Time: 13:40 - 14:15 (12:40 - 13:15 GMT)
Aircraft: EuroFOX - G-UFOX
It's time for our annual inspection for our permit validation renewal. We have been trying to get this organised for a while, but have been thwarted by weather and poor organisation. Finally today we can get it done, which is not before time as our existing permit runs out on Wednesday.
The plan is to fly her to Redlands and meet our inspector (Toby Willcox) there. To make a nice day of it too, Tom and I will be taking the EuroFOX and George is taking his MW5. However, before we go, we have a few jobs to do, including making a start on the hangar flooring.
Eventually, we are fuelled and ready. George has already left as he is somewhat slower than us. I am flying the outbound leg and after warmup, I lineup on 03 and takeoff. We head northwest. Whilst chatting the subject of the peculiar folly on the hill, just to the south of Highclear Castle (Downton Abbey) comes up. I deviate to show it to Tom. Then onwards past Hungerford, Membury and on towards Swindon.
The approach to Redlands should always be from the north, so I go up to the railway line, turn west, then south to the airfield. A quick call to ensure there is no parachuting at the moment. However, for some reason, it is always a surprise, how close the airfield is to the railway, and I have to sideslip to shake some height off quickly as I approach the "twin barns" landmark. I think that every time I have been to Redlands before I have always landed on a 24 runway and for a stupid moment I start to turn for that runway, before realising we should be on 06 and quickly turning in the correct direction. A reasonable approach and landing on the longer northern runway.
We park next to George, who has just arrived. We start to remove the seats, seat tub and cowlings and soon we are joined by Toby. He starts to crawl all over the plane with a very keen eye. Once again, we find ourselves in the nervous parent feeling. We get some tea and bacon butties. Once those parts are finished we start refitting the seats and then the cowling. Then he's off for the test-flight stage. He takes off on the short runway and we watch it in the distance swinging around - it looks like he is enjoying himself.
After the paperwork, we are done and we prepare to go home. Tom has the left seat for this and he too takes off on the short runway. On the way, we go and have a look at the Uffington Horse, which I haven't visited for a while. Then basically straight back home, join downwind and land on 03.
All went pretty well, except for the exhaust silencer which appears to have developed a crack around one of the ports, so we strip it down and remove the silencer to take away and get it welded.
So good news and a nice flight/day too.
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