April 2021

In this month’s edition:

  • Down on the farm 31 this month 3/21 – Tony Palmer
  • How Flying is Like Poker: Lockdown musings – Richard Griffiths
  • Local BVLOS UAV Trial Airspace Proposal at Goodwood
  • Latest Edition of the SkyWay Code Published
  • The Peoples Mosquito Project
  • CAA Medical System Change: You will need to register
  • From Paul Riley: Interesting French Helicopter Project
  • Restarting Flying – Rust removing video

Down on the farm 31 this month 3/21

There will be no club nights for the foreseeable future; we will inform you once the restrictions are lifted. Might be possible soon but not everyone will feel comfortable coming for quite a while.

Klemm L25C G-ACXE

Jim started back on the Klemm project this week with the change in shutdown regs. The first few hours was trying to remember where we were with each piece. I had ordered another 8 exhaust springs while he was away so that we have now fitted the exhaust system, so that we can make the cowl side cutaways to miss the hot air ducts that are fed from the exhaust and heat the incoming combustion air. We have planned the exhaust tail pipes after extensive viewing of lots of pictures of mk 2 BA swallows, they are probably the same as the British Klemm swallow but as the is no way of finding out for sure it will have to suffice.

Starboard engine cowl and exhaust

Port engine cowl and exhaust

Bristell NG5 G-NGBB

Nothing much on this project as I am waiting for Farry to come and install the wiring harnesses that he has made while at home during the shutdown.

Rotax 912 Supercharged engine Mk2

I while ago Phil Tragmar pasted on an Ebay advert to me about a Rolls Royce Merlin test stand for sale, I went up to Leeds and brought it back home about 2 years ago. I am not intending to get the Merlin going at the moment so I have added a section on the front to fit our latest Supercharged engine so that I can build it and test it and hopefully be able to measure the horsepower generated.

CAA launch General-Aviation-Summit

Front view of Supercharged Rotax 912

Side view of Supercharged Rotax 912 showing blower

Triumph T110 1958

The Triumph is now in one piece and a few wrinkles need ironing out before I use it on the road, one being buying some insurance!!

1958 Triumph T110

Tiger Moth DH82C 5084

It last had an engine condition flight about a month ago when the grass dried out before the last river flood about 3 weeks ago. The ground has dried out again apart from a slightly pliable section of the strip and Tony Berryman on the first day after shutdown was out brushing up his skills in a Sting and landed on a flight from Goodwood.

Palmersfarm arrival on Monday 29.3.21

Tony Palmer

Local Beyond Visual Line of Site Drone Trial Airspace Proposal at Goodwood

If you saw the horrifying AAIB report into the escaped 95kg drone that infringed airspace at 8,000ft above Goodwood, ( alauda-airspeeder-mk-ii-loss-of-control ) then you may be interested to know about the proposal for more permanent  presence of drones in the Goodwood vicinity.

Its stated purpose is:

“… to gradually demonstrate BVLoS operations in non-segregated (Class G) airspace are safe, can meet with regulatory approval and integrate seamlessly with manned aviation whilst still providing safe and efficient access to the airspace by all airspace users.”

Read about it here: airspacechange.caa.co.uk/PublicProposalArea?pID=298


Latest Edition of the SkyWay Code Published

Click to access Skyway_Code_v3_(CAP1535P).pdf

You can download it from here:



The Peoples Mosquito Project

An ambitious project to build a replica de Havilland DH.98 Mosquito in the UK.  Read about it here: Peoples Mosquito Project


CAA Medical System Change: You will need to register

The CAA have just introduced a new system for handling medical certificates.  Before your next medical, you must register on-line on the new ‘Cellma’ system.  As part of the registration process you must provide scans of identity documents.  You then need to fill out your medical history form on-line, and pay the CAA fee before you visit your AME.

See: https://www.caa.co.uk/medical/


How Flying is like Poker

I’m not a poker player; in fact I don’t even know the rules of poker. So why write a piece with that as the title? Well, through a tenuous thread of happenstance, I came across a book entitled “Thinking in Bets: Making smarter decisions when you don’t have all the facts” by Annie Duke, a successful professional poker player and, significantly, also a cognitive psychologist. I got the book as I have an interest in probabilistic reasoning (yes I’m retired, but once an academic…. Please bear with me here, I hope it will be worth it).

