Sunday, February 4, 2018

Of Rodents, Men and Intentions...

Or to misquote some Scottish saying: "...oft gang aglae." (I think that's how it's spelt.)

Jay has had the misfortune for his engineering staff to suffer some rather severe medical problems, so progress has been non-existent. However, at a recent encounter (after the first flight of the Comper Swift he'd been renovating), he did say that we were 'the next cab off the rank'.  From that I'm assuming that he was referring to our aircraft and not speaking literally...

Meantime I have been preparing for the day when I can 'mount up' by taking more taildragger lessons in a Piper Pacer. Our CFI informs me that if I can master this particular beast I should have no trouble with the Nieuport. The problem is the mastering bit. Occasionally my landings are better than my take-offs and then I revert to the norm. Consistency is my problem at the moment. Although, saying that, I do presume that he means consistently OK rather than consistently bad...

To fill in time I've also made an attempt at writing a short book for the younger generation dealing with WW1 flying from an NZ perspective. I'm fortunate in having some offspring to do the critiquing before I try to find an illustrator to help in the collaboration. Seems the idea might be right, there's just a few questions about Target Audience Age Group, Plot Definitions and similar suggestions. I mentioned this to my favourite author recently (Derek Robinson) who told me that his wife just tells him to "nail his butt to the chair". From that you will gather that she is American...

And talking of America, what on earth will we do for entertainment once the Donald is gone? That's assuming that his bigger button hasn't been inadvertently pressed. The way his hands keep flying around that wouldn't be too hard, would it?

Sunday, March 12, 2017

A long time coming...

I can't believe that we are nearing the end of a journey that started so many years ago. Jay and his team have not only run the engine in situ but have also taken it out for a brief taxi! Wow! Just a few more bits'n'pieces to go apparently and then it's into the paperwork. Who knows, with the biannual Air show coming up, it might even get to fly in it -wouldn't that be something?

There is a slight snag though: we do need a test pilot and the one we'd lined up has since moved out of the district. So the search starts for another -any volunteers out there?

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

A long time between Posts

'She' has been sitting in JEM Aviation's hangar for a few months now with Scottie taking an interest in her now and going over her with not so much a fine toothcomb but as a good eye for what's what.

One of these 'whats' is the brake system: he said it would never work.  My immediate thought was that it was something I had done in assembling it -you can imagine my relief when told that it was the actual design itself which was at fault -not my doing!  So he is now redesigning things so that they will work.  Still hopeful that it will be flying this summer (Jay would like the space in his hangar back!), but I guess we will have to wait and see.  Mother Nature has been a bit active recently which has given some a dose of the heebie-geebies; fortunately Jay's hangar was not affected.

With that, it's a Merry Xmas and a Happy New Year to all my readers -all 2 of you.

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Complete Non Sequitur

In my working life I spent most of it as a Business Analyst with Air New Zealand on the computer side of things. When a problem or proposal came up there would always be a meeting of interested parties and I could never work out why it would take these people so long to arrive at a solution which I would have thought up within the first 5-10 minutes. Surely all these other people must  be as intelligent as I? So my modus operandi thereafter was to let these people talk themselves through to the (mostly) logical conclusion before offering my thoughts or confirmation.

Late in my working life I was persuaded to take a Mensa test (the organisation open to those with IQs in the top 2% of the population, in case you didn't know). Well, knock me down with a feather duster: not only did I pass but it appeared that I was in the top 1%. So that was the explanation! But it was too late to change my working methods as everyone else was used to the way I worked.

I guess that must mean that my brain is wired differently to others. I don't boast about it ('hiding lights under bushels' comes to mind, but why you would want to do that I have no idea; I'd have thought you'd set fire to the damn thing...). That probably also explains my sense of humour...weird.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Bath time, armed (and dangerous?)

After some considerable time, the ladies I felt needed a bath -and what better time to do it than in this Indian Summer that we seem to be enjoying here in Marlborough! So out of the hangar they came (accompanied by the rest of the aircraft resplendent in her new official rego letters) for a bath in cold water. I didn't have time to find a goat to milk nor a heater, so cold it was.

Having done that it was time to mount the Lewis gun which proved once again a saying I had from my work time: "Nothing is ever as easy as you first thin."  I thought I had lined up all the holes correctly and that all the bolts would just slip in like -well, use your imagination, I'm sure you can come up with something appropriate. So, some couple of hours later with both audible and inaudible imprecations, it has all come together.  But I suspect it will have to be revisited (in fact, I'm sure of it!) in order to get it properly aligned. Well after the time I'd allotted for the exercise I left her to regain the shelter of the hangar and the tender mercies of Jay and whoever he can inveigle into getting her airworthy.
Here's to the next episode. 

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

The paperwork has started!

We are now the proud owners of the reserved registration letters ZK-XVI.  I'm sure you can all work out the reason for that particular combination!  So we have two years to complete the aircraft and get it officially registered.
Still a bit more work to do, of course, but Jay (and his team?) will no doubt get round to it in that timeframe...
I must say that this is starting to get a bit exciting now that we are getting that close and we'll be able to find out just how successful we were in its build.
Here's to the next phase!

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Boo Hoo!

My training on the Cub has come to a sudden halt. Nothing to do with me I hasten to add! At our (MAC) recent 'Healthy Bastards' flying competition, someone borrowed the Cub for the Short Take Off and Landing competition. It appears he got a bit overenthusiastic in the Landing bit, braked too hard and put the aircraft on its nose. So, it needs a new prop and engine but how long this will take no-one yet knows.  Meantime the aeroclub is hunting around for a temporary replacement since that was the only taildragger on the books. Bummer!

However next month (March) I have to do some flying on the Dynamic to maintain my microlight licence so the birds can't relax just yet!

And the paperwork for the Nieuport has started: I have just paid for the reservation of the rego ZK-XVI (valid for 2 years); it should be flying well within that period (I hope!). No guesses needed for why I chose those letters.....