Light Aviation May 2024

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Chief Technical Officer JON VINER CEng MEng MRAeS

Chief Inspector



Vice President BRIAN DAVIES

Engineering email


Office Manager Penny Sharpe

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

Telephone for engineering and commercial 01280 846786



The Aviosma FunFly…Yes, those really are enormous ailerons… and elevators and rudder!


I’ve just got back from Aero Friedrichshafen – and the event, which was celebrating its 30th anniversary, really is the world’s leading show for showcasing innovation in General Aviation. There will be a full report on all the highlights in the June issue of Light Aviation, but until then I’ll whet your appetite with mentions of a few things that caught my eye.

The Cubcrafters Carbon Cub UL showed how it was possible to take an aircraft that’s familiar to non-microlight flyers and reinvent it to fit comfortably in the 600kg Light Sport Microlight Category. If you’re thinking, ‘so what?’, remember that its starting point was a GA-sized aeroplane that had to be completely re-engineered to make the weight limit, and thanks to the 161hp Rotax 916iS, can still deliver the thrilling performance of its heavier stablemates.

Junkers’ A50 Heritage model saw the aircraft’s Rotax 912iS replaced with a Verner Scarlett radial, and the cockpit changed from modern Garmin G3X to more traditional round gauges, plus even more lovely wood and leather finishing touches. All in response to demand from customers we’re told… I mean, who wouldn’t want a radial-powered fun flying machine? In a world of rapidly rising prices, the incredible craftsmanship of the Junkers almost seems at odds to its price, which is going to be around €295k.

At the other end of the price scale was a truly bonkers-looking machine, the Aviosma Fun-Fly. Described as a kit-built, unlimited level aerobatic aeroplane with an operating envelope from 21 to 54 knots, there are two versions, the Sport and the Extreme, both with a 300kg maximum take-off weight, but

using either 50hp or 135hp engines. The Sport kit costs €45k, the Extreme, €60k, and both those prices include an engine. The brochure did stress that a full-face helmet is mandatory. Look at the photo above and you’ll see why! It’s even designed to take apart and store at home.

The Fun-Fly might not be what ‘traditional’ pilots expect, but for me it’s the sort of left-field innovative idea that stops people in their tracks… and if we want to keep interest high and attract people into the world of flying, machines like this are right on the money.

Closer to home, this issue’s main feature is all about the first non-Part 21 CofA aeroplane to move to Permit, thanks to the CAA CAP1302 revision. An example of great collaboration between the LAA and CAA, what you might not have realised is that an LAA member played a significant role in getting the idea moving in the first place…

Ed’s Desk
May 2024 | LIGHT AVIATION | 3 Design and Print SEAGER PUBLISHING Production Editor LIZI BROWN Art Editor LISA DAVIES 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.



Patricia Mawuli-Porter’s Zenair CH750 Cruzer, New Projects and Cleared to fly.


We celebrate the transfer of the first non-Part 21 CofA type to transfer to Permit thanks to CAP1302 revision –and talk to one particular LAA member who helped make it happen.


Some incredible aeroplanes awaited Nigel Hitchman when he visited the Ala Doble Ranch invitation fly-in for the Marginal Aviation Last Ditch fly-in.


An in-depth look at what actions to take following a prop strike, and how the process varies across different makes of engine.


Pete White reports on a gathering designed to inspire young minds about opportunities in aviation.


Tony Razzell talks to Ed Hicks about how he progressed from Keil-Kraft model kits, to building his own Menestrel…


Fantastic photos celebrating the joy of operating LAA Permit aircraft – have you entered yet?

May 2024 | LIGHT AVIATION | 5 Contents May 2024

LAA Rally countdown continues

With four months to go to the Rally, planning for the event continues apace. When the Rally moved from Sywell to Leicester in 1979 the organising team were presented with the challenge of taking on a complete new plan on an unknown airfield! Fast forward 45 years and it might feel like déjà vu! Thankfully the Rally supplements of the time, old photographs and long memories, provide pointers, albeit with a much larger exhibition site today. With the basic layout and division of responsibilities agreed we are now finalising the detailed Exhibition layout and ordering the necessary services and supplies. In turn Leicester is developing the necessary aerodrome procedures for the event, and planning the airfield parking to accommodate the anticipated volume of visiting aircraft over the three days. We aim to publish the event layout plan shortly, together with entrance charges and details of the slot booking and pre-payment arrangements for both aircraft arrivals and public gate access.

FLARM and PilotAware Cooperate on interoperable solutions

Electronic Conspicuity device

manufacturers FLARM and PilotAware have announced their co-operation on technology integration and product development to provide interoperable solutions for Electronic Conspicuity.

The collaboration will enable interoperability between FLARM’s and PilotAware’s product lines.

The first product in this collaboration is the all-new PilotAware Rosetta FX, which will provide full interoperability with existing legacy FLARM products.

The Rosetta FX enhances an existing FLARM installation with PilotAware detect and avoid capability, ADSB-in and access to PilotAware infrastructure including virtual weather radar. post/introduction-to-rosetta-fx

Awards & Trophies: These represent an important recognition of the endeavours of members in building, restoring and maintaining their aircraft. Once again Harry Hopkins and Sue Stowe will be coordinating the judging team for the weekend.

Full details of the categories of Awards & Trophies, together with registration, will be available on the LAA website in due course.

Volunteers needed: While the basic planning is undertaken by a small Rally team, the event itself could not happen without the assistance of volunteers, whether that’s help with set up / break down or manning a number of activities throughout the weekend. Whether as an individual or collectively as a Strut, if you can provide assistance, please let Penny Sharpe know via LAA HQ. Eryl Smith – Rally Chairman

Van’s Aircraft files recovery plan

In the report, key points announced were that secured creditors will be fully repaid, while unsecured creditors (this is predominantly builders with kit deposits who did not agree to increased prices earlier this year), will receive approximately 55% over three years. Some builders who are considered priority creditors will be paid $3,350 soon after the reorganisation is approved, with the remainder to follow

over the three-year period.

Plus, the VanGrunsven Trust will forgive the loans it has made to the company ($14.7 million over the last three years, including $7 million before and after the original Chapter 11 filing) and take equity in return. This move will remove the equity of staff who had been in the employee-owned stock programme that had been in place before the bankruptcy. Had it entered liquidation, Van’s estimates that reorganisation customers might only have received 4% of their unsecured claims. www.vansaircraft. com/2024/03/ vans-aircraft-chapter-11reorganization-planfiled/

Watch a Van’s video where recovery expert Clyde Hamstreet breaks down the next steps in the legal process, which includes an expected decision from the court to come in May. https://

6 | LIGHT AVIATION | May 2024 LA News News Updates available on the LAA website at – check it out every day!

LAA members tackle D-Day challenge for Dawn to Dusk

Much inspired by recent coverage in Light Aviation of the fellow members’ Pooley’s Dawn to Dusk Challenge entries, friends Chris Lent and Rob Stark are planning their own Dawn to Dusk adventure in early June to raise money for the charity Veterans Operating Base –

Flying a Zenair 601UL Zodiac

G-ZODY, Chris and Rob are aiming to land at a minimum 10 airfields across southern England that were active on D-Day, across an area from east Kent to east Devon.

If members would like to help support their fundraising, the pair have started a JustGiving page.

New Dynon 12-inch SkyView HDX

Dynon Avionics has launched a bigger version of its flagship SkyView HDX display, the SV-HDX1200 with a 12-inch display.

The US company has also expanded the use of its Advanced Control Module for use by homebuilders and owners of Permit aircraft, the use of which is intended to help homebuilders shave ‘hundreds of hours’ from the install of a typical homebuilt avionics system.

Dynon said, “The new SV-HDX1200 12in display features the largest high-resolution, sunlight-readable screen ever offered by Dynon: perfect for the brightest cockpits and the most ‘experienced’ eyes. Additionally, the SV-HDX1200 maintains full compatibility with all existing Dynon SkyView modules, harnesses, and accessories, and can be mixed and matched in a panel with 10in SV-HDX1100 and 7in SV-HDX800 displays.

The unit made it’s European debut at AERO Friedrichshafen in April, and is available for pre-order now by homebuilders with a list price of $5,490. Shipments are expected to begin in May 2024.

Loss of Control – Stall and Spin Awareness Animation

Loss of control in recreational flying is a big safety concern, especially stall and spin awareness, says the Civil Aviation Authority, citing an incident over West Sussex in 2021 as a vital reminder to those who fly light aircraft.

They’ve released an animation for general aviation pilots that covers the importance of being aware of and practiced in stall and spin recovery techniques, as well as the use of parachutes.

Further guidance can be found in the CAA Safety Sense leaflet on Loss of Control: Stall and Spin Awareness.

LAA Member’s book project

Flying Dreams: The Illustrated History of Flight is LAA member, Patrick Carter’s book project that aims to bring to life the stories and inventions of the most influential early aviation pioneers who made flight possible.

Covering the period up to 1899, the 200-page book follows their journeys of discovery and illustrates their inventions in full colour and detail.

Patrick has spent his entire career in aviation and aeronautical engineering, and has drawn on his skills and his passion for aviation history, to help create the book. Patrick told LAA, “Crowdfunding for a niche book like Flying Dreams will enable me to complete this dream project, bringing these fascinating stories back to life.” www. vintaviation/flying-dreams-theillustrated-history-of-flight

LAA Courses

Spaces are available on forthcoming LAA Technical training courses being held at our Turweston HQ. The following courses all cost £200 for members.

● Permit Aircraft Avionics – 18 May

● Rotax Fuel Injected 912/915iS – 6 July

For further information on the courses please visit our website. Contact Cheryl Routledge on 01280 846786 or email if you would like to book. Spaces are first come, first served.

May 2024 | LIGHT AVIATION | 7
LA News


John Aubrey Pothecary

1929 – 2024

John Aubrey Pothecary, passed away on the 26 March 2024 at the age of 94. A long-time member of, and Inspector for, the Popular Flying Association, now the Light Aircraft Association.

John was a qualified CAA engineer, a prolific builder, an airline pilot and, last but not least, a Great Western Railway enthusiast. His house in Kirdford, Sussex had a railway set running through every bedroom on the first floor.

He started his commercial flying in the 1950s crop spraying in Sudan, before joining Silver City in 1961 flying Bristol Freighters. He was based at various places, including Bournemouth and Lydd, and was then transferred to Gatwick in 1970 to join BIA flying Dart Heralds until the introduction of the BAC 1-11 in 1979 which he continued to fly until his retirement in 1990.

John and Jenny Pothecary (Jenny passed away in 2023) operated Air South at Shoreham through the 1970s and 1980s. As a team they were perfect. Air South grew up from a backroom club for aspiring pilots to a full flying club with engineering, which operated out of the old engine shed (now long gone) that stood in front of the municipal hangar.

On his retirement, John then became involved in the engineering side at Old Sarum, Jenny also used to appear at OS occasionally as well.

John awarded me a book by Ernest K Gann, many years ago, and I have never forgotten the dedication by the author in the preface. Today I repeat that sentiment in dedication to John who now joins ‘those pilots whose wings are now forever folded’.

A top pilot and engineer – one among many on my list of mentors.

RIP Captain Pothecary. Bev Pook.


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

Design Comp vs Hangar Queens

The fantastic idea of drawing interest to the sport / hobby via a design competition is great. Yes, create something that can be built with ease for the beginner.

However, as an instructor, the biggest blocker for many of my ex-students into build or ownership is the capital outlay in both time and money, as well as fear of taking on a ‘from scratch’ project.

We all see those hangar queens, covered in old sheets, with a decade of dust and a family of spiders languishing at the back of the hangars. I know of an Evans, a Luton, an Auster and a Minicab within half-an hour-drive from my home, all of which could be ideal bring-back-to-life projects (subject to inspection for suitability). Surely this route would be quicker, allow groups to form and share costs to get them flying again? I know there may be sentimental reasons for these aircraft being kept, but do people really pay hangar rent for what is essentially an ornament? I have no idea how you would get the owners to part with them at a realistic price. But it is certainly food for thought.

It would be a fantastic initiative and I believe it would certainly facilitate a good entry into ownership and aircraft maintenance. The hard part would be encouraging owners (and in some sad cases their estate) to part with them. There are probably sentimental reasons for keeping them. Oddly, it is the same with old cars and boats. How many usable wagons do we see in driveways and garages? And from my walks around the boatyard at Rutland Water, it is the same in that sport, too. Regards, Dave Leggett.

Ed replies: Hi Dave, It’s funny you should mention hangar queens as I’ve talked with our CEO, about such an idea, that could help encourage the return long dormant Permit aircraft to flight around the UK.

You’re right though – I think for many these aircraft can form the basis for a very enjoyable project that’s more manageable than a major build!

Speaking from the point of view of my current project to get a former hangar queen flying, I’m really enjoying the work involved. It’s just as much fun as my two previous RV builds, but the costs associated will be much lower.

LAA low cost aircraft design competition: one

Hello Ed,

Last month’s Letters page was quite exciting, and reading about how several people are interested in a design competition is really promising.

I encouraged the idea of a design competition during my time at the LAA, but with covid, Rally cancellations etc, the resources just weren’t there. It would be great to see a design comp with complete freedom to design aircraft... I would feel obliged to throw one of my ideas in the ring.

Perhaps we should have two categories: Single- and two-place types? While two place would undoubtedly be more desirable and practical, single place machines just are (usually) cheaper to build!

If the goal is to promote low-cost aviation that is easily accessible to those not in a position to spend even £30k on an aircraft, I think a design comp should make use of SSDR and Sub-70, as both offer huge levels of flexibility to designers that until recently only existed in other states. The E-Go was designed to meet the original SSDR requirements which were a lot more limiting than the current requirements.

If the LAA started this comp soon, it could be a good forum in Speaker’s Corner at the Rally, too! I would like to reiterate that a great deal of LAA approved types were not designed by ‘aeronautical engineers’ but by imaginative personalities who applied a lot of basic maths to their initial concept. Concepts only need to be promising, the detailed design could be looked at afterwards!

The very fact that the last LAA design comp resulted in a flying aircraft must surely mean it’s an idea worth pursuing?

Best regards, Mike.

LAA low cost aircraft design competition: two

Dear Ed,

A Light Aircraft Design Competition is a splendid idea – and at absolutely minimum cost, even better. Of course, it has all been done before, to greater or lesser effect.

