted that should send a signal, I presume, to a warning light when the sensor is not immersed in fuel.

While refurbishing the aircraft, Dave tested the system and found it wasn’t working. On removing the sensor, he found that it was showing signs that it may have possibly been adversely affected by contact with fuel, although, according to the manufacturer’s data, that model (Carlo Gavazzi VP03E) should be ‘resistant to various solvents’ and that it has ‘high chemical resistance to most acids and bases’.

Dave reports that: ‘The sensor will have been ‘dry’ for the past two years, as the aircraft has been refurbished. The sensor has never seen any E10 fuel, and my testing has shown little ethanol in the forecourt fuel up to 2020 when the Kitfox was flying. Mogas has been used in the aircraft, almost exclusively’.

Other Kitfox owners using a similar system might contemplate testing their own low fuel warning system and even remove the low

Interesting airspeed indicator failure

While carrying out a check flight on a Europa, LAA Inspector, Toby Willcox, was somewhat surprised to see the air speed indicator scale spin round and slip to the bottom of the instrument.

It would appear that, for whatever reason, the scale attachment screws had worked loose and the (normal) vibration in the climb was enough for them to finally drop out. It appeared that the needle was clear of the scale and acting as it should but to be on the safe side, Toby ‘carried out a stall, noted stick position and noise and just approached with the stick forward of that and the wind/engine noise slightly

EuroFOX Wing trailing edge

Many of the EuroFOX aircraft on the LAA fleet work hard for a living, operating as glider tugs and flying more flight ‘cycles’ than their pleasure flying siblings.

There have been a couple of instances reported, the latest by LAA Inspector Nick Stone, of wing trailing edges cracking. The recent discovery was made by a diligent


The initial indication of a problem was the missing paint on the top surface of the EuroFOX wing.

fuel sensor to check on its condition.

There are two further things to consider with Dave’s discovery. Firstly, it highlights potential issues with components that are in contact with fuel – from seals and O-rings, to hoses, valves and sensors.

The second point is the checking of warning systems. It might be a bit of a pain to routinely drain a header tank to ensure a low fuel alert system is functioning but how else can it be tested? Low oil pressure warning lights can be checked before engine start and similarly, alternator/charging fail lights.

With the multitude of EFIS monitoring systems now in existence, there are many options for the installation warning systems and checking that they function correctly should be included as part of the routine maintenance tasks and their serviceability must not be assumed.

louder but not too loud!’. The subsequent landing was uneventful. Toby’s advice to himself and others following this uncommon failure, is to always note the ASI needle position required for an approximate approach speed prior to take-off if there are secondary instruments and equipment installed (this aircraft had a ‘SmartASS’ ‘speaking air speed indicator fitted) make sure they are turned on – just in case. Toby had not switched on the SmartASS on this flight as he found it could be a distraction but with hindsight it would be better to turn it on and turn the volume down.

gliding club tug washing team who noticed some small flecks of paint missing on the upper surface of the starboard wing, aft of the fuel tank.

Further inspection showed that the trailing edge was flexing and felt no longer attached. On removing the fabric in the area, three sections of the trailing edge fell

out. The cause may be localised turbulent air flow as a result of propeller wash and exacerbated by the aircraft’s operation as a tug and all that it entails.

The trailing edge in this instance is not there for structural purposes, it is more to keep the shape of the wing as a fabric attachment area.

32 | LIGHT AVIATION | July 2022 Engineering Matters
Above Once the fabric had been removed, the damage was obvious. Above The three loose sections of wing trailing edge Left The flow fuel level sensor as removed from the Kitfox. Left How the VP03E sensor looks when new. Above left The Europa ASI just after the screws had fallen out causing the scale to reposition itself. Above right The scale attachment screws are circled resting at the bottom, and above, where they came from.

FWR-1 Permit to fly revalidation applications

Part of the future planning in LAA Engineering is to head towards a more ‘online’ Permit to Fly revalidation process. Plans are afoot to make some steps in this direction in the coming months, but a fully online system will need careful evaluation and planning, and is a longer term project for the Association.

Currently, every LAA administered aircraft has its details and records on a database that is used all the time by LAA Engineering. It is for internal use although some aspects of the database can be accessed by owners by logging onto the LAA website.

Part of the FWR-1 Permit to Fly revalidation application (Section 2: Aircraft Document Check’) requires the Inspector to complete and sign that the installed engine and propeller are as accepted on the aircraft’s Operating Limitations document, the only Permit to Fly documents where this is stated.

It is quite common to see that owners have filled in this section on behalf of the Inspector and it is even more common to

LAA Engineering housekeeping

have incorrect or missing information included in the FWR-1 Section 2: Aircraft Document Check. The Inspector is taking responsibility for the completion of this section.

The completion of the Aircraft Document Check is not supposed to be a copying exercise from a previous Permit to Fly revalidation application but an actual physical comparison of what is on the Operating Limitations document, against what engine and propeller are actually bolted to the aircraft.

When an FWR-1 is received, the information included in the Aircraft Documents Check section, is compared to that stated on the aircraft’s Operating Limitations document and on the LAA Engineering database. If there are any differences between the Operating Limitations document and what is recorded as installed on the FWR-1, these issues will need to be resolved before the Permit to Fly can be revalidated.

To ensure that, as and when the time comes to have a more ‘automated’ system

Operating limitations In addition to the piece in this Engineering Matters about Operating Limitations documents, please note that to ensure that there is only one issue of an aircraft’s Operating Limitations document in existence, when the document is being reissued, owners will be asked to return the original Operating Limitations document to LAA Engineering or send in a photograph of the Operating Limitations document having been cut up. This has to

LAA Engineering charges

LAA Project Registration

Kit Built Aircraft £300

Plans Built Aircraft £50

Initial Permit issue

Up to 450kg £450

451-999kg £550

1,000kg and above £650

Permit Revalidation

(can now be paid online via LAA Shop)

Up to 450kg £170

451-999kg £220

1,000kg and above £260

Factory-built gyroplanes* (all weights) £275

*Gyros note: if the last Renewal wasn’t administered by the LAA, an extra fee of £125 applies

Modification application

Prototype modification minimum £60

Repeat modification minimum £30


for the Permit to Fly revalidations, the information stored on the database must be 100% accurate. This in turn relies on the correct information being provided on the FWR-1 application.

Therefore, please do check the accuracy of the information submitted on the application thoroughly and do not be surprised if an email is received requesting further information on an engine or propeller that is currently installed if the recorded information is incorrect.

Despite the high numbers of Permit to Fly revalidation applications being received this time of year, we do still try to process them within a day or two of receipt.

If there are issues with an application, this can lead to delays whilst emails are written and replies received.

Please check the whole FWR-1 form very carefully before posting it off to LAA Engineering – and don’t forget to check the correct postage fee is paid. Underpaid post gets diverted en route by Royal Mail and can take a week or more to appear.

be the original, laminated, Operating Limitations document as supplied by LAA Engineering – not a photocopy.

LAA Engineering response times We are now into the busiest time of year for LAA Engineering. Please be understanding if emails take longer to be replied to and applications are not dealt with quite as quickly as you might like. ■

LAA Fleet Summary

New Projects Registered in 2022: 29

Permit to Fly First Issues in 2022: 26

(from C of A to Permit or CAA Permit to LAA Permit)

Up to 450kg £150

451 to 999kg £250

1,000kg and above £350

Four-seat aircraft

Manufacturer’s/agent’s type acceptance fee £2,000

Project registration royalty £50

Category change

Group A to microlight £150

Microlight to Group A £150

Change of G-Registration fee

Issue of Permit documents following G-Reg change £55

Replacement Documents

Lost, stolen etc (fee is per document)£20

PLEASE NOTE: When you’re submitting documents using an A4-sized envelope, a first-class stamp is insufficient postage.

Permit to Fly Revalidations - 2022: 929

Recent Alerts & AILs (check the LAA website for further details)

Zivko Aeronautics Inc. Edge 360, Edge 540 and

Laser Z200: Aileron Centre Hinge Attachment

CAA MPD: 2022-001

LAA Alert: A-001-2022

MT-03, MTOsport, MTOsport 2017, Calidus and Cavalon: Rotor Blade Inspection/Replacement/


CAA MPD: 2002-002

LAA Alert: A-002-2022

TLAC Escapade and Sherwood Scout: Seat locking and Secondary Seat Restraint

CAA MPD: 2022-004-E

LAA TSB: TSB-001-2022

Europa: Door Latch System Stop

CAA MPD: 2022-003

LAA AIL: MOD/247/012

LAA Alert: LAA/AWA/21/08

Adjustable Seats in General Aviation Aircraft

CAA Safety Notice SN-2022/001: Security and locking of adjustable seats

July 2022 | LIGHT AVIATION | 33 Engineering Matters

Job satisfaction!

It was £6 a week. That was what became my weekly wage when I left school in 1971 to commence work as an ‘on-the-job-training’ aircraft engineer at Personal Plane Services at Booker Airfield. My direction had been cast by my childhood family home being squarely within the circuit of White Waltham Airfield. Dad worked at ML Aviation on the airfield (lots of MOD work), and I remember well watching from the family garden as Gannets and the Rotodyne to and froed from WW. That was inspiring enough, but on top of that, our next door neighbour was a DC-3 pilot for WW-based Fairey Air Surveys. On returning to base after an extended mission, often overseas, it was his routine to pass ‘low and slow’ over next door’s rooftop to remind ‘her indoors’ to put the kettle on. On hearing it approaching, if I ran quickly enough, I could make it outside in time to soak in the full drama. This made such an impression on me as a young boy – and it was the sight, sound and ‘feel’ of those occasions which set me on my

path. Anyway, I did get a rise, and I spent the next 20 years at Booker, fully engrossed in a busy aircraft maintenance and repair business, sharing a hangar with, at its peak, an engineer-staff of up to 15.

