September 2009 Newsletter
Welcome to our September newsletter. Spring is upon us, the daffs have not only arisen, they are in vases (perhaps not in Mike’s hanger, but they are nearly everywhere else). The norwesterlies are here too, which can make things quite exciting, but perhaps they beat the endless rain of this past winter. For a while I was thinking of floats for Echo Echo Zulu.
The Corby and I have been aviating quite bit lately, and I’ve really enjoyed landing at both Cheviot and Culverden airfields. Culverden in particular is a great wee flight, rewarded with a really good airfield to land at - and its not too far away for those of you starting your cross-country flying, and wanting somewhere not too challenging to go. Take a thermos and some sammies in the baggage compartment because it’s a bit of a hike into town to visit the cafe.
I’ve also enjoyed landing at “Horrells” strip at Cheviot. This is more of a challenge than Culverden, as it’s a lot narrower in places, and has a distinct slope to it. Good fun though, and if you want to fly in there, give our man in Cheviot a call. Les Eade (ph. 03 3198695) will not only tell you about the condition of the strip, he’ll come and pick you up if you ask nicely. Maybe even let you have a look at the Rans he is building. And if you need more fuel, you could always gas up with some of Les’ renown home made liquors. Bob and Glenys assure me they taste good, too.
Recently Mike Small flew Echo Zulu, and it’s a quite different watching your own aeroplane being put through its paces by a good pilot. Between wincing I watched with interest (as you do), and it was wonderful to be able to say to Duncan Fraser - “it wasn’t me”.
Welcome to all our new members and they include Jayde Godfrey, Adrian Hewson, Kevin Slattery, Mike Glen and Alex Bojilov - make yourselves known around the place. You’ll find we are a friendly bunch (generally) and remember that our club, just like any other, is what you make it. We look forward to your positive input.
Cracker to see the good turn out to paint the doors on No1 hanger. Its satisfying to report that Terry Salmon actually managed to get some paint on the articles in question, rather than just on himself. Meg the Dog, having learned from previous experience, kept her distance.
Terry Salmon, Editor
Mike Small is standing down from the Instructors roster in the interim - I wouldn’t be the only member who is aware and grateful for all of the work that Mike has done in CRAC. Your input over the years has been legendary, Mike. We hope you enjoy your break from instructing and look forward to you resuming instructing as soon as you are able.
In the meantime, Ross Marfell ( 03 3857261) is acting CFI. Ross welcomes your calls so please at the moment, arrange your instructing needs by contacting Ross. The Club is very grateful to Ross for assuming this position.
From the 1 October, the club will have a new CFI : Dave Mitchell will be assuming the role once he and Yvonne have returned from swanning about in Spain and the South of France.
All thanks to Dave for stepping up to this position. Its not without its responsibilities, as to a very great degree the CFI “sets” not only the standard of instruction, but also maintains the safety culture around flying operations, for all club pilots regardless of whether they are flying club aircraft or their own.
We are very lucky to have someone of Dave’s experience and wisdom as our CFI, so lets not add to Dave’s burdens, and lets all fly in such a way that Dave’s job as CFI job is an easy one.
Especially Important Bits
Most of you will be aware that the only vector that is to be used at Rangiora Airfield at the moment is the northern half of 07/25. This is to allow the reseeding (or some sort of agrarian term) of the southern bits 07/25 plus the cross-wind vectors. The cross-wind vectors can be used in emergencies only.
Also, from 19 November, there will be a change of radio frequency from 119.2 to 120.2. Although the “Rangiora Area” is not yet a MBZ (mandatory broadcast zone), watch this space.
Letter from our new CFI - Dave Mitchell
The following is aimed at those with an aircraft that has a "sparkling" rate of climb. Be careful when executing a max ROC after take-off, that you don't put yourself dangerously high at the upwind threshold to an aircraft that has let down on the non-traffic side and is cross-wind heading for the down-wind leg. In any sort of headwind, there are aircraft in our Club that can easily be at 1200( or more) feet at that point.
