June 2012 Issue

In this month’s bumper Issue:

Gliding Evening at Ringmer by Richard Griffiths

Invest in a new American Homebuilt?

Last Month’s Strut Meeting by Dave Websdale

The Beverly White Cup by Don Lord

New Website Noticeboard by the Webmaster

From Dave Websdale’s Archive: Strut Newsletter May 1989

Brighton Mini Maker Faire

Don Lord’s new Rans S6-116

Gliding Evening at Ringmer

A glider being winch launched.

Tony organised fantastic weather for the Strut visit to Ringmer Gliding Club on 22nd May. It actually felt like summer and the gliding field was a great place to enjoy it.

Twelve of us had a go. The instructor I flew with didn’t believe powered pilots knew what to do with their feet; I proved him wrong.  🙂  Chris Foss showed off with a nice precision landing.

The evening was rounded off with a meal in the Green Man.

Great evening!

Richard Griffiths

Invest in a new American Homebuilt?

An interesting bit of homebuilding by an all American family in Montana. Caims to incorporate a whole bunch of aerodynamic principles that have been “left on the shelf” in most aircraft design. Project website is here: http://synergyaircraft.com/

They are trying to use ‘crowd sourcing’ to get it into commercial production. Details here: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/launchsynergy/synergy-aircraft-project so if you have a few spare dollars…. But remember, the value of investments can go down as well as up.

Last Month’s Strut Meeting

Dave Sketcherly impersonating Tommy Cooper

Jus like that! Hur hur hur…

Just a few photos taken at the recent Strut meeting where Dave Skertchley gave us an interesting talk on his many trips to France.

With tips on how to fill in the various forms and requirements necessary, together with a number of reports and slides on his many destinations, it was very informative. Twenty plus members attended this meeting and his talk was appreciated by all.

Dave Websdale

The Beverly White Cup

We have within the Strut a third trophy. “The Beverly White Cup”. The cup was presented to the Strut by Bill Beverly and Maurice White in the late seventies. The idea was to give recognition to a member who had made an outstanding contribution to the running or wellbeing of the strut. If my memory is correct one of the first recipients was Dave Websdale for his nine year stint as treasurer. It is not necessarily given to an elected official as they are expected to perform their elected tasks without reward. It is more to show that an ordinary member can make a worthwhile contribution to the strut.

When Maurice and Bill donated the cup, the strut was a bit thin on the ground with members, money and effort. It may seem a modest cup compared to today’s LAA trophies, but you must remember that the idea and donation was by just two members at a thin time.

This is a shortened copy of a piece I wrote in the late eighties. It has always been the case that the strut is run by a few volunteers, the talk of an election for posts never really existed, as far as I can remember there has never been competition for a post, more a press gang. As it stands we are very lucky to have Tony and Farry at the helm and now “thank you” to Richard for taking on the Newsletter. There was a period of about two Strut nights in the late eighties when there was only me. A member keen on politics and rules said we would have to close the Strut as there were only seven members at a Strut night. Then I think Maurice came in as treasurer and Pat Holmes did the Newsletter which saved the day.

Don Lord

New Website Noticeboard

The website at http://www.southernstrut.flyer.co.uk has had a noticeboard feature added. Got a spare seat on a flying trip, need some help with a project, got something to sell, swap or give away, or even having a party? Then you can tell the Strut about it by posting a notice on the website. Only Strut members will be able to see it.

To see the noticeboard on the website, look under the ‘Contact’ menu item. You will need to enter a password to view the noticeboard. If you are a member, then the password will be in the email containing this newsletter.

To post a notice, scroll to the bottom of the page and type it into the box you’ll find there.

Every so often, I’ll clear out old notices, or email me (Webmaster in the Contact menu) if you want your notice removed.