Doug Bianchi was the boss, and throughout the 1970s and half the 1980s, PPS looked after the aircraft of two active flying schools, each with an extensive fleet of spam-cans, and dozens of ‘private owners’ bringing in a whole variety of different aircraft types. This was interesting, but was just the ‘bread and butter’. What made the role particularly fascinating was the work being done to restore, maintain and operate a whole range of vintage and classic aircraft. In its time, PPS was recognised as the leading ‘go to’ organisation if you wanted to operate something unusual. The company benefited from the patronage of several wealthy customers, who entrusted the welfare of their collections to PPS. Not least of these was the Hon Patrick Lindsay, who included in his collection a Fieseler Storch, Fiat G46, Morane 230, Harvard, and Spitfire MK1, G-AIST. Spitfire MKIX G-ASJV (MH434) of Sir Adrian Swire was our baby too throughout my stay. Looking after a

As he approaches retirement from the role of LAA Engineering Chief Inspector, Ken Craigie takes a look back on over 31 years of of heading up the LAA’s team of Inspectors
34 | LIGHT AVIATION | July 2022 Special feature
Right A PFA Inspector’s Card from 1974 (Ernie Horsfall), showing Doug Bianchi’s signature as Chief Inspector.

pair of DH Rapides was fun, as well as was being involved with a couple of Mosquitos, a Lysander, and a Yak 11 (in which I cherish the memory of a flight with the late Neil Williams). Another memorable, if intensive, activity was keeping the four Stampes (plus one spare) of the Rothmans Aerobatics Team airworthy and ready to display at weekend airshows – later replaced with Pitts S2As. Doug died in December 1977 (incidentally, the same weekend that Neil Williams was killed in the crash of a Heinkel 111 which he was ferrying to the UK from Spain) and the company continued with his son, Tony, at the helm. Tony continues to this day as one of our longest standing PFA / LAA Inspectors.

Throughout all this, supplying and operating aircraft for film and television provided an interesting backdrop (PPS had been one of the main players in putting together and operating the fleet of ‘Edwardians’ used in the making of Those Magnificent Men and their Flying Machines, at White Waltham and Booker in 1965). For me, the most memorable were Aces High in 1976, The High Roadto China in 1981, and Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade in 1986 – in which I played a ‘small part’!

Many of our customers’ aircraft were operating on a Permit to Fly, and as I eventually passed through the ranks of Chief Inspector and Chief Engineer at PPS, this inevitably

July 2022 | LIGHT AVIATION | 35 Special feature
Above left Ken and pilot Dave Perrin ready to fly off for a film shoot on The High Road to China, in Yugoslavia, in 1981. Above top Actor Tom Selleck getting some cockpit time in one of three Stampes used for the filming of The High Road to China, in Yugoslavia in 1981. Above The camera view during the filming of The High Road to China in Yugoslavia in 1981. A scene from the Aces High set at the back of Booker Airfield, 1976.

brought me into frequent professional contact with the PFA, and in particular the Chief Engineer at the time, John Walker. In the late 1980s, the PFA was going through a time of change. The kit aircraft industry was ‘taking off’ and the airworthiness-business side of the PFA was burgeoning.

Unfortunately, John was not in the best of health and frankly, was not keeping up with increasing demands from the membership, nor indeed from the CAA. This developing situation was recognised by some of the PFA’s movers and shakers of the time, and it was this that brought about the move to increase the headcount and employ new staff –hence the adverts went out for a new Chief Engineer (enter Francis Donaldson) and, for the first time, a full-time Chief Inspector. I spotted the advert in a Flight International magazine while jetting off one day on holiday, and the rest, as they say, is history.

‘amateur’ aircraft engineers seeking to be ‘approved’ as Inspectors (in those days, licensed aircraft engineers didn’t need to be separately approved as Inspectors). Following Doug’s death, Frankie Hounslow (ex-Rollason and Tiger Club) had become an ‘honorary’ unpaid Chief Inspector, and had been in the role for quite a few years by the time I came along.

Some interesting (to me at least) statistics follow. There had been 454 Inspectors approved up to the end of 1990, so the first Inspector number that I issued was No 455. The latest number issued, as of today, is No 968, so a total of 514 Inspectors have come on stream during ‘my watch’. As of today, there are a total of 358 current Inspectors. We get a churn of around a dozen per year, but of the original first 100 Inspectors (a point reached during 1974), only six are still approved as LAA Inspectors. Of the second 100, nine remain approved. Of the 454 Inspectors approved prior to my appointment, 76 remain current today. And of the 69 Inspectors with a number 900 upwards, 67 are still approved. It will be an occasion to behold when my successor gets around to issuing number 1,000, and will be an event worthy of some celebration, I would imagine, and I look forward to being invited to the party!

Moving to West Sussex, I started work for the PFA in January 1991, based in the wonderful art deco Terminal Building at Shoreham Airport. Like Francis, I expect, I had anticipated that I would be guided into my new role gently, but it turned out that only a couple of months passed before John Walker was ‘retired’ (and he died not very many years after that); and so both Francis and I found ourselves in at the deep end, forcing us to learn the art of treading the regulatory water very quickly. On reflection, this was probably a good thing, as we were both able to develop practises and procedures from afresh, without incumbrance, and it wasn’t long before the membership at large was benefiting from an improved service, and in short order, relations with the CAA were tangibly bettered.

Getting stuck into the job, I soon came to appreciate that the PFA Inspector system was actually something very precious. The LAA’s roots go back to the late 1940s, but it wasn’t until the mid-1960s that a ‘managed’ Inspector system started to become formalised. Doug Bianchi was pivotal to the development of PFA Engineering at this time, and was the first to be identified as the ‘Chief Inspector’, albeit on a part-time and volunteer basis. There is a lot of historic correspondence in our archives, which show Doug accepting (or sometimes rejecting) applications from

When describing the inspectorate, the words ‘volunteer’, ‘expert’ and ‘dedicated’ could never be overused. The PFA was thriving on the back of, well, scores of qualified and highly experienced aircraft engineers, many having been active during and immediately post-WWII, and who were genuinely willing and enthusiastic to donate their expertise in getting otherwise-non flying ‘amateurs’ airborne. I think that the amateur aircraft-building industry has since turned around. It all started with a culture of putting in as much labour as possible to avoid as much cost as possible, whereas the trend these days is weighted towards spending whatever it takes to avoid as much work as possible. I’m not saying that’s a bad thing, but the tradition of Inspectors expecting to be rewarded with the cost of a beer or a gallon of petrol is the exception rather than the rule these days –understandable when it’s now become common to see projects being completed for upwards of £80K.

Notwithstanding that, I suspect that most Inspectors find that seeing another aircraft take safely to the skies is their real motivation.

I often hear concerns about the perceived increasing average age of Inspectors. Well, yes, overall, it is advancing, but only in line with about every other comparable demographic group considered. Without wishing to spook any current Inspectors who may be feeling a little ‘under the weather’, the whole matter is rather self-regulating. On the positive side, a quick analysis of the last 20 newly approved Inspectors reveals an average age of 51 (and with some in their 20s), so while age is not a particular issue focused on during recruitment, I do think this factor should allay fears that the whole system might suddenly collapse through a sudden outbreak of ‘old age’.

Naturally, safety of our members is always the prime consideration of all the LAA Engineering personnel, and it would be neglectful if I did not raise this matter within this article. It is a raw fact that since 1991, there have been 91 fatal accidents occurring to LAA aircraft, with many of those of course involving a double fatality. There were many serious injuries too. Not one of those events passed by

Special feature 36 | LIGHT AVIATION | July 2022
cost thing,
A staff photo from the mid-1980s showing the guys at PPS. Tony Bianchi at the prop, and Ken squatting by the starboard wheel.

without leaving a permanent scar on the fabric of the Engineering department, whether or not there was any technical aspect to the occurrence – however, we can all take some heart from the following analysis. The rate of all ‘reportable’ accident types occurring to the LAA fleet as a whole runs at around 60 per year, and this rate has been constant since 1991. When viewed against a continuously expanding fleet size, from less than 1,000 PFA aircraft in 1991, to nearly 3,000 LAA aircraft now (and with aircraft consistently averaging between 35 and 45 hours per year), the net result is a demonstrably improving safety record.

I wouldn’t dare to presume what may be the main factors influencing this trend, and my best guess would be a little bit from a whole lot of things, but I will stick my neck out and proffer that an experienced, motivated and well supported LAA inspectorate will have been at least one positive element.

Talking of accidents, one event that should feature highly in any memoir of mine was the good fortune the owner and I had to have suffered only minor injury when, in 1992, flying just off the Algarve coast in Portugal, one ignition

coil on the Rotax 532 fitted to a Renegade Spirit decided to fail. With the engine running on the one remaining coil, we were unable to maintain altitude, and the pilot did well to get us back over the cliffs and find a gap between the boulders to pull off a ‘successful’ forced-landing, though as you will probably guess from the photo (below), the aircraft never flew again.

A large chunk of the LAA’s annual expenditure goes towards ensuring that all of our Inspectors are insured for their activities as an Inspector, and it is a sad fact that over the years there have been a few occasions where the LAA Engineering department has needed to engage with ‘ambulance chasing’ legal teams aiming to progress a claim.

