Light Aviation October 2021

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See our website for full range Call us on 01280 700020, or visit us at Turweston (next to the LAA) to discuss your requirements. Our Address: LX Avionics Ltd, Hangar 10, Turweston Aerodrome, BRACKLEY, NN13 5YD VAT: GB 793 1777 86 Company number 4417407 E & OE We specialise in Avionics supply, design and build assistance for homebuilders. We can help with panel and wiring design through to complete installation. Contact us to discuss your Avionics build requirements and to go through ideas. G3X Touch PFD G5 AI/HSI GTN650/750 Xi waas GPS/NAV/COMM GFC500 Autopilot Supply, design, build and install service uAvionixSky Echo II from £529.00 inc. VAT. Please call us to order at offer price. RV7 panel under build RV9 panel under build GNS to GTN adapter custom made loom for RV9 Talk to us for LAA member discounts EXCLUSIVE OFFER, USE CODE LAA5 TO GET 5% OFF ANY ITEM ON ORDERS RECEIVED BEFORE 29th OCTOBER 2021. Offer available to LAA members, for orders placed by phone or email only. Not available on products already advertised with an offer price. Orders must be placed by Friday 29th October to qualify.


Rally great success…

Hello everybody, for starters I must apologise for the lateness of the magazine recently, particularly the last issue. While each issue has gone to press on the due date this year, our mailing provider has let us down and there have been unacceptable delays in getting the magazine into the mail.

I hope this issue arrived much nearer the first couple of days of the month and you were able to enjoy it with your toast and marmalade before taking on anything too arduous.

You will no doubt gather from this issue that the LAA Rally went very well. If you attended, I hope you had as much fun as I did, but if you didn’t there’s plenty within these pages to give you a taste of what you missed. I’m already looking forward to next year’s event!

Apart from a general view of the event, we also have an article on the winners of the various Rally awards, although apart from a couple of photo opportunities, most of the awards are presented at the upcoming AGM.

Naturally we have details of the AGM, which although we are back to a face-toface meeting at Sywell on Sunday 24 October, will also be available to log in via Zoom. A proxy voting form is printed on the reverse side of the address sheet that came with your magazine, so go fish it out of the bin now and exercise your right to vote. Completed forms must be mailed to HQ to arrive no later than Friday 22 October. You will also be able to vote via Zoom and of course, at the meeting.

Tony Barber fancied a change of

aircraft and bought a rather sad Pilot Sprite that had lived outside for 20 years. In Part 1 of a two-part article he explains the trials and tribulations of getting the aircraft back into the air. As a rare British all metal design, it makes for an interesting read.

Soon be time to go…

There comes a time in everybody’s life when they have to consider retirement, and for me that time has arrived. I have thoroughly enjoyed editing Light Aviation and before that Popular Flying for almost 21 years. Life and aviation have changed radically over that time, and I hope that I and the many members of the magazine team that have come and gone over the years, have reflected those changes without forsaking the old-school technologies and passion that are such an important part of our Association’s soul.

It is, however, almost time to wish you all adieu, the December issue will be my last and a younger, fresher editor will take up the reins from the January 2022 issue. I will of course sign off in the December issue, but for now, thank you all for your support over the years.


July 2016 | LIGHT AVIATION | 3
The only two Pilot/Practavia Sprites currently flying in the UK seen here at the LAA Rally.
Manager Penny Sharpe Head Office Turweston Aerodrome, Nr Brackley, Northants NN13 5YD Telephone for engineering and commercial 01280 846786 The
LIGHT AVIATION MAGAZINE Editor BRIAN HOPE 60 Queenborough Road, Sheerness, Kent ME12 3BZ Telephone 01795 662508 Email
October 2021 | LIGHT AVIATION | 3

A very proud moment for LAA members

Well, my prophecy about reading the last edition of the magazine while at the Rally was somewhat off! We suffered a bit of a glitch with the distribution of the September magazine, I hope you didn’t mind the extra few days. As you can see, we’ve addressed the delay by allowing an extra week for motions to be put to the AGM, so hopefully all will be well. At this year’s AGM we will have some new faces nominated to serve as Directors, so I hope you will utilise your votes as we will once more make it possible to do so by proxy or by attending the AGM by Zoom. We have released details of the Zoom link you need to use if you want to participate in the proceedings.

However, where last year it was essential that we kept our distance, this year we will be welcoming members to Sywell in time-honoured fashion, so of course, you can also vote in person. The challenge for your AGM team is to manage a hybrid meeting with both inputs from the floor as well as the internet, I’m sure it will be alright on the day!

This year’s Rally, celebrating our 75th Anniversary, went extremely well and if you were able to come there was much to see and do, and many conversations to catch up on whether they be with vendors, the LAA team or friends and acquaintances you haven’t seen for a couple of years.

Either way the LAA team excelled themselves after a difficult lead up and delivered just what we all wanted; so once again, many congratulations to them all. The build-up to the Rally was dogged again by low ceilings, particularly on the Thursday and they never really improved until the Sunday and when I flew home afterwards to Old Warden, the visibility was starting to go as I had to hold north of the field as their own flying display was still in progress. How did you get on with your

fly in and out arrangements, we would certainly appreciate the feedback.

In later news, the LAA was awarded the Lennox-Boyd Trophy by AOPA, and it was my great privilege to accept the award from the CEO of AOPA, Pauline Vahey (below), at the Private Flyer event at Wycombe Air Park. The Lennox-Boyd Trophy is AOPA’s most prestigious Award. It is awarded to a person, club, group or organisation which has contributed significantly to the furtherance of general aviation, flight training, club flying or piloting standards. The trophy is a cup in a special presentation box that was originally given to the Association of British Aero Clubs by the late Rt Hon Alan Lennox-Boyd PC CH MP (subsequently Viscount Boyd of Merton) in 1953. Viscount Boyd was a former Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation. The citation for the award’s presentation reads, “Awarded to the Light Aviation Association for seventyfive years supporting recreational flying in the UK and acting as co-regulator to the UK CAA for the issue of Permits to Fly”.

Next time you are at Turweston, take a look at the trophy, this is an acknowledgement of all of the hard work and effort put in by the volunteers, management and staff of the Association over all those years.


Armstrong-Isaacs Bursaries, RR electric ACCEL makes maiden flight, COP 26


Safety culture, another UK Norvigie


KFA Safari update and Van’s RV-7. Cleared to Fly and New Projects


Martin Ferid visits Bodmin…


Brian Hope presents an overview of the 2021 LAA Sywell Rally. Part 1…


David Cockburn warns of pilot distraction using modern tech, and recommends aerobatic or upset training…


Clive Davidson flies the delightful Stolp Starlet SA-500…

36 AGM

All the LAA Limited 2021 AGM details


Put these dates in your 2021/2022 diary…


Trophy winners from the 2021 LAA Rally…


Tony Barber relates the first of a two-part tale of restoring an unloved, 40-year-old all metal British homebuilt…


Mark our 75th Anniversary by going flying on Tuesday 26 October, or on Sunday 31 October…


Anne Hughes profiles the Rally activities of the Struts and Clubs…


We talk to Arthur Mason, early UK Pietenpol builder, vintage enthusiast and highly regarded fabric specialist…


Steve Slater says a huge thank you to all who made the 20121 LAA Rally a success


Check out the November vouchers on offer

4 | LIGHT AVIATION | October 2021 Chairman’s Chat
O ctober 2021 | LIGHT AVIATION | 5 Contents October 2021 Stolp Starlet SA-500 28 40 46 10


Plenty more news is available on the LAA website at check it out every day!

ACCEL Spirit of Innovation flies

The Rolls Royce electric ACCEL (Accelerating the Electrification of Flight) project aircraft Spirit of Innovation made a successful 15-minute maiden flight at Boscombe Down on 15 September. The 400kW (500+hp) triple motor machine, based on a highly modified kit-built Sharp Nemesis NXT Sport Class air racer

airframe, is a joint project between key partners Rolls Royce, electric motor and controller manufacturer YASA, and Electroflight, who have been instrumental in developing the battery systems. An intense flight-testing phase will lead to an attempt to raise the electric aircraft world speed record to 300 + mph.

RR CEO Warren East commented, “The first flight of the Spirit of Innovation is a great achievement for the ACCEL team and Rolls-Royce …the advanced battery and propulsion technology developed for this programme has exciting applications for the Urban Air Mobility market and can help make ‘jet zero’ a reality.”

6 | LIGHT AVIATION | October 2021 LA News

LAA service awards

Each year the Light Aircraft Association makes awards for direct or indirect service to the Association during the year.

The awards available are listed opposite.

If you know of a member whose work deserves recognition, please send your nomination to the LAA Office in the form of a maximum 150 word citation stating what it is they have done to warrant consideration.

As the presentations are made at the Annual General Meeting, please submit your nomination(s) by 14 October.

■ The Lois Parker – for distinguished service in an administrative function.

■ The Frank Hounslow – for service to LAA in engineering.

■ The Chris Paul (President’s Joystick) – for services to the Rally.

■ The Pete Clarke – for an individual major contribution to flight safety.

■ The Roderick Turner – the person who has contributed most to flying for fun.

■ The Coates Swalesong Trophy – for the best design feature.

■ The Bill Woodhams Trophy – for a feat of navigation.

Armstrong Isaacs bursaries, 2021

The Association’s 2021 Armstrong-Isaacs PPL bursary scheme, targeting student pilots under the age of 30, is now accepting applications. Five bursaries of £1,500 are being offered to support young pilots already in training. The additional funding will help them complete their courses at a time when longer navigational exercises result in a greater outlay in aircraft rental costs.

“These funds offer support to young pilots who have already demonstrated their commitment to flying‚” said LAA CEO and Armstrong-Isaacs trustee Steve Slater. “They may well enable students to complete their training, when perhaps they may otherwise have had to suspend or even forego the completion of their course.”

To qualify for a bursary a student pilot should be under 30 years of age, have completed a minimum of two hours solo training, and have gained the necessary medical and ground qualifications to

Stuart McKay honoured

Stuart McKay, pictured, who founded the de Havilland Moth Club in 1975, has been presented with the Sword of Honour by the Honourable Company of Air Pilots in its 2021 awards.

Stuart’s award recognises his outstanding contribution to General Aviation for ‘his tireless efforts and commitment to the cause of keeping historic de Havilland Tiger Moth aircraft flying’, said the HCAP citation.

“Having founded the de Havilland Moth Club in 1975, Stuart remains its secretary and is a globally acknowledged expert on the type, encouraging pilots and engineers around the world, including with flight experiences that have sparked many to pursue careers in aviation.”

LAA Rally Air Ambulance Appeal

The Association has received a note of thanks from Stuart King, a fundraiser for the Air Ambulance Service, for the volunteers and donors at the LAA Rally who raised a staggering £1,963.14 for this very worthy cause.

Stuart writes, “Thank you all yet again for your invaluable support, the furry helpers, Molly, Dylan, and Ella, always a big attraction, and all the LAA members who help are invaluable, their dedication is much appreciated.”

continue their training. To apply, complete the form which can be downloaded an application form from the LAA website via the LAA Bursaries tab and upon completion, email it to

with the subject title Armstrong/Isaacs Bursary. The closing date for applications is Tuesday, 30 November 2021. Following the selection process, successful recipients will be contacted in late December.

LA News October 2021 | LIGHT AVIATION | 7
Left Jake Gazzard, a 2020 bursary recipient who went on to complete his TMG licence.

Flying Flea G-AXPG

One of the surprise appearances at the LAA Rally was Bill Cole’s HM.293 Flying Flea, G-AXPG, 50 years after it flew into the Rally at Sywell in 1971. This year, the aircraft arrived by road after many years in storage on Bill’s farm in Sussex.

Bill has generously donated the aircraft to a trust being formed by the LAA, and it will be renovated at Turweston as a project aircraft for young engineers and as a display item. Any volunteers willing to assist?

Henri Mignet was a true innovator, the first man to really encapsulate the concept of amateur home-building, convincing the wider public that flying really was within their reach. In 1935 and 1936, thousands of copies of his book Le Sport de l’Air were sold, leading to projects being started in workshops and dining rooms around the world.

Sadly, Mignet’s original HM14 design proved aerodynamically flawed due to the close proximity of the two tandem wings, in


The UK will host the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) in Glasgow on 31 October-12 November, which will bring with it many Heads of State from around the world.

There will inevitably be significant

RAeS Design Conference

The Royal Aeronautical Society GA group is running its annual Light Aircraft Design Conference on Monday 15 November. As last year this will be web based and an

outline of the programme may be found in the Events Calendar on the RAeS website, under the 15 November date. A key feature will be consideration of the future direction

certain configurations the rear wing would overcome the control power of the forward aerofoil, creating an uncontrollable nose-down pitch, leading to several fatal accidents. It is assumed by many that Mignet’s design was banned from flight forthwith. It was temporarily, but design revisions allowed modified aircraft to be flown again. Bill Coles’ VW-powered HM-293 Flea is one of Mignet’s later designs and it is the only example to have flown regularly in the UK post-war.

areas of airspace in the area that will be subject to the exclusion for GA, so if you are intending to be in the area at the time, please ensure you are fully cognisant of any temporary airspace changes.

l Further details in the next issue.

of GA aircraft design with the increasing pressures coming from Climate Change, and the opportunities arising from technological innovation and progress.

LA News 8 | LIGHT AVIATION | October 2021
Bill Cole flying his HM.293 Flying Flea


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

Another Norvigie

I was pleased to receive my copy of the September LAA magazine today and I am enjoying its varied content as usual. Thank you for all of the hard work you and your team have put into continuing its production throughout these difficult times.

As I have a particular affinity for older aeroplanes, I was especially interested to see the article about the Spanhoe-based Norvigie G-CGWR. Your editorial and the article both describe it as the only example in the UK.

There is, however, another example flying here, which was restored some time ago up at Wickenby, namely G-CDWE, but it is now based elsewhere. This is registered as an NC856 Norvigie and also has a current permit. I hope this information may prove helpful to you. Kindest regards, Tim Badham. Editor, Vintage & Classic VAC. (Thank you, Tim, and apologies to the owner for inadvertently ‘losing’ his aeroplane. Ed.)

To tell or not to tell?

Hi Brian. Like many other members I look forward to receiving the LAA magazine and usually, with a cup of coffee, read it from cover to cover. One section, Meet the Members is always an interesting read, as people’s flying experiences make good reading. However, in this month’s article, on page 58 the paragraph entitled: Have you had any ‘Iearned from that’ moments? in my opinion, should not have been published. I think it was rather poor judgement to make light of what was a very serious situation.

If the LAA and the magazine reflect the high standards that are required while flying, then that particular event does not warrant being included in an otherwise excellent article.

Kind Regards, Lionel Moon.

Hi Lionel, thanks for getting in touch. I am a great believer in the safety culture that aviation generally enjoys, and I know of at least one friend who was caught out in exactly the same way as Andy. Call it caught out, call it bad planning, call it stupidity, call it whatever you like; but it happened, and I believe it is better that it is out in the open so people can learn from it.

Another example was of a friend who was on an autumnal flight, and was returning to base late in the day when fog was starting to roll in. We all know, I hope, the risks of the temperature dropping towards the dew point as the sun gets lower in the sky, especially later in the year. My friend, and his pilot passenger certainly knew, but they continued and hoped there would be a suitable hole to descend through over their strip. However, they found themselves above cloud with no hole, no instrument training, and in a simple aircraft not IMC capable, so they called an airfield some miles away who said they were still in the clear. They had no choice but to head towards that airfield, uncertain that they would reach it with the fuel remaining. By sheer good fortune a hole appeared over the runway numbers of an airfield they knew en route, and they were able to drop down through it and land.

This incident did not get reported, and I do not doubt many similar incidents have happened, pilots being trapped above cloud, having a bad scare, but thankfully getting away with it.

Andy was honest about his error of judgement, and I thank him for being so. I also hope there are pilots out there who will take heed from these lessons, particularly as we approach the time of year when such incidents are more likely to sneak up on us. The answer is

to act early, beat a hasty retreat and get back on the ground. Flying is an options game; you start with a fistful, but they slowly reduce as circumstances change; never allow yourself to get to the point where you have none left. Ed.

Polarised aircraft!

Brian, I was interested to read Ian Fraser’s article in the last issue regarding polarising sunglasses. He’ll forgive me for observing that this was something those of us of an age discovered a generation ago, when we first sported LCD digital watches. Remember those?

But of course, the other big ‘gotcha’ is that such lenses reduce or eliminate the flash of reflected sunlight from surfaces of a manoeuvring aircraft, which might be the first or only clue you will have to their presence. In gliding mode, I may want to fly towards them to share their lift, or otherwise fly away for separation, but either way I want to see them!

Emergency First Aid

Hi Brian, I’m not a ‘Permit’ aircraft member, I fly PA28/C172 etc. but the LAA was hugely helpful when I needed to get an NPPL in order to keep flying. I have now moved onto a LAPL and PMD.

I’m afraid I can’t help with any of your training course ‘ideas to progress’, however I would attend an ‘Emergency First Aid skills’ course if there is one. Great Rally last weekend!

Best regards, John Webb.

Thanks John, this is a course I want to progress, so keep an eye out in the mag for maybe next spring. To date response for volunteers and ideas to bolster courses has been disappointing, you are in an exclusive group of two responders. I’d like to think there are a few more thinking of getting in touch! Brian. ■

Contents 33 | LIGHT AVIATION | January 2019 Letters October 2021 | LIGHT AVIATION | 9
Above There is a second Norvigie in the UK!

Projects which inspire others to build their own aircraft

Project News

Aquick peek in the New Projects this month reveals the usual recurring favourites, plus a couple of unusual types. The first that caught my eye is a Volmer VJ-22 Sportsman, a late 1950s two-seat high-wing amphibian, designed around a pair of redundant Aeronca wings with a wooden fuselage ‘hull’. There was an example built some years ago that I believe used to operate in Scotland. The second rare beast is a Jurca Sirocco, again there’s only one other currently on the UK register – Peter Watts’ retractable variant, G-CEAO, which has featured in an LA flight test. There were at least a couple of fixed-gear versions flying in the past, G-AZOS being one of them, now showing as permanently withdrawn from use.

The Sirocco is a low-wing two-seat tandem with a bubble canopy of all wooden construction, like a wooden RV-8. It’s a Marcel Jurca design from the 1960s – a real little fighter, especially the retractable variant.

Dudley Pattison has provided another update on his current KFA Safari project, it is starting to look close to finished. If you were fortunate enough to get along to the Rally, you may have seen Sprite Aviation’s completed and flying KFA Safari there.

Technology, as ever, plays an increasing role in our projects, and Mark Goodacre has applied modern thinking to the process of laying out his panel. While I’m sure he’ll not be the first to have used CAD software to design a panel, he’s taken the further step of cutting it out with his own CNC router. Take a look at his report below, perhaps you too have employed a modern twist in part of your building process, if so your fellow members would love to hear about it!

