Date: 23/4/2015

Time: 17:20 - 17:55 (16:20 - 16:55 GMT)

Aircraft: EuroFOX - G-UFOX

Quickie with Dave G

I haven't flown for 4 weeks, due to weather, a family holiday and doing the airframe service last week. The forecast for this weekend also looks rubbish, so I decide to slip out of work early tonight, just to get my feet off the ground. This works out well, as tonight we are having a farewell do for Gerry, so I can go flying and to the pub on the way back. Another bonus, is that I am on my bike today and I pick a route to the airfield that I haven't been before (past Tweezledown) - quite enjoyed that ride.

When I get to the airfield, I find George is sat in his MW5 and has the engine running, so he has clearly got the new head fitted and fixed it. He has tied the chassis down to a chain tie-down. Good to see such progress - the wings next. After prepping the aircraft, I go up to the clubhouse to get my old entry keyfob exchanged for the newer swipe card. I meet Dave Greenly and he hasn't got anything else on, so he decides to come up with me - he was kind enough to take me up in his Bolkow the other day. However, I can't find our spare headset - it isn't in the box where it should be. Dave borrows one of the club headsets.

On engine start, I switch on the radio - there is a huge amount of background noise which is a bit worrying. I ask Dave to try pulling his microphone plug out - the noise disappears. The Pooleys headset is rubbish and can only be calmed by holding your hand round the entire microphone. Ah well.

After warm-up we trundle round to the threshold of runway 08 and take off. Climbing up, we turn to the north and after gaining height, I give Dave a go. He has tried a EuroFOX before, but not our one. He is enjoying himself and then asks if I like throwing it around. I take control and do a bit of rollercoaster and we can get negative G on the crests. Then I do a few steep-banked turns for more fun. Dave has control back - the significantly less mass/inertia compared to his Bolkow is evident in the rate the speed bleeds off when pulling up.

Eventually, we turn back to the airfield, as Dave needs to get back for this evenings festivities that he has arranged. We join overhead for 08; the windsocks show virtually no wind. As I descend, I am heading back towards the live-side and I can feel that something is wrong - it feels lower than the altimeter is showing. Bugger - for some strange reason I only took 10 millibars off, instead of 20. No matter - I detected it and corrected for it. Someone else is in the circuit, so for safety I am forced to do the big GA circuit - very rare that I have done this for 08. We have had a conversation about how slippy the EuroFOX is, and yet it has a lower glide ratio compared to the C-42. On final approach Dave thinks that I have started the glide too soon, yet even then I have to do some minor side-slipping. I guess there is little wind, so the ground speed is a little higher when I touch down.

After washing the plane down, I eventually find our spare headset on the desk - right next to where we go the horrible Pooleys one. I replace it into our box.

I have a chat to Steve, who has his bike there today, so when we are ready, we ride off to the pub together.

All round, only a brief flight, but a lovely afternoon.

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