GA traffic are not used to seeing aircraft climbing like that and are certainly not expecting to see an aircraft that has just taken-off, at their altitude at the up-wind threshold.
Max rate take-offs are best avoided until you know you have the circuit to yourself and in any case, limiting your height to 700ft - the height you would normally turn cross-wind would seem a smart move!
And on another note - and we have all had this - We are on finals and another aircraft pulls out to take-off in front of us. An immediate take-off would provide the separation needed - but he doesn’t and 'dithers' around forcing you to go around. You commence a go around and he takes-off below you. Like it or not, it is your responsibility to maintain separation and keep that aircraft in sight. To effect this, ( for 07 )fly just to the right of the runway and proceed to the upwind threshold, where, traffic permitting, you can turn cross-wind - once again!
Really neat bits
Congratulations to Dean Waller for completing his first solo, and also to Dave Paull for making his 1st microlight solo.
The club is now (or will be as soon as the paperwork is done) the proud owner of JOZ, with great thanks to the Canterbury Community Trust who have come through with a $20,000 donation to the club so that this project can happen. JOZ is the yellow trike in hangar #1 if it's slipped your attention.
While the club specifically obtained a trike to allow physically disabled pilots easier access to aviation (word-of-mouth is the best advertising, so please help us get the word out there amongst the disabled community by telling everybody who will listen), this aircraft is available for all suitably qualified pilots to use. The club has two trike instructors in Doug Anderson and Ray Corbett.
With thanks to Grant Porter, Mike Small, Ross Marfell and others, the club is currently running a give away promotion with Plains FM 96.9. Every month the club is sponsoring a deserving individual in our community to go for a flight, listeners to Plains FM can write in to nominate who they think should get the prize each month.
This month's lucky winner was Ian Jury, a long time volunteer in the area of conservation around the Port Hills and Banks Peninsula. Ross took Ian for a flight in his Pioneer, and provides us with the following report.
It was arranged for Ian to come out to the airfield for his flight in my Pioneer last Wednesday. I thought from the weather forecast that Wednesday morning after the southerly front on Tuesday was going to be ideal for his flight over and around Banks Peninsula.
As luck would have it conditions were perfect. Thanks Hughie!
We set off just after 10am, flew down the beach, had a photo shoot of Ian's place at South Brighton zoomed past Godley Heads and into Lyttelton Harbour. A quick orbit of Quail Island and photo shoot of Governors Bay and then we pushed on eastward. I was enlightened and entertained by Ian about the earth features below as we climbed over the Hill Top and down into Akaroa Harbour.
At the back of Akaroa township I climbed over Misty Peaks and the slopes leading down to the sea on the northern faces. To see the delight on Ian's face as he pointed out the gullies where he had spent many long and obviously physically hard hours eradicating possums and replanting Totara and other native trees, was a privilege.
Flying north passing the many bays and inlets I was impressed with Ian's knowledge. His obvious enthusiasm and delight was electric. His digital camera was running hot! Soon Lyttelton Harbour mouth was crossed, another photo shoot of Ian's place and it was a 120kt dash up the beach to the Ashley river mouth and home.
Ian's VIP treatment included a marshalling in by Grant outside the
clubhouse. The lunch 'on the house' (Ham and Tomato Quiche) and a
cup of tea was much appreciated by Ian. The Christchurch City Council
Park Ranger can be assured that one of his deserving volunteers has
had a small reward for his many years of hard work.
I would just like to say that far from the flight being a chore, I very much enjoyed having such an enthusiastic and well deserved passenger.
Over the next 11 months we are going to meet and reward 11 really neat people. What a great promotion for all concerned. Thanks Grant.
Club Events Department
Sadly, the navigation exercise wasn’t well attended - only 4 aircraft entered this which was pretty disappointing. For the participants however, it was a great exercise and its satisfying to report that all 4 aircraft returned within 2 minutes of their planned flying times. We are hoping to run this event again over the summer with the hope there might be more interest. It’s a great exercise to do and a lot of fun. Thanks to Dean McDonald for taking the time to organise this event - even those of us who don’t dangle thoroughly enjoyed the day.