The author’s contention is that poker is more like life than say, chess. In a game of chess, at any moment, all the information required to make your next move is laid out on the board in front of you; nothing is hidden. However in poker (and life) you don’t have all the information and must come up with your next move on the basis of probabilities. This makes learning from your mistakes (and successes) problematic. Is the weather forecaster who gives an 80% probability that tomorrow will be dry when it turns out it rains, a bad forecaster? You can only really determine that in the long run over a whole series of forecasts.  Same thing applies to crucial life decision; was it skill or just luck?

So what Annie Duke’s book is about is, how to apply the lessons she has learned to improve her poker game to life decisions in general. It’s essentially working out what’s down to luck, and what’s down to skill, and improving the skill.

So, the link with flying. There is one compelling similarity between professional poker playing and flying: high-stakes decision making under severe time-constraints. For example, if the donkey up front starts misbehaving, you are going to have to make some probability based decision pretty quickly: carry-on/divert/precautionary landing, which will have the best likelihood of a successful outcome? And there are plenty of other sources of pressurised decision making in the air, and even on the ground. For a return flight you’ve been delayed by a storm: Have you really enough time to get back before nightfall? So how would what a professional poker player does help your decision making? Well here are a some techniques from the book that seem relevant to me and that I’m planning on utilising.

Moving regret in front of our decisions: Loosing evokes powerful emotions. Actually psychological research suggests that loosing feels twice as bad as winning feels good. To prevent over-optimism affecting decision making, consciously reflect on how you will feel if your decision turns out to be wrong. Think what would be written in the AAIB report; if it would embarrass you to read it, don’t do it!

Watch for the signs of tilt: In poker playing argot, tilt is the emotional state a player gets into when one bad outcome leads to a succession of rash decisions. It’s easier to see in others than yourself. You mishandle speed on approach that you are aware of and annoyed with yourself over. At the threshold a crosswind gust pushes you off line. You should go around but “I’m going to teach this damn aeroplane who’s boss!” and …

Ulysses contract: Named after Homer’s hero who has himself tied to the mast so that he can safely listen to the Sirens’ song. It involves pre-committing not to make a particular bad decision (in poker, chasing a loss, etc.) and if possible, putting barriers in the way to stop yourself (put a limit on your credit-card withdrawals). Perhaps you are planning to take a very keen friend flying. Rather than allowing yourself to be pressured into taking-off in marginal conditions, you spell out what the safe minima must be before you will even drive to the airfield.

Scenario planning: For all decisions, rigorously examining the alternatives, and thinking what could go wrong with each and what mitigation could be put in place, is an ideal. However, in decision making under time pressure, this is going to be difficult if not impossible to do. So do it before you come under pressure and then just enact what you have decided. This is actually commonplace in aviation with the concept of standard operating procedures – I’d just never though about them like that. Work out your own on the ground before you get into the aircraft. In flight planning, what will you do if your GPS fails/you don’t recognise a turning point, etc. Where are you going to go at different heights if you have an EFATO?  Scenario planning can be enhanced by collaboration with others, either through conversation, or even reading incident reports.

There are actually lots of other relevant insights in the book that can be applied to flying – and even life, but I’ll leave you to follow up on them:  Annie Duke, 2018, Thinking in Bets: Making smarter decisions when you don’t have all the facts. New York, Portfolio/Penguin.

Richard Griffiths

From Paul Riley: Interesting French Helicopter Project

I am in France at the moment but stumbled across an interesting aircraft project. 
This chap has taken a Robinson R22 airframe and installed a turbine engine from a Tornado fighter, it’s the auxiliary power unit APU made by Rolls Royce. 
He has been able to get the weight low enough it qualifies as a ultralight in France.

Here is a link to the project; thought the strut might like to see something different  https://cl02ulm.wixsite.com/cl02/a-propos


Restarting Flying – Yippeee!!!

Local flying instructor Finian Salter has put together a short video presentation on getting back in the air safely.  Well worth a watch:



Corona Virus Restrictions  There will be no club nights for the foreseeable future; we will inform you once the restrictions are lifted.

For the latest list of events, go to the Events page on the Strut website.  I’m including exhibitions and displays later in the year as they are announced; it’s nice to have something to look forward to – let’s hope they happen.