Francis and I have both accrued a degree of ‘court time’ over years gone by, and we have learned that it can be expensive to defend a claim, even when you have done nothing wrong. Inevitably, this is always very time consuming and imposes quite a drain on our resources. This is an unfortunate and depressing reality, but one which, as we all know, is unlikely to fade any time soon.

An important feature of my tenure is that I have made a

July 2022 | LIGHT AVIATION | 37
“A vital part of my time was making a point of getting to know every Inspector personally
Above The real Sean Connery with the modified Stampe in Spain. Above Ken kitted out as Sean Connery’s double for the live flying scenes in Indiana Jones and the last Crusade, in Spain in 1986. Jonathan Whaley was my ‘Indiana Jones! The scene of the accident in Portugal in which the owner and Ken were fortunate to escape with minor injury. Ken’s first three company cars, all in the same place for one moment in time – not all the kids belong to Ken!

point of getting to know every Inspector personally, and I don’t think there is one who could walk in unannounced whom I could not immediately recognise and greet on first name terms (and sadly, usually remember their Inspector number too!). Routine visits, along with the need for occasional auditing etc, coupled with being called out to deal with all kinds of inspection and airworthiness issues, means I have met up with most Inspectors at their place of work too (when aviation related). The range of skills, craftsmanship and achievement so readily evident within the whole LAA community has so often been breath-taking (mind you, I’ve seen several horrors too, but that’s another story…). All of this has been one hell of an education for me, and I really hope that the ‘personal touch’ strategy can endure going forward.

I have also enjoyed turning out to deliver more than 100 ‘talks’ to LAA Struts, and other local aviation groups, usually woven into trips to visit Inspectors. It’s been a pleasure to have met so many ‘rank and file’ PFA / LAA members in this way, and fantastic to have visited pretty much every corner of the UK. Most of this was done pre sat-nav, finding my way with reference to a road atlas, and often a torch (and no mobile phone, in the early days), and now I just can’t imagine how on Earth I ever managed! Looking back, I reckon I have covered close to half-a-million PFA / LAA miles in 31 years, using up seven company cars in the process. I wish I could say I’d never bent one, but I can at least say I

never hit anything that was able to claim back, and I always got home!

It has forever been a form of standing ‘joke’ within LAA offices that when an aircraft turns out well, or is used to attract good publicity, the LAA quite rightly takes the opportunity to loudly broadcast the merits of ‘our’ Inspectors, but when things don’t go to plan, perhaps when there is a complaint made about a quality matter, then the gist is “Ken, ‘your’ Inspector…”. Oh well, it goes with the territory I guess!

Despite that, I can say that I have enjoyed my aviation career so far. It’s a fact that after 51 years of working life, I am still often rubbing shoulder-to-wing with the same airframes that I laid tools to back in my formative years, and often still meeting and hearing from the same faces and characters that I remember from all that time ago. As an aside, I feel privileged to have never spent a working day without a view over a grassy airfield. Hares, painted ladies, skylarks and sunsets have always been an integral part of my life, and when mixed with the beat of a RR Merlin, there’s nothing better. And now, having spent 13 years based at Shoreham Airport, and having brought up two lovely daughters in that part of the world before moving to Northamptonshire, you can add the ‘smell of the sea’ to that list. Moving back to the south coast now beckons as a short-term ambition.

So, on the basis of half-baked qualification, no skills and a modicum of knowledge, have I ‘winged’ it for half a century? Well, yes, of course I have. I’ve had the privilege of working with a fine team at Shoreham and that continues today at Turweston, where one could not ask for better company. I am confident that LAA members remain in great hands both on the engineering, and on the commercial side.

In signing off, I would like to thank the membership, and our army of Inspectors in particular, for all of your inputs over the years, and especially for keeping me on my toes so vigorously! It has been an honour to have headed up such a skilled and experienced team. I wish my successor all the very best, and while the job will undoubtedly bring significant challenges, I will say that if they have half the fun and satisfaction I have enjoyed, they will be holding no regrets. ■

38 | LIGHT AVIATION | July 2022 Special feature
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Above An LAA Inspector meeting at Coventry –August 2011
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Money matters

Steve Slater summarises the Association’s financial performance for 2021

Each year, ahead of the formal presentation of our annual accounts at the Annual General Meeting in October (see AGM notice in News), we share the financial information with all members in Light Aviation magazine. This year’s summary, fresh from the auditors, shows our income and expenditure for 2021, along with our planned performance in 2022, and our future planning for 2023 and beyond.

In April, our accounts for the past year were given their formal audit by our accountants, Henson Rees Russell LLP and, as I would have hoped, given a clean bill of health to both our accounting processes and our governance, even taking into account the challenging times we have faced in the past year or two.

No one could have predicted the exceptional circumstances we have all endured over the past couple of years. As part of our long-term contingency planning, we maintain a ‘risk register’, which lists theoretical challenges and how we might respond. I never expected that we might face the risk of ‘a total stop on recreational flying’, which was marked as ‘high risk, but low likelihood’ on our register.

In fact, due to Covid we had to endure it twice. Then there was the cancellation of the 2020 LAA Rally and, despite a highly successful 2021 event at Sywell, a longer-term effect in forcing the relocation of the 2022 event to Popham. And, while not directly affecting the 2021 accounts, we are now managing the challenges

Key: ■

Income vs Expenditure

posed by the extraordinary increase in fuel and other costs, as a result of the conflict in the Ukraine.

In fact, those challenges have brought out the best in the LAA, both from the staff, Inspectors and members. The LAA inspectorate and HQ airworthiness team successfully handled a huge post-lockdown ‘bow-wave’ of Permit renewals, even while the office team were still home-working in line with Covid restrictions.

In addition, we were able to reap the benefits of our past investment in remote Cloud-based IT systems, while innovative, hybrid ways of working were adopted to facilitate everything from LAA Board and AGM meetings, to monthly ‘Virtual Pub Nights’, which provided another means of keeping in touch with members. A big thank you to everyone who contributed to that achievement.

The 2021 accounts

So, what has been the effect on our finances? Well, in overall terms we performed better than we might have expected. Overall incoming revenues returned to pre-Covid levels with 2021 at £1,306,006; in comparison with the dip to £1,196,160 in 2020 and £1,308,724 in pre-Covid 2019.

Membership and Permit renewal make up more than 80% of incoming funds, and membership income at £520,006 was up 6% on 2020 (£491,989), due to a combination of recovery in membership levels and the increase in membership fees, which we initiated at the start of 2021. Permit renewals were up 4% at £621,508 against £597,380 in 2020.

That’s income, so what about our costs? You may remember that in 2019, prior to Covid having its effect, the Board agreed to use our reserves to enable increased engineering staffing levels, both to improve the level of service to members and to provide longer-term succession planning resulting in planned short-term deficits. This, together with other increases in costs mentioned below, increased overall costs from £1,326,030 in 2019 to £1,333,560 in 2020 and to £1,484,376 in 2021.

Including funds received from our investments and other assets, our deficit for the financial year 2021 was £157,360, up from £113,920 in 2020. It should be emphasised that this is a short-term loss, or rather an investment of cash held within the Association. This total included the allocation of £48,700 towards engineering restructuring costs, which included the recruitment of John Radcliffe as Engineering Director, facilitating the transition of leadership from Francis Donaldson at the end of the year, with Francis remaining in a consultative capacity in the coming years.

40 | LIGHT AVIATION | July 2022 Financial update
As a result of this strategy, the Association’s reserves have fallen from £1,293,448 to £1,130,479 in the past year. However, to put it in perspective, this is the same level of reserves as we maintained in 2017 and the Board Expenditure


remains confident that these are more than adequate to meet any short-term challenges, and the long-term future needs of the Association.

One of the big decisions made at the end of 2021 was to renew our tenancy for the LAA HQ building at Turweston. Its lease is a significant cost and we looked at other sites in the area as well as the possibility of buying a facility and asked the question, if home-working works, do we need such a large office space? Ultimately, we decided that while a move to more flexible working is a likely way to boost efficiency in the immediate future, Turweston’s location, along with the steady increases in training in the HQ’s classrooms and workshops, is the way forward to even better services based around Turweston.

We also worked hard with our insurance broker to hold back the rising cost of our insurance coverage, which includes liability cover of up to £20 million for Member Club and Strut events and liability cover for staff, Inspectors and Pilot Coaches when they are working on behalf of the LAA. Until 2020 we typically paid around £85,000 for this. However, the preponderance of ‘no win no fee’ litigation and our need to defend ourselves from the claims they generate, has meant that premiums last year rose to over £110,000. We thought they might even reach £130,000 per annum. For the coming year, we have at least been able to maintain the same costs as last year.

While we seek to maintain sound cost control there are clearly external pressures on expenditure that will affect us. The rising oil costs have not just affected our fuel bills, but also areas such as printing this magazine, which has seen a 53% rise in print costs in the past six months.



■ Membership

■ Other

■ Investment

■ Magazine advertising

■ Engineering

■ Rally


■ Wages, salaries

■ Other

■ Training/course

■ Rally

■ Engineering restructuring

■ HQ Rent and expenses

■ Admin IT and operations

■ Liability Insurance

■ Magazine

The good news is that magazine advertising revenues began to show a small recovery by the year end at £96,765 and few seem to have noticed the cost-saving move back to stapled rather than bound editions a few months ago. We also moved our distribution from Royal Mail to a third-party supplier last year, reducing these costs by more than £5,000 per annum, so don’t worry, the future of Light Aviation is secure!