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!

KFA Safari update (LAA 402 – 15670)

My Safari build is nearing the end, but I am in no rush to finish it as we head toward winter. Many obstacles, Covid-19 among them, have conspired to keep me from flying my last build, an RV-7A, and as I only have room for one aircraft in my hangar the RV will have to be sold when it is time to transport the Safari to the field. So, my intention is to fly the RV throughout the winter and sell it in March.

The Safari build has been the usual mix of pleasure and frustration, the most recent source of angst being the fact that I cannot get the flaperons working properly at the moment, but I did have a light bulb moment yesterday and I think I have found the problem. Stefan, the owner of KFA, sent me some short videos via WhatsApp giving the flaperon set-up sequence, which helped identify an error I had made. I haven’t had time to rectify it yet but have high hopes that all will be well when I do. Flaperons are new to me, and I confess to having difficulty in getting my head around the geometry involved.

Not reading the instruction also resulted in extra work on the undercarriage. When I covered and painted the undercarriage legs, I fitted them to the fuselage and added the wheels and disc brakes before realising that

10 | LIGHT AVIATION | October 2021 Project News
Above This shot shows the removable fibreglass boot cowl and windscreen giving excellent access to the rear of the instrument panel. The VZ Rotax engine is ready for hoisting into position. Photo: Dudley Pattison

working on the instrument panel and fuel system easier.

So, a fair amount of struggling around on the floor was involved in the fitting of them and the preparation for paint. I had to wait for the right conditions to spray the struts outside and carry out a fair amount of masking.

The engine and cowl installation went smoothly, although I did add some expense to the project by opting for numerous Camlocs to fix the upper cowl to the lower cowl instead of the 6mm screws and rivnuts supplied. This cuts down the time for cowl removal dramatically.

Good access to the forward fuselage is afforded by a removable ‘boot’ cowl and inner wall panels, making

The present position is that the fuselage is levelled, with the wings and empennage fitted, while the control movements are sorted. When that is done, I will add all the finishing bits like wingtips, cowls, spats etc. to do the weight and balance.

The aircraft will then be derigged and stored in the garage, awaiting the spring. My car has to fend for itself outside while the aircraft is rigged, but when the wings are off it is allowed back inside.

Everyone asks me what the Germanic shield is that I put on many of my aircraft and why I use it. As far as I am aware it is the emblem of the Brandenburg Gate, and it is used because I like it!

October 2021 | LIGHT AVIATION | 11 Project News
the two raking struts that aim up toward the centre of the fuselage bottom, should have had streamlined fibreglass fairings added. Left The boot cowl has been removed and the also removable inner fibreglass ‘sidewall’ is seen in position. Photo: Dudley Pattison Above This shot was taken at the time of writing, late August. I am lucky to have a large garage which is a godsend when it comes to rigging time. Photo: Dudley Pattison.

G-CMAP (LAA 323-15449) Van’s RV-7

Mark purchased his RV-7 empennage in 2017, but the project got off to a slow start as he had just sold his farm and moved into town. The farm had its own runway that suited his earlier project, a Zenair 750, but it would have been rather short for the RV.

Once he’d finished his house renovations and built a workshop in the garden, it was time to get on with the RV, just as lockdown struck, so the project suddenly received a lot of focus.

The kit was a Quick Build, so there was no fuselage or wing structure to build. The aircraft has a sliding canopy, and many have commented upon the stress and worry of cutting and glassing this large and difficult to replace component. At one point in the process Mark feared he had permanently glassed it shut, due to a lack of release agent, but it all came out well in the end.

The aircraft was painted in a friend’s industrial-sized greenhouse in the spring, using the opening rooflights to regulate the temperature between 20-25°C. Mark did all the preparation and base coats himself, but enlisted the help of a competent sprayer for the final finish. In an unusual twist, panel layout being a big part of most modern projects, Mark was keen to learn a new skill, so he taught himself Fusion 360, a CAD software package that’s free for personal use. This would allow him to evolve the panel design onscreen, and to a high level of accuracy, without the need of the more traditional cardboard

Below top left The canopy is a stressful part of the RV-7 build. Photo: Mark Goodacre.

Below top right A hardboard proof cut on the WorkBee, stout enough to be offered up to the aircraft for a trial fit.

Photo: Mark Goodacre.

Below bottom right

The finished panel looks very smart and professional. Photo: Mark Goodacre.

template method. Having learned to drive Fusion and perfected his panel design, the next logical step was to buy a small CNC machine to cut it out with. Following a period of research, Mark settled on the UK designed and manufactured Ooznest WorkBee. This would be able to take the CAD files directly and cut a panel from them.

He found that he needed to learn a lot about tool paths, cutting speeds and depths. If a router bit was advanced too quickly or the cut too deep, then aluminium would melt, ball and adhere to the cutter, effectively ruining it. So, the skill of applying the WorkBee to the task of cutting aluminium sheet into a finished instrument panel was to learn these parameters by trial and error.

To prove the process of cutting a panel, Mark settled upon hardboard as the perfect material for test runs. Excluding time for tool changes, the average panel can be cut in about 30 minutes. Larger apertures are cut to final size and shape whereas smaller holes are drilled as a pilot hole for simplicity and to cut down on tool/bit changes, these are simply drilled out conventionally upon completion.

Part of the justification for spending the time and money on producing just one panel by this elegant, and might we say expensive method, was to provide a service to other members, cutting first their panel on a trial fit basis in hardboard and then in the final material – for a small consideration of course!

Project News 12 | LIGHT AVIATION | October 2021
Above The Ooznest WorkBee CNC router that Mark used to cut the panel. Photo: Ooznest Ltd

New Projects

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

n G-CKVJ Titan T51 Mustang (LAA 355-14781) 25/8/2021

Mr Christopher Firth, Glass House One, 16 Havelock Walk, London, SE23 3HG

n G-CLRI Zenair CH 750 Cruzer (LAA 381A-15635) 20/8/2021

n Van’s RV-10 (LAA 339-15777) 3/8/2021

Mr D McLeod, 1 Woodland Drive, Nocton, Lincolnshire, LN4 2BQ

n Van’s RV-8 (LAA 303-15782) 31/8/2021

Mr John Evans, The Cottage, Main Street, North Muskham, Newark, NG23 6HQ

n G-CLYH Van’s RV-12iS (LAA 363A-15653) 20/8/2021

Mr Matthew Thorne, 1 Cley View, Pound Street, Warminster, BA12 8NS

n G-CMAP Van’s RV-7 (LAA 323-15449) 13/8/2021

Mr Mark Goodacre, 6 Beverley Gardens, Stamford, PE9 2UD

n G-NGBB Bristell NG5 Speed Wing (LAA

Mr Myles, 4 Lambourn, Wolfhill, Perthshire, PH2 6TQ

n Jurca Sirocco (LAA 059-15778) 2/8/2021

Mr C M Barnes, Lowbrook Farm, Semere Green Lane, Dickleburgh, Norfolk, IP21 4NT

n Van’s RV-14A (LAA 393-15779) 17/8/2021

Name & Address held by LAA Engineering

385-15712) 26/8/2021

Mr Tony Palmer, Palmers Farm, Lower Dicker, Hailsham, BN27 4AT & Mr Fary Sayyah,

October 2021 | LIGHT AVIATION | 13
2 Colgate Close, Crawley, RH11 0AZ n G-CLLN Pietenpol Air Camper (PFA 047-11340) Name & Address held by LAA Engineering n G-PEEE Van’s RV-7 (s/n 70463) Name & Address held by LAA Engineering n G-STES Europa XS (PFA 247-13931) Name & Address held by LAA Engineering
your aircraft has been featured in the New Projects list, please let Project News know of your progress at: uk
n Volmer VJ-22 Sportsman (LAA 293-15780) 17/8/2021
Mr James Wardlow, 2 Old Poplar Farm Cottages, Kirkby Lane, Tattershall, Asterby, Lincolnshire, LN4 4PD
Project News
Cleared To Fly
Above The -7 at Spanhoe, the paint and the sliding canopy were certainly worth the effort. Photo: Mark Goodacre

The cream of Cornwall…

Martin Ferid takes a trip to Bodmin in Cornwall, in the heart of one of the UK’s most popular holiday areas…

Well, you have to admire the indefatigable British spirit, as it certainly shone through at the 75th Anniversary LAA Rally this year. Considering the demographic, most of us should be looking for a quiet life watching the box or doing a bit of gardening. Not a bit of it, with around 800 arrivals still making it the busiest fly-in in Europe. As usual, the walk across the airfield takes anything up to an hour simply chatting with people not seen for so long. Remarkably most people also managed a degree of social distancing throughout the whole of the event.

I did feel a little sorry for Eryl Smith, the new Rally Chairman, who had to hit the ground running with more balls to juggle than arms. But heigh-ho, I guess it goes with the territory. Also, well done to Chris Thompson and


his team, who made the ‘air to ground’ radio work so much simpler than the old FISO system normally in place. In fact, a big well done and thanks to all those involved in helping out.

As for my part, I got my usual stints at the Speakers’ Corner lectern, extolling the wonders of touring to the converted and unconverted alike. It was good to meet so many who possess the appetite for discovery which, after all, was what originally put the Great in Britain. Even CEO Steve Slater was smitten by exciting tales of glorious flights to lovely locations, and has booked a cross-Channel trip next season in his soon to be completed Piper Cub.

Although my passion for touring lies on the other side of La Manche, this year’s features have intentionally been kept closer to home for obvious reasons. I’m hoping to move it up a notch or two in the new year. The rules for UK Permit aircraft are changing, along with our relationship

14 | LIGHT AVIATION | October 2021
Flying Adventure
Bodmin Airfield is an ideal location for a holiday break in Cornwall.

with Europe and deciphering the regulations is difficult, unless, that is, you choose to go to France!

The French have excelled themselves in deciding to accept any combination of licence and medical that’s valid in the UK – though that ruling only applies to permit aircraft, which has to be reason enough to fly one; but believe me, France is a pretty big place.

Chatting with some of the RV boys, they have chosen Corsica as next year’s fly-out destination, which is daring enough to scratch the itch, but without actually leaving France.

I can see a little Jodel making the trip, although, in the absence of an elastic band, it may well need a bit of help from the Mistral in keeping up. Aeroplanes were made for travel, so let’s start making plans for next year.

Historically, landing in France without a customs official in sight has been a non-event. Nowadays though, without the freedom of movement we had as members of the EU, the number of days we are allowed within the EU is limited and having just managed a few days away, I thought I’d pass on a cautionary tale.

It felt more like a homecoming and, as a first evening away, it was thrilling to be once again sat on the terrace of a nice restaurant in St Omer – the relaxed atmosphere in the warm sunshine was like a much-needed balm. The next day’s flight to Amiens involved a certain amount of shower dodging, made eminently worthwhile with familiar, traditional French dishes like, ficelle Picarde, moules marinière and crème brûlée in the company of a group of friends alongside the River Somme. Quite fortuitously, we even managed to catch the Cathedral’s last light show of the season, giving us a true sense of well-being.

All was going well until attempting to depart from Albert (LFAQ), one of the few remaining customs airfields in the area. After jumping through the hoops of the now partially scrapped and questionable UK Covid rules, with as good a forecast as one could hope for, the whole weekend felt like a breath of fresh air… except my passport hadn’t been stamped inbound and, with all the adamantine flexibility one expects from customs officials, they wanted verification as to when I had entered the country. The two officers were devoid of conversational titbits, a smile or even the facial expressions that often transcend language barriers and my poor attempt at levity fell on deaf ears.

It would be easy to fulminate and for those that tour regularly, be warned, things aren’t quite what they used to be. The situation was eventually resolved, but only once the required proof was provided and the atmosphere and dynamic changed, leaving me free to go. I’d suggest keeping copies of your flight plan or finding a method of proving entry should you encounter something similar.

As things stand, a passport isn’t yet required to get into Cornwall and, you may laugh, but that’s not as ridiculous as it may sound. The county has a certain amount of autonomy and independence, having never actually had an Act of Union incorporating it into England. You are more likely to see the flag of St Piran rather than that of St George, so ‘Cornxit’ could still be a possibility!

After taking power, the regnant Henry VII imposed

additional taxes on the Cornish to fund ongoing campaigns in Scotland, and in a cathartic response, thousands of them banded together to march on London. On 17 June 1497, the two sides met cheek to cheek, jowl to jowl at Deptford, outside London, in the Battle of Blackheath. The protesters were outmanned and outgunned by the King's men and were duly defeated. As a result, the taxes were abolished, but over 1,000 Cornishmen had perished.

Cornwall is known as Kernow in Cornish and has a language unique to the ‘horn’ or ‘kern’ of England. It is bounded by the English Channel, the Atlantic Ocean and the River Tamar that separates it from Devon. Much as I’ve seen Lands’ End and Lizard Point from the air in good weather, it's also on the to-do list on foot.

The rugged coastline and coastal paths lend themselves for a return to nature, battling the elements – needless to say, followed by a pint or two by a roaring log fire in one of the local hostelries.

The airfield of Bodmin is worthy of note, as it has unwittingly become an ecological success in creating a traditional hay meadow. And what have they done to achieve this ‘tree-hugging’ status? Well, not very much as, apart from cutting the runways, the rest of the land has remained more or less untouched and pesticide free for decades.

As outlined in LA’s last issue, by chance Ian Benallick, the Botanical Recorder for Cornwall, noticed wild orchids at Bodmin and as a result the airfield’s flora and fauna has drawn the positive interest of various organisations and universities.

Jay Gates is the manager and Bruce Abbot their CFI at the airfield, the latter from personal experience, I can verify sets a very high standard. Another Bodmin local is Aeronca driver Pete White, who remains one of their most enthusiastic exponents of aviation – I’m sure if you cut him, he’d bleed either avgas or 15W50 multigrade. Pete organises many events and tours, and gives talks in the local schools hoping to guarantee the future of GA. More recently, he has been joined by Ellie Carter, who is not only significantly closer in age to the school kids, but also provides living proof of a success story. At 14 years old she became the youngest glider pilot in the UK, and on her 16th birthday, the youngest powered pilot. newsround/47613030

The club is member-owned and refreshingly has many

October 2021 | LIGHT AVIATION | 15
Above Padstow is a delightful seaside town with a reputation for good seafood.
Flying Adventure

youngsters, without a grey hair in sight, actively learning to fly. This may be due to the way the club promotes aviation within the local community but could also be partially attributed to the very favourable hourly rate of the RV-12 added to their club fleet a year or so ago.

The town of Bodmin is about 10 minutes away by car, or there's a bus stop (Nos 76 and 890) in the layby at the end of the lane that leads to the airfield.

For ease of exploring, a call to the aeroclub or an online search should produce the numbers of car hire companies, putting the whole of Cornwall at your feet.

A bite to eat…

In general, food in Bodmin or the immediate area is pub-style food, sometimes with a slight twist to justify the higher pricing.

Diner 31 is the airfield restaurant and works well if you only want a bite to eat without going into town. Open Wednesday – Sunday 01208 821419.

The Blisland Inn has menus on a blackboard, less than 10 minutes away by taxi and about an hour’s walk. They serve pub food with umpteen mugs hanging from the ceiling as décor the cost is around £20 per head. The Inn, Blisland, Cornwall PL30 4JF.

Jamaica Inn The same buses that go to Bodmin will also get you to this built in 1750 coaching inn, but going in the opposite direction. In days gone by, due to its remote location, it was a popular smugglers’ haunt and is named after the local Trelawney family, who served as Governors of Jamaica during the 18th century. The Inn, with an interesting museum of smuggling artefacts, is also a hotel but is fairly pricey, rooms starting at around £145. Bolventor, Launceston PL15 7TS 01566 86250

And sleep…

The Old School House is a B&B in nearby Cardinham and is a good choice if you visit the airfield for an event and are not camping, which is permissible. It’s a couple of miles away, making it a 40-minute walk, although so far I’ve always been lucky enough to get a lift, one way at least. Averys Green, PL30 4EA. 01208 821303.

White Hart Inn is in the heart of Bodmin, with basic pub rooms at realistic prices that won’t break the bank. Around £65 per night. 2 Pool Street, Bodmin, PL31 2HA, The Bodmin Jail Hotel is also in town and allows spending time in gaol without actually doing time. You can stay and eat, but it’s not cheap, with rooms at over £220 per night. Constructed in 1779, it was very modern and forward-thinking in its day. Starting life as a debtor’s prison, it finally closed in 1927, but only after 55 murderers and burglars had been duly executed. Scarlett’s Well Rd, PL31 2PL 01208 822822

Flying Adventure 16 | LIGHT AVIATION | October 2021
Above right The west coast path offers stunning views along its 630 miles. Below Port Isaac is best known as the Portwenn, the location for TV’s Doc Martin

Go explore!

The area is one where the cost of car hire can be easily offset by the savings on hotel rooms. The other alternatives are, on foot, by bus, on a steam train or by bicycle.

Bodmin and Wenford Railway, the steam train runs a 13-mile service through the picturesque Cornish countryside from Bodmin General, near the centre of town, to Bodmin Parkway. It is made even more nostalgic when everyone is adorned in period costume. The train also links up with the Camel trail or can be used to visit Lanhydrock House.

The Camel Trail is a cyclists’ paradise, although it is also used by walkers and horse riders as it has no traffic and follows the Camel River along the old disused railway line. The total length is about 18 miles, stretching from Padstow to Bodmin Moor, although the 11 miles from as far as Bodmin are reasonably flat. A leisurely day cycling along the trail, enjoying the remarkable scenery and stopping off every now and again, has all the appeal of Richmal Crompton’s rather naughty and unruly Just William Lanhydrock House and Garden is a grand Victorian manor house set in 1000 acres of parkland, consisting of 50 rooms and very much in the Upstairs Downstairs tradition, bringing to life the differences in lifestyle, especially when venturing from the formal rooms to the servant's quarters. The well-kept gardens are a tribute to the gardeners.

Bodmin Keep was built in 1859 to provide accommodation for the Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry. These days it is Cornwall’s Regimental Museum, housing collections from Waterloo to the Berlin Wall. Fans of military memorabilia will spend hours exploring the packed rooms, but even the average tourist will need a couple of hours to complete the tour.

Dowr Kammel is Cornish for the geological ria that’s called the Camel Estuary in English. It’s where the trail culminates in an area of outstanding beauty, with prolific birdlife and opportunities for a little safe wild swimming.

Bodmin Moor is a bleak, remote, windswept moorland dotted with pretty villages and ancient sites with numinous qualities, making it a magnet from hikers to those searching for the supernatural. During the ages, there have been many who have lost their way on the moor, resulting in dire consequences. Even now, with no light pollution it’s seriously dark at night, so much so that the area has been designated a ‘Dark Sky Park’ for stargazers.

