December 2019

  • Down on the Farm 19: November 2019 – Tony Palmer
  • Tug-Upsets
  • Malcolm Allen Remembered – Don lord
  • Licence, Aircraft and Medical Combinations
  • Sharing the Air with Drones – It’s coming!

Down on the Farm 19: November 2019

Klemm L25C G-ACXE

We are in the middle of preparing and painting the all wood wings. We have to sand down the polyester resin surface, fill the staple holes with stopper and sand down again. We then put pencil lines 1” either side of any timber seam and then apply a 2” polyester pinked edged tape to all seams with white cellulose paint (dope). We have used short sections of 2” polyester pinked edged bias tape on curved edges (ie wing tips) and 4” polyester pinked edged tape in special places as required.

Top face of port wing with tapes applied.

Then it’s a coat of 2 pack white primer over the tapes, we then make sure all the tapes have laid flat especially the pinked edges which have a habit of standing up. Once that is complete it’s the final coat of white primer. De-nib the undercoat and then at least three coats of yellow so that the correct colour is obtained.

A painted wing.

These wings are big!!  A 13 metre wingspan with 219.5 sq ft of wing area which means we have to prepare and paint in excess of 440 sq ft of surface area.

The British Klemm Swallow data sheet (click for larger version)

Tony Palmer


The British Gliding Association are running a safety campaign about tug-upsets which have seen an increase over the last few years.  This diagram shows the essence of the problem! [Trigger warning, don’t click the link if of a nervous disposition.]

Well, it scared me!  Here are more details of the campaign:

The drawing is a beautifully clear explanation of the issue.  Are there any other images that convey safety critical information in such a compelling way?

Malcolm Allen Remembered

If you look in the November Light Aviation Mag on page 16 you will see a pilot from Austria receiving the Malcolm Allen trophy.  Malcolm was a keen member of the strut, he learnt to fly at Shoreham, had become an instructor and was building hours towards a commercial licence.  He was sadly killed while collecting an aircraft for a strut member.  On returning to Shoreham the aircraft in front stopped  on the runway, the engine in the D9 cut when he tried to overshoot and avoiding the houses he stalled in. There is a bench in his name on the grass roundabout in front of the terminal building, the tankard in his memory was donated by his parents.

Don Lord

Licence, Aircraft and Medical Combinations

Having got myself thoroughly confused when trying to find out what medical I need to go flying again after my heart-bypass, I came across this brilliant resource produced by Dave White with help from The Flyer Forum.  It’s a table showing the revalidation requirements for class ratings and licence:

Of course, in an ideal world this information should be available in easy to understand form from the CAA horse’s mouth, i.e. in CAP1441 but that was withdrawn on 17 October 2018 and hasn’t been replaced!  As it is not an official source, Dave’s table requires a health warning, but in the absence of something official it’s at least a start in finding out what might be what.

Sharing the Air with Drones – It’s coming!

The CAA have just published a document, CAP 1861: Beyond Visual Line of Sight in Non-Segregated Airspace, that sets a framework for integrating remotely piloted and automated drones into airspace with conventionally piloted aircraft.  They acknowledge that the technology is not there yet – though it is on its way – so the document sets out a pathway for its safe development.  It seems a much more considered approach than what appears to have been adopted for the introduction of self-driving cars.  It is only 10 pages long, presented essentially as bullet points, so an easy read.


Regular meetings are in the Lounge Bar, The Swiss Cottage, Shoreham, 7:30pm.

For the latest list of events, go to the Events page on the Strut website.

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