The future

Looking ahead to 2023 and beyond, as our reorganisations bear fruit, in particular by restructuring workload and additional income from training courses, we had anticipated a return to zero-deficit (or better) by late 2023.

Of course, we are now looking at the inflationary pressures surrounding wages and other costs and this could mean increases in some areas of fees, but even against that, we are still planning to be able to minimise the cost to members while planning to return to break even by 2024 and still offer the best value to members in terms of support, permits and training to keep us and our aircraft flying in the most cost-effective manner possible. ■

July 2022 | LIGHT AVIATION | 41 Financial update

Struts 4U

Sam exclaimed, “I like to see the sheep looking like clouds and the cows looking like zebra crossings…”, after landing on his Young Eagles flight with the Bristol Strut in 2003. The rewards for pilots flying with young people are as enjoyable as is the flight for those taking to the air for the first time, and in the 1990s and early 2000s many of the Struts were involved in the Experimental Aircraft Association’s Young Eagles Scheme.

Launched in 1992 Young Eagles is a programme designed to give children, between the ages of eight and 17, an opportunity to experience flight in a General Aviation aeroplane, while educating them about aviation.

The goal was to fly one million children prior to the 100th anniversary of flight celebration on December 17, 2003. That goal was achieved on November 13, 2003, and was followed by an ongoing commitment of introducing 100,000 young people each year after that. The programme is offered free of charge with costs covered by the volunteers. The flights were often offered to children with disabilities and, in the case of the Bristol Strut, from the oncology department of the local hospital.

In the early months of 2001 much of the UK was affected by Foot and Mouth disease, which paused recreational flying in many areas. However, later on many of the PFA Struts, including the Swindon Strut, where half the children flown were young carers, Royal Berkshire Strut, Andover Strut and Devon Strut were able to continue the programme to the relief of the participants. Sadly the involvement with Young Eagles came to an end in 2003, but Andre Faehndrich’s ‘Young Aviators Day’ meets

annually at Sywell involving young people in many different activities and giving them an opportunity for a flight.

At Bodmin, home of the Cornwall Strut, Feet off the Ground continues to give young people an opportunity to fly, and this summer is involved again with Bader Braves, an initiative offering support, friendship and unique experiences to children affected by limb loss or any other form of disability. Pete White is often to be seen surrounded by groups of school children at the airfield sharing his enthusiasm for flight!

Giving young people the opportunity to fly has become challenging over recent years for the Struts and other clubs and groups, but opportunities are still to be found in the form of scholarships. Following news of an award recently given to Amy Playle at RAF Halton in May, Mike Clews from the Joystick Club writes, “I have always been looking for additional ways to help the youth of today and encourage them to take an active interest in aviation. Historically this has, and does, involve attending events with Pedal Planes and Cockpit Simulators, however I have taken this to a higher level with the funding of a young person to learn to glide.

“The Joystick Club is providing all the funding to enable Amy to learn to glide with the aim being to achieve her first solo flight. Amy will train at RAF Halton with the RAF Gliding and Soaring Association. The formal presentation of the award was held in the hangar at RAF Halton.” Amy is pictured on the right with Mike Clews and Dave Scott (Joystick Club). Dave had worked together with Mick Boyden, from the gliding club, to find a suitable recipient of this award. Amy was signed on as a member of the

42 | LIGHT AVIATION | July 2022
Above Eshott Airfield – invites homeschooling groups for hangar tours. Top right Amy Playle - recipient of a training award from the Joystick Club with Mike Clews and Dave Scott. Right bottom A Friday Night ‘LAA Pub’ Zoom meeting taking place at Perth.
LAA Strut News

gliding club that evening and was eagerly awaiting her first flight the following day.

As seen in the June issue of Light Aviation, Aviation Art for young people is a project we set up in 2017 which gives young people the opportunity to design, draw, and colour in a picture of aircraft. Until last year we sent the UK winning entries to the FAI’s international competition. A flight, funded by the LAA, in a light aircraft was the UK first prize. This year we have a change of focus and can be found busy with enthusiastic young artists at Shuttleworth’s Air Shows, where we are catering for younger children and using aircraft caricatures. Some Struts, including the Suffolk Strut, have joined in this initiative, along with the Guild of Aviation Artists, and families take the opportunity to engage in aviation activities and have fun!

The LAA’s YES Strut is well known as providing many opportunities for having fun and providing innovative activities, usually involving a lot of noise, at airshows and other venues. All of us who enjoy seeing the delight of involvement in the huge smiles on young faces are encouraged to continue volunteering and provide young people and their parents with another way into aviation.

We would encourage consideration of providing an opportunity for involvement with young people at fly-ins and other Strut events this summer. The excellent LAA activity booklet for young people, Airfield Adventures, is available from LAA HQ and is a good starting point for families at any event.

Finally, a note of congratulations to all who negotiated various weather systems to enjoy the Scottish Tour for LAA members and Struts. There was a little trepidation and much anticipation among those whom I joined at Breighton at the beginning of the tour and I, like many others, enjoyed following the story as the assortment of aircraft flew back and forth across Scotland. Having followed the journey via the internet it was good to be involved with the Friday Zoom ‘LAA Pub Night’ from Perth and see the view across the airfield. Well done to all the Struts, Clubs and airfields who hosted the Tour – and to Neil Wilson who kept his fingers crossed throughout! ■

Strut Calendar

Please confirm details with Struts before attending any calendar events.

Andover Strut: Spitfire Club, Popham Airfield, SO21 3BD. 1930. 3 July - LAA and Bolkow Fly-In; 11 July – Summer Social Evening Fly-In; 8 August – Summer Social Evening Fly-in; 28 August – Barton Ashes Fly-In. Details contact Bob Howarth

Phone no. 01980 611124

Bristol Strut: BAWA Club, Filton, 1930. BAWA Club, Filton, 1930 www.

Cornwall Strut: The Clubhouse, Bodmin Airfield. Virtual Zoom meetings throughout winter months. 16 July – Bader Braves (Douglas Bader Foundation); 23-24 July – VAC and LAA Meet the Members Fly-In; 31 July – Lundy Sunday; 13August – Cornish Pasty Fly-In; 14 August – Cornwall Sports Car Club and Fly-In. Contact Pete White 01752 406660

Devon Strut: The Exeter Court Hotel, Kennford, Exeter. 1930. 16 July – Farway Common; 30 July – Devon Strut Fly-In to MiddleZoy; 6 August– Dunkeswell, Devon Strut Fly-in. Contact: david.millin@

East of Scotland Strut: 9-10 July – Lamb Holm; 30 July – Kilkeel, Northern Ireland. Harrow Hotel, Dalkeith. 2000. Contact:

0131 339 2351.

East Midlands Strut: The Plough, Normanton on Soar. 13 June – AGM. Contact: We also have a Facebook group and upload recordings of some meetings where we have speakers.

Gloster Strut: Summer venue Croft Farm, Defford, WR8 9BN.12 July 19.30. Show and Tell by Tony Ryan-Fecitt on his Pietenpol Air Camper. If flying in PPR by phone 07767 606172. Contact: Harry Hopkins phone 07902 650619 harry.

Highlands & Islands: 9/10 July – Lamb Holm; 23/24 July – Sollas Beach Fly-In; 30/31 July – Easter Airfield, Strut Fly-In. Highland Aviation, Inverness Airport. Contact: 01381 620535.

Kent Strut: Joint Strut fly-in with Devon, Suffolk and Wessex: 16 July – Strut Fly-in at Lee-on-Solent. Half price landings and 10% café discount. PPR by 15 July using code SA-LAA-0722 Contact: Steve Hoskins 07768 984507.

LiNSY Trent Valley Strut: Trent Valley Gliding Club, Kirton Lindsey. pilotbarry1951@gmail. com http://

North East Strut: Fishburn Airfield. Brunch on the third Sunday of each month. 1130-1330 at Fishburn Aviator Cafe. Contact: alannixon297@btinternet. com

North Western Strut: Veterans Lounge, Barton, Manchester, 1930 for 2000. Contact: 07813 497427.

North Wales Strut: Caernarfon Airport, Dinas Dinlle. First Sunday of the month –

HEMS Bistro Café. 1300. Contact: Gareth Roberts 07876 483414.

Oxford Group: Sturdy’s Castle Country Inn, Banbury Road, Kidlington, OX5 3EP. Second Wednesday each month. Sat. 9 July – 50 Anniversary Strut Fly-In to Enstone; 13 July – Strut BBQ, Enstone 1800. (Bookings only by 5 July); 10 August – First build of the new KFA Safari by Dudley Pattison. Contact LAAOxford@gmail.comwww.oxfordlaa.

Redhill Strut: The Dog and Duck, Outwood, Surrey, RH1 5QU. Third Tuesday of each month at 1930. Contact:

Shobdon Strut: Hotspur Café, Shobdon Airfield, Hereford HR6 9NR. 1930.14 July _ Sir Christopher Colville Air Marshall (Ret’d) KCB; 11 August – Proposed flyout to local airfield to be confirmed. Contact: Keith Taylor bushebiggles@sky. com

Southern Strut: The Swiss Cottage, Shoreham-by-Sea, BN43 5TD. First Wednesday of the month. 6 July 1930pm

– GASCo Safety Evening. Contact

Strathtay Strut: Scottish Aero Club, Perth Airport, Scone. Scone Clubhouse. Contact: keith.boardman@peopleserve. 07785 244146.