To further enhance its paranormal mystique, there have been numerous reported sightings of the ‘beast of Bodmin Moor’. It is reputed to be a big black, panther-like cat with yellow eyes. In 1995 the government ordered an official investigation into its existence, which concluded that there was no evidence of a big cat on the moors. However, in true political style, the addendum stated that there was also no evidence to refute its existence either.

South West Coast Path runs a total of 630 miles and encompasses the whole of the Cornish coastline. For those that enjoy walking holidays, the area is ideally suited, for the rest of us a day or so, armed with a picnic and the Atlantic blowing away the cobwebs, is a welcome tonic.

The opportunity for a spot of ‘spelunking’ is possible beneath Tintagel Castle, wherein lies Merlin’s Cave with its legendary links to King Arthur.

The scenery is nothing short of stunning and its beauty easily enjoyed on mild, sunny days, although the forces of nature that shape the landscape can only be fully

appreciated when the winds are howling, and the rain is teeming.

Portwenn is somewhere that doesn’t really exist, although it is still possible to visit. It is actually the fictional village portrayed in the TV series Doc Martin, although in reality the filming is done in the pretty fishing village of Port Isaac. Unfortunately, the tiny village alleyways and attractive layout have made it a victim of its own success, as it gets pretty gridlocked in the summer months.

Padstow is a place with everything going for it, a pretty harbour, nice beaches, attractive cottages and an absolute Mecca for foodies, with Michelin starred restaurateurs Rick Stein and Paul Ainsworth leading the way for seafood lovers. Once again, the volume of tourists puts a lot of pressure on what is only a small town.

Conveniently this month, both LA (in September issue) and FLYER have free landing vouchers for those that would like to visit before winter sets in. For more detailed info or specifics on Bodmin or Cornwall in general, try The Bodmin Information Centre, Shire Hall, Mount Folly Square 01208 76616

Finally, with wall-to-wall sunshine, the weather couldn’t have been better for the last of the season’s ‘Meet the LAA’ days, hosted by the Kent Strut and held at Headcorn (EGKH). Yet again, there was that easy atmosphere where the blend of familiar faces mixed with new acquaintances made the hours fly. It was good to meet Filip Lambert of Lambert Mission fame, who had flown in from Belgium especially for the event. Striking up a rapport, we have made tentative arrangements for a fly-out next year and those who would like to come along will be most welcome. ■

Get touring

Martin Ferid is a Class Rating Instructor / Revalidation Examiner, specialising in advanced tuition and confidence-building flights in your aircraft throughout Europe and the UK. These adventures can be taken as simple day trips or a few days at a time.

Browsing through the ‘favourite destinations’ on the website below should inspire tyro and experienced pilots alike. For amusement, try the ‘bit of fun’ section on the ‘contacts’ tab. For a confidence boost, a biennial flight, or for some long-distance flying, we can make it fun too!


Tel: 07598 880178


October 2021 | LIGHT AVIATION | 17 Flying Adventure
Above Way mark stones on the expansive Bodmin Moor. Photo: Mutney, Wikipedia

LAA Rally back with a bang!

Brian Hope presents an overview of the 2021 LAA Sywell Rally. More next month…

Good crowds, plenty of aircraft arrivals, and a strong exhibitor attendance saw a very positive return for the LAA Rally, in our 75th Anniversary year after having had to cancel the 2020 event.

The Rally team did a great job in what were, at times, very trying circumstances – but for their efforts, and those of the volunteers, the LAA staff, Sywell Aerodrome and of course numerous others, we would not have had an event. So, let’s start with the thanks, because it is all too easy to take the hard work put in by so many for granted.

I arrived on Thursday morning and the new exhibition layout with open fronted units was pretty well complete.

Main Neil Wilson’s aerial shot of the Rally on Saturday afternoon shows it was up to its usual high level of popularity!

The new layout was a precaution in case Covid problems precluded using the enclosed marquees we have used in the past. It proved popular with exhibitors and attendees alike, although some did comment that wet and windy may present a few problems. However, the weather was kind to us over the entire three days. Speakers’ Corner was moved to the ‘Hangar 2’ Conference Centre, again as a Covid safety measure, although it is also a much more suitable location than a marquee. We had some very good speakers – the people, not the subwoofers and tweeters – I particularly enjoyed the aircraft design discussion with Barry Plumb, Lyn Williams and Ivan Shaw.

Our regular columnist Martin Ferid presented two popular talks on air touring, and special thanks go to Garmin, which once again kindly sponsored the facility and also presented on two days, with their Manager of Europe, Middle East and Asia, Trevor Pegrum, coming over from Germany for the show.

The revised air/ground arrivals system worked well and although it seems fashionable at the moment to moan about the CAA, we must be thankful that it worked very hard with our team to resolve a problem that was not of its making. Without its approval we wouldn’t have had an event, so thank you CAA.

Left The Chilton is such a lovely little pre-war design so it is no surprise that it has proved popular with plans builders. This is Chris Barnes’ Walter Mikron 3 powered example, which was a prize winner at the 2017 Rally.
18 | LIGHT AVIATION | October 2021
Photo: Neil Wilson

The Authority has also been a regular attendee at the Rally for some years and was once again present in force, willing and able to answer questions on all manner of issues.

On the subject of hierarchy, Grant Shapps MP, Secretary of State for Transport and a keen advocate of recreational flying, was once again a welcome attendee, flying in in his Saratoga.

Foreign arrivals were expected to be badly hit by the travel problems still extant across Europe and so it turned out, in fact it also prevented a number of foreign

Above Great to see this trio of Taylor Monoplanes down from Sleap, they made quite a sight as they were lifted high by their tailwheels and walked to the fuel pumps. Photo: Neil Wilson

exhibitors from attending. However, we did get into double figures of foreign arrivals, so thank you to all those who made the effort, it was great to see you. In all we had around 800 arrivals by air and 3,000 by road, so it was a fairly typical attendance, which was reassuring given the circumstances. It was certainly great to meet up with so many old friends, the Rally is, of course, as much about people as it is aeroplanes.

Let’s take a stroll around the Rally to give those who were unable to attend a bit of a taste of what was a most enjoyable weekend. ■

LAA Rally
Above This Yak 3UTI is owned by Bob Davy and is a training version of the Yak 3 WWII Russian fighter. One of the smallest of the WWII fighters the Yak 3 was well regarded by its pilots as its excellent power to weight ratio made it a very good dogfighter. Photo: Neil Wilson
October 2021 | LIGHT AVIATION | 19
LAA Rally
20 | LIGHT AVIATION | October 2021
Above This beautiful 1936 Focke-Wulf Fw 44J Stieglitz was restored by Richard Menage and lives at Bagby. Designed by the renowned Kurt Tank, the prototype of this two-seat trainer and sport aircraft flew in 1932, this J series being the last of the line and powered by a sevencylinder Siemens-Halske Sh 14a radial piston engine. Photo: Nigel Hitchman

is that although the wingplan is very similar, the trademark Jodel/

The first example flew in 1996 and perhaps a dozen have been built, some, including Alistair’s, certainly using a DR400 fuselage and empennage.

Alistair’s machine is powered by a 120hp Lycoming O-235 and first flew in about 2011; he reports that its performance is very similar to that of his former Jodel DR1050.

October 2021 | LIGHT AVIATION | 21 LAA Rally
Left D-KROX is the first of the Aerobility Grob G109B Able motor gliders to return from Germany totally refurbished. Aerobility will operate the aircraft within its fleet and also sell the aircraft in collaboration with Grob Aircraft SE and Southern Sailplanes. Photo: Neil Wilson. Above Brit Alistair Roxborough lives at Verchocq Air Park in the Pas de Calais region of France and has recently bought this Océanair TC 120. Designed by Remi Tissot, the aircraft is deliberately intended as a homebuilt DR400, construction being slightly different. The main alteration Robin crank of the outer portion has been eliminated. Photo: Brian Hope

Certainly an eye-catcher is Andrew Beggin’s polished Sling 2, a lot of work but also a weight and expense saver. Andy was one of the early Sling converts, having been involved with the 70th Anniversary Rally build project when the South African factory brought over a flat-pack Sling kit and, with a team of volunteers, built the aircraft in eight days and flew it on the Sunday of the show. Andy’s aircraft has the Rotax 912iS and an Airmaster prop. Also at the show was the UK agent’s latest demonstrator, the four-seat Sling 4iS which is powered by the 141hp Rotax 915iS. The aircraft is currently awaiting final approval with a number already in build. Photo: Brian Hope

LAA Rally
Above The SNS-7 Sorrell Hiperbipe is staggering, and I don’t just mean its negative staggered wings. This example has been around since 1993 but this is the first time I have seen it in this stunning black and silver paint scheme. It is currently owned by Aerosprite Informatics Ltd., of Dursley in Gloucestershire. The type first flew in 1973, having been designed by Tim Sorrell as a capable aerobatic machine with the comforts of a cabin aircraft. Power is courtesy of a Lycoming IO-360 and the fuselage and empennage are of welded 4130 steel tube and the wings are of wood. Photo: Nigel Hitchman
22 | LIGHT AVIATION | October 2021
“This Christensen Opus 3 is fitted with a 125hp RR Continental O-240-A and it cruises at a TAS of 150kt burning 25lph”
October 2021 | LIGHT AVIATION | 23
Below The first of the line in terms of Dick VanGrunsven’s now ubiquitous kit aircraft was the single seat RV-3, of which only four have appeared in the UK. It is certainly rare to see two examples together, nearest is Flyer editor Ed Hicks’ -3B, originally built by Ian Glenn, and behind is G-BVDC , Robert Hatwell’s -3 built by Dan Calabritto. Photo: Neil Wilson Above This Christensen Opus 3 flew into the Rally from Renne, in Denmark via Rendsburg in Germany with a total flight time of 4 hours 20 mins. Fitted with a 125hp RR Continental O-240-A it cruises at a TAS of 150kt burning 25lph.
LAA Rally
Photo: Nigel Hitchman

Ali has been enthusiastic about aviation since he was a youngster, Popham being a favourite local venue for him and his grandad, Barrie Jay, who is well known in aviation enthusiast/photographer circles. He has also been a regular visitor at the Souch family’s Aero Antiques and showed me a picture of himself as a ten-year-old standing by the almost completed fuselage of the fabulous Mystery Ship. Naturally, with Ron and Mike’s enthusiasm for Moths and all manner of vintage aircraft, he yearns for the day when he can have a Moth of his own.

Ali gained his PPL at Lee-on-Solent when he was 17, just a month after passing his driving test, and that put the final seal on him deciding on an aviation career. With the help and encouragement of his parents and grandad, he completed his frozen ATPL via the integrated route, his completion unfortunately coinciding with the severe decline in commercial aviation as a result of the pandemic. Undaunted, he has been able to save some money in the interim by working in Covid testing but has recently started a flight operations job with jet charter company Channel Jet, with the promise of a flying job in two years.

In the meantime, he has a taildragger course to complete and is keen to do that in a vintage type. Let us know how you get on Ali, I’m sure we all wish you and so many other young ATPLs all the very best for the future as the world’s commercial aviation industry continues on its road to recovery.

Above and right Out in the exhibition area was the recently flown first UK KFA Safari, Sprite Aviation’s demonstrator, which is powered by a Rotax 912 fitted with an aftermarket turbocharger. The aircraft is effectively an enlarged Kitfox variant, and I think has a very appealing and purposeful look. The type certainly has a good record operating in the hot, high and tough African bush. Sprite’s Graham Smith says that the aircraft can be built for as little as £40K including vat and delivery, provided that you are careful with your spending and obtain a used engine. Francis Donaldson will be flying the aircraft soon for a Light Aviation flight test report, so keep an eye out for it before year end.

LAA Rally
Above The Vintage Aircraft Club’s Liz Inwood Taildragger Scholarship is presented to its lucky recipient at the Rally each year. The award provides a sum of money to carry out their tailwheel difference training and this year VAC Chair Anne Hughes presented the award to 22-yearold Alistair (Ali) Laurence, seen above beside LAA CEO Steve Slater’s recently restored Piper Cub. Photo: Brian Hope
24 | LIGHT AVIATION | October 2021
Photo: Brian Hope

Above The Homebuilders tent, once again kindly sponsored by LAS Ltd, had a definite vintage feel to it this year with Geoffrey New’s Avro 504L, G-EASD, taking centre stage. The workmanship looks good enough to go into an art exhibition, the wings and empennage being well on the way to completion. As was not unusual at the time (the 504 was designed in 1912), little glue is used in construction, the structure being rigged with numerous turnbuckles and wires.

The fuselage is a mock-up, the aircraft having been built for commercial purposes in 1920 and having three seats. It was shipped to Sweden in 1921 and plied its trade up the Baltic coast until in 1927, it crashed on a remote frozen lake. Uneconomic to repair, it was put into a nearby boathouse where it remained for many years until repatriated to the UK. Photo: Neil

Above This is the second time Dirk Verdonck has brought his Onex (a single seat Sonex) to the LAA Rally, he came with it still in primer in 2018, just a couple of months after the first flight. Although on the Netherlands register (they are helpful with kitbuilts), Dirk is from Belgium and the aircraft is based at Moorsele (EBMO). It remains the only Onex flying in Europe. Dirk came via Calais and cruised at 100kt at 2,850rpm on his 2180cc AeroConversions VW. He had some impressive figures for a big bore VW, which can be a difficult engine to cool; in the cruise his CHTs are 155C, his EGTs between 600 and 650C, and his oil temp typically runs at only 68-75C. The latter is almost certainly because he has installed the oil cooler on the top of the engine, so no high-pressure air enters the lower part of the cowling, other than that transitioning through the cylinders from the upper cowling, thus the cooling airflow through the cowling is optimised. Barry Plumb, who had a lot of VW experience with his Plumb Biplane, was with me when we were chatting with Dirk and was very impressed with his figures. Dirk is currently building a two seat Waiex, a Sonex with a V tail. Photo: Brian Hope

Above Also in the Homebuilders tent was Phil Hall, who you may recall from the August 2020 issue of LA has been working on a supercharged 147hp LOM M 332 engine conversion for Gipsy-engined types like the Tiger Moth and Chipmunk. Unfortunately, the Gipsy is now a very expensive engine to overhaul, and with parts becoming ever more difficult to get hold of, that situation is unlikely to get any better.

The pandemic opened concerns about production, but LOM recently confirmed that the engine will still be available as a refurbished unit and may also go back into production. As a widely used engine in the former Eastern Bloc, it’s future seems reassured To the left is a mock-up Tiger Moth firewall and the alloy conversion plates that accept the LOM engine into a standard mount. It is a straightforward conversion using the original cowlings, and only the eagle-eyed cognoscenti will readily notice the modification. Photo: Brian Hope

because of the work of the many who went before us. Wandering back to the Aviator bar for a cold drink on Sunday evening, I happened upon this little group of old timers, no doubt discussing the old days of the Rally and their own flying exploits.

On the left is Ernie Horsfall, until very recently still an LAA Inspector, a Jodel aficionado who still posts occasionally on the Jodel List, and one time member of the PFA Executive Committee… and he’s still only 103 years young! Ernie was able to attend the Rally thanks to his friend Brian, third from left, who kindly brought him down from his home in Lancashire.

Next to Ernie is Don Lord who is certainly in his nineties. Don has owned a number of aircraft, including a Currie Wot, Jodel D11, Vagabond, Kitfoxes various, including the Alan James built Mk 5 Rotec radial engined example that Don flew to the RSA Rally, a Rans S6 or two, and no doubt some I don’t know about. He also served on the Executive Committee and has been a long-time active member in the Southern Strut.

On the right is David Faulkner-Bryant, Chairman of the PFA from 19721989 and its President from 1989-1992, who was undoubtedly one of the key people in the growth of the Association. He was also a very keen continental tourer, most notably in his Currie Wot. Wonderful to see you gentleman, as bright and enthusiastic as ever. Photo: Brian Hope

Many thanks to our sponsors this year

LAA Rally October 2021 | LIGHT AVIATION | 25
Wilson Above It is always great to welcome enthusiastic young members into our world of recreational aviation, but we must always remember that we enjoy it today

Coaching Corner…

An upsetting distraction!

LAA’s Pilot Coaching Scheme Head of Training, David Cockburn, warns of pilot distraction using modern tech, and recommends aerobatic or upset training…

Abroad selection of electronic devices is available on the market which are aimed at improving pilots’ situational awareness. These can be set up to take information from GNSS, barometric, and other sensors to provide a variety of outputs which can be displayed on screens, either fitted in the cockpit or carried on personal devices. Some also have audio outputs to reduce the time a pilot needs to scan the display.

For ‘simplicity’, many devices have a limited number of selection controls, each of which has its own menu of available functions. And on a large number of devices, including many fitted in aircraft cockpits, these controls are ‘soft keys’ rather than prominent buttons. Am I alone in sometimes having problems making these touch screen selections with my clumsy fingers?

Unfortunately, as with much modern technology, we can only use such equipment properly if we understand how to use it and are familiar not only with its functions, but also with the selections we need to make to display the functions. The thickness of the instruction manuals (often only available as a download) for much of this equipment provides an indication of just how complicated it can be to gain that familiarity.

I freely admit I am no spring chicken, and I doubt if I am alone in my failure to instinctively understand the phraseology used by technology manufacturers. There is a strong temptation for us, as new owners, to skim through the manuals and only study the parts which we think will be the most useful, leaving the rest for an occasion when we have more time. After all, we have other priorities, not least enjoying some flying.

In many cases that ‘cherry-picking’ will allow us to gain some value out of our new equipment, but we are likely to feel disappointed that we can’t make it do everything which we wanted it to, and which we had been told it could. That disappointment can easily lead to us experimenting with the controls which, if we are trying to fly at the same time, may not be a particularly good idea.

Even if we are not deliberately experimenting, a selection error, or even a slip of the finger may result in the screen showing something totally unexpected and undesired. It may then take us quite a while to find what we really wanted, or even recover to the original screen, which of course is the first thing we

Above Modern panels, on the face of it simple but you need to be able to navigate the tech instinctively.

ought to have learned when we installed the device in the first place, was it not?

Frustrated with our inability to select what we wanted immediately we can easily be sucked into concentrating on our recalcitrant device to the detriment of everything else – indeed, at least one recent incident report proves that can easily happen.

An autopilot, if we’re fortunate enough to have one, might be able to stop the aircraft drifting off heading or adopting an unintended attitude, but who’s watching out for the hazards ahead and around us?

Of course, we may have installed a device to detect the presence of other aircraft, but don’t be lulled into thinking it will warn you of everything in the sky. Such devices only detect something which can transmit a signal that your particular device can receive (and which is switched on!), and experience has shown that even then there can be reception or transmission blind spots.

