Saturday, 6th April

In a cold north easterly, instructors took turns to fly the ASK21 on loan from Tim D, firstly from the back seat as PUI, then from the front as PIC with the next one in the back.  That kept up the concentration of our dedicated log-keepers too!  Alastair and Mark H. took a tow to spin it.  Thanks to Mark P. for getting the Pawnee back on line.

Ahead of another lovely meal from Julie & John ( mmm, luscious sauce ) and the Presentation & Safety Meeting, this is how we stacked the hangar with three single seaters, four twin seats, the Pawnee and the Venture ( plenty of room, even if it had a spinner in place).   More than one way to skin a cat ( oops, sorry pussycat lovers) …….

Sunday, 24th February.

It was blue all day with a light south-easterly wind and a very strong inversion, ideal for first time flyers ( Uni & Day members), annual & other checks and early solos.

Andy C. brought along four other students.  He was checked out on aerotow and John Symonds did annuals, both having 3000′ tows.  John H. gave Damien a check to convert to the Astir [ I’m too heavy to fly with him in KAN  🙁  ].  We flew two day members and new cadet, Lysander.

We were launching and landing away from the sun, which was good but by sunset the downwind leg was tricky and canopies were starting to mist, so we gave in just before legal night.

Apart from the Buzzard, which John knocked out with the Pawnee, we had a good day, with a total of 32 launches, including 4 aerotows.  Thanks to all, Phil.

TRAILER PARKING

Private owners please note.  Last week ( before the snow) we replaced the slot number plates on the South side of the trailer park.  S2 to S9, between the trees,  all have an equal amount.  S1, S10 & S11 have their “exclusive residences” bounded by trees. None of the allocations has been changed, so, as soon as possible please, return your trailer to your allocated position. [The plan on the clubroom noticeboard is up to date, if you’ve forgotten your number.]  This is especially important if your trailer has been sited in someone else’s space on the East or West sides, whilst work has been in progress – they want their spaces back now, in readiness for flying.

Last week we also gained a new syndicate trailer, allocated to E2.

Numbering of the East & West rows will be done as soon as we can; again, none of the previous allocations have been changed, so no random guesses please – check the notice if you’re unsure!

Thanks, Phil G.

Mice meanderings

What better place to find in a wood at the top of a hill than a warm, dry, ready built shed to build a cosy nest?  It’s unreasonable to expect that the local inhabitants, mice, squirrels, pheasant, badgers etc will not be investigating our trailers and, for the mice and squirrels at least, to be delighted to find even more luxurious accommodation inside the mobile sheds.

Many years ago, in our early days at The Park, squirrels found an ideal hiding place for their nuts, inside the wing tip of a glass single-seater.  Having discovered them, now consider how you might extract them?  There’s no easy access to the inside of a 7m wing tip.  You cannot simply poke anything down there and vacuum them out!

Our solution was to raise the very expensive, pristine wing to the vertical and shake them out.  It was not an easy task to accomplish without damage but we utilised the bridge from the field to the clubroom, with the root at ground level by the kitchen and people on the bridge to steady and shake the wing.  All went well.

How do we avoid the problem?  Very expensive and awkward to fix damage, not always easily visible or easy to track down (eg. radio antenna wiring down the fuselage), can be caused by rodents gnawing and they do seem to like electrical insulation ( as well as any tiny pieces of food left in the cockpit pockets).  I was advised that an effective deterrent for old wooden gliders and trailers was mothballs and, early every autumn, I used to scatter a few in my Astir trailer, placing some carefully near likely entry points ( it’s very difficult to seal a trailer completely against mice).  I never found any evidence that mice had been in there or any damage, so I reckon it worked.   I did have mousetraps in there – not baited of course – and none were ever triggered, other than by me.

I didn’t mind the lingering mothball smell and considered it far better than the potential damage.  You cannot buy the “original” mothballs any more ( health and safety for the factory workers) but substitutes are available.  Also, many animals are deterred by the chemical limonene, according to the contents on the packaging of many products in hardware or garden stores.   I never tried “car air fresheners” but they might work.  See what you can find and share your ideas.

Phil G.

Sunday, 6th January

A grey day but a light wind, so our brand new solo pilots,  Damien and Andy, were able to consolidate with more solo flying.  Congratulations to both!  A few old hands flew too and Harriet kept us all in order.  We did ten winch launches and the Venture few three times.

Just after we finished, four youngish local gents turned up to watch but we hope they will return as potential members.  Damien recognised one of them and had a chat,  so that’s a helpful start and a good finish to the day.

Progress around hangar.

Mick was on site early again, to get contractors digging a channel outside the south side of the hangar.  This will house new electrical cables and water drainage pipework.  They will continue work tomorrow.

Unfortunately, the other team of contractors did not arrive to cut the expansion slots in the southside hangar floor.  Hopefully, they will turn up to complete the job tomorrow.