Suffolk Coastal Strut: Earl Stonham Village Hall, IP14 5HJ - 1930. Sat 9 July

– Annual Strut Fly-in at Monewden Airfield

– PPR at

flyin Sun 10 July – Strut Day at Monewden, including Aerial Treasure

Hunt; Sun 28 Aug – Monewden Airfield

Open Day and Fly-in. Contact: Martyn Steggalls uk / 07790 925142

The Joystick Club: 3 July and 7 August – Joystick Club at Shuttleworth Air Shows with pedal planes and simulator. Contact Mike Clews, 07775 847914.

Vale of York Strut: Chocks Away Café, Rufforth East Airfield.1900. Contact: Chris Holliday 07860 787801


Wessex Strut: Henstridge Airfield Clubhouse. Check Wessex Strut website. 9 July – Strut BBQ at MiddleZoy (Wessex Strut members and friends). Local fortnightly Strut walks organised by Wessex Aviators Leisure Klub. Contact:

West Midlands Strut: Navigator Café, Halfpenny Green Aerodrome 1930.

Contact: Graham Wiley

westmidlandslaastrut@googlegroups. com Stuart Darby stuartdarby134@ or visit

West of Scotland Strut: Bowfield Country Club, Howwood, PA9 1DZ. 1900.

Contact: Neil Geddes barnbethnkg@ 01505 612493.

Youth & Education Support (YES)

– YES stand at Shuttleworth Air Shows.

Contact: Stewart Luck – captainluck@

NB: Thank you to all Struts and clubs. If you have any stories, items you wish to share or updates for the calendar, please contact me at

July 2022 | LIGHT AVIATION | 43 LAA Strut News

Having built a reputation for excellence in the design and manufacture of light aircraft fuel system components within the amateur-build aircraft sector, Andair has now established a significant presence in the commercial aviation market as well.


Sunset chaser

What started your interest in aviation?

My mum made a career working in the airlines as both cabin crew and working on the ground in the terminal. She flew for companies such as Saudia, Lufthansa and Virgin and we would frequently fly to Austria and Sri Lanka to see family. My first ever flight in an airliner was when I was just a few months old! Growing up, I have fond memories of my dad taking me to pick up my mum from Heathrow. We would often make our way to the top level of the car park (before the advent of wire mesh) where we would watch aircraft taking off and landing.

I remember the model Concorde that used to sit on the roundabout at Heathrow. I would shout ‘Concorde!’ every time we passed it. I told my dad I wanted to ‘be’ Concorde when I grew up, but as I got older I realised one could not ‘be’ an aircraft, and so I decided that to pilot it would be the next best option. Unfortunately, Concorde was retired long before I would qualify.

What was your path to flying?

From an early age I always wanted to be a commercial pilot, however the cost of training seemed too much. To me, the next best thing was space and I decided this would be my chosen career path, which led me to studying astronomy at university. I had a strong passion for studying

our universe and I was (and still am) particularly interested in galaxies and their evolution throughout time. It was an incredibly fun degree and led me to visiting and using a number of telescopes around the world. My plan was to continue to do a PhD in the subject and to eventually become a researcher at a university, however life had other plans.

My obsession with astronomy did not see me forgetting aviation, and I took a few trial lessons at RAF Halton along with some glider flights. My father bought me my first trial lesson in a C152 and I remember meeting my instructor for a flight close to sunset. I asked whether we would still be able to go flying so close to dark, to which my instructor said ‘of course!’. Little did I know that this flight would spark a sincere love of sunset flying within me for many years to come, and it was a flight I will never forget.

Following university, I ended up indefinitely postponing my decision to do a PhD and I found a job at a research council, which allowed me to save some money to put towards flight training, and the flexibility to fly a few times a week. My thought had been to do it as a hobby, but that the sunset flight had stuck with me and aviation became a passion of mine that I would have to end up maxing out bank loans and credit cards in order to become a commercial pilot. My hobby would end up doubling as my career – one of the best decisions I have made.

July 2022 | LIGHT AVIATION | 45 Meet the Members
Above Tamara Leitan and her EAA Biplane. Neil Wilson chats to Tamara Leitan about following her aviation dreams…

Flight training is expensive. For me, the only feasible way to afford to do it was through the ‘modular’ route. I gained my PPL at 27, a few years before continuing with my commercial flying. Very soon after completing my PPL, a friend of mine recommended an instructor at Enstone Airfield (the airfield that has become my second home ever since!) and a few months after I received my licence, I went on to complete my tailwheel training, night and aerobatic rating. I have always been someone who likes to run before they can walk!

I was lucky because I had use of a delightful Citabria where I just paid for fuel, and I kept current while flying it on adventures all around the UK. I used this to complete my night rating which was really fun. Being a grass strip, Enstone does not have any runway lights. The only lights available are adequately sized battery powered lights, which you set up yourself before heading off for your night flight. Set them up too close and it becomes difficult to land as visual cues do not make sense, as I found out later on in my flying! I am incredibly grateful for the flying I have been able to do from the grass strip at Enstone.

I went on to fly other tailwheel types including a Pitts, Stearman, Maule and Emeraude, and in 2018, bought my beautiful open cockpit single-seat EAA Biplane. This was partly as a cost-effective way to build hours for the commercial pilots’ licence (CPL), but also because I wanted to learn more about the aircraft I flew and how to maintain them. It has taken me on some incredible adventures around the UK, from farm strips to cloud surfing, and lots of sunset flights. The biplane is also capable of basic aerobatics and so has been a great, and relatively inexpensive, way for me to practice. There is just something marvellous about flying with your head in the clouds!

Above A little snow doesn’t stop Tamara. Below Taxying at the LAA Rally.

I began the dreaded ATPL exams in the spring of 2018. Being modular, I studied from home with Bristol Groundschool. It took me 15 months of a severe hermit-like lifestyle to complete all 14 exams. Once I had completed them, I went on to undertake my CPL and Instrument Rating (IR) on a Duchess, at Bournemouth Commercial Flight Training (BCFT). For me, this too, was a difficult process because as much as I had gained a lot of experience flying from grass strips, flying aerobatics and other tailwheel types, it was quite different flying a nosewheel with a glass cockpit display with a speed tape, and no lovely old-fashioned instruments and gauges. I had also become accustomed to the joys of SkyDemon, so the CPL meant going back to re-learn those basic navigating skills. Nonetheless, I completed my commercial flight training at the beginning of 2020 and began the hunt for a job.

I was incredibly fortunate to be offered a job as a First Officer with Draken Europe flying a Falcon 20 jet from Bournemouth Airport. I completed the Type Rating at the end of 2020, and I’m now living on the beautiful south coast of England. As any other commercial pilot would likely agree with, it can be a difficult journey financially as well as the arduous nature of the process, but it is one that has allowed me to achieve my dream of flying.

How did you get involved with the LAA?

I joined the Association in 2018 when I purchased my EAA Biplane. As I don’t have a background in engineering, the LAA has helped me learn a lot about my own aircraft through being able to maintain it myself with the help of others and an Inspector. It is a great community and provides many opportunities to meet and to fly with other members. I have made a lot of good friends through the LAA community.

I have attended every LAA Rally since passing my PPL, and it’s always a great way to meet other people with similar interests. I have also featured in a few LAA videos promoting aircraft ownership.

How many types and hours in your logbook?

16 types – C152, 172, 182, Pa28, EAA Biplane, Piel Emeraude, Stearman, Pitts Special, Citabria, Aviat Husky, Maule, DA40, DA42, Piper Navajo, Duchess, Falcon 20. I have a total of around 750 hours.

Has one particular type been a favourite?

A difficult question! I fell in love with the Pitts because I really enjoy aerobatics and I am desperate to get into competition flying when finances permit. Plus, biplanes are the best! My EAA Biplane is a close contender as it is perhaps a ‘wannabe’ Pitts but, being low powered, taught me a lot about aerobatics. For touring, the Husky was delightful, very comfortable, huge bush tyres and capable of getting into tiny strips. The Emeraude has possibly the nicest handling out of all the aircraft I have flown, but then the Falcon 20, while an old girl, flies beautifully too. She is the exception, as tailwheels are of course, always best...

Tell us more about the EAA Biplane. It was kit built in the 1980s with a Lycoming O-235

46 | LIGHT AVIATION | July 2022 Meet the Members

engine. It was one of the first tailwheel aircraft I flew. Having a fairly heavy tail, it has no bad habits in crosswinds and has been a great trainer, although it has made me mindful of flying other tailwheel types that are much lighter, so as not to get caught out. I clearly remember my first flight in it, as it was the first single-seat and open cockpit aircraft I had flown. I was oddly nervous at first, but once on that take-off roll, excitement and enjoyment immediately set in. I flew for about 30 minutes over the beautiful bright yellow rapeseed fields that cover our landscape in spring. It has taken me on many adventures around the UK, over the Welsh hills, to small farm strips, and to check out random landmarks that take my fancy all around the country.

Regrettably, she is for sale, as it’s time to pay off some flight training loans.

Your favourite moment in aviation?

There are too many to choose from, but my most memorable flight was when I flew with my partner to Glenforsa Airfield for their annual fly-in. What a weekend!