There is no doubt that we ought to learn how to operate our devices properly before we try using them in the air, but as I’ve said before, that isn’t always easy or even possible. I’ve resigned myself to learn what I can on the ground, get some practice in the air while another pilot flies, and afterwards just accept that either I will make errors or (less likely) the device may fail. If I have a back-up plan for that eventuality, including carrying a current chart with my route and a list of headings, times and frequencies, I can be relaxed when it happens. I don’t have to upset the smooth flow of a flight while I try to fix the problem – I can do that on the ground later.

Coaching Corner 26 | LIGHT AVIATION | October 2021

Aerobatic or ‘upset’ training

One of the benefits of flying with a UK licence, as against a Part-FCL one, is that there is no requirement to obtain a formal aerobatic rating before being able to enjoy carrying them out. However, the reason that EASA introduced the rating into Part-FCL licences was its concern that several pilots (and passengers) had died while losing control during aerobatic manoeuvres for which they had not been trained. Those of us with Part-FCL licences continue to require that rating before we can carry out aerobatics.

Flying simple aerobatics can provide a great deal of satisfaction and enjoyment, it certainly does to me. However, the aircraft is flown close to the edges of its flight envelope, and the control movements required to complete even simple manoeuvres can be extreme. An error in flying the manoeuvre can easily result in either overstressing the airframe, exceeding Vne, overspeeding the engine, or spinning.

The consequences of any of these are likely to be very serious, and even if we manage to avoid damaging the aircraft, recovering from such an error usually requires a lot of height. Of course, one first needs an aeroplane capable of carrying out aerobatics without damaging its structure, and few aircraft are designed for the increased stresses. Unless your aircraft is specifically certificated or permitted to carry out aerobatics, you will need to find something else to fly that is!

If you do have access to an aircraft capable of aerobatics, there are several good books on the subject, but I recommend the CAA’s SafetySense leaflet No.11 Aerobatics as initial reading. Then find an instructor to teach you properly – many of the LAA Pilot Coaching Scheme Coaches can do so. However, although a pilot himself may not require an official aerobatic rating, only those instructors qualified in their licences to teach aerobatics may do so.

From personal experience I can tell you that even after a lot of training and experience, aerobatic manoeuvres can go wrong, so much of the training (in fact probably most) you will receive will, rightly, be in how to recover when the aircraft does something you

engineering charges

Above Aerobatic or ‘upset’ training gives you confidence that you can handle the unexpected.

did not intend. For example, you should be prepared for quite a lot of practice in spin recoveries before you will be safe to carry out any aerobatic manoeuvres on your own.

Recovery from unintended flight attitudes is no bad thing for all pilots to learn and practice and, as a result of previous accidents, commercial pilots are now required to receive ‘upset recovery training’. There seems to be no intention at present of requiring private pilots to do the same, but there is no doubt that similar training would provide all pilots with a greater understanding of their aircraft and an ability to recover from unexpected situations which might follow distraction at a critical stage of flight. Even if you don’t want to carry out aerobatics on your own, the recovery training provided with an aerobatics or ‘upset’ course can improve your confidence as well as your competence. ■

of a Permit to Test Fly

Note: if the last Renewal wasn’t administered by the LAA an extra fee of £125 applies Modification application

Project registration royalty

Category change

Microlight to Group A

Change of G-Registration fee

Issue of Permit documents following G-Reg change

Replacement Documents

Lost, stolen etc (fee is per document)

Latest SPARS – No 17 April 2018

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

Coaching Corner October 2021 | LIGHT AVIATION | 27
£300 Plans
£50 Issue
£40 Initial Permit
Up to
£450 451-999kg £550 1,000kg
to 450kg £155 451-999kg £200 1,000kg
LAA Project Registration
Built Aircraft
Built Aircraft
approved design only
and above
(can now be paid online via LAA Shop) Up
and above
Factory-built gyroplanes (all weights)
minimum £60 Repeat
minimum £30
£150 451
£250 1,000kg
Prototype modification
Transfer (from C of A to Permit or CAA Permit to LAA Permit) Up
to 999kg
and above
Four-seat aircraft Manufacturer’s/agent’s type acceptance fee
Group A to microlight £135

Single seat charmer...

Beauty that is more than skin deep, as Clive Davidson discovers when he flies the The Stolp Starlet SA-500…

Pictures: Neil Wilson

28 | LIGHT AVIATION | October 2021 Flight Test

IFlight Test

often muse while alone and solo, not quite to the extent of waxing lyrical, but certainly appreciative of the view seen from an open cockpit, framed by a pair of biplane wings. But better still is from an open cockpit beneath a parasol wing, as the aspect of the world spread below just cannot be beaten. Singleseaters of this layout and stable configuration are few and far between. Reaching into my memory and leaning back to sift through one of my piles of Light Aviation, I can only think of Gerry Holland and his long association with his Baby Ace. ‘Corben's Vintage Charmer’ heralded as our strap line for this 1929 design in the April 2017 issue.

A newer variation of the Ace, the Pober Pixie, was penned by Paul Poberezny (founder of the Experimental Aircraft Association), and appeared in 1974 but to date, I am not aware that any have been built in the UK.

The most noted single-seat parasol this side of the ocean is undoubtedly the L.A.4 Luton Minor, designed by C H Latimer-Needham in the mid-1930s and updated by him and Arthur Ord-Hume post-war as the L.A.4A and becoming a popular early homebuilt of the nascent ULAA/PFA. We must not however, forget the cleverly acronymed Flying Runabout Experimental Design – the FRED. Designed by schoolteacher Eric Clutton and featuring folding parasol wings, FRED first flew in1963 with a 500cc Triumph twin motorcycle engine, soon replaced by a VW conversion. Despite being somewhat contrary to those who favour a somewhat more harmonious blend of aerodynamics and aesthetics, FRED proved popular as a simple, robust and affordable flyer.

The twinkle in this flyer’s eye this month however, is Barrie Towers’ delightful Stolp Starlet, G-CLNP, which picked up the CEO’s Choice award at the Rally. Steve is a former FRED owner and currently owns a Currie Wot, so single-seaters are in his blood, but who could not be charmed by this delightfully proportioned, colourful and beautifully turned out machine.

The Stolp aircraft story started back in 1957 with the maiden flight of the plans built, non-aerobatic SA100 single seat sport biplane. Construction followed the classic American 4130 welded steel fuselage and empennage with wooden wings and the design struck a chord with builders. Inevitably, many really wanted a two-seater, so in short order the designers, Lou Stolp and George Adams, came up with the SA300 Starduster Too, which was capable of sport aerobatics. Later, capable of more advanced aerobatics, the SA700 Acroduster and SA750 Acroduster Too biplanes would be introduced, 10% scaled down versions of the Stardusters but stressed to 9G.

Shortly before that though, in 1970, came the budget single-seat SA-500 Stolp Starlet, for those wanting a cheap but cheerful single-seater. Like its older siblings, it is of steel tube and wood, and like its siblings it features a rather sexy elliptical top wing, although of course the parasol Starlet only has a top wing.

While once demonstrating a Stolp Starduster Too for a potential new owner, flying from the rear cockpit and on climb out my goggles were torn from my leather helmet as I

poked my head into the slipstream. My initial reaction was that the snap clips holding the strap to my leather helmet would save them, but they let go and the goggles sailed overboard from a couple of hundred feet. I hoped against hope they wouldn’t be smashed and that I would be able to find them in the overshoot – they had been my father’s, who flew with the RAF. Having completed the flight with some gentle aeros, we landed and taxied in to be met by fellow Tiger Mothists Annabelle and Kevin, both smiling. Annabelle asked if I might like my goggles back, “Yes, did you see them fall?” She walked towards the tail and I turned around and there they were, sitting up on the curve to the fin, spread with a lens either side, just sitting there! I was flabbergasted that they had remained there despite a standard barrel roll, loop, wingover, cuban and a stall turn!

I had also had the good fortune years ago, to fly the only other UK Stolp Starlet, the C90 powered G-AZTV, from Old Sarum – decorated in striking dark bluish purple with the de rigueur smattering of white stars – although it is now no longer active. My memory was of it being a grey winter’s day and I wore an Irvin sheepskin jacket, and the shoulders hung slightly over the cockpit lip. It later transpired that the then Inspector of the Starlet is now my own Inspector for the Cassutt. Small world.

The prototype Starlet had a 65hp (48kW) 1500cc VW, but more powerful engines have since been specified, from 65 to 125hp. Many of the examples built in the US use the larger Lycoming 0-235C, around 100lb heavier than a VW conversion, which produces an airframe that is close to its forward weight and balance limit. With such a heavy engine, Barrie’s lightweight frame (I am guessing he’s not much more than 10 stone) would have resulted in an aircraft he couldn’t fly, his lack of bulk resulting in an unacceptable figure beyond the forward limit of the envelope. The Rotax UL produces a reliable 80hp but, more importantly, weighs in at 132.7lb / 60kg including a starter and all ancillaries, so it was the obvious choice. It is fitted with a 1800mm (71 inch) fixed pitch Woodcomp prop.

A walk around

Sitting with its head into wind with the grass rustling around its wheels, I took the opportunity to walk around Barrie’s recently completed and pristine ‘November Papa’ – also with the perhaps obligatory stars and stripes décor – and could not fail but notice the care and detailing of this very well finished project. Barrie had said, that when choosing a single-seater, he was limited by the range of types ‘out there’, wanting a plans build rather than a kit as well as something that would stretch him. He had previously built a Mk2 Kitfox, a Murphy Renegade and five (yes FIVE) three-axis microlights, so this was to be his first more complex scratch build.

The Starlet has that aesthetically pleasing but timeconsuming to construct wooden wing, with eight different rib sections to give it its distinctive sweep back and elliptical curves at the trailing edge. It has a 25ft span and 83 square feet area, with spruce spars and diagonal metal internal bracing, the aircraft’s max all up weight of 933lb (424kg)

October 2021 | LIGHT AVIATION | 29
Above The Starlet is a delightful and predictable aeroplane to fly.
30 | LIGHT AVIATION | October 2021
Above That lovely wing shape is evident here. Note grab handle to aid entry and exit. Right Colourful and pretty as a picture –and it only took two years to build. Below Barrie Towers with his awardwinning aeroplane

giving a wing loading of 11.2lb per square foot. The aerofoil section is the classic high lift Clark Y.

It is mated to the steel tube ‘space frame’ fuselage by two inner ‘N’ and two outer ‘V’ struts, supplemented by jury struts. The fuselage is not so straightforward either as its upper section is broader than the lower, the whole sitting on a Grove one piece sprung aluminium main gear with Matco five-inch wheels and hydraulic brakes. A leaf spring and steerable solid rubber tailwheel take care of the back end. The steel tube tailplane is wire braced on the upper surfaces and has tubular struts beneath, the left elevator housing a trim tab. Barrie was aided and abetted by welder Allen Haseldine on fuselage construction, and the airframe was covered using Poly-Fiber.

Both the elevators and rudder are generously aerodynamically balanced with surface area ahead of their hinge lines and, moving them by hand, there is no ‘stiction’ in their circuits.

The near eye level frise ailerons are simple to inspect and also have a generous area forward of the hinge line. I was half anticipating a greater upper movement to further counter any adverse aileron drag but we will soon see if the nose swings away in yaw from the direction of roll when I play the role of an inept, rudder-lazy pilot.

More weight saving

The plans called for two fuel tanks, one in the wing centre section and the other forward of the cockpit, behind the firewall. However, with the Rotax fuel burn of only about 15 litres an hour, Barrie decided to simply enlarge the fuselage tank slightly from 45 litres to 50 litres, and not install the wing tank.

On paper, the combined weight saving of using the Rotax over the Lycoming and deleting the wing tank, brings a net saving of 180lb.

The cockpit

The cockpit size appears large for the airframe, but it is a relatively small aircraft. Gazing into it from the left, the upper and lower torso straps are laid neatly to the sides and although initially there appears little to grab hold of whilst balancing, possibly precariously, whilst getting in, Barrie pointed out there is a hand hold on top of the wing. Very helpful. Once upright with both feet in the cockpit, you can slide down into the seat using both hands on the cockpit sides to support yourself.

At the time I flew the aeroplane, Barrie was on the second of what became three windscreens and thought I just might be a tad tall to escape the onrushing draught of the combined slipstream and air spilling over the top. He apologised that he couldn’t lower the fixed seat, but it wasn’t a problem as I could easily lean forward a little and be in clear air. I had already grabbed my leather helmet and previously errant goggles, and an always necessary item in an open cockpit – a scarf to wrap around my neck.

I ran through the checklist I learned when learning to fly last century, when Pontius was a pilot and logbooks were in Latin. The trim is a friction held lever on the right-side cockpit wall down by my hip, and the throttle falls comfortably to hand on the left wall. As this is a Rotax, there is a choke rather than a mixture knob, and this is on the lower right edge of the panel.

The mag switches are top left, guarded by two red flip covers, and the Andair fuel valve is mounted centrally, between your legs with the 12 o’clock position being ON. A fuel tubing sight gauge runs down the curved right edge of the panel and there’s a fuel pump switch mounted alongside. There are no flaps, slats or slots, nor a speed brake. Gyros? No, none of those either.

The gauges are set either side of the central Garmin 660 GPS, airspeed – with the green arc running from its stalling

October 2021 | LIGHT AVIATION | 31 Flight Test
Below The very neat and functional cockpit is strictly day VFR.

Flight Test

speed of 54mph up to 100 and the yellow caution range up to the red line at 132mph, plus altimeter and VSI on the left side.

A slip ball sits atop the GPS, and on the right are rpm, oil temp, oil pressure, CHT, a voltmeter, and a combined digital fuel pressure and water coolant temperature gauge. The rpm gauge has a familiar green arc rising from 1,400 to 5,600 then the yellow caution to 5,800 and red beyond. Barrie has stuck a tiny yellow triangle on the dial, at 4,700rpm for quick reference. On the lower edge of the dial there is a reminder that cruise rpm is between 4.8 and 5k.

Stepped slightly back is a small central lower panel that holds the suitably labelled contact breakers and red warning lights. The battery master switch sits in solitary confinement and to its right are those for the avionics and strobe lights. And there is a Hobbs meter collecting the airframe hours on its tumbler figures and a priority, a clock/stopwatch.

Top right Roll rate is pretty lively but the Starlet is not aerobatic.

Below The rudder and elevator are aerodynamically balanced.


Securely strapped in I feel part of the machine and the field of view is extraordinarily good, panoramic in fact as the whole horizon from the 12 o’clock of the nose under the parasol wings, both left and right, almost around to the fin and rudder with shoulder strap slackened and a stretch.

This first flight was as near as it could have been to serendipity, not only because it was my first in Barrie’s Starlet, but the fact I was being let loose to explore and see how she flies and behaves, the photoshoot would come later.

Taxying out on the grass, weaving from side to side to clear the area ahead, I saw two of our three resident kites turning lazily in the undershoot, waggling their triangular tails; beautiful birds that have settled in the trees near to the 24 threshold. I had been told that since their reintroduction they are also seen along motorways carrion is plentiful. As mesmerising as they are, I am quite content to see them from afar. They are beautiful, but rather large, and a birdstrike would be unpleasant for both parties.

Power checks at 4,000rpm brings the slight but anticipated mag drop and with no one else on frequency or within the circuit, I am free to play. Lined up with the main wheels straddling the numbers and the straightened tailwheel hopefully pointing at the centreline, there is only a slight wind of five to eight knots from the right to deflect my charge.

The Rotax turns clockwise, and the right foot is ready to harness the pull to the left, although it will be tempered by the weathercocking crosswind. Power on gradually, she runs straight with a slight deviation and correction.

Acceleration is fair with half throttle, then a steady forward push, still straight, tail up. T’s and P’s are in the green, ASI is live, and just before the point of rotation there is an unexpected wayward change of direction, squirrel-like I overcorrect and then rudder it back and pull it unceremoniously off the ground. Heck, I was not expecting that!

Accelerating in ground effect I breathe out and climb out at the recommended 70mph, in balance with wings level. The view from the cockpit is first class and a gentle wiggle clears the path ahead. The standard circuit is flown at 800ft to the south, close in or out wider around the local village of Marnhul. I rattle through the checks downwind, flown at 80mph and scan for any airborne friends.

So as not to plague the locals I just do three circuits. Approach is at 70mph and I use the point and shoot technique – select the nose attitude for the path and alter the power to increase or decrease the speed and trim after every adjustment. A flare over the hedge, hold off just above the runway and power is brought back in slowly with balancing footwork and around we go, accelerating and keeping straight to nimbly climb away.

The next approach would be a three pointer, converted to a touch and go. Well, it was, but with me making ever greater darts past and beyond the centreline, squirrelling about. “I think I will use the grass now,” I thought and subsequently had no trouble with a wheeler.

That had all taken me rather by surprise and on shutdown and helmet removed, Barrie informed me I was the first to have flown from her from a hard runway. Given the option, that would also be my last!

I came to no real conclusions as to why the Starlet had taken me on such a squirrelly ride. Granted, the aircraft is slightly shortish coupled, allowing the tail to come out of alignment from the direction of travel, but the triangle made by the three wheels is not extraordinarily pointed.

32 | LIGHT AVIATION | October 2021
October 2021 | LIGHT AVIATION | 33
Left There’s room behind the seat for personal belongings.
Flight Test
Above Simple neat mudguards. Nice idea to fit a jacking point.

I ruminated on the effectiveness of the brakes (very good), or over controlling perhaps. More thought required.

The photoshoot

Neil was to be seated on the left of Patrick’s Freelance, with his window lifted up and locked giving him a clear out and back view of proceedings. The standard format was adapted with the camera ship to roll first and me to follow. There is always a degree of doubt as to whether the angle of climb of the two aircraft will be similar, despite a similar claimed rate of climb. The standard is for the camera ship to maintain runway heading for an agreed length of time before turning 90° left, this gives me a fighting chance of getting airborne as number two when their wheels have definitely left the runway and being able to cut the corner to catch them, calling ‘in the box’ when settling into position.

For the take-off I used the grass preferred by the Tiger Moths, parallel to the runway, and in an attempt to make life easier I wondered if the Starlet was sprightly enough to manage a three-point take-off. As the Freelance rolled and raised its nosewheel I opened the throttle, found it easy to keep straight and she broke ground with complete directional control in a short field take off, running parallel with the runway and catching the camera crew. My angle and rate of climb was better than theirs so this was a manageable performance that put a smile on my face.

The air-to-air detail was flown by making our way past bubbling cumulus in blue sky, lacking any form of turbulence, in an area to the north of Henstridge. It was easy maintaining position with the responsive controls and a good power to weight ratio, most enjoyable it has to be said. Invariably at the end of the session with Neil relaying through Patrick that we were complete, I would break away to undertake the formal aspect of the flight to look at the aircraft's general qualities, but Barrie, generous to a fault, wasn’t pushed for time and offered me a further flight after the ground images had been taken. I found it a relief that the grass landing was free from any palpitating, directional wanderings.

