Mud, Hangars and a Flit in a Skyranger

Having pegged out the hangar plan (with such ‘success’ that I used it as an example on the work blog to my learners of a real life project!), I was occupied those same learners as the upright went up courtesy of Nick and Clive but back in the thick of it for the start of the levelling.

We were going to leave this until later but discovered that in our new spot further down the hill, where it’s steeper, it’s become a complete sod to move the aircraft with fewer than two people as she fights to roll back down into the hedge and/or sit on her tail.  This wasn’t much of a problem until the uprights went in which, since we are effectively building on the spot we’re parked on made every movement a right peril to the wingtips.

So a level inside and bit of flat standing outside is called for to make moving around by hand on the ground less hairy.

Saturday was forecast with dry spell so we began…  To my mild surprise it was only a six inch difference across the width of the middle section of the interior from top to bottom.

To my greater surprise was quite how much mud that equated to!  And mud it was, especially after the first shower, during which we retired for lunch only to return to a brand new water feature…

Nick Paddling

Margam’s new water feature


Erm, yes, I’ve stopped digging to take photos…

We got it maybe half done before the heavens opened!

Meanwhile in one of the dry windows Nick had swapped the carb rubbers on the engine and flown a brief test flight before the downpour so the aircraft and covers were soaked too.

Urgghh.  We put everything away as best we could (during which I fell straight into a waterfilled posthole up to my knees!) and dripped our way home!

Sunday was glorious weather-wise but with the ground still sodden we gave digging a miss.

I was prompted by the outbreak of spring to dust off, re-oil and fettle the pushbike and try out the alternative route to the strip (Train to Pyle then mostly cycle path).  Good grief I’m unfit!

Being a little folding number, the bike’s not exactly built for the farmyard either but freewheeling down the hill to the parking spot was fun!

I peeled off the damp covers and spread everything out on the grass to dry before mopping water out of the various places it had gathered even inside the cockpit.

Satisfied I’d done as much as possible to dry things out I left Rhubarb basking in the sun and wandered in search of company for a cuppa.

Drip Drying

Drip Drying

Several people were up and flying, and John arrived back in his Skyranger with his 90+ uncle along – who prompted impressed the life out of me by explained what he was going to do with all the photos he’d taken in Photoshop!

John got the kettle on and after another cuppa suggested a flit in the SKyranger.

I’d not flown the type before and never turn down flying in any case so he prepped while I scuttled up the hill to re-hoist the windsock.

Maybe I’m just used to Rhubarb now, or perhaps my legs are getter shorter but it seemed a bit scrabbly hop to climb up into the Skyranger.  I went through me usual massive shortening of harness while John started up.


It doesn’t hang about, that aeroplane of his!  Bit heavier than Rhubarb but with a 912 up front we surely didn’t use any more runway and the rate of climb pipped us too!

We stooged about a while, before John demonstrated his alternative approach into the strip, keeping close and tight inside the wires.  Neat, and so very quick to stop on landing.

Tight left base inside the wires

Tight left base inside the wires

Nice aeroplane.

After the next landing John suggested we swap places for me to have a fly so a quick changeover on the ground and away we went again.  Trusting chap, given I haven’t even landed the X’Air at the strip all that often or without Nick following through.

Like the X’Air the main thing that caught be out and needed prompting or a nudge was quite how quickly the speed goes away on taking the power off.

First attempt was tidy-ish, second less so, but nothing to alarming!

Good stuff, but fuel was coming to the end of what was sensible and it was time to put things to bed.

Lovely day – lazy but passed off as productive and got some flying in…  Very typical of the pace of life at Old Park!

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