Spread across a long bank holiday, we took our red and yellow Emeraude, which I call ‘Noddy’s aircraft’ for those colours. It was one of our first adventures in it since my partner had spent over a year making it airworthy after importing it from Denmark! Life jackets on, we flew up on a Friday with unfavourable, but flyable, weather. With only a short break at Kirkbride Airfield for tea, biscuits and a top-up of fuel, we continued our journey past the Isle of Arran and then on to Glenforsa making sure we flew over the famous Corryvreckan whirlpool which lies between the islands of Jura and Scarba off the west coast of Scotland – what a cool sight! We were glad to be in the cockpit rather than on a boat in the swirling waters down below us.

Top left Nothing beats flying with friends… with a few streamers tied on for good measure!

Top right The EAA Biplane and Emeraude share some grass at Charlton Park.

Above left Tamara with Noddy, the Emeraude.

Above right Fingal’s Cave, while flying from Glenforsa.

Right Emeraude on the beach at Barra.

Arriving at Glenforsa, we were met by dozens of RVs, which had been the first to arrive. We stayed at the fantastic Glenforsa Hotel for the weekend and the hotel terrace was a great place to share a beer with friends, both old and new, who arrived after us.

While we were there, we went to Skye to do some exploring (I am a keen climber so Skye is somewhere I have wanted to land at for a long time!), did some low-level sight-seeing via the Cuillin Hills and went to Plockton for a spot of lunch at the Plockton Inn (more delightful seafood!).

On another day’s adventure with a friend in a Super Cub, we made our way to Barra over the isles of Coll and Tiree. It seemed a surprisingly long way in a small aircraft especially when the hazy horizon made it impossible to see both the land of departure and the land we were headed for. Finally, sunny and beachy Barra appeared

Meet the Members July 2022 | LIGHT AVIATION | 47

ahead of us, which posed the question of where exactly we would land. The advice we had received was that we would see the runway markers as we approached on final, but also that the airfield had large puddles covering it in places which made it very difficult to judge where we would land. Being an airfield covered entirely in beach, we could not make out where the runway was and so proceeded to carefully choose a patch that looked the least wet. We, of course, in gentlemanly fashion allowed our Super Cub friend the first landing. Having slightly larger tyres than us, it was a non-event for him.

We went around after the first approach and, having gauged where its tyres touched down, estimated that the ‘splash factor’ was at a minimum here and landed in the same place. Excited was an understatement as we taxied to somewhere on the beach that looked like a parking spot.

It was very windy as we ventured into the tower to pay our dues and to find tea.

After departure, we made sure to orbit around the impressive basalt formations of Fingal’s Cave on our way back, which really is an impressive sight!

We spent the night in a lovely B&B in Rothesay, venturing into the town to enjoy a fish and chips with the local seagulls by the sea and an impressively pink sunset.

Our final day was our transit home, stopping at Prestwick for fuel. Drinking tea with the friendly bunch there, we completely forgot the time, so we were chasing the sunset as we arrived back at home.

It was an amazing weekend with wonderful company and great aeroplanes, and will stick with me forever. I will certainly head back to Glenforsa for another one of its fly-ins, but I’m not sure it will ever be able to top this trip.

Do you prefer touring or farm strip flying?

This is an impossible choice to make! I have had some incredible adventures both abroad and around the UK, however I love farm strip flying in the biplane. One of my favourite things to do is to pick a farm strip that I haven’t visited before and head over on a sunny day. I love to see who I will get to meet – everyone has a different story.

I’ll make an early start and head down to the airfield with a flask of tea. Getting the aircraft ready is a challenge as there is no luggage space, so you’re fitting as many items and snacks as you can into secure spots around the tiny cockpit. Enstone is often unmanned and accepts non-radio aircraft, so it is a breath of fresh air to be able to just hop into an aircraft and go flying without the faff of having to talk to anyone.

Once airborne and en route, if you choose the correct day, you can find some low level marshmallow clouds to surf through on the way there. The joy with farm strip flying is that it can often be a challenge to get in and out as they are often shorter strips with sloping ground and other obstacles and so requires some thought beforehand. Once on the ground, I have often been greeted with tea in a hangar and the opportunity to talk aviation with anyone who happens to be around.

Sometimes, depending on the location of the strip, a walk around the local area can be nice. It’s the perfect way to spend a whole day, and a sunset flight back with some aerobatics is the perfect ending.

Do you have any aviation heroes?

Betty Skelton! She was a three-time aerobatic champion who set many aviation and racing records. She had a big influence in paving the way for women to have equal opportunities in sports. She flew her first public performance in a Fairchild PT-19 at her dad’s airshow, and her first aircraft was a Great Lakes 2T1A biplane. She went on to win her first aerobatic championship in her Great Lakes before progressing on to a red and white Pitts S-1C named Little Stinker – a similar paint scheme adorns my biplane! Her skill in successfully winning competitions in her Pitts certainly influenced its ability to become a top aerobatic aircraft. Betty set other records in aviation and sport such as the women’s altitude record and many women’s land speed records. With a competitive and charming personality, she apparently holds the most combined aircraft and automotive records than anyone else in history.

She once said, “You must have the courage to bear pain, disappointment, and heartbreak. You must learn how to face danger and understand fear, yet not be afraid. You establish your goal, and no matter what deters you along the way, in your every waking moment you must say to yourself, ‘I could do it’.” If you are determined enough to make your dream a reality you will find a way to do it as long as you don’t give up. I have thought about her statement throughout my flying career so far, and will continue to do so in the things that I would like to achieve with it in the future.

Do you have any favourite aviation books?

We often talk about the well known and brilliant famous flying books such as Fate is the Hunter and West with the

48 | L IGHT AVIATION | July 2022 Meet the Members
Above Exploring for new farmstrips in the EAA Biplane is one of Tamara’s favourite flying activities. Below About to do some Stearman flying.

Night, but one I would wholeheartedly recommend which is perhaps less known in the literature is called The Moth and the Mountain by Ed Caesar.

It tells a story of Maurice Wilson, a WWI veteran who had no ability to fly, who decided that he would fly an aircraft from England to Mt. Everest, land on its slopes before becoming the first person to reach its summit on his own. His impromptu decision required him to learn to fly which was done at the West London Aero Club, in his Gipsy Moth biplane.

This was happening at a time when the quest to conquer Everest was in full force and, in 1933, through an extraordinary journey over many months, he eventually flew his way across the continents, inadequately dressed, plus a map and a compass in an open cockpit aircraft, trying to escape government officials as they tried to stop him in his quest along the way. This isn’t just a story of aviation as the book talks about his life in the war, the race to conquer Everest, the family he left behind in Bradford and the relationships both of love and heartbreak that he experiences along the way.

I loved this book as it combines two of my favourite things, aviation and climbing. It is the story of a simple man who was told he would never achieve the things he dreamed of, but he ignored this, believed in himself and set out on his adventure to conquer his mission. It is a reminder to all of us to never give up on our dreams and to ignore those who tell us that something we dream of cannot be achieved.

Do you have any other hobbies?

If I am not flying, I am mostly found climbing either indoors or outdoors. In particular, I love alpine climbing and have spent a lot of time in the Alps and around Chamonix. Living down on the south coast also has its perks as it’s near to Portland and Swanage which are both great for outdoor rock climbing. Other activities include cycling, reading and playing my violin and piano, but I also have a very large passion for polar and climate research. If I could do another degree it would be in this. I am incredibly interested in the work that the British Antarctic Survey does in Antarctica and it would be a dream to visit the continent. With all the outdoor activities that I enjoy, I am really passionate about looking after our planet and I take an active interest in ways to do so such

as promoting less waste and recycling – it’s more interesting than people think!

Any ‘interesting’ aviation moments?

Not long after I purchased my biplane, I decided to see what it was like taking-off from tarmac rather than the grass. I taxied to the end of the runway and was so excited to go flying, increased the throttle, stick forward to raise the tail and off I went. Before I knew it, I was in the field next door having veered completely off the runway wondering why I hadn’t gone the way I had planned, which happened to be forwards and up! Luckily there was grass either side and no obstacles. I gave myself a severe slap on the wrist and, assessing there was no damage to myself nor the aircraft, taxied my way back to the edge of the runway to consider what had happened, and what I would do differently on my next take-off.

It was a reminder to myself to always think about my actions. What was the runway surface and how did this differ from grass? Should I have added power so quickly? What was the wind doing? Did I raise the tail too early? Or did I need to raise the tail at all? It is easy to look at things with hindsight once a potentially dangerous event has occurred, but it is even easier to be prepared and think about your actions beforehand to prevent such an event happening altogether. Aeroplanes can be repaired but humans often cannot.

What’s on your aeroplane wish-list?

If money grew on trees… to own a Pitts S-2A, or an S1, an Extra 330SC and a Murphy Rebel. To fly – an F4U Corsair, Sea Fury, Mustang, Hurricane and Fokker Triplane. Oh, and a Jaguar E-Type for the hangar too…

Do you have any advice to share with other LAA members?

Make every flight count! Make a plan, even if it’s just to go for a quick local sightseeing trip. I hear too many people say they are bored of simply flying straight and level around our countryside, something I find difficult to understand. Practice a different skill (PFL’s are a good starting point), or check out a new landmark, say hello to a hot air balloon on its frequency or follow a train to the next village. There never needs to be a dull moment in aviation. ■

Meet the Members
See our website for full range Call us on 01280 700020, or visit us at Turweston (next to the LAA) to discuss your requirements. Our Address: LX Avionics Ltd, Hangar 10, Turweston Aerodrome, BRACKLEY, NN13 5YD VAT: GB 793 1777 86 Company number 4417407 E & OE We can help with panel and wiring design through to complete installation. Contact us to discuss your Avionics build requirements and to go through ideas. G3X Touch PFD G5 AI/HSI GTN650/750 Xi waas GPS/NAV/COMM GFC500 Autopilot Supply, design, build and install service uAvionixSky Echo II from £529.00 inc. VAT. Please call us to order at offer price. RV7 panel under build RV9 panel under build GNS to GTN adapter custom made loom for RV9 Talk to us for LAA member discounts We specialise in Avionics supply, design and build assistance for homebuilders. Come and visit our demo trailer at various Meet the LAA Days this year.