A third sortie!

And so, airborne for a third time and again using the three-point technique, I sauntered up to a couple of thousand feet admiring the view towards Sturminster Newton and Hambledon Hill, and there opened the envelope. Settled in the cruise with needle adjusted to Barrie’s mark on the ASI and 4,850rpm she maintained a tad over 90mph. And by all accounts that fuel burn is 14 litres an hour, pretty good to say the least. As mentioned before, the tank holds 50 litres and at this burn would give a theoretical dry tank, still air endurance of 3.5 hours. So, with realism and caution the float would still be bobbing at the three-hour mark and in terms of range in still air might equate to 270 statute miles, 235 nautical.

Personally, two-hour legs are my comfort limit, but it is a comfortable cockpit. True, I had to lean forward ever so slightly so the top of my leather helmet was not buffeted, but this cockpit was built and adjusted for her owner, not me. I love the uninterrupted panoramic view, being able to sweep the sky with an easy scan, the narrow nose sitting just beneath the horizon. Delightful.


Trimmed out hands off, the nose may be eased down by 10° for an increase of nine mph, 10% of the trimmed speed, and is then allowed to ‘float free’. She settles within two phugoids, about 200ft lower than our starting height.

Releasing the rudder from steady heading sideslips from both directions displays good directional stability. Lateral stability has each wing in turn rising from a steady heading cross controlled sideslip. I tried these also in a descent as if on approach at 70mph, a typical speed for this airframe. No extra control force was needed to encourage the Starlet to return to balanced flight after a side slipping approach when ‘kicked straight’ for a round out.

Delightful controls

The ailerons exhibit a small amount of adverse aileron drag, swinging away in opposite yaw to roll for a turn, but it is simple to balance with the rudder. They are responsive and eager to roll her to an exacting stop, and swift at an estimated 120° a second. Impressive fun! The ailerons continue to work up to the straight and level stall, when she lets go with a shuddering nose drop right at the advertised baseline on her green ASI band at 54mph. Stalling with power on in a gentle climbing turn to the right, at the point of warning and shaking, prior to losing her temper and stalling proper, the wings roll level in a torque reaction and a simple easing of the stick forward with balancing right rudder shows her docility as she flies away .

From a left climbing turn, as and when we are on the edge of departure, she hesitates, not sure whether the drag from the outside wing is going to induce wings level or wobble further and roll to an exciting departure with the stick tremoring in my hand. Without letting her have her head, the stick is promptly shot forward again with accompanying rudder and the normality of wings level is regained. She gives plenty of warning AND she has the generosity of control to let you enjoy life. Her trimming range is from 68 to 115mph, more than adequate, so both a slow, wandering return to base or a dash as the weather threatens to deteriorate, will present no issues.

She handles delightfully, that high parasol wing lending itself to pendulous stability, the weight suspended beneath that curvaceous wing. My last landing was on grass, and she ran as straight as anybody might wish. One small final observation is that the stick does have to be all the way back on landing as she finally settles onto the greenery, and then just needs gentle rudder inputs to remain straight.

I must thank Barrie’s generosity in allowing me to have so much time experiencing his beautiful Starlet. You can guess I thoroughly enjoyed it, along with our numerous phone calls and texts when he kindly supplied details for this feature.

Many happy landings Barrie – and congratulations on that Rally award. ■

STOLP SA500 Starlet Specifications

General characteristics

Crew: One

Wingspan: 25ft (7.6m)

Wing area: 83 sq ft (7.7 m2)

Empty weight: 500lb (227kg)

Gross weight: 1,000lb (454kg)

Fuel capacity: 22 U.S. gallons (83 L; 18 imp gal)

Powerplant: 1 × VW 1500cc, 65hp (48kW)

Propellers: 2-bladed wooden

Plans and material kits: Aircraft Spruce & Specialty


Maximum speed: 130mph (210km/h, 110kn)

Cruise speed: 105mph (169km/h, 91kn)

Range (two tanks): 630 mi (1,010km, 550nm)

Wing loading: 12.0lb/sq ft (59 kg/m2)

Flight Test
34 | LIGHT AVIATION | October 2021

The 2021 AGM of the LAA LTD…

Due to the Covid 19 restrictions, last year the Annual General Meeting of the Light Aircraft Association Limited took the form of a Zoom virtual meeting. This year we are delighted to be back at Sywell in the Hangar 2 Conference Centre for a hybrid meeting, face-to-face for those who wish to attend, and a Zoom facility for those who wish to ‘attend’ remotely. The AGM is scheduled to commence at 11am on Sunday 24 October.

Logging into the Zoom meeting

The link to the meeting will be https://tinyurl. com/4ah3fa7k

Meeting ID: 836 5020 4097. A passcode will be required to join the meeting. If this has not been sent to you directly in a member e-mail, please contact before the AGM. Please log in from 10.45 to avoid a delayed start.

Flying in

Any LAA Members wishing to fly in to the AGM must obtain PPR from Sywell Aerodrome, via their website https://

Any aircraft pre-booked as attending for the AGM will have their landing fees covered by the LAA.

The programme for the day will be: 1000. Tea/coffee.

1015. Welcome from Tim Hardy, LAA Chairman. 1030. Presentation of LAA Service Awards and LAA Rally Awards

1100. AGM

AGM agenda

■ Apologies for Absence

■ Minutes of the previous meeting for approval

■ Chairman’s Report

■ Motion 1

■ Motion 2

■ Treasurer’s Report and Adoption of 2020 Statutory Accounts

■ Election of Just Audit and Assurance Ltd., as Auditors of the Company.

■ Election and Re-Election of the Directors of the Company

■ CEO Overview

For re-election: Marcus de Ferranti, David Millin, Eryl Smith

For election: Paul Bird, John Brady, Brian Davies, Christopher Holliday, Ian Sweetland

NB: There are eight candidates for the seven available directors’ posts so you should only vote for up to seven of the candidates.

1230. Members Forum. An opportunity for members to discuss issues and ideas with the Board.

1330. Thanks and closure of the meeting.

AGM documentation

The Minutes from the 2020 AGM, the Annual Report, the 2020 accounts, the Treasurer’s Report, the Chairman’s Report as well as the agenda and Motions contained herein, will be available on the LAA website ( ) at least one week prior to the meeting.


To vote at the AGM you must be a beneficial shareholder of the LAA – unless you have specifically opted out, you will be a beneficial shareholder by default if you are a current member.

Only those beneficial shareholders whose names appear on the register at 1400 on 22 October 2021 shall be entitled to vote at the meeting.

How to vote

Voting is available either:

■ At the meeting in person.

■ Via the Zoom facility.

■ Using the proxy form that came on the reverse of the address sheet of this issue of Light Aviation You can only vote once, if you vote by proxy and then vote again at the meeting or on Zoom, both votes will be nullified.

Proxy Voting. David Mole, LAA Company Secretary

■ You may only appoint one proxy.

■ In the case of joint holdings, the vote of the senior beneficial shareholder who tenders a vote shall be accepted to the exclusion of the vote of the other beneficial shareholder.

For this purpose, seniority shall be determined by the order in which names stand in the register of beneficial shareholders.

■ If this form is returned without any indication as to how the Chairman shall vote, he may exercise his discretion as to how he votes, or whether he abstains from voting.

■ The proxy form must be signed and must show a membership number.

‘Signed’ must mean signed by hand and not signed electronically, bearing in mind that all proxy forms will be checked at the LAA office.

■ We will accept an emailed legible scan of a properly signed and numbered proxy form.

However, it has been noticed that scans emailed at low resolution can be almost illegible when they are received in the LAA office, so the wisest course may be to post the paper form.

■ Your proxy form must be received at HQ not later than 21 October 2021.

Headset review AGM 2021 36 | LIGHT AVIATION | October 2021


Proposed by: David Mole (037969)

Seconded by: Steve Slater (034052)

To vary, for the purposes of the AGM on 24 October 2021 only, the requirement of Article 12 (c) that at least 42 days’ notice of all motions shall be given and to substitute the requirement that at least 28 days’ notice shall be given.

Reasons: Due to the late delivery of the September 2021 edition of Light Aviation, which took place for many members after 8 September, some members may have found it difficult to meet the (42 day) deadline of 11 September. To avoid unfairness to them, the proposal is, this year only, to make a ‘one-off’ extension of the deadline by one week until Saturday 18 September. If this NOM is approved at the AGM, its effect will be that any motions that are submitted after 11th but by 18th will be retrospectively validated and considered at the AGM. Practical considerations mean that this is the maximum extension that can be given.


Proposed by: Tim Hardy (029407)

Seconded by: Steve Slater (034052)

That the words of Article 12(b) of the Articles of Association of the Light Aircraft Association “The notice convening the AGM shall be dispatched to the beneficial shareholders at least three calendar months prior to the date of the meeting” be altered by the deletion of ‘three’ and the insertion of ‘two’.

Reasons: Experience of timetabling and organising LAA events during the challenges and uncertainties caused by Covid-19 show that it would be helpful to shorten the period of notice to be given for the AGM.

The Board considers that greater general use of and familiarity with electronic means of communication means that this can be done without causing any member serious disadvantage.

The Board has considered this proposal and supports it.


Please note: There are eight candidates standing for the Board but only seven places available. You can therefore only vote for up to seven of the candidates.

Marcus de Ferranti (037882)

Proposed by: Tim Hardy (029407)

Seconded by: Steve Slater (034052)

A mechanical engineer by degree, Marcus started working life as an RAF fighter ground attack pilot flying Jaguars and Harriers. He then worked variously for GEC and the Government before starting his own business trading wholesale bandwidth in the early days of the internet.

He then spent several years as a venture capitalist before returning to military aviation for six years, flying Hawks in an aggressor role for Royal Navy training, also becoming an instrument rating examiner. He now sits on various boards and lives in Hampshire.

He regularly uses his Vans RV-8, flying over 100 hours a year.

As a long-standing supporter of the LAA he is keen to give back to the organisation and his unusually diverse background brings a useful mix of pilot, engineer, regulatory and commercial skills.

David Millin (030437)

Proposed by: David Mole (037969)

Seconded by: Mike Mold (007106)

My career within the motor industry led me to the United Arab Emirates where I was involved in after sales management. I started flying three-axis microlights in the UAE during the nineties and continued flying at Dunkeswell on my return. I joined an independent company distributing and wholesaling SCUBA diving equipment, eventually carrying out a management buy-out. My company remains one of the most significant within the recreational diving industry and has certainly honed my management skills.

I joined the Devon Strut and later moved onto SEP types (I own a Jodel) and became a member of the Strut committee. I have served as Chairman for a number of years and represented the Strut during the days of the National Council. I serve as a Board Member and my interest is focused on grass root flying, encouragement of the Struts and equitable use of airspace for GA.

Eryl Smith (029493)

Proposed by: David Mole (037969)

Seconded by: Steve Slater (034052)

I have combined a professional background in civil aviation in airport management with a passion for recreational flying, obtaining my PPL in 1996. I now co-own an Aeronca Champ and am also a member of a C177 syndicate which enables me to maintain a wide knowledge of recreational, general aviation and airspace issues. I am an active member of the Andover Strut and am currently Strut Treasurer. I have extensive knowledge of LAA matters having previously served as Association Secretary and as a member of the Marketing Sub Committee before being elected as a director, and most recently acted as LAA Rally Chairman. If re-elected I am committed to working on behalf of all members to enable the LAA to embrace the exciting opportunities and challenges we face as we continue to grow and evolve, whilst ensuring that the Association remains true to and connected with our grassroots membership.

October 2021 | LIGHT AVIATION | 37 AGM 2021

Paul Bird (010657)

Proposed by: David Gibby (041925)

Seconded by: Peter Morgans (004253)

I am a former engineering draughtsman, design engineer, heat treatment technician and college lecturer. I attained my PPL in 1974, joined PFA in 1980, and I am a past member of North Western and Lancashire Struts. I now live in Pembrokeshire and own a Robin ATL and work on a casual basis for three maintenance companies at Haverfordwest.

Having previously been a Board member (2004-2009), I offer my experience and service to the LAA again, so that I may assist in moving the Association forward in the post EASA/ Brexit era.

I would be particularly keen to mitigate some of the regulatory anomalies that have developed during several transitions.

John Brady (031926)

Proposed by: Alan Hartfield (007499)

Seconded by: Mark Batin (020100)

With a career in military and civil aviation and having had a share in a Jodel and RV-6A, and now built an RV-8, I served on the Executive Committee of the PFA and then as a director of the new LAA from 2005. Having served for nine ‘periods’ plus an extra year allowed by the Articles of the LAA, I retired in 2017 and was appointed Vice-President.

The Board has been short of directors in recent years having only six + CEO when the Articles allow 12 + CEO and that makes the distribution of responsibilities difficult and can be insufficient for a quorum at board meetings. I have told the Board I am willing to stand for election as a director again to redress this shortfall in numbers. I believe my experience would again be of value to the Association.

Christopher Holliday (042942).

Proposed by: Alan Kilbride (037174)

Seconded by: Dave Allan (015018)

I work as an aviation consultant and hold three non-executive Director positions in the industry. I am passionate about managing safety and looking into sustainable technologies.

I joined the LAA in 2018 and currently own a Rollason Condor and a share in a Reality Escapade. The LAA was pivotal in getting me back into the air when I restarted flying in 2018 after a very long layoff and has been a key contributor to making flying affordable for me.

I am Strut Co-ordinator for the Vale of York Strut and believe my experience and skills could make a greater contribution to the future of our Association.

Success would allow me to put more back into our Association to help keep it strong into the future, underpinning affordable aviation for members. It would also broaden the geographic coverage of Board Members.

Brian Davies (027125)

Proposed by: David Millin (030437)

Seconded by: Paul Kirkham (025172)

I have been an Association member since 1999 and joined the board in 2012. I served as Chairman for four years and after retiring was elected as a Vice President. During my three years as VP, I have served as chairman of the Airworthiness Oversight Group and been heavily involved in the recent discussions with the CAA regarding our approval and have worked closely with Steve Slater on the future development of our engineering team. I have also served on the Rally working group during the last two years. I have a ‘building bug’ and I am currently building my third aircraft.

I have recently become convinced that I could serve our members better if I was an elected member of the board and could use my vote in the best interests of the membership.

Ian Sweetland (038457)

Proposed by: John Ellis (036950)

Seconded by: Craig Simpson (018930)

For 20 years, I have operated as an independent consulting engineer in various roles across large and small infrastructure projects, internationally and domestically. I learned to fly aged 40 and ordered a Van’s kit in 2010 and started my second build in 2020. As a member of the West of Scotland Strut, I have been managing an LAA sponsored research project to value the market for GA in Scotland, and develop a strategy to raise the profile of GA with the Scottish Govt. I’ve also represented the LAA, collaborating with the GAA and other GA bodies, in presenting an effective stakeholder response for the various Airspace Change Procedures underway in Scotland. As a Director I would use my skills to assist the management and staff to deliver and enhance members’ service – e.g, resources available within the membership might voluntarily assist LAA engineering in particular projects.

38 | LIGHT AVIATION | October 2021 AGM 2021
Stuart Nicol Photography

W here To G o

As the fly-in season draws to a close, let’s hope for an Indian summer so that we can enjoy as much flying as we can before winter sets in. I have also included as many 2022 dates as we know of so that you can start filling your 2022 flying diaries with the events that light your particular fire.

Having had the best part of two years’ events cancelled, like everybody else I’m desperately hoping for better outcomes next season. Our thanks go to the Royal Aero Club for the use of their events data, see for more events and links to additional information. Thanks also to David Wise who collates the list. If you are planning an event, please contact Dave at and he will add the details to the listings.


1-2 Sandown Airport October Fest 01983-716926

2 Old Warden Shuttleworth Race Day Air Show [see AIC M012/2021]

2 Hinderclay Meadows Suffolk Soaring Fly-in & Book Signing [PPR] 07485 072155

2-3 Compton Abbas Pooley’s Days Fly-in [PPR pre-register with Pooleys]

2 Old Warden Shuttleworth Vehicle

Show - airfield closed [see AIC Y002/2021]

2 Auch (F) RSA Occitanie Fly-in

5-6 Excel, London Helitech Trade Show

7 Yeovilton Threshold Navy Wings Night Photo-shoot [Pre book] 7-10 Sywell BAeA Aerobatics Adv & Ultd Nationals [see AIC Y008/2021]

9 Duxford Flying Day [see AIC M044/2021]

9 Compton Abbas Vintage Saturday Fly-in


4 Compton Abbas Vintage Saturday Fly-in

11 Compton Abbas Christmas Fly-in



5-10 Lakeland FL (N) Sun ‘n’ Fun Aerospace Expo

27-30 Friedrichshafen (D) AERO GA Exhibition 0049-7541-708128


14 Sywell Europa Club Fly-in & Dinner

26-29 Abbeville (F) Bulldog & Chipmunk Meet & Formation Training


2 Buckingham Palace Queen’s Birthday Trooping The Colour Fly Past @ 1300

11-12 Le Mans (F) 24-hour Car Race

16-18 Cotswold – Kemble Aero Expo & RotorTech UK Tradeshow [pre-register]

25 Scarborough National Armed Forces Day Event


1-2 Dublin – Weston (EI) The Elite Lifestyle & Private Flyer Exhibition

1-3 Sanicole (OO) Belgian Experimental Days Fly-in [pre-register]

2-3 Swansea Bay Welsh National Sea Front Air Show

15-17 Fairford RIAT Military Display 01285-713300

18-22 Farnborough SBAC Air Show [Public day 22] 25-31 Oshkosh, Wi (N) EAA AirVenture National Fly-in & Display


12-14 Schaffen-Diest (OO) Belgian Old Timer Fly-in

18-21 Eastbourne Airbourne Seafront Air Show


3 T.B.A. (PH) NVAV 50th Anniversary Event

9 & 11 Leopoldsburg (OO) Sanicole AC Air Show

17-30 Toulouse to St Louis (F>CN) Toulouse-St Louis Rally

T.B.A. T.B.A. Revival of World C’ship (ex Red Bull) Air Races

All manner of exciting aircraft will appear at AERO Friedrichshafen, cancelled for two years but hopefully back from April 27-30 in 2022


3 Yeovilton Threshold FAAM Night Photo-shoot




Where to go
26 & 31 Countrywide LAA 75th Anniversary FLY-IT DAY
Cosford Threshold RAF Cosford Night Photoshoot
9 St Mawgan Threshold Cornwall Av Museum Photo-shoot [Pre-book] 17 Coventry Midland Air Museum
Fair 24
LAA AGM 01280 846786
[Pre book]
30 St Athan Threshold S Wales Av Museum Night Photo-shoot [Pre-book]
31 Turweston Vintage Aircraft Club All Hallows Fly-in & AGM [PPR]
Compton Abbas Vintage Saturday Fly-in
Blackpool Threshold Hangar 42 Spit & Hurri Photo-shoot [Pre-book]
Kempton Park Racecourse Heathrow Aircraft Enthusiasts Fair
Breighton Remembrance Sunday Service [PPR]
Cosford RAF Museum Conservation Centre Open Week [Pre-book]
Cosford Threshold RAFM Night Photo-shoot [Pre-book]
October 2021 | LIGHT AVIATION | 39

Rally winners

Every one a winner!