We could start with Sir George Cayley’s flying tub that crossed a Yorkshire valley 200 years ago. He achieved aerodynamics by taking the outline of a trout, his reasoning being that a trout swimming in a medium 800

Obituary & Letters 8 | LIGHT AVIATION | May 2024

times more dense that air would show him the way to minimise drag. If Sir George’s design is not good enough, Bud Evans produced his Volksplane designs in 1970, the VP-l and the VP-II. Both are all-wood structures.

The VP-II two-seater is 19ft 3in long, has a span of 27ft, weighs 640lb empty and 1,040lb gross. The VP-I featured in a book, Build and Fly Your Own Aircraft, the resultant aircraft was registered at the PFA, with the final owner being our recently retired Francis Donaldson. A couple of years ago or more Ken Craigie, at LAA Engineering, told me that the VP-Il wing was ‘very inefficient’ and to ‘put a Jodel wing on in its place’.

Costs and affordability are major concerns, and it might be useful to consult with a university economics department to discover which A, B, C, D2 population group could afford £5,000 to £10,000 in one year to produce a homebuilt aircraft.

Wood is probably the easiest material for a novice aircraft builder to use. Second, probably, is aluminium and thirdly plastic / composite. Therefore, it would be beneficial to have three winners, one from each group, and then the Grand Champion Winner judged from those three finalists.

The Open University suggests finding two hours each night during the week when studying for a degree, and 10 hours over Saturday and Sunday. That is a total of 20 hours per week and about 1,000 hours for a full year. One hears of RVs taking three times longer than that. Three years is likely to discourage any novice builder, so less time is much better – with one year best of all.

When it comes to costs, Dudley Pattison would no doubt be able to give you a realistic figure for all the wood in a VP-Il. The 80hp Volkswagen flat four engine is still available in the USA from Aero-Vee for about $7,000 compared to $10,000 for a Rotax.

Having designed and built a ‘brand new aircraft’ it is then necessary to pay for LAA

Engineering to approve of the design. A plansbuilt aircraft attracts a £50 registration fee, but to have a fully qualified LAA Engineer work through a new aircraft design may well run to nearly £1,000. An aircraft design consultant, such as John Wighton at Acroflight Ltd, could charge a similar amount to prove viability.

A computer-based spreadsheet is probably the only way to arrive at a realistic costing, and no doubt LAA Engineering could modify what they already publish to suit this competition.

Yours sincerely, Ian A Park.

Any motorcycling pilots out there fancy Route 66?

Hi Ed,

At the LAA Oshkosh event 2022, my bucket list item at that time (well fulfilled!), I got a chance to speak to many of the 60-plus LAA members, and found at least three who were bikers. I now have a new bucket list item, and I’m hoping to find some like-minded pilots / bikers to join me, riding the famous Route 66.

Collect the Harley Davidson from Milwaukee, then join an organised ride, with lead rider, pre-booked hotels, support van with all our luggage, and two spare bikes –just in case! George Pick (the LAA’s favourite travel agent – three consecutive Oshkosh events now) will help with the block bookings for the ride and the air fares.

Now that was my original plan which still stands, but George suggested that if there were any motorcycling LAA members going to Oshkosh in July, and they fancied it, why not tag it onto the end of Oshkosh, since they will be very close to Milwaukee anyway, and could cut out an extra transatlantic fare in the future. Perhaps a long shot, but worth mentioning.

If you’re interested, please start by googling Route 66 Harley, also Billy Connolly route 66, to whet your appetite. Not wishing to

take up too much space here, please email me directly and we’ll set up a WhatsApp group for the benefit of all interested parties. Many thanks, Brian Mellor. LAA coach, examiner.

Levente II

Dear Ed,

Interesting article about the Hungarian Levente II in the February issue of Light Aviation. The writer mentioned Wikipedia’s offering, so I had a look. Oddly, under ‘similar aircraft’ it gives the Tiger Moth and Bucker Jungmann, but not the Westland Widgeon!

It’s almost a case of, ‘here is one that we made earlier’… 14 years earlier in fact. However, Westland’s job was not designed for military use… perhaps that’s the reason? Best, Croydon Parry.

Saluting the Moth Major

Dear Ed,

No, no, Mr Charlie, not the Tiger Moth versus the Stampe – it must be the Stampe versus the Moth Major! The Major. compared with a Tiger. has an all-round better performance. It exceeds it in aerodynamics, weight, stall, speed and has a much greater climb at around 900ft/min even on just the 130hp Gipsy. This means that with like engine, it could match or out climb the Stampe? Also, better aileron control, at least David Ogilvy thought so, although not up to the level of the Belgian bird.

As pointed out, the Moth’s origins go back to 1925, whereas almost all Stampes are post-war with many improvements over the 1933 original, including a new wing. It may be that it is, to quote, ‘vastly superior and light years ahead of a Tiger’, but not the Major Moth it’s not!

Nevertheless, not for naught did welkin wizards such as Amy Johnson, Jean Batten, Peter DeHavilland, Sir Malcolm Campbell, Duchess of Bedford, Duke of Hamilton et al, chose the ‘rara avis’, and become Major Mothists…

Plus, not forgetting the barely believable Col Hubert Fauntleroy Julian!

Yours sincerely,

John Trist.

PS: It should be noted that some models of Tiger Moth were originally fitted with tailwheels and brakes, and many still are. Also, what about a toe-to-toe, or nose-tonose, between a Stampe and a Bucker Jungmann?

May 2024 | LIGHT AVIATION | 9 Letters
Above Is the idea of getting ‘hangar queens’ flying a better idea for an initiative than holding a design competition? See Design Comp vs Hanagr Queens letter.

Straight and Level Updates from LAA HQ

Supporting GASCo Simon Tilling CEO

Iwas recently asked to represent the LAA within GASCo –The General Aviation Safety Council. GASCo was formed during a meeting of the various GA bodies and associations in 1964. It is run as a charitable company and relies on donations for its funding to meet following objectives:

To collect, collate and disseminate flight safety information among users of UK-registered general aviation aircraft.

To study all matters affecting, or which might affect, flight safety in UK general aviation and to make recommendations to interested parties, as necessary.

I think most people will have heard of GASCo in association with the excellent Safety Evenings and webinars it holds on a regular basis throughout the UK. The most recent (at time of press) at Popham was attended and enjoyed by 60 people! I recommend you take a look at its website and if you have the chance to attend a safety evening I am sure you would find it very informative.

Elsewhere in this edition you will read about the transfer of the first non-Part 21 aircraft, a Piper PA18 Super Cub, from CAA Certificate of Airworthiness to LAA Permit to Fly.

This change is enabled via CAA CAP 1302. While this is a time-consuming process that must be carried out on an aircraftby-aircraft basis at present, it is another great example of the work that the LAA is doing to provide cost effective flying to our members. ■

Flying hours –A cause for concern?
Eryl Smith Chairman

While not exactly bedtime reading, the recently published Annual Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) Report for 2023 makes for salutary reading. Any fatal aircraft incident is a tragedy. Mercifully they are few and far between. Nevertheless, of the 10 fatal incidents in 2023 all related to the GA fleet, seven of which involved light aircraft, though the report does not disaggregate the data for the PtF fleet. In his summary the Chief Inspector notes that, “Loss of control in flight continues to be the prevalent cause of fatal accidents.” Having attended the GASCo evening at Popham to which Simon refers, it provided a timely reminder and refresher on the planning and actions we can each take to ensure that we fly safely over the coming flying season.

Perhaps more disconcerting in the AAIB’s report were the statistics drawn from CAA on flying hours. Since 2003 the estimated flying hours of the UK’s GA fleet, which includes gliders and aircraft operating on a PtF, has approximately halved. While there has been some recovery post the inevitable dip associated with covid the 2023 total hours flown remain below pre-covid

levels. I don’t have data to hand for our PtF fleet but I imagine the profile is not dissimilar, despite the increase in overall PtF fleet numbers over that period. We can all surmise reasons for this from the cost of obtaining a licence, the costs of fuel, aircraft ownership, general economic pressures and our membership demographic. While the LAA is not immune to the general increasing cost pressures we will continue to strive to help members make owning and operating a PtF aircraft as affordable as possible.

On the theme of reduced flying hours the wet start to the year continues to frustrate many, whether that be continued waterlogged strips or the relentless wind and rain, good flying days have been few and far between! On a more positive note, the clock change has brought about longer flying days and with the prospect of drier and more stable weather I hope you can look forward to getting back into the air, whatever your plans for the summer.

The season’s flying calendar of events is filling up. The Microlight Trade Fair at Popham serves as a season opener, and Simon and I will be there with the LAA stand. An opportunity to meet members, promote the LAA, answer a burning question or pick up a new log book or merchandise. I hope we might see you there. On the Rally front, we continue to progress our plans with the team at Leicester, keep an eye out for regular updates in the News section of the magazine and on the LAA website. ■

10 | LIGHT AVIATION | May 2024
Above Permit renewal performance - April 2024.

Helping dreams fly

We meet three fortunate, and very happy, recipients of the 2024 LAA Armstrong-Isaacs bursary awards scheme

Thanks to legacies from former Association luminaries David Armstrong and John Isaacs, LAA has awarded three young aviators £1,500 towards their flight training, as winners of the 2024 LAA Armstrong-Isaacs Bursaries.

Angus Noakes

Being given the opportunity and privilege to learn to fly in a vintage aircraft, such as the DH82A Tiger Moth, is nothing short of exciting and exhilarating, and with the Armstrong-Isaacs bursary, my dream of completing my PPL has never felt more real and attainable. While working as an apprentice aircraft mechanic / restorer at Vintage Fabrics Ltd in 2016 I had my first experience in a light aircraft, an RV-8, and gaining my PPL has been a goal ever since. I had a small part in the restoration and subsequent maintenance of one of our Tigers, G-AHIZ, which was the aircraft in which I flew my first solo, and so completing my skills test with it will be that bit more special for me.

The Cambridge Flying Group, now operating from Old Warden, is a remarkable group to learn to fly with. Having been operational since 1953 the group has a wealth of knowledge in training on Tiger Moths, and a great social group very supportive to ab initio students.

I intend to continue flying with this group once I gain my licence, attaining other ratings such as aerobatics, with a view to display vintage aircraft. I also aspire to gain an instructors rating, in order to train other students on the Tiger Moths.

Masie Rae

Thanks to the generosity of an LAA member donor, based out of Barton, their company PTS Ltd is sponsoring two additional awards in addition to the five existing ones for 2024, meaning four further awards are anticipated to be made during the year.

Jamie Myers

Aviation has always been a major aspect of my life – with my dad a Captain and mum a flight attendant. My first flight experience was for my 10th birthday in a PA28, which was followed shortly by a lesson in a PA-38. After that, I quickly developed an overwhelming passion for flying.

After building many hours in gliders at the Cairngorm Gliding Club we moved from Scotland to South West England where I made the bold choice to gain my PPL before my driver’s licence as I couldn’t afford both. I started learning to fly in a Cessna 152 at Dunkeswell Aerodrome.

To fund my PPL lessons I saved every penny I could from birthdays, holidays, and my work as a freelance drummer. I knew I loved flying, but the process of learning to fly has been an even greater experience, as I’ve been handed down not only knowledge, but real experiences and enthusiasm from every flight instructor with whom I have learned. However, post-lockdown, I’ve only been managing to afford one or two lessons a month, causing large gaps in my training. For this reason, the LAA award will allow me to streamline my training and finally achieve my dream of becoming a qualified pilot allowing me to showcase the world of aviation to both family and friends.

Again, many thanks for this opportunity.

which included marshalling aircraft, cleaning aircraft and helping out with helicopter pleasure flights.

I’m Maisie, I turned 17 in March, and I currently live with my family on the Isle of Wight.

I am at college, studying Travel and Tourism and Business studies. I also work part-time in a café at weekends and holidays. Eventually, I’d like to work within the field of aviation, although at this stage I’m not 100% sure what that will be.

My interest in aviation began when I was approximately five years old, after watching aircraft documentaries, which I found fascinating.

At the age of 10, I flew for the first time in a Cessna 172, and after this one flight I was hooked, and all I could think about was wanting to become a pilot.

At age 13, I became a volunteer at Sandown Airport, where I am now based,

Aged 15, I started lessons – funnily enough in the same aeroplane I flew in for my first ever flight when I was 10, alongside Bryan, who is now my instructor.

Two months after my 16th birthday, I flew solo for the first time, and it was the most incredible feeling ever.

Due to spending a lot of my spare time at the airport, I have met some incredible people within the aviation industry who have shared their knowledge and have given me encouragement with my flying journey. I have also been very fortunate to have been taken flying many times by several different pilots, whom I now consider as friends.

I have flown in all different types of aircraft, including aerobatics in an Extra 300 and various helicopters, which all adds to my overwhelming desire to fly myself.

As I do not come from a wealthy background, funding my training hasn’t been easy, and I could not be more grateful for the Armstrong-Isaacs bursary offer in helping to enable me to continue funding my dream.

2024 LAA Armstrong-Isaacs Bursaries May 2024 | LIGHT AVIATION | 13

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

Project News

This month we have a report from Patricia Mawuli Porter on the construction of Zenair CH750 Cruzer G-WENY.

The Zenair CH701 evolved to become the CH750 STOL, and also the Cruzer variant. Designed for a better cross-country speed, the Cruzer has been cleaned up, lost the slats and adopted a single lift strut, indeed the only common structure between the new STOL and Cruzer variant is the fuselage. Reading through Patricia’s update I was struck by reference to 5-axis CNC equipment. Visualising 3-axis is straight forward, but what is

five? I must say go and have a search out there on the internet for such devices and I think you’d have to agree – pure magic! Anyhow, Patricia made use of such equipment in the construction of her project as you will be able to read below. The journey to bring G-WENY into being has been a long one with all the usual hurdles, but have a read and I think you'll agree that it was a challenge worth facing.

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!

G-WENY (LAA 381A-15567) Zenair CH750 Cruzer

This aircraft, G-WENY, is a Zenair CH750 Cruzer – and she has been a part of a very special journey for me as I have settled into the UK.