The poker run hasn’t happened at all due to weather issues on the planned day (time to spare, travel by air) but as soon as possible, it will be re-organised.
For a club of over 150 members we flow along trouble free most of the time. This is because behind the hangar doors runs a smooth running engine in the form of the committee, the instructors and the secretary. These guys do a great job and I intend to spend a little bit of time to explain what they do.
Our secretary / treasurer, James Sleeman is a quiet achiever who works all hours of the day and night for him self and for the club. James designs and maintains web sites for his clients and our club. He is very professional in his attitude towards his work and how he carries out his duties. He is the one who keeps all of your accounts up to date, picks up the mail, logs the flight sheets, makes up the training manuals, pays the accounts, sends out invoices to you and generally keeps the club in order. You don’t see him very often at the field as he visits in the dead of night being a nocturnal animal.
The instructors led by Mike Small keep this very important part of the club up to speed with dedicated service on the field and away. They are instrumental in putting the training schedules together in a professional way and passing on their skills to you at little or no cost. Mike, Ross, Dave, and Tony are dedicated enthusiasts who give of their time and experience because they love flying, love the club and love being around other enthusiasts.
That’s what being a club is all about giving and giving. So when the opportunity arises for you to take part in a flying event, working bee, social event or just talking flying at the club house on a Sunday afternoon get involved. The more you put in the more we all get out of it. We are a very lucky club to have such a dedicated committee who work behind the scenes to make the engine run smoothly.
With a growing club we are faced with the key people giving more and more of their time to keep the wheels running. We are all volunteers and I guess there comes a time when we can’t continue to operate on a voluntary basis. Is this the time we are too big? Is this the time to pull back? Or is this the time to push forward and expand? I have opinions on this but the club members will decide the future of the club. Do we introduce GA and LSA training or do we stick to the grass root of micro lighting, pull our heads in and get on with what we enjoy without the eyes of bureaucracy watching.
What is a microlight?
Microlights are single or two place aircraft with a max design gross weight of 544kg with a stalling speed of 45knots or less.
What is a human being?
An assembly of water, calcium and carbon that uses a brain to push the limits of everything he encounters.
What is CAA?
An organization of human beings designed to police other human beings who love to push the limits of flying.
As microlights change, because the humble human being pushes the limits, other human beings, who love to catch the humans that push the limits, start to encroach on the ones that like to push the limits. The more you push the limits the more you find out about the limits but the more risks you take. The CAA humans don’t like risk takers. The CAA police come down hard on risk takers.
So maybe we should stop pushing the limits of microlighting and enjoy the freedom we have. Bigger and faster is not always better. Flying slower and lower with little restriction is good. Flying faster and higher is fun but has more risk associated. Risk is mitigated with expensive systems, regulations and components administered by professional full time human beings averse to risk.
There is a lot going for microlighting the way it is. Humans being Humans always see things too late. Youth vs. Experience, Youth usually wins but eventually youth gains experience but too late more youth is on the way. Life goes in cycles and so will recreational flying.
Microlights of today will develop in to GA and LSA aircraft of tomorrow and be subject to EXPENSE. Some bright, probably older fella, will say ‘enough of this’ and start a new generation of simple unregulated flying machines (that is if the CAA humans have not over regulated us to death).
On the lighter side, my Pathfinder has been in the hangar now ready to fly for about 2 months. It has flown but not for any period. Why? Buggered if I know!
The urgency to get out there every spare moment has gone not that it is complete. The planning of the next stage and the procurement and manufacturing of the next part has gone. Is this the usual thing to happen after you have lived and breathed this plane for the last four and a half years? What happens? Is there life after building a plane?
There are still small things to do to make it totally complete as I have planned but the motivation has gone. Is it because it has taken too much energy, too much cash or too much of my life go into it? I see others that have completed planes over a long period, some sell them, most fly then trying to wear them out but some like, me, leave them in the hangar for a while waiting for some inspiration to fly it away.