Brian Hope presents this year’s Rally award winners, happy that he didn’t have to face such difficult choices…

At every Rally we have an awards team that judges the entries for the various awards and trophies that have been established over the history of the Association. Having missed a Rally last year, it was especially difficult to select the recipients because, for example, the number of first-class restorations and new builds was greater than

usual. Well done and thank you to the team of judges and to the new head of judging Ian Castle, and judging administrator Susan Stowe, who take over from two of the Association’s long-serving stalwarts Stuart MacConnacher and Harry Hopkins.

Thank you also to all the entrants to the awards process, it’s a shame not everybody can win, especially when there are so many first-class aircraft on display. ■

Main The winner of the Prince Michael of Kent Trophy for Concours d’Elegance was Frank Cox for his superbly restored 1946 Fairchild 24R-46A Argus, G-BCBL. He was also awarded the John Randall Trophy for Best Vintage.

Frank acquired the Argus in 1993 and later decided it needed a re-cover. Having removed the fabric it became apparent that further refurbishment was required, and so began a 25-year restoration, which included a rebuild of the 200hp inverted straight six Ranger engine. In reality, Frank reckons the work took about half that time as he was working abroad for much of the periode. Frank was featured in the

Meet the Members column of the November 2020 issue of Light Aviation and is a former RNAS and corporate pilot. From left, Steve Slater, Frank Cox and Ian Castle. Photo: Neil Wilson
40 | LIGHT AVIATION | October 2021

Rally winners

Left Receiving a Commendation in the Best Vintage category is Michael Greenland for his Piper L-4 Cub, G-LOCH. Owned by his late father John since 1984, the aircraft was restored by Matt Boddington, at Sywell. Photo:

Above and left This year’s winner

the Air Squadron Trophy

the Best Plans Built goes to a man who can only be described as a persistent offender, in the nicest sense, of course. Richard Teverson has built a couple of Steen Skybolts, the second of which was modified to incorporate some of his own ideas; he then built the first Colomban Luciole in the UK and was instrumental in helping fellow builders with their projects; and then he went on to build a lovely Nicollier Menestrel. The Luciole and the Menestrel were featured a number of times during their build in the Homebuilders Tent at the Rally, as was his latest creation in 2019, an Isaacs Spitfire.

The Spitfire is a quite complex build which probably explains why it is only the third to have flown in the UK. It has taken Richard just four years to complete, and that included making his own canopy because he was keen for it to replicate the original Spitfire appearance as much as possible. Unlike Tony Razzell’s home-produced Menestrel canopy, the story of which was published in the August issue of Light Aviation, Richard blew his canopy, for which you do not require a mould. Tony used a vacuum which sucked the screen material down into a female mould, the different technique being necessary because of its more complex shape.

The one-piece wing is particularly complicated as it washes out from 2.5° at the root to -0.5° at the tip, and each of the ribs is in three sections. Richard covered the wing’s ply surface with 50g/m2 glass cloth and epoxy resin, a lightweight system as used on the Luciole. Great care has to be taken to remove all excess resign and when dry, pinholes are filled with resin, the wing is lightly sanded, and an epoxy primer applied. After light sanding the colour coats can then be added. It has certainly resulted in a beautifully smooth surface finish.

Nigel Hitchman of for
October 2021 | LIGHT AVIATION | 41
Photos: Nigel Hitchman and Brian Hope.

Rally winners

Richard has promised an article on the build so I won’t get too involved in the tale other than to say it was built from Graham Lee plans and features a three cylinder Verner four stroke radial.

Above Receiving a Commendation in the Best Plans Built category is the superb Pietenpol Air Camper built by Pat Taylor. It really is a peach of an aeroplane and was on display in the 75th Anniversary celebratory display, alongside Bill Cole’s HM.293 Flying Flea. Photo: Neil Wilson Above Winner of the RAA Canada Trophy for best Kit Built is Geoffrey Leedham for his Skystar Mk.7 Kitfox, G-CLML. It’s nice to see a new later marque of the Kitfox, the earlier models were very popular but as a number of European companies brought out updated variations of the genre, the later Kitfox models tended to suffer a drop in demand here in the UK. Photo: Nigel Hitchman Right The Albert Codling Trophy for the Best Part-built went to the delightful Nieuport G-CLPN, built by Richard Vary, which is not too far from completion.
42 | LIGHT AVIATION | October 2021
Photo: Brian Hope
Rally winners
Left Another of the fascinating exhibits in the Homebuilders Tent this year was the Wright Type A Biplane, a flying replica of the machine the Wright brothers demonstrated in Europe in 1908, 1909. The plans were drawn up by Bill Whitney in Australia and used for the construction of a replica, which first flew in about 2005, and which is now displayed in the Narromine Aviation Museum in NSW, Australia. It is being built by Kim Bradbrook and M Parker, for which they received a Part-built Commendation. Photo: Neil Wilson Above A silver tankard for the Most Meritorious Flight was awarded to Sven-Erik Pira who once again made the trip from Sweden in his Ercoupe SE-BFX. Sven has been attending the LAA and before that, PFA Rallies for many years, sometimes in the Ercoupe and others in his Thorp T18, SE-XIP. Great to see you again Sven. Photo: Neil Wilson
October 2021 | LIGHT AVIATION | 43
Below Barrie Towers wrote two very interesting updates for Project News on his plans-build Stolp Starlet, G-CLNP, into which he has installed a Rotax 912 rather than a VW, which is what it was originally designed for. It was great to see it at the Rally, and it is also the subject of this issue’s flight test. Richard was awarded the CEO’s Choice Trophy as the aircraft Steve would most like to fly home. Photo: Nigel Hitchman

Rally winners

Above Alan Twigg was awarded the Best Europa Trophy, which is selected by the Europa Club who have been attendees at the Rally for many years. Alan is another builder who has kept members abreast of his Europa motor glider G-GIWT build, which has taken him about 20 years due to the company ceasing trading and the glider wings not progressing. Alan’s is the first UK customer build to fly, and he says the wait has been worth it, and he is delighted with its performance. Photo: Neil Wilson Above The Roy Mills Trophy for Best Classic was won by Glen Molloy for his Piper L18C, G-BJTP. Previously painted to represent a US Marines aircraft, Glen has recently completed an extensive rebuild and it now proudly carries an Italian Air Force scheme. Photo: Nigel Hitchman
44 | LIGHT AVIATION | October 2021
Right This early Gardan Minicab, G-AWEP, was built by Stan Jackson and first registered in 1968. Test Pilot Roland Beamont described it as ‘light and responsive, landing it required the delicate touch of a Spitfire pilot’. Now owned and kept in fine fettle by Richard Thomas, it won the Sywell Trophy for Best Classic Homebuilt. Photo: Nigel Hitchman

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A Spritely revival…

Tony Barber relates the first of a two-part tale of restoring an unloved, 40-year-old all metal British homebuilt…

My project journey started in April 2015, an email from a friend pointing out an interesting looking aircraft for sale on a popular aviation website. We had been considering changing our aircraft and this, unknown to me, all-metal twoseater, operating on a Permit to Fly, looked rather intriguing. Some online research revealed a degree of information about this Practavia Sprite, and I made an impromptu trip to see it the next day.

A picture of course, can certainly flatter to deceive and on inspection this aircraft certainly had rather a lot of warts. Having stood outside for many years with no covers, the British weather and very few hours had left their scars. It certainly needed a respray, possibly an engine overhaul, a

new canopy and plenty of TLC. However, there was something compelling about it and, after a good look around and a chat over a few mugs of coffee, I decided that it was a viable project. She had a current Permit to Fly and had been regularly ground run, but not flown, which is not always a good thing I know. So, there and then, on the basis of ‘subject to my Inspector’s approval of its airworthiness’, a deal was struck.

Inspections and decisions

The ensuing inspection drew strange mutterings from my own Inspector. I could hear phrases like ‘money pit’, ‘what a travesty’ with lots of head shaking and tut tutting, so I felt a certain sense of foreboding. Finally, I mustered up the courage to ask, “So what do you think then?”.

46 | LIGHT AVIATION | October 2021
Above Looking rather unloved and forlorn on our first visit to take a look.

The response was along the lines of ‘...well I wouldn’t buy it’, followed by a long list of problems, issues, snags, likely unknowns and not least, costs.

However, there was also begrudging acknowledgement that it was robustly built, so was likely a solid base upon which to start a rebuild. He followed this up with the news that he was intending to retire from inspection at the end of the year – but he is my father-in-law so perhaps he just thought this project would be a blight on our relationship!

I did some research to find out more about the origins of the marque, and the history of this particular example. The project started in 1968 as a design competition by Pilot magazine and was won by an all-metal design from a team at Loughborough University. The prototype was known as the Pilot Sprite, subsequent examples being known as the Practavia Sprite, after the company took over the type and marketed the plans. Only about a half dozen were ever completed, only two currently being airworthy.

G-BCVF first took the air on 18 July 1978 from Elstree Aerodrome, according to an article I have with the documentation, although the logbook shows first flight as 26 June 1980. There are some lovely handwritten notes giving details of the flight tests, and in one of the early logbook entries a note to say that it was flown by Wing Cmdr Roly Beamont, well-known WWII fighter pilot and test pilot on such aircraft as the Typhoon and EE Lightning, and one time President of the LAA.

Ferry flight

I went through the aircraft’s paperwork, followed by several visits to the airfield for further inspections with all covers off, and found nothing to suggest that it wouldn’t fly. We carried out ground runs and the only minor concern was a lowish static rpm. All pipes and filters were checked and while incredibly sad looking, it gave every impression that it would survive a ferry flight of an hour. We did some slow and fast taxying and although I still felt a little uneasy, there was little left but to fly it.

One sunny and breezy Sunday, after uplifting fresh fuel and oil, I strapped myself in, paying close attention to the tightness of the belts, the wind and of course having memorised the straight-ahead landing area. Suffice to say, my earlier uneasiness was trying to tell me something as the flight home resulted in a precautionary landing and the aircraft had to be ferried by road to our maintenance base so the rebuild could get underway.

I lived about 50 miles away so trips to the airfield would be infrequent and juggled around work and family commitments. Various small jobs could be carried out by me and my two boys, but I left most of the clever stuff to my Inspector, Carl Tyers and his team at Windmill Aviation, Spanhoe. As my time, ability and knowledge is limited, I would be sticking to manual labour and the ‘easy’ bits, making tea and coffee, encouraging people and telling Carl what an excellent engineer he was, hoping it might reduce the size of the bill!

Plans and reality

So, where to start? My plan had always been a respray, an engine rebuild or replacement – I had not really budgeted for a new engine but accepted that it may be a necessity.

Also, the firewall and engine mount would be checked and resprayed, and a new panel and internal upholstery fitted. As always with these things however, the list starts small and grows according to your own standards or wallet. This ‘lady’ would turn out to be no different.

I spent several weeks getting prices together, speaking

Above Sitting sadly on her tail after the engine was removed.

Below left Number two son helping by removing the copious paint from the cowlings.

Below right The ‘new old stock’ canopy with most of the protective grease removed.

to LAA Engineering, and generally ferrying bits around. An entire network of people started to come together to help me with the things I would be unable to do myself. This meant I had to find fibreglass people, engine people, airframe people and painters. I relied heavily on Carl, whose years of experience in the business and enthusiasm for the project were to prove invaluable.

I quickly made contact with the owner of the other flying example, thanks to LAA HQ, and it was located only 50 minutes driving time away, so a visit was promptly arranged. It never fails to amaze me the comradeship and kindness shown by the members when it comes to helping with advice, or indeed anything aviation. Alan and his wife met us at the airfield and answered no end of questions, while giving me a free roam around their aircraft, G-BCWH, taking it all in.

It was clear that this one had been much more cared for than mine, it had always been hangared and was in lovely condition. It was noteworthy that the undercarriage was quite different – as was the panel – an indication of the flexibility the Permit scheme affords builders in making their own choices. I took copious photographs, some of which were to prove useful later down the line. I also took away ideas and thoughts, and a promise that we must get them together at the LAA Rally one day.

The engine

Next, I needed to find out the cause of the high temperature and CO fumes picked up by a portable sensor that caused the cessation of the ferry flight. I needed to know if the engine was worth salvaging, so off it went to Deltair near Southampton.

I was hoping for good news, but I think in retrospect I

October 2021 | LIGHT AVIATION | 47 Practavia Sprite

was somewhat deluded, given the state of the engine, and in fact a replacement was always a more sensible option. The existing engine was a Continental C125-2, a forerunner of the Continental O-300 engine which graced many C172s.

In due course news came that there was a crack in the engine’s crankcase which financially made more sense to replace it with an O-300. Luck was with me, LAA authorised the engine change quickly and I found a good engine complete with starter, magnetos and its electrical system for a sensible price. It would need a top end overhaul, but it came from a parked aircraft that was hit by another, its front end being completely undamaged, plus it had a full history, which provided a lot of confidence.

The replacement engine provided more ‘modern’ accessories, an extra 20hp, a key based starter rather than pull and was generally much smarter. And the weight penalty, according to book figures, was only 11lb.

Although the Lycoming O-320 would have been a more modern alternative again, and indeed a third example of the Sprite is currently nearing first flight fitted with an O-320, Carl and I could not justify the additional work of making a new engine mount etc. The O-300 is pretty well a straight swap for the C125.

The cowling

The fibreglass cowling was in a sorry state, and its two inspection doors looked like they could possibly have been cut out by a blindfolded man with a bread knife. I started by removing these inspection hatches, as well as the badly rusted Dzus fasteners. I also enlisted son ‘number two’ to help with the sanding down. Once the two different paint coats had been removed there were several fibreglass repairs to take care of.

We were not really sure why there were two inspection hatches, one each side. The one for the oil filler and dipstick made sense, but the other we decided was probably for an O-240 engine the aircraft was fitted with prior to the C-125 it had when I bought it. There was also a ram air duct which was not used, so I decided that both these could be removed with a bit of additional GRP work and the main inspection hatch was recut with a much-improved finish. I was not a complete novice with GRP but certainly no expert, but I was happy with the end result.

The canopy

Carl was making progress with the canopy, which needed a lot of work including new Perspex. The runners needed replacing and there were also alignment issues that needed addressing. The original Sprite cockpit design called for an early unpressurised Jet Provost canopy ‘bubble’, and Carl managed to source one! It was ‘new old stock’ and caked in hardened grease, and I made countless trips to the airfield to remove it in order to arrive at a nice transparent canopy. Windmill staff also spent a lot of time on it, for which I was very grateful. The grease had been there for nigh on 50 years.

Paint spraying

Late 2015, and it was time to send the aircraft off to the paint shop piecemeal. I wouldn’t see it again for a few months, when hopefully it would return in dark blue rather than the patchy battleship grey it was at the time.

While she was away there wasn’t much to do except planning and research. I spent the time looking at radios, decals, weight and balance diagrams, battery technology and generally looking for weight savings. I also started thinking I was mad…

When she came back from the paint shop, I knew we had selected the right colour, a dark blue which everyone at the airfield thought looked great. More good news accompanied her – there was very little corrosion and what there was had been treated. It felt like real progress.

Reassembly begins

As work progressed on reassembly, we found more and more oddities which needed addressing. For example, non-aviation grade hardware, discrepancies between units within the documentation package, non-conformant fuel pipes, frayed bungee cables, slack cables, less than perfect brake discs, rusted bolt-on components… the list goes on. However, there were no major difficulties that I was unable to help with. Being able to remove and replace or remove and renovate items kept much of the work within my own capabilities, so it was a case of rolling up my sleeves and taking it on the chin.

I left the difficult and critical items to Carl, which included top overhauling the replacement engine, installing and testing it, removing and refitting all the control surfaces (with appropriate duplicate inspections) and any jobs that required remanufacturing or critical control systems.

Engine mount

The engine mount was dye penetrant tested for cracks, a small weld repair carried out and then it was resprayed. The engine was mounted and plumbed in, which meant she finally sat upright rather than on her tail, so could be moved around more easily. The engine baffles were all cleaned and resprayed, or remade as necessary. The tailplane struts had to be remade due to excess corrosion, a new fuel pump was fitted, new fuel pipes manufactured, new hoses installed, manifold damage repaired, the firewall cleaned, the fuel tank selector changed and the gascolator cleaned and tested. In fact, the whole fuel system was replaced or refurbished. I had the airbox sandblasted and resprayed and the air filter was upgraded to a new one rather than the oil-soaked offering that was left from before.

Practavia Sprite 48 | LIGHT AVIATION | October 2021
Below The new propeller spacer made by Windmill Aviation.

Prop and extension

Because the engine had changed, the propeller was no longer suitable. An additional problem is that the 0-300 flange has eight bolts whereas the C125 has six and there was also a prop extender in place to increase the forward moment. We could have looked to remove it, but it would have meant reworking the cowlings. So, it would have to be replaced as well, and a new bolt kit procured.

Luckily, Windmill Aviation was able to manufacture a lovely new prop extender which was duly fitted. It had been made to the same length as the previous one, but when fitted it looked to stick out from the cowling too much. Most likely no one would have noticed such imperfections on the old girl previously, what with all its other warts, but now on a much smarter airframe it stuck out like a sore thumb. It had to go back to the workshop to be shaved back a bit. The end result looks great, but I came to realise that propeller bolts are probably made from gold!

A new McCauley prop for this engine would have been several thousand pounds but, by a quirk of fate, I had met a parts broker at Earls Colne when he had come to inspect a damaged aircraft. Little was I to know that I would end up with the engine from the wreckage he purchased from the insurance company. It turned out he had sold the propeller but had another one that would work, although in order to retain the correct diameter it would have to be clipped by 1.5 inches. This would get me going until I could replace it with a new wooden one. Under the watchful eye of Carl, I rubbed the prop down and left him to work his magic with the hacksaw and spray gun. It came out looking like new.

Engine runs

Around February 2016 the weather was good enough to try to run the engine. I wasn’t there but Carl reported it started easily and ran nicely, with just the tachometer not working. The problem was quickly found and rectified.

Our next job was to refit the cowling. Many hours had been spent fixing, glassing, filling and sanding but the fit was never going to be perfect. You can’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear but I did want it to look respectable. The cowling is probably the area that people notice most so even more hours were spent fitting, altering, adapting, trimming and finally, riveting on the new fasteners.