When my husband, Jonathan, and I moved to the UK in 2015, it was a year after we had been part of the team building the Zenith One Week Wonder CH750 Cruzer at Oshkosh. During that build we had fallen in love with the CH750 Cruzer and wanted to build one at our airfield in Ghana, but alas, our move to the UK, and request to build a CH750 Cruzer here, was met with the disappointing news of the type not being available on the LAA fleet at the time.

When our company, Metal Seagulls, became the Zenair dealers for the UK, in 2017, it seemed the right time to push to get the C750 Cruzer approved, so that I

could build my own. The journey was not a short one, as anyone bringing a new type to the UK will know.

Fortunately many parts of the Cruzer version of the CH750 are common with the STOL version, making approvals a little easier, there were, however, questions on the wing and tail differences. We went through some gruelling questions from Francis Donaldson and, in 2018, he asked me to build a full-wing and fin along with relevant jigs for load testing. Francis passed the fin with flying colours, but the wing would need some small modifications to the internal structure to pass the LAA stringent safety requirements. Within 10 days, we had engineered a solution that allowed the CH750 to be registered as a 650kg two-seat aircraft in the UK – and we only added 250g per wing in doing so.

The Zenair CH750 are matched hole kits, meaning very little drilling compared to a traditional aluminium aircraft kit, and the CH750 range has been the most popular LSA aircraft in the USA for several years, due to

14 | LIGHT AVIATION | May 2024 Project News
Above G-WENY in the hangar with the test wing behind. Right Collecting the kit from Heathrow.

the ease of build and quality of parts. I decided to use my CH750 Cruzer build as part of the 2018 LAA Rally at Sywell in the homebuilders tent – which is always the best part of any Rally or show. Whatever the weather you can build aeroplanes! Dudley Pattison, the amazing organiser of the homebuilders space, worked to ensure we had a space that would allow a safe build and easy viewing and / or participation by the show visitors.

However, there were challenges. One being that the kit was not going to arrive in time if sent by sea-freight. So, with the collaboration of Zenith Aircraft Company we managed to air-freight a kit – and I collected it from Heathrow one afternoon in late August 2018.

I took the crate to my hangar, and inventoried the parts, pulling out the fuselage parts needed to build at the Rally over three days.

On the first day of the event, Aviation Minister Baroness Sugg, came by, and learned to pull a few rivets, but the real work of support was by a core group of enthusiastic volunteers, including for special mention, Geraldine, Tim, Chloe, Alan, Darren, Andy, and of course hubby Jonathan and our daughter Gwen. After the show, things slowed down, as work got in the way. Much as a plumber rarely gets time to fix a dripping tap at home, in running a full-time aviation business, my work on other people’s aircraft had to come before my own build. But we still managed to get the engine hung and a few other things done before and after hours in the hangar. By early 2020, the engine was hung and I was installing my own design of header tank, already LAA approved from work for another aircraft. With its 130hp ULPower UL350iS engine, and similar to other ECU controlled fuel-injected power plants, a header tank adds safety to the fuel system. It is the result of many hours design and hundreds of hours flight testing header tanks, and makes fuel management a breeze, reducing risks from unporting and air ingestion – which injected engines are not fond of!

However, I was not happy with the factory cowl, and wanted to design my own. Using 3D CAD, Jonathan followed my description of what the cowl should look like, and together we worked out every ‘blunt point’ into a curve. At one point we sat in fits of giggles as I kept telling him ‘just put a tangent there and fillet here’ – as it had become such a complex drawing my finger covered about

Top left The (then) Aviation Minister, Baroness Sugg, pulling rivets.

Top right Fuselage assembly during 2018 Rally

Above left Volunteers who helped with the fuselage in the LAA builders tent 2018.

Above right Taking the fuselage home post-Rally, 2018.

Below Aeroplanes on pallets in a curtain sided articulated lorry read for their move to Haverfordwest.

20 construct intercepts – and he had no idea what I meant. Our good-humoured working together resulted in a 3D print marathon of 28 days, 23 hours per day, and around 32 segmented prints, using 18 reels of filament. The parts were then glued together to make the ‘pre-plug’.

I sprayed filler onto the pre-plug, then sanded, cleaned, filled, primed and then laid up mould resin and fibreglass matting / twill. Towards the end of March 2020 the plug was finally broken out from the mould and the mould inspected. It was perfect!

That evening, the Prime Minister announced the start of the covid lockdowns.

With a four-year-old daughter being sent home from school due to covid, we turned our hands to a new task, ‘home education’. Much as we could have said ‘we need to go to work’ the world was switched off. My cowl mould was to sit alone, unused, as we donned face masks, clapped for the nhs, and helped each other through a pandemic. Gwen benefited from covid-induced-home-ed, and we benefited from having ‘special time’ with her. We decided that my aircraft would be registered G-WENY. We worked through the dark days of covid, making the most of the lockdown to dream dreams of what we would do after our incarceration, we even started sketching ideas for the next project to come after G-WENY! Between restrictions, I managed to get more work done on G-WENY, and as 2020 drew to a close, all major components were all but completed, ready for assembly, rigging, and finishing. However, we had decided to move home and hangars, and relocate to Haverfordwest in Pembrokeshire, as part of plans for future growth (we had outgrown both hangars at our previous airfield), we wanted to be closer to the sea, and in more ‘open airspace’ for flight testing of our and clients aircraft. Our move date happened to be the week before the end of restrictions to flying in March 2021. So, I took the wings off of my CH601 HDS, and palletised that aircraft along with G-WENY ready to load onto one of the

May 2024 | LIGHT AVIATION | 15 Project News

four curtain-sided artics that would move my workshop and home to Pembrokeshire!

My heart was in my mouth for both loading and unloading of my precious aircraft, tools, and also some odd household goods.

Once in the new hangar, there was no time for building. Flying recommenced with gusto post-covid, and I seemed to be busier than ever with aircraft repairs and inspections. Being in a tourist area, we had our regular customers flying down to take a holiday – and visit. Gwen started a new school, and between school runs, setting up my new workshop and the stream of aircraft needing something from me, work upon G-WENY had to find its place in an increasingly busy schedule.

In 2022, we invested in 4- and 5-axis CNC cutting and forming machines to speed up repairs and to service customers with custom parts. These permitted me to make a fabulous instrument panel, and also to finally

Above (top left) Moving into the new hangar –G-WENY clearly on her pallet made to lift on and off the truck.

Above (left) The header tank installed into G-WENY.

Above (centre) The 3D printed nosebowl plug.

Above (right) A view of the nosebowl plug ready to pull a mould.

Above (left) Breaking out the 3D printed nosebowl plug.

Above The basic panel after CNC cutting.

Left The completed panel.

finish my cowl. Once the nosebowl was finally laid up and pulled, my CNC router / mill and CNC brake press made forming the aluminium parts of the cowl ‘kit’ a breeze – and the installation quick and easy, well, as easy as any cowl can be… With our new machining capabilities, as a family we developed a compact throttle de-doubler crank, laid up a custom windshield fairing, made custom chocks on the router / mill and custom laser etched placards to meet the requirements of signage, and we still have much more in mind! Building an aeroplane is a family time opportunity beyond belief!

I fitted the DUC Swirl-2R prop, with a carbon fibre spinner, made a nylon tailskid and carbon wrapped it, along with a custom mount for my SkyDemon tablet, while Jonathan finished programming Dragon EIS, an engine information system we designed for the ULPower range of engines and hybrid installations in the future.

We were finally 99% done (for real) and just had the paperwork to complete – including the mod applications, of course – which had to be fitted in between work, ballet lessons and Gwen coming out of mainstream school to hangar-based education! It is essential to put family first, and a little slippage in the scheme of things was to be expected. Looking back, I wonder where we found the time!

As I said at the beginning of this story, building G-WENY has been a journey. It started at the LAA Rally in 2018, went through covid, moving hangar, moving home, changing schools, home- and hangar-education, receiving a letter to say that I had been awarded an Honorary OBE by the late Queen, my naturalisation as a British Citizen, and most recently being made a Professor of Practice by the University of Wales Trinity Saint David – all of which punctuated the six years from first rivet to receiving the permit to test for G-WENY. She is like a sketch pad of my life events, and so much has gone on around this aeroplane, making it more special than ever.

Then, FINALLY, at the beginning of the wettest, windiest, most test-flying unfriendly period in the history of aviation, well perhaps not quite, but it has been so

16 | LIGHT AVIATION | May 2024 Project News

unnaturally wet and windy for the past five months, I received permission to test fly my aircraft. But day-in and day-out the weather did not play ball, that is apart from just one day, when we were too busy with meetings to get around to the test flight. Such is life!

Finally, the weather, time, etc aligned and the first flight was able to take place on 4 March 2024, with my husband, Jonathan, at the controls.

Jonathan continues, “After a few high-speed taxi runs, I lined up on Runway 27 at Haverfordwest Airport. As I applied power for the take-off run, I knew that this machine was going to climb quickly and made sure I kept my eyes out of the window – it was time to fly. After about 20 metres, the nose lifted and the rudder authority kicked in. Less than 70 metres later the bump of wheels on the tarmac gave way to the smooth climb of an aeroplane built without vices. The lightest of touches were needed to keep the aeroplane aligned, she climbed with ease to around 1,000ft as we passed over the numbers at the other end of the runway! It all happened very fast, and it was time to get a proper handle on this machine. The UL350iS and the DUC prop were a silky smooth combination, and the aeroplane settled into a very comfortable cruise at 2,600rpm. Handling was all in

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Left G-WENY after her first flight.

Below (left) G-WENY with all of the family after the first flight.

accordance with type, and the aeroplane felt solid under and around me. The controls seemed to sense my intentions and flying was effortless.

“Trim was responsive and the only challenge was to land. This CH750 Cruzer had waited a long time to fly, and now did not want to be back on solid ground. Pulling back the throttle, I lowered the flaperons as we hit the white arc, and yet the aeroplane refused to lose height quickly enough to make a reasonable touch down upon Runway 27. Going-around at 300ft, the flaperons smoothly retracting, I could feel my cheeks getting sore with a grin that only flying in an aeroplane built by your amazing wife can bring.


G-WENY’s nylon tail skid with carbon wrap.

Below Patricia receives her Professor of Practice award in front of G-WENY.

“The winds shifted and I elected to land on the longer Runway 21. I left the flaps alone, pulled the power and accelerated towards the intersection, planning to touch down after a large puddle. As I rounded out and the speed decayed, the ground effect kicked in and we floated along, smoothly and with total control. I added a small amount of power, finally allowing the main wheels to kiss the ground. Holding the nose up, the aeroplane continued to wheely until the lift decayed, allowing a gentle nosewheel touch down.

“The idle will need to be reduced a bit, and possibly the prop coarsened a little before next flights, but this is an amazing example of type that I look forward to flying much more.”

I could not have been happier, as a family we took a photo with our new-born flying aircraft and went back to work. Hopefully the weather will improve soon, and we can complete all necessary items to fly G-WENY to the coming Popham Microlight Trade Fair this year. n

n Van’s RV-14 (LAA 393-15889) 26/3/2024

Mr I Foley, Mill Farm House, Mill Lane, Snetterton, Norfolk. NR16 2LQ

n Bristell NG5 Speed Wing (LAA 385-15781) 7/3/2024

n G-AMTF DH82A Tiger Moth (s/n 84207) 8/3/2024

Name & Address held by LAA Engineering

n G-BEAB Jodel DR1051 (s/n 228) 28/3/2024

Name & Address held by LAA Engineering

n G-FOXL Zenair CH 601XL (PFA 162B-14537)

Name & Address held by LAA Engineering n Sling High Wing (LAA 432-15868) 4/3/2024

Name & Address held by LAA Engineering


Name & Address held by LAA Engineering n G-RVMM Van’s RV-7 (LAA 323-15022) 8/3/2024

Name & Address held by LAA Engineering

Project News
May 2024 | LIGHT AVIATION | 17

A new era for vintage types

The transfer of the first non-Part 21 CofA type to LAA Permit, thanks to the revision of CAP1302 is definitely something worth celebrating. Ed Hicks talks to one particular LAA member, who was one of those that helped make it happen…

18 | LIGHT AVIATION | May 2024 Special Feature

While the LAA has always been ‘home’ to many vintage aircraft types, it’s not been a universal situation for all examples on the UK civil register. Pre-EASA, the UK Civil Aviation Authority had a freer hand in permitting aircraft to be administered by the then Popular Flying Association. However, tighter controls came along with the advent of EASA, which put tighter controls on the process. If a type was deemed by the country of manufacture to have an active Type Certificate Holder, then it had to stay on a Certificate of Airworthiness. The change meant that, for example, two Luscombes

identical in every way, were regulated under different rules decided only on the date of importation. The same went for Piper Cubs and some Aeroncas.

In May 2023 the CAA announced changes to CAP1302 which opened a path for transferring a non-Part 21 aircraft from a national Certificate of Airworthiness to a national Permit to Fly. All of a sudden owners were seeing probably one of the biggest shifts in airworthiness policy for years. But what brought about the change?

Well, for a large part it was the result of collaborative discussion between the LAA and the CAA, but to get to that stage one LAA member had prepared the ground for those discussions. And for that we have to thank the

May 2024 | LIGHT AVIATION | 19
Special Feature

tenacity of Rachel Watts. Rachel lives in Dursley with her partner, LAA Inspector, Toby Willcox. The pair purchased PA18-95 Super Cub G-OVON in the summer of 2022.

Opposite Rachel and her partner, Toby Willcox bought the aircraft in 2022.

Oscar-November had operated on a UK CofA since its import from Denmark in 2005. Being very familiar with the operation of Permit aircraft – Rachel has a Chipmunk, Toby an RV-9 and a Turbulent, they understood the benefits of the LAA Permit system, and recognised that for an aircraft like their Super Cub, transferring to a Permit

Cwould make it easier to care for the aircraft, with LAA providing help with continuing airworthiness issues, such as design support for modifications and more options for the sourcing of spare parts.

Rachel picks up the story. “My family engineering business, Retro Track & Air UK Ltd, started in 1987 restoring historic racing cars and overhauling large piston aero engines from the WWII era. I was brought up surrounded by all this engineering, as well as my father


AP1302 sets out the details of the process and it’s important to remember it is only applicable to non-Part 21 aircraft.