I guess time will tell.
Sorry I said on the lighter side!
Our new hangar are has now gained its resource consent and two building consents have been applied for. The club is still toying with the idea of selling the clubhouse and No1 Hanger to fund the new clubhouse and hangar in the new area. We have not advertised this as yet and are open to offers from members to purchase the tow. If you are interested or know someone who might be let me know. Ph 03 327 6448 or work on 941 6207
Mike Sheffield, President
The Trike Department
In the last newsletter, I referred to trikes as danglers, in the hope that some of our club danglers might want to input into this publication. Well, it worked. Thanks to Ray Corbett for preparing the following and I promise not to call them danglers for a while, indeed if ever again.
There’s more to Trikes than you might think
Some of you have probably seen trikes flying around and think to yourself you wouldn’t get me up in one of those things so here is a little background to Trike and trike flying
The trike type wing came from a gentleman called Francis Rogallo he designed a flexible wing to be used in the recovery of Gemini space capsules in the early 60s and was tested on a trike type glider flown from altitudes around 10,000 feet
The simplicity was soon seen as an easy way to fly and the weight shift Hang glider was born and further developed by an Australian by the name of John Dickinson
As materials and construction techniques improved hang gliders became double surface with wider nose angles and fully battened wings giving huge increases in performance a modern hang glider has a glide ratio of 17 to 1 of course the next progression was lets put an engine on one, these early Trikes ( 3 wheels) were very basic usually single seaters with beefed up hang glider wings and a lawn mower type engine but as with everything else someone always wants to go faster further and higher and be able to carry two people and be safer and easy to fly.
Today’s Trikes are just that having powerful engines for there size mostly 65 hp and the newer ones using the 80 to 100 hp rotaxes ,the wing design now has become a lot more cutting edge using carbon composites and doing away with the kingpost on top of the wing in favour of streamlined struts they have in-flight trim for speed that can move the trike base forward and back to move the c of g all done with a linier actuator also these wings can be folded and put into a bag then put on top of your car with the trike base on a trailer and taken anywhere.
Trikes have numerous records they have flown around the world, In 1998 Brian Milton become the first person to fly a microlight of any type around the world of course he chose a Trike, a feat that earned him the Britannia Trophy, one of the world's greatest aviation awards, for more information on this flight and other records and adventures see this link http://www.brian-milton.com/ .
Trikes have flown over Everest (but not set as a record he was towing a hang glider see this link http://www.flymicro.com/everest/ )the official world height record is solo 31,889 feet and dual 24,261 feet.
Some of the later ones have a good turn of speed the P and M Quick R cruses at trim of between 48 – 87 kts and has a top speed of 91kts VNE 104kts stressed to +6 g – 3 g but the nice thing about them is you can land them virtually anywhere with very little ground run with powerful twin discs on the later machines you can stop very quickly.
Here at Rangiora we have in Doug Andersons hanger 11 trikes ranging from a single seat vintage trike to the latest offering from Airborne trikes with a 912 engine and full LCD display.
The Triking community at Rangiora is fairly active with at least two trips away each year usually down south to Bobs farm at Riversdale for a week were various day trips out are planned out to the beach at the Catlans or over to the lakes at and of course this year the trip to Motueka for the national fly in, Doug and Richard recently flew to Hokitika then up to Westport and back to Rangiora I met them when they arrived back looking a little cold but with big grins from ear to ear I wish I could have gone to but some people have to work for a living I think Doug will be putting a write up together soon.
Trikes have also been used commercially for photographic work, crop spraying banner towing, hang glider launching and tourist flying because of the great unrestricted views ,they do have a downside in that it can get cold in an open cockpit but if you have the right gear its like a motorbike of the sky and best of all they are just great fun, so if you think you might like to find out more or even have a go flying one give myself or Doug Anderson a call and you will see how easy they are to fly
Ray Corbett, Trike Instructor