Hands on…

Well the rain has tested my drain digging efforts and happily they’ve not been found wanting…

Which is just as well as I’ve certainly done more digging of holes than flying lately.

Last week’s annual leave was mainly spent jumping up and down ineffectually on spade and fork and, in extreme cases, pickaxe!  But at least now we do have a hangar floor and not a paddling pool.

Most of this was done during the spell of perishingly cold, dry, windy weather which would take the skin right off you face – I got home one night after doing post holes with my hair full of blown postcrete dust and convinced than the moment I stepped in the bath to boil my poor aching bones I’d have a very permanent set…

Slabs have been laid but we’ve some more of that to do to make ourselves a little ‘patio’ for pulling of the aircraft – then we need to figure out how to join that onto the hill…  At the moment the poor little machine has to get up a step first which takes three people.

There are compensations though – after one particular day’s slog, the wind finally dropped and there was the most glorious, still sunset to take off into and twirl around the deserted beach with never a ripple from the Welsh to Devon shores or climbing high to fly steep, tight turns that bounce us off our own wake.

We’ve had lots of help too.  From friends popping up to help dig who’ve worked like troopers, to those from the already completed hangars further up the hill fetching down cups of tea, to the shared labour with the hangar-next-door there’s been a lovely community feel about the whole affair.

And while we dug and sawed and drilled, Nick prepared the aircraft for her permit renewal.

Hangar Building and Permit Prep

Hangar Building and Permit Prep

The following day, with Nick not available, it was the first time I’d started the aircraft alone and, bar forgetting to switch the auxiliary electrics on (spotted because the water temp really ought to have come up by now oughtn’t it…) it was all very straightforward even with my utter lack of experience operating two stroke engines.

The permit itself was a quite, quite different affair from what I was used to over in the CoA world – a few hours scrutiny and a short to-do list.

Where was the massive bill?  Where were the tiny parts that cost a fortune in labour and paperwork?  What was this “Sort that, that and that and I’ll fly it and sign it off’?

I’m liking this microlighting business… 😉

Not so much the wind and rain that have presented that check flight mind you, but on the whole!

We did the immediate to-dos (a perished exhaust mount we’d missed, a coolant bottle bracket we knew about but had hoped would pass, a length of spi-wrap we’d forgotten to rewrap after dealing with the battery cables a while ago).

A push to the hangar building front was those items on the list which are a symptom of being outdoors – wear to the trailing edges of the wings from the covers, the whisper of the start of corrosion here and there.

Back to it!


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