The non-Part 21 aircraft criteria are available on the CAA website – The status of an individual aircraft may also be checked via G-INFO

CAA Decision Process

1. The transfer decision will be made by the CAA, based on the information and evidence provided.

2. The owner of a non-Part 21 GA aircraft who believes that the TCH is not meeting its obligations, or by virtue of ceasing to exist is unable to do so, should advise this to the CAA’s General Aviation Unit, initially via

3. The owner, or their representative, should provide supporting evidence, including any relevant correspondence with the TCH, a representative body such as the Light Aircraft Association (LAA), type club, and/or the National Aviation Authority (NAA) of the State of Design for the type.

4. The UK CAA will review this information and follow up as appropriate.

5. For non-UK designed types, if the CAA agrees that the request may be supported, this will be progressed via consultation with the NAA of the State of Design.

6. Where the application for certification of the aircraft type was originally submitted after 13 June 1960, the State of Design must confirm to the UK CAA that the type is no longer supported in a manner that allows the aircraft to hold an ICAO CofA.

7. If the application for certification of the aircraft type was originally submitted before 13 June 1960, the CAA may accept a declaration that the State of Design has no technical objection to the aircraft transferring to a national PtF.

8. Where the type has been accepted as eligible for transfer to a PtF, individual applications for a national PtF may then be considered. The approval will be subject to compliance with the relevant provisions of BCAR Section A.

NOTE: The Permit to Fly may be administered either by the CAA, or, in the case of an aircraft falling within the LAA’s technical scope, by the LAA on behalf of the CAA. LAA guidance on this subject is published in Technical Leaflet TL 1.20.

20 | LIGHT AVIATION | May 2024
Special Feature
Above Rachel Watts with her Piper Super Cub, G-OVON.
Special Feature May 2024 | LIGHT AVIATION | 21

Above PA18-95 is just one of a number of non-Part 21 Piper types that can be considered for transfer.

Peter being an avid homebuilder, I guess in hindsight it was inevitable that I was going to dip my toe in the water and obtain my PPL.”

“I have been working full-time at Retro for the last 14 years, and I currently work within our projects team, so have been able to build a good working relationship with the Civil Aviation Authority. I have also listened many times to other LAA members who wanted to see change for the support and operation of vintage types. With our own Super Cub to maintain, and preferring to do that under the supervision of the LAA, I could see very little happening, so decided to turn the challenge of change into a little project of my own.

“Retro has A8-21 Design & Production, A8-24 Maintenance & A8-25 CAM CAA approvals which enables it to support a wide range of legacy aircraft. For example,

“ A chance meeting and an encouraging chat with the CAA’s John Davies helped clarify my thinking, along with a way forward”

should you need new cylinders for an engine like a Bristol Pegasus radial, you can’t go out and buy them, so we piece together any original design data, create new missing artefacts, and approve as required allowing us to manufacture new production runs of parts all within the scope of our suite of approvals. Because of projects like that, we have been working with the CAA for many years, and a chance meeting and an encouraging chat with the CAA’s John Davies – John is the Airworthiness Lead for the General Aviation department – helped clarify my thinking, along with a way forward. It was evident right from the start that I was going to need to complete the groundwork to make this happen, but if I could produce a water-tight case that the Super Cub wasn’t fully supported by the type certificate holder, then there would be no arguing that this would be a genuinely beneficial project, so wheels were put in motion.

“I spoke to Piper Aircraft and Univair, both who confirmed that a full array of support was no longer available for the aircraft. In tandem with my evidence, Jon Viner kindly compiled the necessary paperwork on behalf of the LAA, and by September 2022 we were able to officially approach the CAA to offer a mechanism for non-part 21 types to transfer from the CAA to the LAA.

“A lot of ground was then covered by the CAA team at Gatwick with regard to the policies and legal requirements

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Special Feature

Above Check AD, and SB compliance prior to starting, to help prevent application delays.

Right 16 further aircraft are in the initial pipeline of applications.

Far right Date of type certification plays a part in the application process.

May 2024 | LIGHT AVIATION | 23 Special Feature

that were needed to complete the loop. This was a lot of work and took much time, but it did mean we could then move to the next step, which was for the CAA to meet with the LAA and decide on the necessary procedures and an appropriate system that would allow owners to execute their own transfer. All-in-all we were now eight months

down the line! Finally, there was the brilliant news in May 2023 – we had managed to push this over the line – a revised version of CAP 1302 was published by the CAA. Of course, this wasn’t the end of the line. For the Super Cub, it was the beginning, as we could now work on the transfer request for G-OVON…”


The transfer of PA-18 G-OVON to an LAA-administered Permit to Fly marks, what we hope to be, a new era in the Association taking in various waifs and strays that are now poorly supported by their manufacturer.

In the pre-EASA era, the CAA had a freer hand in being able to pass aircraft across to the LAA. However, with the advent of EASA the situation became more tightly controlled and if a type was deemed by the country of manufacture to have an active Type Certificate Holder, then it had to stay on a Certificate of Airworthiness. Last year, CAA updated its policy on the transfer of aircraft from a Certificate of Airworthiness to a Permit to Fly, published in CAP 1302 and giving a bit more flexibility for CAA to decide that a type is eligible. For types where the type certification application was submitted after 13 June 1960, CAA need confirmation from the relevant National Authority that the type is no longer appropriately supported; for type applications before this date the CAA will seek a ‘no technical objection’ from the relevant National Authority.

The main thing to note is that this policy only applies to non-Part 21 aircraft, i.e. those on a UK National Certificate of Airworthiness, as opposed to those which

are on Part 21 Certificates of Airworthiness (previously EASA Certificates). Also, LAA will only take on those types that are appropriate for the Association: types that fit naturally with the other types that we have and that we can readily support going forwards. We won’t be taking on types that will take up a lot of Engineering time to support, particularly if there are very few examples.

Another point to note is, that at the current time CAA requires us to apply on an airframe-by-airframe basis for permission to transfer aircraft to a Permit.

Following on from the successful transfer of G-OVON, we have submitted 16 further requests in batches from mid-January and are awaiting the green light on these at the time of writing. It is hoped that as both sides become more familiar with the process, this timeframe will be reduced. These applications have included further PA-18 examples, a PA-16, a Luscombe, a Cessna 120 and a couple of Stinson 108.

LAA/Transfer-1 (on the website: Info library – Engineering – Forms, Checklists & Worksheets – Miscellaneous). We’ll review this and, if likely to be eligible, send an application to CAA to take on the example. Once we’ve been given the go-ahead then the process in TL 1.20 is followed. This involves collecting more information about the example and checking that it is up to date with all the relevant requirements (Airworthiness Directives, Mandatory Permit Directives, etc). If it’s not recently been done on its Certificate of Airworthiness, we’ll also authorise a check flight to confirm that handling and performance are as expected. As the process can take a few months (once we have CAA’s blessing), it’s worth timing the application so that there are still some months to go on the CofA to minimise the risk of a gap between the validity of the CofA and the new Permit to Fly being issued.

For owners wishing to make the transfer, the first step is to submit a completed form

TL 1.20 ‘Transferring from a CofA to a Permit to Fly’ and TL 1.25 ‘Vintage aircraft types eligible for an LAA Permit to Fly’ will be updated once the current batch of applications with CAA have been approved.

24 | L IGHT AVIATION | May 2024
Above Happy Cub pilots, Rachel and Toby.

Toby picks up on the application process. “It’s not a process you can rush. There’s currently no TADS for the type, so it was down to us to collect all Airworthiness Directives, Service Bulletins and Service Letters that we needed to demonstrate compliance with. Thankfully that was straight forward as when G-OVON had been placed on the UK register, the engineer and CAA surveyor had done a very thorough job.

“The LAA asked for us to re-weigh the aircraft, which is always a good idea. Like many aeroplanes, there was a weight gain, but luckily only a 4lb weight gain!

In terms of advice for other owners who might be considering the move, Toby says, “Check your AD, SB compliance prior to starting, as you may find yourself with a long period of down time if records have been lost and you can’t prove compliance.

Check the paperwork…

“Plan to be ready just prior to Annual as then you can air test while on CofA, complete the Annual and then submit everything.

“Finally, double check your paperwork, as any errors that create questions from LAA Engineering, and that can often add delays to the process.

“After lots of paperwork and plenty of phone calls, G-OVON was safely transferred onto an LAA Permit in Jan ’24,” adds Rachel.

As for their plans for the future now that the aircraft is on Permit, Toby says, “The plan is to enjoy flying the aircraft and put the money saved on what had been high NARC and annual sign off fees back into helping preserve the aircraft.”

Rachel sums things up by saying, “It is clear for all to see if we don’t support vintage flying and make it accessible for those interested, this will wither on the vine. I hope the re-issue of CAP 1302 offers owners more options to ensure a sustainable future for the vintage aircraft we are simply custodians of for now.”

For her efforts, Rachel was recently awarded the George Davidson Trophy for Outstanding Achievement for Contribution to vintage light aviation by the Vintage Aircraft Club. A very worthy award indeed… ■

Top and above Rachel hopes that the re-issue of CAP1302 will offer owners more options to ensure a sustainable future for vintage aircraft.

May 2024 | LIGHT AVIATION | 25
Special Feature
MORE INFORMATION CAA CAP1302 LAA TL1.20 Transferring from a UK Certficate of Airworthiness to and LAA Permit to fly

An invitation to the ranch

Some incredible aeroplanes awaited Nigel Hitchman when he visited the Ala Doble Ranch invitation fly-in for the Marginal Aviation Last Ditch fly-in

Walt Bowe again invited people to come to his airstrip in northern California for his fabulous flying event at the end of September. With around 40 vintage aircraft from Walt and Carlene’s collection based here, plus several interesting visitors, we had a fantastic time, despite some rain showers on Saturday, in contrast to the usual blue sky conditions, which put off some visitors, but made for some great flying backdrops.


and inset

there. Sadly Vern was killed in an accident in 1998 and after his wife died in 2016 the property was sold, eventually being bought by Walt and Carlene after almost becoming a cannabis farm…

Soon some of Walt’s collection moved into the existing hangars and a new large hangar was built, which soon filled, and now two more hangars built in the last year are full of more exotic antique aircraft. One aircraft that returned ‘home’ was the Curtiss-Wright B14B Speedwing NC12332, which for many years was owned by Vern Dallman.

Special Feature 26 | LIGHT AVIATION | May 2024
Ala Doble Ranch airstrip was built by Vern Dallman in the 1980s and he based his collection of airshow aircraft Above Rare Waco 10 flies past at Ala Doble Ranch – a dream location for a fly-in with some rare vintage types.
Special Feature May 2024 | LIGHT AVIATION | 27
Curtiss-Wright B14B Speedwing. Fabulous Thomas Morse Scout in flight. Smoky take-off of the Thomas Morse Scout.

Thomas Morse Scout: film star!

The highlight for many this year was seeing the Thomas Morse Scout making its first flight for many years. This Scout served as an advanced trainer in the USAAC and then was a film star with the Wilson Brothers and Paul Mantz appearing in WWI films such as Hells Angels and Dawn Patrol made in the 1930s.

Skeeter Carlson obtained the basket case in 1952 in exchange for a Ryan Brougham, which Mantz wanted for the film The Spirit of St Louis, Skeeter restored it in 1964 and flew it with a Ken Royce radial engine for some years before obtaining an original 80hp LeRhone 9C which powers it today. Skeeter flew it a few times with this engine in the 1970s and 1980s. When he died it was sold to George Jenkins at the Eagles Mere Aviation Museum, who then sold it to Walt earlier this year. After working on it in April when a hop was carried out, and again in the build up to the fly-in, Andrew King finally ticked off everything on the ‘to do list’ and made three successful flights around 30 minutes each. As expected from others’ experience, it’s very tail heavy, unstable in pitch and has poor ailerons. Andrew reports that ‘it’s not a nice aircraft, but definitely a great thrill’!

Several other aircraft were new since last year, including the rare 1929 Inland Sport N8088. This aircraft held two records in 1929, the American altitude record for light aircraft of 19,659ft and a world speed record of 123mph. It was displayed in the Wings and Wheels museum at Santee, SC in the 1970s and then acquired by John Desmond, who got it airworthy again, but it was only flown once by Eric Presten about 20 years ago at New Garden, PA, which is where I last saw it around 10 years ago. It was very recently acquired by Walt Bowe and Chris Price made the first flight in many years in the days before the event, reporting nice handling. Later Andrew King flew

28 | LIGHT AVIATION | May 2024
Above (top) 1929 Inland Sport. Above (middle) Lincoln Sport. Above (bottom) KR-31. Right Kinner Playboy R.

it in formation with Eric Presten’s Piper Clipper so we could both get some air-to-air photos.

We also had the only airworthy Kinner Playboy R, NC14963. It was great to see this finally flying. It was restored at the late John Desmond’s workshop in Chalfont, PA, finishing in 2015, and was made airworthy by the Posey brothers at Van Sant, PA. For a while it was on display at the museum at Nut Tree Airport, Vacaville, CA, then bought by Fred Patterson and recently sold to Walt Bowe. Flown by Eric Presten for the air-to-air photos, and Chris Price for those from the ground.

New additions

There also several more new aircraft since last year, the Waco GXE NC6974, Kreider Reisner KR-31 NC7744, and Lincoln Sport N1047 came from George Jenkins’ collection at Eagles Mere, PA, along with the Thomas Morse Scout. The KR-31 was owned by Denny Trone, at Brodhead and flown there by Walt, Andrew King and others some years ago, I even had a few rides in it. Denny had also built the Lincoln Sport, but as yet it hasn’t flown.

The N7083 ’G-EBUG’ 1927 Avro 594 Avian was flown to Ala Doble earlier this year. This was the aircraft, VH-UFZ that Lang Kidby restored and brought to England to fly to Australia in 1998, recreating Bert Hinkler’s 1928 first solo flight from England to Australia. It visited the PFA Rally at Cranfield in 1998 but was badly damaged in a crash in England before the event, and restored with the help of several restoration workshops to allow flight to go ahead.

Greg Herrick then bought the aircraft in 2001 and repainted it as G-EBUG, the Avian flown solo by Lady Heath from South Africa to England, and later after a ride in it with Lady Heath, as 7083 by Amelia Earhart who flew it on her tour from New York to California – and back – in 1928. Herrick’s idea was to re-create that flight and it was flown by Carlene Mendieta. When Greg Herrick put his collection up for sale a couple of years ago it was bought by Carlene and her husband Walt Bowe.