The interior and panel

The cockpit interior was ragged so the horrendous 40-year-old fabric panels were removed, along with plenty of grotty material. I repainted the black interior finish and Bex Aviation, also at Spanhoe, did a very nice job of remaking the leather side panels. The tired seat

covers, although looking jaded, actually cleaned up well with some fabric cleaner and a lot of elbow grease.

At the end of the rebuild Bex covered the coaming with a black anti-glare faux leather, which set off the cockpit nicely.

Final touches to the canopy involved fitting a new classic car style handle and replacing the rear ‘skirt’ which had previously been made from fibreglass and looked awful. Carl had a new one formed out of aluminium, we had it sprayed and it was a considerable improvement.

After looking at radio options I decided on the 8.33 Dittel KRT2, which I think has a more visible interface than its competitors in the same price band, and also had some decent reviews


The panel was fairly well kitted out, however the instruments were positioned using the scattergun approach. It also transpired that some of them did not work, so I had to replace a few. For relatively small amounts of money, I collected various things from flea markets and websites and a bit of manoeuvring saw us back with something resembling the standard ‘T’. The previous installation had relied on a venturi to drive the gyros, but I had found a used engine driven air pump and regulator. I decided not to add anything else too fancy, but went with a tablet running SkyDemon, a great piece of software that does everything most VFR pilots ever need.

Finishing touches

Throughout 2016 and 2017 a myriad of small jobs followed. In no particular order these were, rudder bungee replacement, instrument checks, taxi and steering checks, brake checks, placarding, compass swing, wing walk material replacement, decals, fasteners, canopy latches, engine fuel flow checks and a host of adjustments. We found some minor issues, but these were all generally easily rectified. I could do most of them myself, which was nice as it satisfied the ‘frustrated engineer’ inside me and made me feel like I was doing some of the real work. Finally, it was starting to look like a flying machine!

l In Part two next month, the aircraft flies… but CoG and max weight problems have to be resolved. ■

October 2021 | LIGHT AVIATION | 49 Practavia Sprite
left Trial fitting the repaired cowlings. Below right The canopy with its greatly improved rear skirt. Above Back from the paint shop and looking resplendent in her new blue coat.

Fly-It Day

LAA 75 Fly-It Day

On Tuesday 26 or Sunday

31 October, get airborne to celebrate 75 years of flying for fun!

Tuesday 26 October 1946 was the date of the meeting which inaugurated the Ultra Light Aircraft Association, which subsequently became the LAA, and we want to mark the occasion by getting as many LAA members as possible into the air on that day.

Fly-It Day

As the name implies, we’re simply encouraging as many members as possible to get their aircraft out and fly. It doesn’t matter whether this is a Permit aircraft or not. Whether you own or rent, we want members (and their friends) to take to the air to celebrate our 75th Anniversary.

Log it

We’ll also give you the chance to log your flight for posterity via the LAA website. A special page will allow you to enter your name, aircraft details, where you flew from and to, and add any special stories about the flight. If you send us your address details, we’ll also send you a commemorative logbook sticker! We’re also working on a competition for the most unusual / innovative / inspirational flights. More on this nearer the time.

Fly a friend

The Fly-It Day will offer a great opportunity for you to take a friend flying. Whether it’s a flying buddy, a neighbour, or just somebody you meet on the airfield, why not offer them a flight? If you think it’s worthwhile, we can even send you a certificate that will allow them to have a memento.

Fly to LAA HQ

Looking for somewhere to fly to? We’ll be having an LAA HQ Open House at Turweston. We’ll even stand the landing fees and have some refreshments at LAA HQ.

You can drop in and meet the LAA team and take a look around our offices.

We’ll be setting up a pre-booking system for PPR, just in case we start to run out of parking spaces!

Take a picture…

We’ll be creating an LAA 75 Birthday Album. Send us your pictures and we’ll post them on our Facebook page, website and a selection in the LAA magazine!



Fly-It Sunday

We know that many of us still have ‘day jobs’ and we may be at the mercy of the autumnal weather, so we’ll have a fallback ‘Fly-It Sunday’ on 31 October. Turweston will already be busy that day, with a Vintage Aircraft Club Fly-In and AGM, but why not come and join in the fun? ■

50 | LIGHT AVIATION | October 2021
July 2021 | LIGHT AVIATION | 49
A Super Two turning… right And an autogyro gyrating… LAA, 75 of enabling its members to enjoy the sky. Above An Aeronca Champ cruising… A Currie Wot climbing…

The pleasure of being able to return to the LAA Rally after two years of going through a shared experience of months of isolation and lack of physical gatherings, was not to be underestimated. The new set-up at the Rally also meant that the prominence of our Struts stand in the LAA Marquee was a real bonus and was enjoyed by all. Cake and refreshments were available, hosted by Ian and Jan Atherton, and David Millin, our LAA board Strut Coordinator, welcomed visitors throughout the three days.

Struts 4U

The LAA Rally makes a welcome return…

However, for some the Rally lasts for a week, and all the hard work by the Rally Workers Strut, led by Paul Lawrence, had to be seen to be appreciated. As in previous years, the RW Strut had been on site several days before the gates opened, and stayed until the day after the Rally finished to make sure the site was cleared.

A totally new lay-out of the whole LAA ‘village’, making it easier for traders to have their own space, had required detailed planning and the Rally Workers were rewarded with their own marquee on the other side of the road for much needed ‘downtime’. Car parking duties and continual monitoring of the site kept the team and their canine companions busy day and night, and we applaud them all for their part, often as the unsung heroes of the Rally, for keeping things running smoothly. Thanks again Paul and team for all your hard work.

We were fortunate to have a good display of Strut banners in the Strut marquee, but one left visitors a little

Above The Rally Workers Strut who worked very hard to make sure the Rally site was ready for the weekend and then cleared it all away again! Photo: Paul Lawrence

Below left Rally Chairman Eryl Smith cuts the 75th Anniversary cake with Jan Atherton, who baked it, and Dave Millin. Photo: Neil Wilson

Below right Getting ready for the onslaught, Dave Millin, the Board’s Strut co-ordinator, on the Strut stand.


mystified. An older version of the map of the Struts was on display which left members asking for details of the Fenland and Norfolk Struts, which are now amalgamated with the Suffolk Coastal Strut. Conversation ensued regarding the re-establishing of some of the former Struts or setting up Struts in other areas. We do receive these enquiries from time to time so in a later issue of LA we will set out the criteria for setting up a new Strut. In the meantime, do get in touch with David Millin if you are considering forming a new Strut or group.

David writes, “Through meeting visitors at the Rally, it was evident that everyone was absolutely delighted to be able to take part and to meet up once more. Two years is not really a long time in the life span of man, but time is our most valuable commodity and missing out on last year’s Rally seemed to make it feel like a long time since we last got together. Anyway, we were all glad to be back.

“Organising the Rally had not been an easy task, especially in the light of continued uncertainty as to

52 | LIGHT AVIATION | October 2021
LAA Strut News
Photo: Anne

whether or not we would be able to continue. Thanks to the resolve of the Rally committee, led by Eryl Smith, we made it, and what a success it turned out to be. The new arrangement for the marquees proved to be popular, the campsite was full, the weather was reasonable, and four thousand visitors were in attendance.

“There have already been positive reports on the event so there is no need for me to reiterate what has been said, save that a good time was had by all. From a Struts and Clubs perspective, the ever-popular ‘Pilot’s Lounge’ in the form of the Struts and Clubs marquee, proved most popular with a huge number of people dropping by for tea and biscuits and a chance to meet up with old friends. Next time, we will develop the theme even further, with more seating for you to rest those weary feet.”

As we approach the winter months some Struts may return to virtual meetings from time to time. Always check with your Strut leader/contact before the meetings to see if the meeting format is as stated below.

Andover Strut: Spitfire Club, Popham Airfield, SO21 3BD. 1930. Contact: Bob Howarth email: Phone no.: 01980 611124

11 October – AGM.

8 November – Round the World Journey by Colin Hales.

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

5 October – Bush flying in Labrador in the 1950s by Mike Fortescue.

2 November – The Grand Parton Flying TourDawn to Dusk by Neville and Hannah Parton.

Cornwall Strut: The Clubhouse, Bodmin Airfield. Contact: Pete White pete@aeronca. 01752 406660

Devon Strut: The Exeter Court Hotel, Kennford, Exeter. 1930. Contact: david.millin@

9 October – Fly-In at Branscombe.

East of Scotland Strut: Harrow Hotel, Dalkeith. 2000. Contact: inrgibson001@ 0131 339 2351.

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

Gloster Strut: The Victory Club, Lypiatt Road, Cheltenham, GL50 2SY. Contact: harry.

12 October – Meeting 1930pm at the Victory Club.

From the Vale of York Strut Chris Holliday commented, “Everyone from the Strut who made it to the Rally had a great time, it was wonderful to be able to meet friends and make new acquaintances again. The weather in the North was not too favourable on Friday, so some turned back. This was the first time I had flown in myself, and everything went very smoothly. The air/ground radio seemed to work very efficiently, and I do wonder if a FISO service would have been any better.”

For my part it was good to meet up with many of you whose names have appeared in this column over the last five years since we launched Struts4U, and I was honoured to receive the LAA’s David Faulkner-Bryant Shield from the man himself during the Rally. That was certainly a very special moment!

Strut calendar

Highlands & Islands: Highland Aviation, Inverness Airport. Contact: b.w.spence@ 01381 620535.

Kent Strut: Cobtree Manor Golf Club, Maidstone, Kent. 2000. Contact: Steve Hoskins 07768 984507

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

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

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

North Wales Strut: Caernarfon Airport, Dinas Dinlle. First Sunday of the month at HEMS Bistro Café. 1300. Contact: Gareth Roberts 07876 483414.

Oxford Group: New Venue from 11 August –Sturdy’s Castle Country Inn, Banbury Road, Kidlington, OX5 3EP. Second Wednesday each month. Contact: www.

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

Shobdon Strut: Hotspur Café, Shobdon Airfield, Hereford HR6 9NR. 1930. Meetings on the second Thursday of month. Contact: Keith Taylor

14 October – Flying the SE5a, Spitfire and Lightning twin by Wing Commander Michael Brooke.

Southern Strut: The Swiss Cottage, Shoreham-by-Sea. 2000. First Wednesday of the month. Contact

Strathtay Strut: Scottish Aero Club, Perth Airport, Scone. Scone Clubhouse. Contact: 07785 244146.

Suffolk Coastal Strut: Crowfield Airfield Clubhouse. 1930. Contact: Martyn Steggalls 07790 925142 uk

Sept TBA – Weekend social and BBQ; 20 October – Above the Law by Adrian Bleese. (Meeting will be held at Stonham Village Hall, Forward Green, Earl Stonham, IP14 5HJ).

Vale of York Strut: Chocks Away Café, Rufforth East Airfield.19.00. Contact: Chris Holliday 07860 787801 www. 15 October – Presentation on Strip flying.

Wessex Strut: Henstridge Airfield Clubhouse. Fortnightly Strut walks organised by Wessex Aviators Leisure Klub. Contact neil.wilson@laa.

West Midlands Strut: Navigator Café, Halfpenny Green Aerodrome 1930. Contact: Graham Wiley westmidlandslaastrut@ Stuart Darby or visit our website

West of Scotland Strut: Bowfield Country Club, Howwood, PA9 1DZ. 1900. Contact: Neil Geddes 01505 612493.

Youth & Education Support (YES) – Contact: Graham Wiley

Thank you to all Struts and clubs for getting in touch, and a special thanks to all those who sent their pull-up banners for the Strut and Club stand at the Rally. If you have any stories, items you wish to share or updates for the calendar, please contact me at

October 2021 | LIGHT AVIATION | 53 LAA Strut News

Vintage veteran

This month we talk to Arthur Mason, early UK Pietenpol builder, vintage enthusiast and highly regarded fabricwork specialist…

Welcome Arthur, can you tell us about your early life and career?

I was born in Chesham in October 1948 and was educated at Dr Challoner’s Grammar School at Amersham (which had a great handicraft dept). I dropped out of sixth form A-levels to join the big wide world and had a brief spell locally in the drawing office at Modern Wheel Drive (marine gears), which I thoroughly enjoyed until they moved to English Electric, in Slough. I then joined GPO Engineering (later BT), providing/ updating telephone exchange equipment. Some 27 years later, as a Technical Officer, I took a generous early redundancy deal, and contracted for a year with Mercury.

Having opted for a pension at 50, the accompanying lump sum paid off my debts while the monthly payments covered my basic needs. My options were open, and I didn’t necessarily have to work for anyone else again. So, along with my main flying instructor John Giddins and CFI Tom Eagles, in 1994 we formed Hinton Aviation

Services. John was already servicing gliders and motor gliders, and when my Pietenpol, G-ADRA, appeared on the scene, my perceived fabricing skills were added.

I started with one of Tom’s Ventures, then quickly moved on to a couple of the gliding club’s Ka-13s. It all sort-of took off from there, and by 1998 there was so much fabricwork coming in I went solo, under the name of The Incredible Cloth Flying Machine (ICFM) – which had a suitably Pythonesque ring to it but also alluded to observations I’d made of people poking at Tiger Moths believing them to be metal, only to discover with incredulity they were actually fabric and just painted silver!

To cut a long story short, I mainly cut my teeth on the many Yaks then coming into the UK – it was required by the CAA that the Russian fabric be stripped from the control-surfaces and replaced with ‘known’ material. All this, including wings, I could do at home, and for bigger stuff a friendly local flying farmer rented me a barn for a small fee whenever needed.

I never thought then that I would still be doing it now! There’s been a good steady flow over the years on all

54 | LIGHT AVIATION | October 2021
Above The Air Camper aloft with Arthur at the controls. He flew 236 different passengers in it over the years.
Meet the Members
Photo: Michael Miklos.

manner of aeroplanes, and I’m pleased to say, mostly by word of mouth. I’m not, nor want to be, an Inspector.

I was a BGA Inspector for two years but I’m more comfortable having my work checked than the other way around. Customers can provide their own Inspector, but if that’s not possible I can always arrange one to sign things off.

I’ve also had three very enjoyable working holidays in the Netherlands, assisting in the fabricing of a friend’s Pietenpol, and later, an Auster AOP.6. And have had offers from friends in Canada, USA, NZ, and Australia to work on some of their interesting machines. Maybe one day!

What started your interest in aviation?

As a kid, plastic aeroplanes in breakfast cereal boxes, and dad bought me the Daily Mail’s I-Spy Aircraft booklet. Also, on our Sunday family outings in the car, I would sulk if it didn’t include at least a brief stop at Denham or similar! Naturally it was also Airfix and Keil-Kraft models, all the W E Johns Biggles and Worrals books, Civil Aircraft Markings, Air Pictorial monthly and the Chesham 2204 Squadron of the ATC. And dad, who as head of Bucks Constabulary Traffic Division, taught me how to drive and strip engines.

Growing up in Chesham we were in the circuit for Bovingdon, then mainly a communications base, so Ansons and USAF C.47’s etc. were an everyday sight.

A friend and I would get up at 4am and do a newspaper round in our ATC uniforms on the four-mile uphill walk to the airfield, where we’d cadge lifts in anything with a spare seat going anywhere. As a result, we did a lot of flying in Ansons, Devons and Pembrokes (including WD413, which still flies). We often got up-close to Vulcans, Lightnings, etc, at various bases, which one would never be able to normally. It also got us to see a great deal of the film-work at Bov, including 633 Squadron and War Lover

Various ATC trips and camps provided flights in Chipmunks, Argosies, Beverlies, Shackletons, etc, and an introduction to gliding.

The late Brian Lecomber was a year or two above me at school, he’d learned to fly Tiger Moths, so during trips with him I learned the art of flour-bombing – I’ll leave it there!

By this time, dad’s initial encouragement had waned – instead of studying for university I was a lost cause pursuing a rich man’s sport. As long as I was happy, mum was too, so he was OK really.

In what, where and when was your first flight?

I always thought it was in a Dragon Rapide at Land’s End, or an aforementioned Anson, though surprisingly my old log books suggest that it was a Brantly helicopter at Kidlington, on a spotting day out.

How did you get involved with the PFA / LAA?

I was an aviation nut, but I didn’t ever think I could afford to fly, let alone own an aeroplane.

I’d also discovered clubs, with fledgling bands like Pink Floyd, Genesis, etc., and developed a keen interest in pretty girls in colourful dresses with flowers in their long, flowing hair.

While on a BT course in Bristol, just such a girl and her sister were staying next door to my lodgings, on a trip over from America, visiting their aunt.

After a couple of mutual trans-Atlantic visits, we married and settled in England. Subsequent USA visits led to trips out with my brother-in-law, an interstate car-parts salesman, and on one such trip I discovered an unknown to me type in the back of a hangar at Lunken (Cincinnati) Airport.

It turned out to be a Pietenpol Air Camper, and not only were drawings available but lo and behold, there were two under construction back home in the UK. One project had reached a hiccup, and I ended up buying the part-constructed fuselage and much of the stuff needed to complete it – and duly paid my first membership fee to the PFA for overseeing its progress; and have now been a member of over 42 years.

Where did you learn to fly and on what?

I initially did solo flights on Mk3 Cadet gliders at Halton, at 17 years of age and my late teens. Later in life I’d intended taking up taildragger training at Clacton on Super Cubs, but on a visit to Hinton to buy some Aeroshell, I was talked into learning on Slingsby Venture motor gliders, which was certainly cheaper.

I obtained my SLMG rating and frequently flew the

October 2021 | LIGHT AVIATION | 55 Meet the Members
Above Arthur Mason with his beloved Pietenpol Air Camper, one of the first built in the UK. Photo: Arthur Mason. Below Arthur once owned and restored the wings of Luton Minor G-AFIR, one of the LAA’s earliest permit aircraft. Photo: Stuart MacConnacher

motor gliders, but I still needed a full Group A rating as my Pietenpol, G-ADRA, was ready to fly. I had little interest in nosewheel types because I’d be no nearer to mastering the Piet than I was at present. However, cutting through red tape I got to convert to a Group A licence on the Pietenpol, with a lot of enthusiasm and patience from one of life’s more sympathetic instructors. The fact that the aircraft withstood my early training says a lot for the type’s sturdiness!

How did you get on building the Pietenpol?

The Pietenpol is plans-built and was considered ‘simple’ back in 1929, but I think it’s fair to say that over the years, much simpler aircraft have been designed!

I bought my part-built project in 1979 and completed it over a 15-year period. Being an unknown type here back then, I gained a lot of Pietenpol knowledge from visits to Brodhead USA, and particularly Frank Pavliga who, when I needed to pick his brains, would often receive an International ‘test call’ from a UK telephone exchange.

However, 1980 saw the birth of my first daughter, closely followed by my second daughter in 1981, so naturally I spent a lot of time with them – and making stuff for them. Some readers may be familiar with my children’s Arfaplanes – they started with one for my kids, and inadvertently resulted in 12 more for customers!