Richard Griffiths

From Dave Websdale’s Archive: Strut Newsletter May 1989

Bowed – but not broken By Peter Woodman

“Charlie Kilo downwind for 21 left.”
“Roger Golf Charlie Kilo, you are No 3, call turning finals.”
Thus began the final stages of my third flight of the day.
On board were my eldest daughter Anita, her third son, 2year old Morgan on his first Auster flight and my wife’s God child, 8 year old Helen.
Doing my downwind checks, I selected the main tank and noticed that the gauge showed full (about 14-15 gallons). A slight doubt crossed my mind of the accuracy of this as I had already done three take-offs and two landings with the main tank selected, before switching to the long range belly tank.
However, the fleeting thought passed and I concentrated on flying the remainder of the circuit for Shoreham’s runway 21 left. As I had been given No 3 and had already observed numbers 1 and 2 on finals, I was surprised to see a 3rd aircraft on long finals for 21 just as I was turning on to the base leg.
Shoreham tower asked if I had a visual on the aircraft and confirmed that I was turning right to come down in behind the other plane.
I began my descent, pulling down 20 degrees of flap and at 700 feet AGL began the left turn for finals. As I was about to call the tower, the engine started to die.
My first thought was that the front tank, although showing “full” was empty and somehow the fuel gauge had jammed.
This all takes much longer to write about than the actual time taken.
I had already switched the fuel cock back to the belly tank and retracted the flaps hoping that that the engine would pick up and that I would increase my gliding distance.
All to no avail. With the engine spluttering to a stop, I looked for any friendly emergency landing field, pulling down 40 degrees of flap an advising the tower “Shoreham Charlie Kilo, engine out going down.” The tower acknowleged and radio silence became effective.
I had told Anita that the Landing was imminent and heard her tell Helen in the rear seat to hold on tight while she braced herself for the landing with my grandson Morgan tightly strapped into her harness.
Going down ahead was completely inhospitable. Almost immediately beneath was a green cleft-shaped field that was my only option.
I descended rapidly in the 21 direction and noted that the field was too short and running down hill in a SW direction.
I turned 90 degrees left and saw the sloping field rushing towards me. Hard back on the stick and Charlie Kilo flared nose up. I had just enough time to see that there was a metal fence post dead ahead, when the three wheels touched, in 30 metres we were fully stopped as if we were held by an aircraft carrier’s arrester hook.
Six metres ahead was the fence and the crop I had landed in was two foot high oil-seed rape.
I informed the tower that we were safely down with no injuries.
At the time I assumed that the undercarriage was broken, such was the deceleration experienced.
The tower advised us that the police helicopter was on its way and while waiting on its arrival I examined the aircraft.
Miraculously there appeared to be no damage. I looked in the front tank filler and saw that it was completely full. There wasn’t any time for further speculation before the Boklow helicopter landed in the adjacent field and kindly ferried my passengers back to the airport.
From the moment the engine started to die to the landing, only about fifteen seconds had elapsed.
The field at New Erringham Farm is at an altitude of about 300 feet higher than Shoreham’s 10 feet AMSL so my descent had only been about 300 feet.
The farmer wasn’t too pleased about my unscheduled arrival and hoped that my insurance was in order to cover the damaged crop. Later after examining the field he said that the damaged was negligible and no payment was required.
The landing had occurred at 17.15 hours local and within an hour, some of my colleagues from the PFA Southern Strut had arrived and together with ace photographer Gordon Bain, we man-handled Charlie Kilo a hundred yards along the field until we could cross over the fence into an adjacent field of young barley which was considerably larger and free from obstruction.
Little more could be done that night. Fortunately I had the following week on leave.
I arrived at the farm early next day and suspecting the fuel transfer cock I stripped it down and re-assembled it ensuring that the fuel was now flowing from the main tank.
With no apparent damage and the Gypsy Major running sweetly, I ran the engine for fifteen minutes before taxiing it to the top of the field, where I could not see Shoreham Airport.
I called the tower and receiving permission to take off and was soon in the circuit.
The landing on 21 was gentle and the undercarriage showed no signs of any miss-alignment from the previous day’s landing.
On checking my flying time for the Bank Holiday Monday, I found that including the ground running, the engine had performed about two and a quarter hours.
The belly tank holds 12 gallons and not a drop was left, so despite selecting the main tank for take-off and landing, all flying had been via the belly tank – a sobering thought.

From Alan Dunn Strut newsletter editor July 1996

Considering the weather we are currently enduring, it was somewhat of a surprise that the weekend of our Strut Fly-in at Goodwood was so good.
It started off with the fly-in at Shoreham to celebrate the sixtieth Aniversary of the opening of Shoreham Airport as the Brighton, Hove and Worthing Municipal Airport.
This occasion was also to launch a book, “Shoreham Airport Sussex” which was the Story of Britain’s Oldest Licenced Airfield, compiled by Tim Webb and Denis Bird.
Talking to a number of PFA types who always seemed to turn up at the old Strut Breakfast Patrols and Fly-ins at Shoreham during the 70’s, they all remarked that the spirit of those events seem to have returned for this fly-in.
After the events of the previous day, I had the feeling that the Goodwood Event would be a bit of a let-down. NOT SO ! A great day was had by all and thanks must go to all those involved in the organisation both beforehand and on the day.

From Trevor Humphreys, Strut co-ordinator.

Our fly-in at Goodwood was a success and we were very lucky with the weather this year.
I would like to thank all of you who gave a helping hand on the day or Saturday afternoon and to those who supplied the food including cakes, biscuits, cheese and sausage rolls.
I must thank Lisa, Royna Howard, Rosemary James and Ruth for their hard work behind the tea counter.
Dave Websdale informs me that we had about 82 visiting aircraft, which is almost as many as last year, but we appear to have more on the ground this time and we had five lines of aircraft at one point.
Free landings were won by an Auster owner from a strip on the Hoggs Back and the Race Day tickets were won by a Jodel owner based at White Waltham.

Twenty years ago

The Southern Strut was able to hold a fly-in at Bognor Regis during September of 1992.  This was arranged by Strut member John Hughesman and took place at the private airstrip owned by the LEC factory in Bognor.

To get access to the airstrip by car was a little difficult as you had to get permission and drive into the factory premises and across the gated railway line at the rear.
The airstrip consisted of both a hard and soft runway 05 / 23 and a large metal hangar.

The circuit height for this airstrip was 1200 ft.
This hangar housed the company’s Islander aircraft which was also opened up for us to use as a base for the Fly-in BBQ. (the hanger, not the Islander).

I believe we had around fifteen aircraft arrive for this event which also created some interest in a crowd of golfers who were playing on the opposite field which was separated from the airstrip by a small stream.

Dave Websdale

Brighton Mini Maker Faire

The free interactive festival of creativity and invention

There is an event happening at Brighton Corn Exchange on Saturday 8th September that Strut members may be interested in. It’s a festival for people who make things; “arts & crafts, robots and engineering, wood and metalwork, electronics, science, tech, music and more amazing do-it-yourself creation.”

It happened for the first time last year and was extremely successful with over 5,000 people at the Dome. It will be bigger this year.

Anyone interested in representing the Strut at the Faire? Ideally something is being made or worked-on on the stand.

Details at: http://www.makerfairebrighton.com/ To get a stand you have to apply by 20th June 2012.

Don Lord’s new Rans S6-116

The paparazzi managed to grab this picture of Don Lord picking his new Rans S6 up from Redhill Aerodrome on Saturday 13th May. The heavy rain soaking the grass runways meant that take-off was from the curvy taxiway. Must have made for an interesting first flight!

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