I was hoping to see the Cunningham-Hall PT-6F flying,

May 2024 | LIGHT AVIATION | 29
Cunningham Hall PT-6F. Lockheed Vega 5C. Travel Air S6000B. Beech D18S. Avro Avian.

which I’d never seen in the air before, Bernie Vasquez taxied it out, but had a soft brake, so taxied it back, and after a little bit of work it was taxied out again, this time the brake was grabbing, so it was back to the parking again. So it was time to fly something else and leave it to be fixed after the event! Hopefully next year…

Walt’s beautiful Beech D18S N5QQ, which is usually kept at Nut Tree, was at Ala Doble this year during the fly-in. For many years it was the corporate aircraft of Tony Hullman, the owner of the Indianapolis Speedway, home to the Indianapolis 500 race, and for a long time registered as N500 when operated by Hullman from 63-73, it was then re-registered N5QQ, when replaced by a new corporate aircraft and put in storage for 15 years. It was then sold to a new private owner in 1989 who got it flying again, and Walt bought it in immaculate condition in 2016 from a subsequent owner.

For many, a highlight was seeing Walt fly his Lockheed Vega 5C NC13705. This Vega was built in 1933 and delivered to the Shell Oil company and restored in its colours. It was discovered by previous owner John Desmond in the 1980s, having not flown since the 1950s. Desmond’s company was in the process of restoring the Vega at the time of his death and that was completed for the trustees of his estate. However, the aircraft wasn’t flown, and was loaned to the James Doolittle Museum at Nut Tree Airport, as it had been flown by Doolittle who was the chief pilot of Shell. Walt obtained the aircraft from the

30 | LIGHT AVIATION | May 2024
Commandaire. Amazing formation of four OX5 powered biplanes. American Eagle. Two Hispano-Suiza powered aircraft flying together – Curtiss JN-4H Jenny and Waco DSO.

trustees three or four years ago and got it flying again. It was improved over a series of test flights and it’s now flying well.

Walt’s Waco SRE NC20967 was found a few years ago in a hangar unflown for many years and superbly restored by Rick Atkins in Placerville, flying again in 2017. Walt often uses the SRE as his commuter aircraft to fly to work – just what they were designed for. It still looks fresh out of restoration despite having flown more than 200 hours and was awarded reserve Grand Champion Antique when shown at Oshkosh in 2022.

Travel Air S6000B N411N is another from the John Desmond collection.

Flypast at dusk…

But the real highlights were four OX-5 powered aircraft together: Waco 10, Waco GXE, American Eagle and Command Aire, there should have been five, but the Kreider Reisner KR-31 wasn’t making full power on take-off so taxied back. It’s rare to see one OX-5 powered aircraft flying, but I haven’t seen four together for many years. They flew around on their own and in pairs for almost an hour before eventually getting all four together for one great flypast nearing dusk, what a sight!

The 4779 Waco 10 Miss Fortune was bought by Cecil Hess in 1928 and barnstormed around northern Wisconsin for 450 hours until the late 1950s. Apparently the name Miss Fortune came about because of a wingwalker who fell off early in its flying career. Cecil didn’t have a licence and the aircraft was unregistered. He rebuilt the aircraft in 1959, but would not fly it again until July 1978 more than 50 years after first purchasing it. Unfortunately he damaged it a couple of months later and the FAA finally caught up with him! He died a year or so later. The aircraft was then owned by Dick Wagner who rebuilt it in 1991. Bob Howie bought it in the early 2000s, joining his vintage aircraft fleet in Illinois. Walt bought it from Bob’s Estate in 2019 and had the wings re-covered and got it flying again.

The American Eagle NC7157 was the first I’d seen fly. OX-5 powered, it’s typical of the mid-1920s designs using up WWI surplus OX-5s. It had the same owner Swann

May 2024 | LIGHT AVIATION | 31
Waco UBF. Waco CTO N7446, in Northwest colours, behind that is the Waco QCF-2 with Spartan Executive in the background. Visiting Ryan SCW had a flawless polished finish. Walt uses this beautiful Waco SRE to commute for business.

Allen from 1936 until the 1990s, and he started a restoration in 1968 which was finished in 1989. The aircraft was damaged again in 1993, and was not flown again until recently.

Commandaire 3C3-T N583E was bought by Art Knowles in 1976 who started the restoration which was then completed by Tom Brown in time to be an award winner at Oshkosh 1996. Walt acquired it from WAAM at Hood river a couple of winters ago. Walt generously allowed Tom to fly it again this year.

Top Odd-looking Paramount Cabinaire.

Above (middle) Stunning Younkin Mullicoupe.

Above (bottom) Monocoupe 90.

Right First Stearman PT13 delivered to the US Army flies with Walt Bowe’s Ford Model-A powered Pietenpol.

Waco GXE NC6947 was one that came from George Jenkins earlier this year, where it has been flying for almost 20 years.

There were also two Hispano-Suiza powered aircraft flying together with the Curtiss JN-4H Jenny and Waco DSO, as well as the rare sight of two original 1918 aircraft flying together, when the Thomas Morse flew with the Jenny. It was great to see Frank Schelling and his wife taken for a ride in the Jenny by Andrew King. Frank had spent 32 years restoring the 150hp Hispano-Suiza powered Jenny, which was originally built for the US Navy, and then took it to all the major fly-ins, including taking it by truck to Brodhead to go to Oshkosh – where it was Antique Grand Champion – and Blakesburg and letting many people ride in it, flown by Eric Presten and a few others. Later in the day Walt’s brother Drew also got to fly it for the first time, taking his son for a ride. Drew lives at Poplar Grove, IL, and was recently checked out on the Vintage Wings and Wheels reproduction Jenny.

While some aircraft were taken in and out of the hangars to fly; lined-up in front was a fabulous collection of eight Wacos from Walt’s collection: 4779 Waco 10 (1927),

Special Feature 32 | LIGHT AVIATION | May 2024

NC6974 Waco GXE (1928), NC605N Waco DSO (1929), NC7446 Waco CTO (1928), N657N Waco CTO (1929), N686Y Waco RNF (1930), NC11427 Waco QCF (1931), and NC20967 Waco SRE (1941)

Waco CTO NC7446 is one of the few Wright J-4 powered aircraft flying. NC7446 was the first Waco delivered to Northwest Airways in 1928, as a Waco 10, and it was later converted by Northwest to the Taperwing configuration, as seen here today. It was flown by the famous Charles ‘Speed’ Holman, Northwest’s operation manager on the Chicago-Milwaukee-St Paul Air mail route.

Dazzling onlookers with its shiny skin, NC16793 Fleetwings Seabird was the prototype and currently only complete Seabird of the six built. The aircraft is unusual in that its fuselage is made using spot welded stainless steel. The Seabird was owned for a long time by Channing Clark in California who took it to many fly-ins. It was bought by Greg Herrick’s Golden Wings collection and recently sold to Walt a couple of years ago, and brought back to California. It was just a fleeting visitor though, as the aircraft has now been sold to the Mid America Flight Museum in Texas and was delivered there just after the fly-in.

NC17M Paramount Cabinaire is one of only nine built. These were conversions of a Travel Air 4000 using the wings and tail and some of the fuselage structure. This

May 2024 | LIGHT AVIATION | 33
Walt says this Ryan STA is his favourite aircraft out of all the ones he owns. The aircraft was formerly owned by aerobatic and airshow legend Tex Rankin. Goodyear FG-1D Corsair. Dazzling stainless steel finish of the Fleetwings Seabird.

one was restored in the mid 1990s and then again in the mid 2000s for the Golden Wings museum and bought by Walt five years ago. Just like the Seabird, this too has now been sold to the Mid America Flight Museum in Texas.

Designed and built by Jim Younkin, NX273X Mullicoupe was, based on an idea Younkin and Bud Dake had of making a smaller version of the famous racing Howard DGA-6 Mr Mulligan, and combining its attributes with that of a Monocoupe, hence ‘Mullicoupe’, powered by a 450hp Pratt and Whitney R-985, it makes an amazing aircraft. Three were completed and flown in the late 1980s / early 1990s, and a fourth is still under construction. The Mullicoupe was mostly flown by well-known warbird pilot Bernie Vasquez, who gave a lot of rides and also gave us his airshow demonstration.

Stearman PT-13, N75001 was the first Stearman PT-13 delivered to the USAAC. It is reported that Dwight Eisenhower learned to fly in this aircraft in the Philippines in the late 1930s. Ben Redman gave many rides in this historic aircraft, as well as flying a few of the others.

Walt started out as a homebuilder in high school, and NX12988 is Walt’s Ford Model A-powered Pietenpol Aircamper. It took until 2005 to be finished, but it’s very original to the design.

Acknowledged as his favourite, NC16039 Ryan STA was owned by Tex Rankin and was the aircraft in which he won the International Aerobatic Competition at the 1937 St Louis Air Races. He was also well known for his displays at many air events in that period.

For the warbird fans we even had a fly-by from a Corsair, this was Goodyear FG-1D N11Y now owned by Gary Heck and based at Santa Rosa, recently repainted in new colours.

In the hangar a recent acquisition for Walt, N818F, a Grumman F8F-2 Bearcat, was built for the US Navy before entering civilian hands in 1959 and it flew until an accident in 1964. It was rebuilt by Michael Coutches and last flew in 1968, remaining stored in the American Aircraft sales hangar at Livermore Airport for the next 54 years,

Above (top left) F8F-2 Grumman Bearcat last flew in 1968, and will be restored in a distinctive yellow civilian paint scheme it has had for most of its life.

Above (top right) Eric Presten’s LOM-powered Bucker Jungmann.

Above Rare Helio Stallion.

Below Magical hangar scene come night-fall at Ala Doble.

until it was bought by Walt and transported to Ala Doble in 2023, where a thorough restoration is being performed. It has now been carefully stripped down for restoration with various components sent away for overhaul, temporarily losing its distinctive all yellow civilian paint scheme, but Walt assures us it will be repainted back in the same colours.

Another interesting visitor was the Helio Stallion N550HE, which is believed to be the only Stallion currently airworthy of the 20 built, most of which went to the Khmer Air Force (Cambodia in the mid 1970s), this aircraft was exported to the Philippines in 1981 but returned to the US 10 years later.

Finally, Eric Presten’s CASA Jungmann fitted with a Walter LOM engine was very nice to see.

The only Bucker present, although three others had set off for Ala Doble from San Diego, but after one had a technical problem their owners returned home and all came in a Cessna 206 – hopefully we will see them next time.

I’m looking forward to this year’s event. Walt has several more aircraft at Brodhead and on restoration elsewhere that we look forward to seeing.

Thanks to Walt and Carlene for inviting us to their airstrip as well as Marginal Aviation and all the volunteers who pitched in to make it a fabulous event. ■

Special Feature 34 | LIGHT AVIATION | May 2024

The latest LAA Engineering topics and investigations. Compiled by Nick Stone

Engineering Matters

Including: Propeller strike… what next? An in-depth look at what actions to take following a prop strike, and how the process varies across different makes of engine

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. We all learn by sharing information, so if you

have anything to say that you think would benefit others, or have experienced an interesting technical issue or component failure, then please contact us with a description of what you encountered and include accompanying pictures. Send your submissions to LAA Engineering at


Those dreaded words ‘prop strike’ are unfortunately heard all too often, be it a Lycoming a Continental or a DeHavilland, they all have slight differences in their documentation but the principles are the same. The aircraft engine following a prop strike incident has the potential to have unseen damage internally and will fail just at the wrong moment

Teledyne Continental and Lycoming, being the market leaders in aircraft engine supply across the world, have the most up-todate procedures and actions to be taken. Many LAA Vintage aircraft are fitted with Gipsy Major engines, which are still supported and have their own procedures. In the event your engine is no longer supported by the manufacturer, it is still important to consider all the same points, carry out similar inspections and take measurements to ensure the continued airworthiness of your engine installation.

It must be noted any of the information given is not hard and fast and every engine in an LAA aircraft must be assessed on an individual basis with the input of an LAA Inspector or a CAA certified engine overhaul / repair facility.

Teledyne Continental Motors Service Bulletin 96-11A

Examination / actions after shock loading

First let’s look at the Teledyne Continental Motors service bulletin, which defined a prop strike and made recommendations about what to do. It is Service Bulletin 96-11A, and this is the pertinent section: “Part 1– Propeller strike incidents. A propeller strike is: Any incident, whether or not the engine is operating, that requires repair to the propeller other than minor dressing of the blades as set forth in Part 1, B of this Service Bulletin

2) Any incident while the engine is operating in which the propeller makes contact with any object that results in a loss of engine rpm. Propeller strikes against the ground or any object can cause engine and component damage even though the propeller may

Engineering Matters 36 | LIGHT AVIATION | May 2024
Above This is very clearly a prop strike!

Airworthiness Directive 2004-10-14 is applicable to Lycoming engines

Examination / actions after shock loading

Airworthiness Directive 2004-10-14 is applicable to Lycoming engines that have experienced a prop strike. It pretty much echoes the TCM service bulletin but adds two other situations.

“A sudden rpm drop while impacting water, tall grass, or similar yielding medium, where propeller damage is not normally incurred.”

The preceding definitions include situations where an aircraft is stationary and the landing gear collapses causing one or more blades to be substantially bent, or where a hangar door (or other object) strikes the propeller blade.

“These cases should be handled as sudden stoppages because of potentially severe side loading on the crankshaft flange, front bearing, and seal.”

With your aircraft’s departure from the runway amid a cloud of mud and debris, how do you determine the consequences of the incident and move forward?

Before you get to that, as you’d expect from a group of pilots and engineers in the club house or at a Strut meeting, heated discussions and arguments raged about the wording. For example, how much propeller filing constitutes ‘minor dressing?’ And what’s a ‘solid object?’

These words all become very flexible when looking at the costs and the loss of use potentially on the horizon following an incident.

Recently, a transient aircraft hit a rubber traffic cone with the prop and kept going, taking off and disappearing into the sunset. In another incident a prop hit a small rock, which had been dislodged and thrown back by a larger aircraft. The prop had a good-size dent in it, prompting the pilot to remove the prop and send it in for repair. Should he also have performed the obligatory engine inspections?