Divorce in 1985 left me heartbroken and broke and I nearly sold the Pietenpol, but fortunately I persevered; it was the best thing I could’ve done as it kept both body and soul together, and ultimately led to my future employment and contented lifestyle.

Do you have a favourite and ‘not so keen on’ type flown?

I have been an enthusiastic member of the Vintage Aircraft Club for many years and got to fly with many good friends in Tiger Moths, Stampes, Cubs, etc. So, a stick in the middle, throttle lever on the left, and generally no flaps was my natural introduction. I have to admit to being hopeless on nosewheel aircraft and ‘steering wheels’ – my brain just says ‘car’!

Having cracked it, I found G-ADRA great fun, easy to fly, and quite manoeuvrable. I only ever taxied over a runway marker board once – thus breaking the prop.

A famous test pilot, Darryl Stinton, once said, “Flying a Pietenpol is like flying an excitable beach-brolly!” That’s certainly true of G-ADRA on a hot day, however, in the calm of early morning or evening it can almost be flown hands off, and I don’t believe there can be a better mount for enjoying a warm summer evening’s bimble, it’s even better than a J-3 Cub.

Alan James did the initial test flights and commented that with its bungee suspension and balloon tyres, landing G-ADRA was ‘like landing in a sofa!’. DH test-pilot Des Penrose flew it twice, loved it, and was kind enough to autograph my logbook with, ‘30 mins of very pleasant flying’.

How has the PFA/LAA helped you

Over the past 50 years I’ve made so many friends in the aviation world, learned a lot, and gained much experience from them. Almost all have been LAA/ VAC members or both. There are too many to mention, but I’ll always be grateful for all their friendship, generosity and encouragement – thank you!

I believe the current LAA team to be about as good as it gets, it can’t be easy keeping up with and adapting to the many changes and increasing bureaucracy the aviation world has experienced in recent years. We still enjoy more freedoms than many other countries, while placing a good emphasis on safety.

Where did you learn your fabric and wood skills?

Hmm, well, let’s say I’m hopeless on computers, whereas the 10 year old up the road can take them apart, fix them, and sort out any faults in no time… but can’t do fabricwork. I suppose the knowledge I’ve gained has accumulated from the school handicrafts dept, my own personal flair for making all sorts of things, and my dad. I

Meet the Members 56 | LIGHT AVIATION
Below The Indian Tiger Moth, HU 512, that Arthur refabriced in one hectic week! Photo: Nigel Hitchman.

among others. I’ve had no formal training but also learned plenty of new skills from building G-ADRA, and just found fabricwork particularly satisfying and therapeutic.

How many types and hours have you flown?

Many interesting types as passenger but P1 around 1,300hrs to date, mostly half-hour trips in the Pietenpol –flying 236 different passengers (many have been more than once).

Currently owned aeroplane(s)

None! I recently sold G-ADRA in a weak moment, during lockdown when my arthritic joints had me almost seized up – I’m much better now, thanks! I rather fancy a J3 Cub, it’s not dissimilar to the Pietenpol but a little more practical.

I took over Luton Minor G-AFIR from the late Alan Clewley for a number of years. I managed to rebuild, fabric and paint the wings and have them signed off by Roy Mills. A move from Aylesbury to Quainton prevented me getting my teeth into the rest of it, I needed the space for increased business demand, and builders on the home-improvements were slow.

As a temporary measure I brought it up to a reasonable status for static display at rallies, but it became clear that it needed someone with more time to complete it, so I sold it in the hope of a good home, although it seems to have disappeared off the radar at the moment.

Tell us about your VAC involvement

Well, I joined the Vintage Aircraft Group, as it first was, in 1973 and helped with marshalling, prop-swinging, etc. at the frequent Finmere rallies. After a year or two I was co-opted onto the committee as a general dogsbody by the late Tony Harold, prior to being given the official title of Social Secretary – organising the annual dinner, film evenings, and Noggin & Natter nights.

The committee had some great characters on board. I was a little shy at the time, but they became good friends that I stayed in touch with, though sadly, most have passed on. I took over as Treasurer for a couple of years from Alan Chalkley (maybe better known as PFA’s John Beeswax) – I think 12 years in all, over a 15-year period. I had my first member’s flight in Alan’s Cub, G-ASPS, now owned by LAA CEO Steve Slater and subject of a recent ICFM re-fabric. Its engine was upgraded when Alan retired to a remote farm in North Wales around 40 years ago. It’s original A-65 engine was inhibited, and now performs well in G-ADRA after a recent engine change.

What have been your best aviation moments?

When entering my 236th different passenger in my logbook, I realised just how rewarding it’s all been. When I was taken flying in my younger years, I was always so very grateful. I never realised just how rewarding it is to be in the position of the pilot, but my best moments have easily been seeing the huge silly grins on the faces of my passengers as they clumsily disembark the Pietenpol – usually after a local sheep-counting sortie over the hills, or waving back at passengers in a train that’s overtaking us.

Above Restorer

Adam Lewis and Mike Edwards MBE collecting the Indian Tiger’s wings from Arthur’s home workshop. Photo: Arthur Mason.

Below Tiger HU 512 was one of the stars of the show at the Indian Air Force’s 80th birthday celebrations. Photo Nigel: Hitchman

My, by now, very proud dad, up to age 91 enjoyed regular 25-minute trips across the Cotswolds to his favourite airfield, Bidford. It was always friendly, and the tea and home-made cakes were well-appreciated. With my late mum’s name Edna May painted on the Pietenpol’s nose, it was my turn to do the family outings. Words can’t express it – the smiles and laughter just say it all. What a privileged position I suddenly found myself in.

As far as ICFM goes, I’d apparently made my mark after a complete refabric of a Christen Eagle, as a result of which I was subsequently sub-contracted by LAA Inspector Adam Lewis to completely refabric an Indian Tiger Moth which hadn’t flown for around 50 years. He had rebuilt it over the course of two years and needed the fabricwork done to meet a fast-approaching deadline.

I hadn’t appreciated the significance at the time, it was simply another Tiger Moth, but all the fabricing was done at my Quainton home, with the fuselage being done in a warehouse just off Chalgrove airfield in just one frantic week. It was there that I met Mike Edwards, who’d just been awarded an MBE for his part in persuading the

Meet the Members October 2021 | LIGHT AVIATION | 57

Indian government to let go of part of a very rare collection of aircraft for UK restoration, prior to returning them in flying condition. The Tiger was painted in its original Indian AF markings at Leicester, reassembled, test-flown by Mike, dismantled, shipped back to India, reassembled and test-flown again by Mike. It was then the star of the show at the IAF’s 80th birthday celebrations!

To hear Mike tell the story at a lecture, and to think that just a few weeks before it was all in bits in my shed at the end of the garden was a proud moment for me, a low-key, one-man band. I felt I’d contributed something a little special to the aviation world.

Do you have any aviation heroes?

On a personal level, I think it would have to be the late Maurice Brett, who encouraged me so much to build and fly.

Which aviation books would you recommend?

I was always reading as a kid, but then became more of a do-er. Over the subsequent years I’ve collected so many books to read in my senior years, when I’m confined to an armchair! One I bought (signed) and immediately read was Mike Edwards’ Spitfire Singh – a fascinating insight into the birth of the Indian Air Force. And Maurice Brett’s Sunday Flyers relates well to my kind of flying too. Tony Bingelis’ series of homebuilder books answer most builders’ questions

Do you have any non-aviation hobbies/ interests?

Winemaking, rescue dogs, gardening, countryside, and small live-music gigs / band jams. I also have a Morgan Plus 4, though I’m no petrol-head, I just like the 1930s styling and open-top motoring. Seeing old photos of dad in MG TD patrol cars, I’m sure he would’ve loved it.

I would like to get back to model aeroplanes in my senior years and have collected many kits and plans over the years – and the out-of-reach radio-control stuff in my junior years is now affordable!

Have you any ‘I learned from that’ moments?

I took a friend’s wife for a quick 10-minute sortie, during which time a brief but very heavy shower passed across the grass airfield. Once passed, I landed as normal on

the dry bit, and soon became aware of the wet bit when my Pietenpol didn’t slow down! OK it’s slow, but my friend and his daughter, who were waiting for their turn at the far end of the runway, were looming up rather quickly.

Braking had no effect but fortunately she stayed in a straight line. At the last moment I decided to give it full rudder and ‘throw it away’ in the bordering hedge.

However, we came to a stop at a jaunty angle in what my unaware friends thought was a perfectly executed manoeuvre, almost next to them. So, be well aware of wet grass and keep potential passengers off the runway!

Any advice for pilots/owners?

Apart from wet grass, yes. Carry out regular maintenance and always look out for a landing area BEFORE the engine quits. My Pietenpol instructor Ken Hartley, pointed straight down saying it’s that field – there! As such, he would have me sideslipping all the way to the ground, the best thing I ever learned though it scared the life out of me at the time. It’s a very useful and enjoyable manoeuvre though I use it all the time whether necessary or not. As a result, I reckon I could get my Pietenpol into the smallest of places – but with drag, my weight, and low power, I’d not necessarily get out again! In my humble opinion, sideslipping should have greater emphasis on flying training on simple, flapless aeroplanes. ■

Meet the Members 56 | LIGHT AVIATION | August 2021
Above Arthur’s Morgan Plus Four and rescue Greyhound ‘Gipsy’. Photo: Arthur Mason.
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Thank you all!

Where does one start? After all the tribulations of lockdowns and social isolation for us all, it was truly heartwarming to see so many fellow members and friends back together at Sywell for the LAA Rally.

The event was a success from so many points of view. We had near perfect weather (with apologies to those further north and south who had to battle through the clag), which always helps create a good feeling at an event like this. We had a busy airfield, with around 780 aircraft arrivals over the weekend, with the airfield accommodating more than 420 aircraft on Saturday afternoon alone.

We greeted around 3,000 people through the spectator gates and enjoyed a busy exhibition area with both new types and some great heritage displays, reflecting our 75th Anniversary.

Of course, there were some things that didn’t work as well as we would have liked. As many are aware, we share a great deal of operational responsibility with Sywell Aerodrome in exchange for the gate revenues and landing fees. It, like the rest of us, has had some significant challenges in coming back after the Covid lockdown, which was reflected in it struggling with some of the key areas of infrastructure and ticketing.

It is a credit to Michael Bletsoe-Brown and his team that they rose to the challenges presented and found answers to the problems that came up, not least the unprecedented queues at the main entrance on the Friday. Thank you Michael, Amy and the rest of Team Sywell for sorting it – with apologies and a thank you to all those delayed, for your patience.

Big achievement

It was amazing to think that it was only in late July that we made the final Covid-based ‘go-no-go’ decision on this year’s Rally. Special thanks have to go to Paul Fraser-Bennison and Chris Thompson who, when it became clear that Sywell couldn’t provide its customary radio service, put together a team of experienced air/ground radio operators and made the necessary safety case to the CAA to gain their endorsement. That was no mean feat, not least because they did it in less than six weeks flat!

Equally heroic was the Rally set up team under Paul Lawrence. The ‘LAA Rally Workers Strut’ certainly lived up to its name this year, with sterling efforts to set up the campsite, ran by the Andover Strut, parking and the exhibition marquees. We had the added challenge of ensuring a ventilated, Covid-safe environment this year. We achieved that by creating the open-sided marquees which attracted a lot of positive comments, but meant additional electrical wiring and associated partition work. They literally pulled out all the stops to make the new layout work as well as it did.

A big thank you too is due to Penny, the admin team and the whole of LAA Engineering who absorbed the Rally preparations into their everyday workload – and they still turned up smiling for the three days of the Rally.

Finally and, although it seems unfair to name a single individual, a massive thank you is due to Eryl Smith, who although a long-time volunteer, was at the helm for the first time as Rally Chairman. Through all the challenges, through thick and thin, he kept smiling. And even after being royally entertained by the LAA Vale of York Strut on the Saturday evening, his stamina was such that he was still the last man standing as we cleared the site at the end of the Rally.

I can personally endorse that, as he and I finally finished our FOD walk on the airfield at 1830 on Monday!

Personal highlights

From an aircraft point of view, my personal highlights were the Innovators’, including the Nuncats electric aircraft project, Mike Whittaker’s ‘Plank’ flying wing and Ivan Shaw’s ISA-80 Seeker project, which was the subject of a packed Speakers’ Corner talk by its designer on the Saturday evening.

In fact, no less innovative was one of the stars of the LAA 75 celebratory aircraft display, Bill Cole’s HM.293 Flying Flea, making an appearance 50 years after attending its last Rally, while appropriately in the Association’s anniversary year, the Best Vintage trophy winner, Frank Cox’s Fairchild Argus, also rightly claimed the HRH Prince Michael of Kent Award for the Best in Show.

But, more than anything else, this year’s Rally was about people. I can’t put it better than Europa Club secretary Bob Hitchcock who called it ‘the best loneliness remedy, even mental health remedy’. “We ought to better recognise the need for companionship,” said Bob. “For lots of the older members visiting, the Rally this year was the first event they had risked since lockdown.

“I didn’t realise how many chatterboxes we had in the Club. Zoom lockdown sessions did a lot to help, but there is nothing better than creating an environment where people can truly socialise, surrounded by delightful aircraft.”

Looking ahead, I’m aware there’s been speculation on whether the Rally stays at Sywell in the future. I’m not being drawn on that. It’s a great location, we’ve still got a few washup meetings to go and there have been some interesting ideas bandied about.

In the short-term, we’ve got our ‘LAA 75 Fly It Day’ to look forward to on Tuesday 26 October – the actual anniversary date of our Association.

And I am sure that thanks to the 2021 Rally’s success, we can look back on a 75th Anniversary year to remember! ■

CEO Thoughts CEO Thoughts 60 | LIGHT AVIATION | October 2021
Prices include VAT where applicable Prices include P & P. LAA Books & Heritage Plans LAA Windcheater in a Bag £20.00 excl p & p Sizes S, M, L & XL Branded Clothing and Log Books LAA Log Books £12.50 each Chasing the Morning Sun by manuel queiroz. Signed copy £18.00 excl p & p Stick and Rudder by Wolfgang Langewiesche £24.00 excl p & p Druine D.31 Turbulent Heritage Aircraft Plans CD £50.00 excl p & p Isaacs Spitfire Heritage Aircraft Plans CD £50.00 excl p & p
For all display advertising enquiries contact Neil Wilson 07512 773532

Classifieds October

For all display or commercial advertising enquiries please contact Neil Wilson: 07512 773532

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

Deadline for booking and copy: 19 October 2021

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

LAA Engineering advice to buyers:

AIRCRAFT APPROVED? Members and readers should note that the inclusion of all advertisements in the commercial or classified sections of this magazine does not necessarily mean that the product or service is approved by the LAA. In particular, aircraft types, or examples of types advertised, may not, for a variety of reasons, be of a type or standard that is eligible for the issue of a LAA Permit to Fly. You should not assume that an aircraft type not currently on the LAA accepted type list will eventually be accepted.

IMPORTED AIRCRAFT? Due to unfavourable experiences, the purchase and import of completed homebuilt aircraft from abroad is especially discouraged.

TIME TO BUILD? When evaluating kits/designs, it should borne in mind that technical details, performance figures and handling characteristics are often quoted for a factory-produced aircraft flying under ideal conditions. It is wise, therefore, to seek the opinion of existing builders and owners of the type. You should also take your own skill and circumstances into consideration when calculating build times. The manufacturer’s build time should be taken as a guide only.

AMATEUR BUILDING All LAA aircraft builders and potential builders are reminded that in order to qualify for a LAA Permit to Fly, homebuilt aircraft must be genuinely amateur built. For these purposes the CAA provide a definition of amateur built in their publication CAP 659, available from LAA. An extract from CAP 659 reads “The building and operation of the aircraft will be solely for the education and recreation of the amateur builder. This means that he would not be permitted to commission someone else to build his aircraft”. An aircraft built outside the CAA’s definition could result in an expensive garden ornament.


Varieze G-BIMX. New permit to fly until May 2022. Airframe and engine 625 hours from new. Owned by me for 29 years. Propeller reconditioned by Hercules Propellers this year. New 8.33 radio fitted. Hangared at Biggin Hill Airport. Contact email: or phone 07940 838476. £14,000 o.n.o.

Reluctant sale of our rare 1936 Aeronca C3 Collegian, G-ADRR. The only flying example in the UK. Based at Old Warden can be viewed in the Shuttleworth Museum. 12 months permit. Fully restored 2013/14. JAP J99, only 35 hours from new! Basic flying and easily maintained. £26.500. Colin 07896 161634

Denny Kitfox Mk II Rotax 912 UL G-CRES. Built 1990 with total ground up rebuild 2019 to Concours standard. TT airframe and engine 500 Hrs. Permit to 23 October 2021. Email for photos and details. Trailer included. £20,000. Tel +353 (0)861970131

Autogyro Cavalon – Rotax 914UL, Blue tip rotors. Built 2017, 260 hours, LAA PtF until 25 March 2022, full electronics and comfort fit, immaculate. £95,000. Email: for more information.

Nando Groppo Trail. Aircraft in regular use. LAA permit March 2022. Easy wing-fold. 8.33 radio and Mode S. Dynon. Sky Echo. Full details Tel: 07808 808 945.

Motor Falke SF25C Built in 2000, this white with

is in superb condition and comes with a new ARC. Based at Lasham and always hangered. GTR 225A Garmin 8.33 transceiver. New ELT. New Mode S transponder. New vacuum pump. New DI and AH. New LX VSI with glide computer. Naviter GPS with Oudie 2 (See You installed). New propeller with zero hours. Rotax 912 engine with 830 hours remaining. For sale @ £65.000.00 + VAT. Shares considered. Contact Richard Morgan 07785 771669 Email

Tiger Moth DH82C G-FCTK for sale. Engine 1C 55 hrs, Airframe 2382hrs. Recent rebuild, wings built by Aero Antiques. Starter, brakes, tailwheel, wind alternator, silencer, heater etc Trained WW2 pilots in Canada. Modified in USA to look like a DH82A. Trig radio and Mode S. Flies with military number 5084. For pics google “tiger moth 5084”. East Sussex. £68500. Ring 07790 669163.

Christen Eagle II. Two-seat aerobatic. LAA Permit to fly. 8.33 radio and Mode S transponder. Full details at

Tel: 07514 362 389

64 | LI GHT AVIATION | October 2021
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Rebuilt Tiger Moth wings and control surfaces available for sale or exchange. Most Tiger Moth parts available from stock at the moment. Tel: Hodgeair 01732 822686

Design & Stress Analysis Service. Type submissions, modifications, engine frames and general advice. We cover everything from SSDR to A380 :- structures, powerplant (IC and electric) and avionic installations. Contact John Wighton or call 07770399315.

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

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