The latest aviation kit put to the test…

Flybox Oblo autopilot

Having installed the Oblo, Graham Smith configures and flies this new autopilot …

FROM €1,278

In the first part, we covered the installation process for the Oblo. The work that followed involved configuring the options. The manual explains the servo calibration check which must be done on the ground. I have an ‘old school’ Garmin 296 GPS which has been 100% reliable for 15 years. It is possible the movement of the servos could be reversed, so these must be carefully checked. The calibration procedure must also be double checked. The message on the display should confirm ‘Servo Calib Done’. The remote autopilot disengage button must be checked and the servo override check (stick force) also must be relatively easy for the pilot to overcome the servo. The install manual will suggest settings which will probably need adjustment once the flight testing starts. The LAA insist on minimum stick force at breakout. I would suggest setting the roll servo to 30° of bank and the elevator servo at 10° with a climb rate of 500ft/min and descent of 300ft/min. These numbers should be a starting point which will probably need changing once the testing begins.

The GPS menu on the Oblo is easy to access. Holding down the knob, the screen changes to a list of parameters. Scrolling down to ‘setup’ and then scrolling down to ‘GPS’. The baud rate should be changed to 4800 but the satellite display showed no signals. I waited for the satellites to show up but nothing happened. Luckily the guys at Flybox showed me how to configure the GPS. I guess most GPS units will need to be configured… It is a little tricky but I had never had to look for the NMEA output setup before.

Firstly you must select the ‘setup’ menu on the left hand side of the GPS. Scroll across at the top of the screen until you come to ‘COM1’, then set the baud rate to 4800. Highlight the ‘NMEA In/NMEA Out’. Then press the menu button, at the ‘Advanced NMEA Setup’ option, press the enter button and type in the settings as per the picture. Press the quit button twice.

Now you should find the satellites on the Oblo satellite menu. I was still having trouble with the unit finding satellites, then eventually the solution was found – the tin roof of the hangar was blocking the signal. With the Sportcruiser pushed out of the hangar, hey presto the satellites appeared!

The Oblo has three modes. Ground testing should be the preferred method before flight testing.

Mode-1 Switching on the autopilot but leaving the heading/track, navigation and altitude buttons off. The main green LED should be on. Centre the flying controls and switch on the heading/track button. The red LED should now be on. Rotating the heading/track bug will

change the aircraft direction. Pushing the knob in will centre the actual heading.

Mode-2 Pressing the altitude button the red altitude LED should now be on. Again rotating the altitude knob will change the altitude of the aircraft. Pushing the knob in will centre the altitude in hold mode.

Mode-3 Launch SkyDemon on your tablet, iPhone or whatever device you have. Put your route in and save it. (I used Ipswich to Sywell) Download FlyboxConnect and install it on your device. Put the app into background and look for the WiFi connection on Flybox. You will only need to do this once – after that, it seems to connect automatically. Reselect SkyDemon and click ‘route’ and then ‘share’. You will then need to launch FlyboxConnect. The route will immediately show on your screen. You can decide which waypoint you would like to depart from. This is very useful as you could easily split the route and start anywhere. Press send and the route will upload to the autopilot. The autopilot will ask you yes or no. Uploading the route will change the GPS to the latest route. You must not turn on the Navigation button until you are above 1,000ft.

The Oblo also has a unique function. The route will automatically create a curve junction for the next waypoint. This allows two legs to be connected without passing the waypoint which could save some time and fuel.

In testing, I encountered just one small issue, which was that when uploading the flight plan to the autopilot, occasionally it would reject the upload. Repeating the upload would fix the issue.

Overall, I found the Oblo to be easy to use, and straightforward to install. The quality of the parts was exceptional and the manual was simple to follow. You can take a look at it on the Flybox website. ■

July 2022 | LIGHT AVIATION | 51 Tested
Top left Advanced NMEA output setup. Top right Route selection. Touch waypoint starting point. Above SkyDemon route ready to upload onto autopilot.


Aselection of events for the beginning of the year, and some you might want to plan for in the summer months. While they’ve yet to publish a list of events, don’t forget GASCo is running some Safety Evenings up and down the country. Keep an eye on its website,, for further updates. As always, check the Royal Aero Club Events website for


1-2 Leeds East Private Flyer (pre-register)

2 Middle Wallop AFM Wings and Wheels

2 Compton Abbas Vintage fly-in

2 Deenethorpe VAC and Bulldog fly-in

2-9 Long Mynd BGA Gliding Competitions

3 Fenland Bulldog fly-in

3 Popham Andover Strut and Bolkow fly-in

3 Seething Lunch fly-in and WWII Control Tower open day

3 Old Warden Fly Navy Air Show [PPR]

7 Halton GASCo/RAF Military/Civil Air Safety Day [pre-book]

8-9 Compton Abbas BAeA competition

9 Monewden LAA Suffolk Coastal strut Spirit of Boxted fly-in (PPR)

9-10 Sleap Sleapkosh fly-in and show (PPR)

9-10 Goodwood UK round of World Championship Air Race

9-10 Headcorn Stampe Club fly-in

15-17 Fairford Royal International Air Tattoo

16 Old Warden Evening Air Show (PPR)

16 Breighton G-George Day (PPR)

16 Beverley VPAC fly-in

16 Branscombe LAA Devon Strut fly-in

16-17 North Coates Wings & Wheels

23 Duxford IWM American flying day (PPR)

23-24 Old Warden RRRA Air Races

23-24 Brienne le Chateau. France RSA Rally

23-24 Bodmin VAC fly-in & Meet the LAA Day

23-24 Farway Common European Luscombe fly-in (pre-register)

23-24 Newtownards Ulster FC fly-in

the latest information and web links for many of the events:

As always, our thanks to the RAeC and to Dave Wise for the use of their data.

If you have an event you want to advertise on the list, please email the details to Dave at:

23-24 Sleap BAeA competition

23-24 Sollas SAC

Planning ahead…

Aug 20 Old Warden Flying Proms (PPR)

Aug 21-28 Pocklington BGA Gliding Competitions

Aug 25 Popham Evening Barbecue & Fly-in

Aug 26-28 Strathaven Balloon Festival

Aug 26-2 Sept Sutton Bank Vintage Glider Rally





Gliding Competitions

13-27 Husbands Bosworth FAI Women’s World Gliding Championships

19-21 Breighton Vintage Aerobatic World Championships [PPR]

20 Sleap Spot Landing Competition {PPR}

Aug 27 Duxford IWM Flying Evening [pre book]

Aug 27 Henstridge Wings & Wheels Event [pre-register]

Aug 27 Old Warden Vintage Aircraft Club Fly-in [PPR]

Aug 28 Little Gransden Air & Car Show

Sept 2-4 Popham LAA Grass Roots fly-in

Sept 2-4 Connington BAeA Nationals

Sept 4 Old Warden Shuttleworth Steam & Vintage Air show

Sept 10 Bodmin LAA Cornwall Strut

fly-in (PPR)

Sept 10 Old Warden DH Moth Club Gathering Of Moths

Sept 10 Sywell Young Aviators Day

Sept 10-11 Duxford IWM Battle Of Britain Air Show [pre book]

Sept 10-11 North Coates Autumn Fly-in

Sept 17 Rougham fly-in & Meet the LAA day (PPR)

100 % cotton, extremely versatile and stylish. Available in Navy, Green, Charcoal, Red & White.

52 | LIGHT AVIATION | July 2022
beach landing fly-in 26-1/8 Oshkosh, WI. USA EAA AirVenture 28 Popham Evening BBQ fly-in 30 Kilkeel Mourne FC fly-in 30-31 Old Buckenham Old Buck Airshow 30-31 Middlezoy Somerset Vintage Aerofest [PPR] 31 Lundy Lundy Island fly-in (PPR)
Duxford IWM Young Aviators Flying Day [pre
Rufforth East LAA Vale of York Strut Flyin & Meet the LAA [PPR]
12-14 Schaffen-Diest 37th Old timers and ultralights fly-in 13 Bodmin Cornish Pasty Fly-in & Fun Day [PPR] 13 Beccles VPAC Vintage Piper Fly-in 13-14 Leeds East RRRA Air Races 13-14 Leicester STOL Fest & Fly-in [PPR] 13-21 Lasham BGA
Compton Abbas Vintage Saturday Fly-in [PPR] 6-7
BAeA AerobaticCompetitions 7 Old Warden Family Air Show [PPR]
Where to go
Price exclude P+P. Supermarine SpitfireOwners’ Workshop Manual Hardback £25.00 LAA Baseball Cap £12.50 LAA branded Navy coloured peaked caps. Made from brushed cotton and has an adjustable strap at the back to fit all sizes. Sizes: M,L & XL. LAA Coloured polo tops £18.00



As the song went, “Summer breeze, makes me feel fine…” Hopefully you’re all enjoying some good weather and great flying For August, we’ve got three great flanding offers for you to enjoy at Kittyhawk Farm, Sittles Farm and Strathaven Airfield.