This argument then also develops into the propeller hitting grass and water. How much grass and how deep should the water be, and how sudden is ‘sudden’, and what constitutes an rpm drop? Does 500 rpm fit that bill? How about 50 rpm? Plus, unless you were watching

the tach, how would you know? Sure, some of these arguments are specious, but the point is, there’s a lot of grey areas, and this can cause many incidents to be ignored. You can bet the fellow who hit the traffic cone never made a logbook entry unless the engine had to be repaired. Unfortunately, it may be the next owner who discovers any hidden damage. The biggest factor if owners are honest is the cost of an inspection and the prospect of an even larger bill! The other factor is the loss of use for what could be many months, this is dependent on what is damaged and spares availability. Lycoming has in the past few years had supply issues to the UK causing considerable delays.

Bristol Siddeley Gipsy Major Variants Technical News Sheet T.N.S No74

Examination / actions after shock loading

The air registrations board required that if a Gipsy Major engine crankshaft has been subject to a shock loading, it must be removed from the engine and tested as described in TNS No 8 before being refitted.

However, the degree of shock loading which necessitates removal of the crankshaft from the engine is left to the discretion of the licenced engineer (LAA Inspector) concerned, provided that:

• The propeller installed at the time of the potential shock load incident is a wooden one and

• The object struck, and the resultant damage, are not such as to cause the licenced aircraft engineer (LAA Inspector) concerned to consider that potentially serious damage may have been caused.

In all other instances, for example the aircraft has a metal propeller or where the nose of the aircraft is seriously damaged, the crankshaft must be regarded as having been shock loaded.

If it is decided that the degree of shock loading does not warrant removal of the crankshaft from the engine, the inspection given in the TNS must be followed with the crankshaft installed. Or the crankshaft is removed from the engine following a strip down of the engine for inspection as per the TNS.

Engineering Matters May 2024 | LIGHT AVIATION | 37
Above There’s no question about a strike here… Above … or here.
‘Just’ a chunk out of the propeller?

Bombardier Rotax 912-914 (four stroke) series

Examination / actions after shock loading

The exception to the prop strike general rule is the Rotax 912-914 series of engines. They have propeller speed reduction gearbox and clutch systems that usually protect the engine from prop strike damage, the torsional shock absorbing device, which is a torsional shock absorber with dogs, this is dependent on the model and the age of the engine, the overload clutch is fitted to all serial production engines of configuration three, but does itself require a teardown and inspection after a prop strike.

Rotax deals with this subject in more detail in their maintenance manual for these engines in Chapter 05-50-00, Section 1. Besides disassembling the gearbox and carefully inspecting it, the crankshaft must be checked for out-of-roundness to be sure that there is no more than .0031 inch of runout.

It is not uncommon for the propeller flange fitted to the gearbox to be bent and no other damage be found after following the maintenance manuals inspection guidance.

If the engine is unfortunately outside the limits, the engine must come apart for inspection and parts replacement. The Rotax heavy maintenance manual covers the strip down in Chapter 72-00-00, Section 3.9. These manuals are available online at the Rotax website.

Most of the time the engine will not need to come apart, but you are still grounded after a prop strike until some serious work has been done. However, as stated before, it will be hard to make the case that you maintained your aircraft in a condition safe for operation if you do not follow these recommendations and something goes wrong later.

Mandatory post-strike actions

Now that you have a definition, what does the owner have to do about such an event? After defining a continental engine prop strike, TCM’s SB 96-11A states:

“A. Propeller strike inspections. Following any propeller strike complete disassembly and inspection of all rotating engine components is mandatory and must be accomplished prior to further operation. Inspect all engine accessories in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions.”

TCM’s SB 97-6 specifies the mandatory items that must be replaced when the engine is stripped down. I won’t list them all here, but some of the more expensive ones are: hydraulic valve lifters, connecting rod bearings, the crankshaft’s main and thrust bearings, all needle, ball, and roller bearings, exhaust valves, valve springs, piston pins, pistons, crankcase through bolts, all the hardware, seals, gaskets, O-rings, and lots of other small stuff.

There are other things that have to be checked, including the magnetos, propeller governor, and fuel system. Basically, anything that moves is subject to visual and other forms of non-destructive testing.

The concern, of course, is the prospect of hidden damage, which can cause, and has caused, subsequent engine failures. Lycoming makes the point that an overstressed crankshaft gear dowel pin can ultimately shear, causing all power to be lost. Lycoming has reports of ground strikes, which have resulted in overstressed connecting rod bolts that failed later. This is one failure nobody wants to experience. If you can imagine a loose rod banging around inside your engine, you know it’s not going to end well.

Opinions from the field – good and bad

Service bulletins are one thing, but the real information comes from the people working in the field. But let me start this section with the understanding – there is no black and white, and the subject under discussion is the greyest of the grey areas. No two cases are the

38 | LIGHT AVIATION | May 2024 Engineering Matters
Prop strike damage to a Van’s RV-6. A severe prop-strike for this Jabiru in a Savannah. Sudden prop stoppages can cause internal engine damage like this broken magneto drive gear tooth.

same given the nature of accidents and incidents, opinions differ with each individual dependant on experience and knowledge, and what aircraft engineers / LAA Inspectors would do personally is quite often at odds with their professional opinions.

That said, you’ll understand that this article isn’t going to state, nor even hint at, what you should do in this situation. This is down to the LAA Inspector carrying out the work to determine the extent of the work required to ensure that any engine is safely returned to airworthiness.

The LAA Inspector’s findings and his resolution may well be in contrary to what the owner believes is the right course of action to return there aircraft back to airworthiness. The owner can of course get a second opinion. The Inspector also has the option to walk away if he is uncomfortable signing off an unsuitable action.

Some of the facts, figures and views differ vastly and are interesting to read.

On the record, several engine overhaul facilities have said that if someone came into their workshop and said they had an aircraft with a prop strike, they would follow the procedures outlined above to the letter.

Off the record, most of the shop owners said they find evidence of internal damage in only about 10 to 20 per cent of the engines they’ve stripped down. Of course, this cannot be verified as fact. They all agreed that if it were their aircraft, they would think long and hard about doing a strip down and inspection. Their decision would involve the specific engine involved, the severity of the prop damage, the cost, the hours on the engine, whether the prop was stopped or appreciably slowed, and a vast array of further questions enabling an informed decision to be made.

Let’s look at one of the big factors: the potential cost of work that has to be done following a prop strike. The cost of a teardown and inspection, for a small four-cylinder engine like the O-360 or -320, is potentially £6,000+. There’s also the cost of inspection of the accessories, mags etc, which is extra. If you need someone to remove and reinstall the engine, that’s another £1,800+. A full overhaul will cost about £12,500 plus accessories. The £6,500 differential is not insignificant. This does not include the cost of damaged parts or parts that are found to be unserviceable during the strip down and cannot be used, which unfortunately happens to add a great deal of cost to the finished engine.

As you may guess, these are not hard and fast figures, it is dependent on a few factors, the engine company involved, engine type and most importantly the extent of the damage – some engine types have eye-watering costs for parts. Also, there is the issue of availability of parts. Lycoming at one point quoting years before parts would become available due to supply chain issues.

As for whether the prop strike inspection should be done, the quandary is, “How do you know if something is good or not? Maybe it is and maybe it isn’t.” Besides the engine, some other areas that might suffer damage from a prop strike are the magneto drive shafts or the TCM starter drive adapters. A major strike has the potential to stop an engine turning under 2,000rpm, but over that speed the blades will usually bend. On TCM engines with the geared alternators up front, we have seen the mounting flange and the gear drive bolts break during a prop strike.

As for dialling the flange which is common practice, does have some issues, TCM nitrides the crank so checking the run-out of the flange is potentially a waste of time. The flange will break before it bends, it must also be kept in mind that the crank may have cracked which may go undetected, continuing to grow until it finally gives up.

On Lycoming engines, which are not nitrided, the flange can be bent which will be indicated on a dial check. Also, on prop strikes involving frontal impact, the crank can be pushed back into the engine, cracking the case at the slinger ring, and this may not be visible until the engine is stripped down.

Lucy Wootton: Chief Inspector notes

Updates from the LAA Chief Inspector.

Inspector renewal

March is always a particularly busy month, with it being time for the annual Inspector Renewal by 31 March. All Inspectors are required to do two things to renew their Inspector Authorisation from 1 April:

● Pay a £40 administration fee.

● Complete an ‘Inspector Declaration’ form

Emails were sent out to all Inspectors on 4 and 25 March, as well as a letter to those who were yet to start the renewal process by 27 March. If you are an Inspector reading this and have not yet renewed, then please get in touch so that we can reinstate your Inspectorship and continue to provide a wonderful service for our members.

What work can owners do?

One LAA Inspector recently pointed out that some of the LAA aircraft owners that he has contact with are a little confused regarding what they can sign for and what an Inspector has to sign for, so here is some more information for you to provide clarity.

The CAA has defined the scope of maintenance that can be carried out and certified by a pilot, who is an owner of the aircraft and a member of the LAA – this list is described in Technical Leaflet 2.05.

Pilot maintenance must be recorded and signed for. This is done by entering the details of the work carried out into the relevant log book, with a unique identifying reference to any worksheets, if worksheets have been used. Worksheets raised in this way should be kept securely and permanently in the aircraft ‘maintenance’ file.

When acting as a signatory the pilot, who is the owner of the aircraft and who is a member of the LAA, must include their pilot’s licence number with their signature.

Work falling outside the scope of that defined in Technical Leaflet 2.05 will require the attention of a LAA Inspector and the need for the work to be certified by a LAA Inspector signing a Permit Maintenance Release (PMR).

The truth is, there is no way you can tell if there’s any damage regardless of the circumstances. What looks like light damage may sometimes result in something broken or highly stressed inside, in many cases a major collision may show nothing wrong after it’s been stripped down for inspection with no damage directly attributable to the prop strike, but it does find other things that are wrong and need to be repaired.

Talking about whether to have the engine overhauled or just inspected, how much more time before overhaul is remaining on the engine? If you have only 100 hours left before TBO, paying for an inspection and then doing it over again in a year does not make any sense at all. But if there’s 1,000 hours or more left on the engine, you’re probably better off with just an inspection.

Engineering Matters May 2024 | LIGHT AVIATION | 39

Prop strikes and pre-purchase inspection

It is always important that before you purchase an aircraft, that you have a pre-purchase inspection carried out on the aircraft by an Aircraft engineer / LAA Inspector who can pick up on the smallest element of detail and knows where to look both on the aircraft itself and the documentation. The potential of buying an aircraft that may have suffered a prop strike without the required inspections being completed is all too real a prospect.

The owner may have done it in all innocence, not completely understanding the rules and guidelines. Removing and reinstalling a propeller takes just a few hours, and the prop shops are not always told the full story when a propeller is presented for straightening or overhaul.

We like to think and hope that those we deal with are honest, however, there’s always a chance of potential impropriety by a seller, so when buying an aircraft, be careful and, if needed, take informed advice.

Other aspects to be looked at during a pre-purchase inspection is airframe damage related to an unreported accident / incident. Look for wrinkles in the firewall or Cherry Max rivets in the fuselage, two potential indicators of an accident.

Prospective owners should review the logs in detail to see if the propeller has been changed recently. If it has, and there’s no indication in the engine logs about a teardown and inspection, it’s time to discuss this with the owner and if their explanation is not acceptable to you, walk away!

Another thing to look for in the logs is a prolonged period of

Recent Alerts & AILs

Recently issued instructions for continued airworthiness. (Please check the LAA website for further details).

Supermarine Aircraft MK26 and MK26b

MTD-01-2024 issue 2

TADS 324 Applicability All Aircraft

Geometry / symmetry checks to be carried out to ensure correct alignment of fin assembly and rigging of rudder.

LAA Engineering charges

LAA Project Registration

Kit Built Aircraft

Plans Built Aircraft

Initial Permit issue

Up to 450kg


1,000kg and above

Permit Revalidation

(can now be paid online via LAA Shop)

Up to 450kg

1,000kg and above

Factory-built gyroplanes* (all weights)

inactivity, such as years between annual inspections and oil changes. This may indicate damage that has taken considerable time to fix.

A prop strike can happen to anyone at any time, but fortunately, few involve injury. If you have a prop strike, or suspect the aeroplane you’re looking to buy has suffered one, take your time and do your homework to save some money and future issues.

In the end it is all down to common sense, most owners are responsible and are covered by comprehensive insurance policies to protect themselves or their aircraft group from the financial burden of the after potential effects of a propeller strike.

Some incidents and accidents are not reported nor claims made due to the prospect of higher premiums in the future. This you may find is a false economy and defeats the object of having insurance.

It is important to remember that the aircraft engineer / LAA Inspector must make a judgment based on the facts as presented to them and if there is any doubt at all, moves should be made to strip the engine down.

Ultimately, the owner of the LAA aircraft is responsible for the airworthiness of their aircraft and as such should always follow the guidance given in manufacturers Air Directives (AD) or when an engine is no longer supported to make the best endeavour to responsibly check their engine following a prop strike.

Hopefully this ensures peace of mind when flying your aircraft knowing that you have done everything possible to ensure the safety and airworthiness of the aircraft.

It has been found that there is potential for the fin and rudder of the Supermarine Spitfire Mk26 and 26B to be misaligned during build, i.e. so that it is not pointing directly fore and aft, parallel with the aircraft centreline. This could occur due to a build-up of tolerances in the fin and its attachment and the build sequence described in the build manual, possibly leading to a misrigging of the rudder and

failure to achieve the desired range of rudder movement. This could possibly result in degraded controllability in flight and on take-off and landing.

Issue 2 of this MTD was raised to clarify an anomaly in the required rudder deflection figure stated on Supermarine drawing 9-012 and to include a requirement to check and adjust the tailwheel steering break-out angle.






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

Modification application

Prototype modification minimum £100

Repeat modification minimum £50

Transfer (from C of A to Permit or CAA

Permit to LAA Permit)

Up to 450kg

451 to 999kg




1,000kg and above

Four-seat aircraft

Manufacturer’s/agent’s type acceptance fee





Project registration royalty £50

Category change

Group A to microlight


Microlight to Group A £200

Change of G-Registration fee

Issue of Permit documents following G-Reg change


Replacement Documents

Lost, stolen etc (fee is per document) £25

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

40 | LIGHT AVIATION | May 2024 Engineering Matters
£230 451-999kg

YES Sky Summit: Navigating the future of aviation for young people

Pete White reports on the success of a ‘gathering of like-minds’ at Old Warden…

On Saturday 23 March I was honoured to co-host the 16th YES Aviation Education Conference at Old Warden with our president Stewart Luck. The room was packed with people of all ages and gender and, even after a full day of listening to 28 enthusiastic speakers, the audience was still very much engaged and brimming with passion… a passion for the subject of aviation!

So what is YES and what does it do?

YES stands for Youth Education Support and as a body it is affiliated to the Light Aircraft Association (LAA). The prime aim is to collectively, on a national basis, to help, advise, guide and mentor ‘tomorrow’s adults’ in the direction of aviation… as a career or for pleasure.

YES is supported by many organisations, charities and companies, as well as individuals who can see the sense in encouraging the young people of today into the world of aviation.

On the day of the conference we were very fortunate to have representatives from some of these supporting bodies to talk about their specialties, and to explain how they can help the young people of today.

Forging a career in aeronautical engineering or flying commercially can convert this passion into money, and some of the guest speakers enlightened us all into what can happen if you were to take the apprenticeship route or

Below left Pete White welcomes the attendees.

Below right Tatiana Shevchenko talked about opportunities within the operation of heritage jets.

to pursue a commercial flying career. Meanwhile, other speakers passed on their experiences after having been awarded scholarships or bursaries which helped to kick start their flying dreams.

YES considers all young people, and some of the guest speakers explained what is available in the aviation world for disabled and disadvantaged youngsters, either as a flight experience or perhaps helping them to gain a flying licence.

Without our sponsors for the YES Education Conference it would not have happened so a huge thank-you goes to IMT Aviation, Skysmart and LAS Aerospace… we are pleased to support them in the future.

At this point I must give a special thanks to the Shuttleworth Team at Old Warden Aerodrome for making it possible to hold a gathering of this nature in its Discovery Hub and for its continued support of YES.

I can honestly say that it was the best conference attendance we have ever had with a total of 75 POB. I’m sure some of the credit for this is due to Matthew Studdert-Kennedy, from Shuttleworth, creating social media posts 10 days prior to the event which brought in ATC cadets and their parents. Our YES website also took a few hits which helped to bring in delegates from wider afield. There were a lot of last minute reservations and a

42 | LIGHT AVIATION | May 2024 YES Report

few walk-ins – which played havoc with our catering order – but we coped and everyone was still smiling at the end.

By listing the conference delegates, who all delivered short and precise presentations, it will be evident how diverse the day was and the depth of coverage for the audience. After the initial registration period and coffee we welcomed all aboard and each person stood up to introduce themselves and told us why they were there. This took a short while but it had the effect of relaxing all-comers into the event, as well as informing us all. The presentations rolled on with Stewart Luck showing us a video of Grant Shapps at the 2021 LAA Rally, and explaining how important it is that we look after our future adults.

Shuttleworth’s Matthew Studdert-Kennedy then took the stand with its volunteering and technician apprenticeship schemes, explained by Sam West and Phoebe Kershaw.

Next, John Passfield told us all about the Heritage Technician Apprenticeships, with more apprenticeship opportunities from Skysmart’s Andrew Webb. We then had a change of direction and Mike Derret of the Cambridge Flying Group explained how its Tiger Moths are used for flying scholarships. Tatiana Shevchenko gave us warbird initiatives using predominately the Jet Provost, which was followed by Pete Hibbard from the BGA giving us the quieter options of Junior Gliding Activities.

Harvey Matthewson and Richie Piper demonstrated how the Blackbushe-based Aerobility flying training organisation catered for disabilities of all kinds, and then came Colin Knowles with details of Scout Gliding and taster days in the South East.

The British Women Pilots Association followed when Sophie Cooper explained her scholarship journey, and Andre Faehndrich detailed the 2024 YES initiative of flying young people. We enjoyed an excellent presentation by a young pilot, Amina Waheed, who had overcome several hurdles to attain her dream.

Before lunch Chris Fagg gave us engineering opportunities and developments from IMT Aviation. The buzz and excitement of chatter and networking over lunch slowly subsided as we restarted the afternoon presentation process.

Ray Wilkinson began the second-half representing Hertfordshire University and its offerings to the young audience. Richie Piper then returned to the stage to detail how The Honourable Company of Air Pilots has helped to give young souls a start in flying. The Royal Institute of Navigation competition was explained by Pete White,

Above (from left to right) Harvey Matthewson is a regular presenter about opportunities with Aerobility.

Amina Waheed talked about The Aviatrix Project. Amina has previously been the recipient of an Armstrong-Isaacs bursary.

Sam West gave a smashing talk about his journey as an engineering apprentice at the Shuttleworth Collection.

Shuttleworth Discovery team member, Phoebe Kershaw, talked about flying opportunities while volunteering at Old Warden.

before Anne Hughes of the Vintage Aircraft Club took the stand. Anne, together with Julian Hill, showed us how vintage aircraft projects were being constructed and used by the young as a career aid or to inform them about past forms of aircraft construction. The superb ‘Reach for the Sky’ enterprise of the WWI Heritage Trust was explained by Dick Forsyth and was followed by a Scottish venture, ‘Take Off Trust Youth Initiative 2024’ with Jim Lachendro and William Scott.

The Hatfield branch of the Royal Aeronautical Society was up next and Maurice James was presenting. Pete White from the Feet Off the Ground charity from Bodmin in Cornwall showed how it flew and looked after disabled and disadvantaged youngsters in the West Country. Mark Adams took some time to explain Time & Space Learning – Engaging activities for younger people, before the well-known artist and cartoonist, Phil Jackson, represented the Guild of Aviation Artists. Model flying was next and Simon from the BMFA South Midland Area & Old Warden Model Club gave us his story. The day was rounded off by Stewart Luck and Andre Faehndrich explaining the history of the Build A ‘Plane projects and where they are today.

My word, what a day! And what a joy to see so many happy people with large smiles, bursting with enthusiasm and passion.

Membership of YES is FOC and to join you only have to fill in a form and copies are available on the website

To date, our membership spreads from Scotland, across England to Cornwall, and to Northern Ireland, where individual teams are working hard. Their aim is doing what they can to help youngsters experience the joys of flight, assist in Build a ‘Plane projects or offering career advice in the aviation sector. Nationally, these unsung heroes have done so much to help young people… and now it is an opportunity for you all to help in your own field and join us at YES.

An opportunity to help

The Big YES project for this year – Young Aviators: 2,024 in 2024 – is to fly as many young people as is possible and details of this bumper project will be found on our website and the results will be collated by Andre Faehndrich with periodical updates on the website.

Have a great 2024 flying season, keep it a safe year –and fly as many Young Aviators as you can before the year is out. ■

YES Report May 2024 | LIGHT AVIATION | 43

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Ups and downs of homebuilding…


Razzell talks to Ed Hicks about how he progressed from Keil-Kraft model kits, to building his own


Why aviation, and what started your interest?

My interest in flying was from an early age. I remember being given a kit for a Keil-Kraft Sedan rubber-powered, sheet balsa wood model around the age of eight, and trying to fly it in the garden. I still remember the smell of fresh balsa wood and balsa cement very fondly. I liked Airfix kits but was always more interested in flying models, and I progressed to built up balsa and tissue models such as the Keil-Kraft Eaglet, as well as small control line models (I still have a 0.8cc Wasp somewhere in the workshop).

At Queen Mary College (QMC), then part of the University of London in the

mid-1980s, I found a very interesting book in the library by Robert Lowe about building an Evans VP1, which sowed the seed of building my own full-sized aircraft.

Your very first flight – what aircraft, where and when?

My first flight was in a Rollason Condor at Redhill in the mid-1980s when I was at QMC. It was owned by the Condor Club which, I seem to recall, was run by Mike Jones. I went with my friend Chris, who was on my course, and was mad keen on flying and had trained at Redhill. They were good aircraft and I was allowed a bit of straight and level stick time which was great fun. On one occasion, we flew over to Maldon in Essex, where I grew up, and did a little display for my mum!

May 2024 | LIGHT AVIATION | 45
Meet the Members
Above Tony and the elevator. Below Keil Kraft Sedan.

Tell us about your personal learning-to-fly journey?

Having had several flights with Chris in Condors, as well as a Slingsby T67A G-BIOW (sadly no longer with us), and a Super Cub G-PCUB (still registered), I was interested in learning to fly after university. And when I moved to Bristol to work for Rolls-Royce I had a trial lesson at Staverton, as well as joining the PFA, and going along to a few Strut meetings.

my skills test at the end of August 2011. I am still working towards my restricted instrument (IMC) rating.

How long have you been an LAA member, and how does the LAA help you fly?

I rejoined the PFA (as was) when I started my flying training in 2007, primarily with a view to building my own aircraft, and I also joined the East Midlands Strut around the same time. The general encouragement from Strut members, plus the annual Rally, was key to helping me stay the course.

However, I decided that I needed to buy a house as the prices were rocketing in the late-1980s and unfortunately that put paid to the idea of learning at that time. I moved to Derby with Rolls-Royce in 1995, and around 10 years later it was suggested that I join the Royal Aeronautical Society by one of my colleagues who was active in the Derby branch.

As a result of being elected a Fellow, I found myself at a Henry Royce lecture and dinner, and happened to be put on a table with Martin Jones from Derby Airfield, who re-awoke my interest in flying, and homebuilts in particular.

I asked my wife Cathy for a trial lesson for my birthday in 2007 and was able to finance my PPL training at Derby Airfield after inheriting some money. It took until January 2009 to go solo (I am a slow learner), and I finally passed

Top and above Tony had early flights in Slingsby G-BIOW and Piper Super Cub G-PCUB.

Below (left) Going flying in Steve Rickett’s LAA award winning Menestrel.

Below (right) With Cessna G-BNHK, which Tony owns a share in.

Total number of types of aircraft and (rough) hours you have flown

If you count a few supernumerary hours in the mid-1980s when I went flying as a passenger from Redhill, I have flown in around eight types and around 240 hours, but the vast majority has been in the C152 from Derby. As a low-time pilot I am keenly aware of my limitations and inexperience. One task I have set myself, having taken early retirement, is to fly more often.

Any favourite or less liked types that you’ve flown? If so, why?

I don’t think I have enough time on other types to form a strong opinion of likes and dislikes. The Slingsby T67 Firefly was a very nice aircraft though, and a recent flight in Steve Rickett’s beautiful Menestrel confirmed that I am building the right aircraft (phew!).

Current and past (privately) owned aeroplane(s)

I currently own a 1/6th share in a late Cessna 152 (the G-BNHK group), with which I am very happy. I have been building a Nicollier Menestrel 2 for the last 11 years (some of you will have seen it at the LAA Rally), and with

46 | LIGHT AVIATION | May 2024

fuselage and tail feathers structurally complete, I am now well on to making the one-piece wing.

I am hoping that the project will be complete in the next three years, now that I have more time to spend on it. Having trained on the tricycle undercarriage C152, I will need to do a taildragger conversion course.

Your best aviation moment and flight – and why?

A standout was my first solo on 3 January 2009. It was a frosty, still day and my instructor (Paul Jones) had done four circuits with me when he asked if I had my medical and passed my Air Law exam.

When I answered ‘yes’, he told me to do the next circuit on my own and got out, adding that if it didn’t look right on the approach, go-around and try again (remembering to treat the nose leg as if it is made of pipe cleaners!).

After a successful circuit, I was as high as a kite, and got up very early the next morning to write down the experience.

Other memorable flights include flying over the snowy peak district on a crisp winter day with Cathy, and a trip to Caernarfon routing round the coast of North Wales on the way there, and over Snowdonia on the way back with fantastic views.

Any aviation heroes – who and why?

My grandfather Richard Kearton was an observer in WWI having joined the RFC after serving in the Artists Rifles (he was an excellent artist and photographer), so I guess he is a personal aviation hero. He encouraged my late uncle Martin’s aero-modelling and I think that was then passed on to me. Obviously, people such as Eric ‘Winkle’ Brown were amazing, but I would also cite Frank Whittle who achieved so much for aviation with his dogged determination to develop the gas turbine for aircraft propulsion against much official indifference and sometimes hostility.

Any favourite aviation books?

I am an avid reader and enjoy all sorts of aviation-related books (including text books on aircraft design, I’m afraid). I really enjoyed reading the story of Robert Lowes VP1 as that set me off on the homebuilding road (I now have the book that he wrote, as well as the PFA booklet with the articles, on which he based the book). Airymouse by Harald Penrose is another favourite, I love his gentle style of writing that allows you to imagine yourself right there. I am also a fan of Nevil Shute’s novels, which usually involved some sort of flying.

May 2024 | LIGHT AVIATION | 47
Left Build and Fly Your Own Plane by Robert Lowe. Right Flying with daughter Caitlin
Meet the Members
Right Bristol Fighter by Richard Kearton, Tony’s grandfather.

Any lessons that you’ve learned from certain moments / flights?

Shortly after my skills test I arrived at the airfield and booked out a club C152. The weather was marginal but I was desperate to go flying, and sure enough I became ‘temporarily uncertain of my position’ somewhere to the south of East Midlands zone. In my confusion, and wish to avoid getting into East Midlands zone, I headed west and strayed into the Birmingham zone instead! Asking for help from East Midlands, I was told to call Birmingham, who told me to head north. When I got back, I had to call up the controller at Birmingham and received the deserved

Top Laminating the Menestrel’s upper spar boom.

Above (left) Family admiring the second ply shear web!

Above (right) Tony sailing Pickle off Fowey with his son Peter.

telling off. The irony was that I had a GNS430 in the aircraft but did not know how to use it properly and was terrified of losing radio communication. Lesson well and truly learned – prepare properly for your flight beforehand, including how to use the aircraft equipment, including electronic Navaids (I got SkyDemon after that and have not been lost again).

Do you have any ‘fantasy hangar’ aircraft or vehicles that you’d love to own / try? I’d love a flight in a Spitfire… maybe one day.