Reduced to £5 Landing: August 2022

Kittyhawk Farm, East Sussex 01273 921446

Our thanks to these airfields for supporting our LAA members landing voucher scheme. Please be sure to thank them for their participation by buying fuel for your aircraft, or if there’s a cafe, fuel for you and your passengers!

A new airfield, set in picturesque countryside, joins us this month run by a very keen LAA member. Please keep clear of local villages. Visit and fill in the auto PPR form online. After your visit, an invoice will be emailed to you from information provided on your PPR form. Look at the circuit diagram and keep clear of nearby Deanland and power cables. No fuel, but tea and coffee are available. A/G radio 118.265, please make blind calls if no reply. Circuit is 800 AMSL.


Free Landing: August 2022

Sittles Farm, Lichfield 07773 777160

Weekends only Located in a lovely spot of the countryside, Sittles Farm is near Lichfield in Staffordshire. Weekends only please, as more people are around. No fuel. Runways 09/27 are the preferred runway. Sittles Radio is on 129.825. PPR for first visit briefing, contact numbers via website for location of powerlines.


Free Landing: August 2022

Strathaven Airfield 07708 183215

A lovely airfield to visit, which is set in beautiful countryside. Although mostly a microlight airfield, if you are on a day trip or touring Scotland, you are welcome to not stop off and say hello. Located near East Kilbride, there are many things to visit nearby. If you need to organise a taxi, please phone ahead, as you may encounter a long wait otherwise. No fuel available. Please PPR by phone on your first visit. All circuits to the North please. Safety Com 135.475

Landing vouchers 36 | LIGHT AVIATION | July 2021 ✁ ✁
LIGHT ✁ 54 | LIGHT AVIATION | July 2022

Classifieds July

Deadline for booking and copy: 18 July 2022


Up to 30 words: £6; 31-50 words: £12

Up to 50 words with a coloured photo: £45 NON-MEMBERS’ADVERTISEMENTS

Up to 30 words: £22; 31-50 words: £44

Up to 50 words with a coloured photo: £60




JPM, Oil filter adapters. Made to order, Continental O-200 -12 from £360 and A65 -8 from £430. All oil filter adapter kits are LAA approved via TADS document, E05. Julian Mills 07976 530 563

Van’s RV9A first flown in 2018 now with only 60 hours use. Dynon screen and autopilot, electric trim kit and fuel computer, Anti-splat nose leg brace and gust lock. £110,000. 07850 724139 or


1946 Aeronca Chief 11AC for sale. Airframe 3365 hrs, Continental A75 engine 1820 hours. Fitted 8.33 handheld and will have a new permit. Lovely little aeroplane all ready for the summer season. £12,750 phone Adrian on 07860 667807.

Half share Europa Trigear Classic G-MFHI based Rochester. Rotax UL with Woodcomp 3000 CS prop 1,450 hours total 350 hours since engine overhaul. 112 kts, built in GPS linked to autopilot, Funke ATR833, Garmin Mode S GTX 328, Dynon D10A, VOR, Tablet RAM mount, PilotAware, SkyEcho. Engine fund (£6400) Andrew 07980 619760


Glasair Sportsman kit 50% built, wings, tail, fuselage done, no engine or instruments. Trike gear but converts to taildragger. O360 mount and cowl. £83k, ovno, no silly offers. Piers 07932 711930

Fournier RF3, LAA Permit till November 2022,good condition, cheap flying, low engine hours, must sell due to group break up. All Serious offers considered. for further information contact Mick Wood, by email,

Classic Zenair Zenith ch200/250 airframe offered with few fittings but essentially structurally complete approved design, plans set 2-590 priced to sell at £2950 apply for info pack.


1940 Tiger Moth. Sound reliable aircraft with comprehensive history. Always hangered. Based Compton Abbas. Rebuilt/zero timed 2000 by Cliff Lovell/Vintec with approx. 900hrs since [still being flown] Top overhaul about 70hrs ago giving easy starting, oil tight engine with good compressions in well maintained airframe. New permit to July 2023. Fitted Trig 8.33 radio, Lynx intercom/headsets. Installed PilotAware plus SkyEcho. Serious buyer sought by motivated seller. Malcolm Rogan 07836 252634

Thruster Sprint Microlight. 2004. Jabiru 2200. 445 hours total. New windscreen. New permit. Pics on AFORS. £10500 or offers. 07939 157426.

RAF Gyro, 116 hrs, Permit July 2023, £19,000 Call or text 07918 601568


Aircraft Weighing - Light Aircraft Weighing Service in East Yorkshire and surrounding area. For details contact Demraview Ltd. Email: Mob: 07984 810 761 Welding Service (Mobile). CAA approved for 4130 steel airframes manufacture and repair. Custom exhaust systems and aluminium fuel tanks undertaken. Cheshire based – contact Julian Mills on 07976 530 563 or e mail

Hangarage / outside parking available private strip near Huntingdon / Peterborough. 700M grass runway. On site security. Clubhouse. Toilets. Email

56 | LI GHT AVIATION | July 2022
Email your classified advertisement direct to the LAA:


Lycoming 0-360 C2C. Recently purchased but acquired another engine. Been dry stored for last 9 years by previous owner. Removed from Jungmann with 1300 hours on meter. A&P engineer maintained but no logs. Conical engine mount type. All ancillaries. Will sell complete or if enough interest will split.Tel: 07960 120 325 or email -

ROTEC radial engine R2800 As new zero time engine, 2015. All ancillaries included for fuel oil and ignition systems. Oil tank, propeller, engine mount, carb heat, air filter and throttle body. Electrical oil scavenge Pump, spare filters and filter mount, all oil pipes and spare ignition pack. £15500 ono. 07905382108.

Garmin GTX330 Mode S transponder (with tray, backplate and external temperature sensor) from a UK plane which has been scrapped due to corrosion. Working when removed. £850 ono plus £40 shipping - it weighs more than 2 kg). Buyer may collect from East Hertfordshire and pay in cash. Contact Richard 07860 367423. Unused James Cowling kit for a RV-8A with forward facing fuel injection with Air Induction Kit and Plenum. Please contact or 07785 992 500.


Safe flying

Don’t risk it with water absorbing E5 and E10 fuels (mogas). WARTER UL91 and 100LL aviation fuels are ethanol free, storage stable and have a vapour pressure suitable for ying.

Please call for more information.

Anglo American Oil Company +44 (0) 1929 551557

Anglo American

TRANSPORTATION Contact us now for a quotation Telephone: 0121 327 8000 E-mail: Web: Aircraft Transportation Specialists Specialist vehicles to move your aircraft safely SPORTYS.COM/COURSES SPORTY’S PILOT TRAINING APP 25 Courses Available LightAviation_2022.indd 1 12/23/21 3:45 PM MAINTENANCE & RESTORATION
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Safe flying



An unusually modified safety helmet on display in the LAA Member’s Lounge, reminds us of a hectic week in September 2016, when an aircraft was built at the LAA Rally by a small team of experts from The Airplane Factory in South Africa, and a handful of UK volunteer amateur builders, which included the aircraft’s owner, Lucien D’Sa. They assembled a flat-pack kit aircraft in just seven days, as a centrepiece for the 70th Anniversary Rally.

The aircraft, arrived as hundreds of individual components and thousands of rivets in a pile of wooden crates shipped from South Africa, was the UK’s first example of the Sling 4, the four-seat derivative of the smaller Sling 2. The aircraft and the more recent Sling TSI have a popular addition to the LAA

fleet in the last couple of years.

The Union Jack and South African flags act as a reminder of the great spirit of international co-operation with a perfect mixture of personalities and skills – four members with substantial aircraft assembly experience, four amateurs with an established interest and four absolute beginners. It wasn’t just aircraft skills that were gained too. Three of the five builders from the factory in Johannesburg had never before visited England, and one had never left South Africa. For them, as much as the Brits, it was a lifetime highlight.

“Sawabona” on the hat’s peak is a common greeting in northern Natal in South Africa. It means “greetings” and “respect”. Perfectly summing up the project! Steve Slater

58 | LIGHT AVIATION | July 2022 From the archives
The stories behind items in the LAA’s collection
LIFE INSURANCE FOR LIGHT AIRCRAFT PILOTS SPORTS-FS.CO.UK CALL TODAY: 0345 565 0935 Sports Financial Services Ltd is an appointed representative of Suttons Independent Financial Advisers Ltd which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Registered in England and Wales. Registered No. 493197.
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page 58

Classifieds July

pages 56-57


pages 54-55

Flybox Oblo autopilot

page 51

Sunset chaser

pages 45-50

Strut Calendar

pages 43-44

Struts 4U

pages 42-43

Steve Slater summarises the Association’s financial performance for 2021

pages 40-41

Job satisfaction!

pages 34-40

Engineering Matters

pages 30-33

Coaching Corner… There’s always more that we can learn…

pages 28-30

Bonny and braw delights…

pages 24-27

Where might your IFR application go wrong?

pages 22-23

Process and paperwork

page 21

Certified, Approved and STC systems

page 20

The approval process

page 19

IFR/Night Update

pages 17-19

LAA and Skyfly to collaborate on personal eVTOL

page 15

G-BTOG (s/n 86500) De Havilland DH82a Tiger Moth

page 14

Avro-Curtiss Waterbird Replica (LAA 392-15352)

pages 12-13

Project News

page 12

Straight and Level

page 10

New Chief Inspector

pages 6-9

Some great flying…

pages 3-6
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