Meet the Members
Right Tony’s Menestrel project on display at the LAA Aero Expo stand in 2023.
48 | LIGHT AVIATION | May 2024

Do you have other non-aviation hobbies / interests?

Too many, which may be why the Menestrel has proceeded at a somewhat leisurely pace! I am very technically minded and interested in lots of technical / scientific hobbies, including astronomy, amateur radio, model engineering and messing about with Raspberry Pis and Arduinos. I like to sail on occasion, and also play the guitar (and sing after a fashion).


advice for other aircraft owners and pilots?

Probably more for aircraft builders, I would echo Dudley Pattison’s advice to try and do something on your project every day, even if it is moving a bolt. It is surprising how all those little jobs add up over time.

I am very under qualified to advise other pilots, all I would say is try and continue to learn and develop your skills and (carefully) expand the envelope of operation to build experience. I inadvertently entered cloud not too long ago, having misjudged how far away it was, but having been doing IMC training I just executed a 180° rate 1 turn and exited on the reciprocal with no drama – just need to finish it now!

I hear you’ve got involved with two DH88 Comet projects – Ken Fern’s replica G-RCSR and G-ACSP.

I’ve known Ken since I started building the Menestrel when he was kind enough to supply some 1 inch 4130 tubing for the control column. As I have a small machine shop at home (Myford Super Seven lathe etc.) he has asked me to make a number of small bits and pieces over the years for his DH88 Comet replica of G-ACSR. I’d mentioned that I was considering making my own canopy and he asked if I could have a go at the Perspex landing light fairing as he’d had no joy with finding a supplier in the UK who could do it.

I thought it would be good experience in preparation for the Menestrel canopy, so I made tooling and a small oven to heat the Perspex sheet. I used a vacuum-forming technique with a GRP tool produced from a shaped plug, lining the tool with felt to try to minimise unwanted surface marking. We were pretty pleased with the result, and I made several more so that we had one for Black Magic G-ACSP, for which I am now a volunteer. ■

Above (top) Tony’s custom vacuum forming tool to make a DH Comet landing light fairing.

Above The formed plastic…

Left …and the landing light cover installed on the Comet’s forward section of fuselage.

May 2024 | LIGHT AVIATION | 49
Meet the Members

Photo Competition

More great shots entered by our members this month – thanks to all who took part. The competition runs all year and is all about the joy of flight with LAA aircraft…

LAA Photo Competition
Above Pete Wells – Raven formation, Lisbon. Right Barry Hunter – Currie Wot and SE5 replica over Lincolnshire. Opposite page right Jack Ledingham – Buzzing around the Solway Estuary!
50 | LIGHT AVIATION | May 2024
May 2024 | LIGHT AVIATION | 51
Above Simon Ledingham – Two EuroFoxes out and about in the North.
LAA Photo Competition
Above Jennifer Goffin – Winter flying. Above Dave Fry – Isaacs Fury at Charlton Park.
52 | LIGHT AVIATION | May 2024 LAA Photo Competition
Above Tony Sinclair – Luscombes and an Aeronca sunbathe.
May 2024 | LIGHT AVIATION | 53 LAA Photo Competition
Above Barry Gwynett – Irish Sea evening! Below Graham Wasey – Camouflaged Cub.

Want to enter? Send your photos as jpeg files of at least 1Mb along with a brief description of what’s going on in the photo to and and include your name and LAA membership number.

54 | LIGHT AVIATION | May 2024
Above (top) Roger Savage – Jodel 140 ‘Mousquetaire landing at Troutbeck Airfield. Above Malcolm Rogan – Moth wings.

Take part in webinars from experts, use our free landing vouchers to save hundreds of pounds, read and watch all our content and connect with new people!

Fly 2,000nm, introduce two new people to GA flying and visit four new airfields.
us on our #fly2024 challenge!

Classifieds May

For all display or commercial advertising enquiries please contact Phil 07770 807035

You can email your classified advertisement direct to the LAA at the following address:

Deadline for booking and copy: 20 May 2024

If you would like to place an aircraft for sale advert please see details below:


Up to 30 words: £6; 31-50 words: £12

Up to 50 words with a coloured photo: £45


Up to 30 words: £22; 31-50 words: £44

Up to 50 words with a coloured photo: £60

Superb, low hour 2018 Sequoia F8L Falco G-HCBW. Winner LAA Rally Concours d’elegance in 2019. Superior (Lycoming) XP-IO-320, 160HP, MT MTV-12-C/180-57 three-blade, constant speed propeller. 140 knot cruise speed at 23”/2,300RPM. Approved for aerobatics, +6/-3g. Airframe 58 hours TTSN. Engine 58 TTSN. Prop only 58 hours TTSN. Fully overhauled August 2023. Electronic ignition. Automotive spark plugs and ignition leads. High canopy fitted. Cream leather Interior Full set Cambrai covers. 2 x Garmin G3X MFD & PFD, Vizion 380/385 Series Autopilot (fully controllable through the G3X PFD), Garmin GNC255 COM, Garmin GMA240 Audio Box. Active CO detector. UK LAA Permit to Fly valid to 16/10/24. All build logs, history and associated documentation available with the aircraft. Always hangared. POA. Please contact Cecilia Buchanan or +44 (0)1580 291827

Pitts S-1S built 2018, airframe 49hrs, engine 1598hrs, Sensenich 76EM8-0-62 41hrs. Engine O-360-A4M injected and Christen inverted. Magnetos overhauled. B&C alternator. Vetterman crossover exhaust. Trig transponder/radio. Top wing fuel tank. Grove gun drilled spring gear. Hooker harness. No damage history. Permit October 2024. LAA Rally Commendation for best plans-built. £55k.


Hangarage available at Nayland Airfield. Friendly club and fun flying. Inside @ £150 pcm or outside @£80 pcm. Contact Colin on 07887 594355 or Tim 07989 384637

1987 ARV Super 2, PH-ARV formerly G-BMWH, 1860 hours, Rotax 912ULS, 3ax AP, VFR instruments, 70 ltr fuel + 20 ltr reserves, new fuel+oil hoses, new engine mount. Asking € 30.000. Call or Whatsapp Simon +31 653 771 334

1941 Piper J3C Cub. 4,535 hours until performance transformed by C90 fitted 2018. Only 10 more until laid-up by Covid since 2019. LAA-required work now done, including fresh engine top overhaul. New ignition harnesses, tyres, rubber hoses. Permit revalidation imminent. £32,000. Aged aviator retiring.

J5 Cub 1941, Airframe 3580hrs, Lycoming 290 2790hrs, Mode A TXPDR, Garmin 8.33 Radio, Permit to 21/09/24. The slightly wider cockpit of this rare model, offers a great environment to enjoy the touring capabilities of this lovely vintage aircraft. £68,000 ono. 07543 643 208

KFA Safari for sale.

Please e-mail for full details Europa XS Tri Gear. LAA Permit to 28/08/24. All mandatory Mods & Inspections signed off. For sale due loss of my Medical. 595hrs engine & airframe. 120Kts at 17 ltr/hr. In-flight adjustable Woodcomp prop. 25 Mhz radio, Mode S T/ponder, GPS, Avmap Ultra EFIS, fuel flowmeter and many extras. Has to be seen. OFFERS around £30,000. Pete Jeffers 07720 985 011

Permit Inspections. I am between jobs from the 1 June until the 14 July. Available for Permit inspections and for aircraft engineering support. Permit fee plus some travel costs. Call to discuss. Andy Hill (Inspector:973) – Stowmarket, Suffolk 07799 415044

Light Aircraft Weighing Service in East Yorkshire and surrounding area. For details contact Demraview Ltd. Email: Mob: 07984 810 761

Pitts S1C constructed USA 1978.Total hrs 830. Engine Lycoming AEIO-320-D1B Total hrs 278 from new 2004. Propellor Hoffman HO23.Electronic ignition r/h.Inverted oil system and smoke tank. 8.33 radio, ASI 4 point harness. Permit valid to January 2025. £29,950. Contact Pete 07802 962 423


Folding wing aircraft wanted. All types considered. Enclosed storage trailer may be useful but not essential. Please contact


Quarter share in Chipmunk G-BWMX, built 1951 and frequently seen at Fenland. Hangared at Fen End Farm, Cottenham, just North of Cambridge. On the LAA Permit scheme and undergoing annual March 2024. Asking £17K ono. For details please phone Bev Webb at 07791 898565, or Ken Kelso at 07803 584312

Cherished, Slingsby T61F Venture based at Shobdon. Only two careful previous owners from new, the RAF and the present owner. Share preference will be given to a motor glider instructor or an experienced motor glider pilot considering obtaining an instructor rating. Please contact ovaugh!

Piper Super Cub, 1/6th share available £5000. Aircraft based at Andrewsfield. £80 per month and £60 per hour. Tail wheel experience necessary. For more information contact Jill 07810 362373


The weather is getting better and I am a pilot/aircraft owner in his 50’s looking forward to UKContinental touring - hoping to find a female companion with similar interests. Please write to PO Box 304, Hexham, NE46 9JD. Thankyou.


Auster Mk IV project for sale – G-AJXY – recovered in Ceconite and now wearing original military colour scheme. New canopy and forward glazing. Rebuilt Lycoming O-290. All parts for completion present, but no propellor. Imminent loss of workshop forces sale. £25,000 to include a number of engine & airframe spares if required. Contact 07484 859608 or 07949 288576 for further details


De Havilland Gipsy Major 10/2 for Chipmunk. Zero Timed by Vintech. For sale £38 k + various options on price. Part exchange on core engine, removal, re installation. With/ without accessories, comes with all certificates... 07596 844445 Call or text.


RV-7 Engine Mount [WD-762-PC], Van’s seat belts [SBH-6X DARK BLUE] 2 X Fuel Cap [T-406] Andair Filter FX375-M, Fuel Boost Pump FX375-TC#7, Selector and Fascia plate FS20x7-Tr3, P20-7-CSK. All new ex Van’s and Andair. Call John 07782 172142

Brand-new unused Harry’s HM400 4 -place intercom in original box. Cost me £124. Offers around £80? 07766 022158

56 | LI GHT AVIATION | May 2024
May 2024 | L IGHT AVIATION | 57 Contact us now for a quotation Telephone: 0121 327 8000 E-mail: Web: Aircraft Transportation Specialists Specialist vehicles to move your aircraft safely FUEL SERVICES SERVICES & MORE COVERS For all display and company advertising contact: 07770 807035 EXHAUST Ready to Mount Rotax912 Exhaust Lima Zulu Services Ltd. / 07713 864247 Not Just Wood & FabricComposite Repairs & Refinishes too. Before During After


Aselection of flying events you’ll definitely want to add to the calendar for 2024.

Don’t forget, GASCo is always running Safety Evenings up and down the country. We’ll list them here, plus it’s worth keeping an eye on its website,, for further updates. As always, check the Royal Aero Club Events website for the latest


3-5 Sleap BAeA Icicle Trophy

4-5 Popham Microlight Trade Fair

4 Carrickmore Family fun weekend fly-in

5 Easter Spring fly-in

5 Duxford VE Flying Day

6 Popham Autojumble and Vintage fly-in

11-12 Stow Maries International Auster Club fly-in (PPR)

11-12 Antwerp 30th International Stampe fly-in

11-12 Compton Abbas Pooleys Air Weekend fly-in (PPR)

9-12 Old Warden Best of British Airshow and camping (PPR)

12 Kenyon Hall North West Strut Spring fly-in

16 Popham Evening BBQ fly-in (PPR)

17-18 Booker Private Flyer Fest South incorporating the Air Britain fly-in (PPR)

18 Breighton Moth fly-in

information and web links for many of the events:

Our thanks to the Royal Aero Club and to Dave Wise for the use of its excellent calendar of events. If you have an event you want to advertise on the list, please email the details to Dave at: dave.wise@

18-19 Bodmin VAC fly-in (PPR)

24/25 Perth/Scone VPAC fly-in

24-26 Manston Kent Strut fly-in (PPR)

25 Perth VPAC fly-in

25-27 Sandown Spamfield microlight fly-in

26 Henstridge Wessex Strut fly-in

26 Stow Maries Wings and Wheels fly-in (PPR)

29 Shobdon Teddy Bears Picnic fly-in (PPR)

31-2 Glenforsa 52nd Mull fly-in (PPR)


1 Turweston LAA HQ Open Day

1 Halfpenny Green BRA Gyro Record Breaker event (PPR)

1 Carlisle Lake District Airport fly-in (PPR)

2 Old Warden Shuttleworth Military Airshow (PPR)

7-9 Guernsey Guernsey Aero Club (PPR)

Planning ahead

8-9 Jun Barton Fly-in 2024 (PPR)

14-23 Jun Various Fly-UK 2024

14-15 Jun St Michaels Airfield Wings and Wheels fly-in (PPR)

15 Jun Blackbushe Open day and fly-in (PPR)

15 Jun Bodmin L-Birds Wings and Wheels (PPR)

15 Jun Kilkeel BBQ and fly-in (PPR)

16 Jun Priory Farm Fly-in (PPR)

21-23 Jun Draycott Aerodrome Fly-in (PPR)

22 Jun Shobdon Airfest ‘24 (PPR)

5-6 Jul Leeds East Private Flyer Fest North

12-14 Jul Sleap Sleapkosh Airshow (PPR)

13 Jul Middle Wallop Wings and Wheels (PPR)

22-28 Jul Oshkosh EAA AirVenture

27 July Popham Sportcruiser and Bristell fly-in

4 Aug Lundy Lundy Sunday 2024 (PPR)

58 | LIGHT AVIATION | May 2024
Where to go
Prices exclude P+P. De Havilland Tiger Moth (1931 - 1945) £12.99 Conventional Gear Flying a Taildragger £18.00 Pooley’s UK Flight Guide 2024 Edition Spiral Bound £29.50 UK VFR Charts S.Eng/Wales (Folded) £15.99 LAA Rugby Shirts £30.00 (sizes: M, L & XL available) LAA Umbrella £30.00 LAA Mug £15.00 Bone China Get ready for Summer!


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.
0RDERONLINE LAS AEROSPACE LTD TEL: 01837 658081 LAS AEROSPACE LTD Concorde House, North Road Industrial Estate, Okehampton,Devon EX20 1BQ TEL: 01837 658081

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