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The Lockdown Restrictions Have Been Relaxed. Who's Been Flying?

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David Davis13/05/2020 11:46:31
3782 forum posts
724 photos

The lockdown has been eased recently in my part of France providing we adopt certain precautions like wearing masks, maintaining social distance and not having more than ten on site at the same time, so three of us took advantage of a dry day yesterday to go flying. From left to right in the picture, Gerard van der Moelen, Your Humble Servant and Francois Dutreuil. Gerard flew his ARTF foamy, Francois his electric powered Baron and I chose my WOT 4 Mark 3 as it has the heaviest wing loading of any model I own and it was rather windy. It was an eBay purchase which I restored and covered in film off-cuts. It is powered by a Thunder Tiger 54 FS. None of us had flown since February.

three banditos.jpg

Gerard had already flown before I arrived but as I prepared the WOT 4 both Gerard and Francois were in the air. Then I heard a distinct snick and both models plummetted towards the ground. Gerard's model sustained a broken wing, Francois' a broken prop and cowling but was otherwise undamaged.

three banditos after no 1.jpg

I had not flown the WOT 4 for some considerable time and I had some difficulty in starting the engine. It turned out that the feed pipe to the carburetter has detached itself. Having connected it up I resolved to have one brief flight. With the engine running well and feeling slightly apprehensive I took off into the wind. I must have used too much rudder for the model veered to the right but didn't hit anything and soon I was looping, rolling and flying reversals, eights, Cubans, stall turns and spins. I remember thinking, "Who is this Christophe Paysant-le-Roux?" I decided on a stall turn followed by a three turn spin to the left. If I had left well enough alone at this stage all would have been well but I decided to do three spins to the right as well.
Precisely when the engine had cut I don't know but when I fed in down elevator and opened up the throttle there was no respose from the engine. I was also at fifty feet and flying down wind at speed. I felt that if I tried to turn it through 180 degrees and land it on the runway I would either run out of height or stall. The fields on each end of the runway are sown to spring wheat which is currently waist high, but they slope away in two directions. I chose to put it down in the crop but I had failed to allow for the efficiency of Mr Foss's wing and out of sight, the model glided over the fence of a local builder and crash landed in his yard.
three banditos after no 2.jpg
Actually it's not as bad as it looks. The firewall has popped but I wanted to change the engine anyway and put the Thunder Tiger in my Baron. It's more accessible now! The nylon bolts on the undercarriage and wing did their jobs so there's relatively little damage to the fuselage.
She'll fly again.
Happy Landings?
Robert Welford13/05/2020 12:01:19
205 forum posts
4 photos

Not a very successful flying session then!

A lesson for us all that we need to be a little more cautious when returning to flying after an extensive layoff.

We have a similar problem (but a more serious one) at my gliding club (same for all UK gliding) where many pilots haven't flown since last September and when (if) we are allowed to fly again 2-seater flying will not be an option because of social distancing (2m rule), so no training and no check flights.

Edited By Robert Welford on 13/05/2020 12:01:54

Edited By Robert Welford on 13/05/2020 12:13:18

Paul Marsh13/05/2020 12:09:58
4065 forum posts
1223 photos

When I fly again, just will take out some trainers an make sure I'm ok with them, as almost a year of proper flying is crazy.

Adrian Smith 113/05/2020 12:15:18
2472 forum posts
1273 photos

I intend flying on Friday. However, I will start off with one of my more benign aerobats as I am rather rusty. laugh

Edited By Adrian Smith 1 on 13/05/2020 12:15:37

Geoff S13/05/2020 12:26:50
3694 forum posts
29 photos

It's surprising how often mid-airs happen when only 2 aircraft are flying. I've only had a couple and one of those was whe there were only 2 of us in the air - fortunately I managed to land my Contact 140 but the wing ws sufficiently damged to justfy buying a replacement from Dave Smith Models.

A more spectacular mid-air happened at the club a couple of years ago when our chairman and our treasurer were flying 1/3 scale WW1 bipes. They hit head on right over the runway with the obvious anount of carnage - expensive carnage, too!

Looks like David and his clubmates had flying rebirth of fire. When I eventually pluck up the courage to venture to the airfield (I'm giving it a couple of weeks at least) I'll bear his experience in mind.


Brian Cooper13/05/2020 12:39:29
565 forum posts
27 photos

I went flying this morning.

It felt sooooooooo good. yes


Steve Colman13/05/2020 13:00:46
786 forum posts
457 photos

My club here in Spain has notified members that we can go flying again along similar lines to those of David's club. However, we're required to give 24h notice; maximum of 15 at any one time, social distancing of 2m plus a few other simple and sensible restrictions/requirements.

I have booked my place for tomorrow!

Nigel R13/05/2020 13:13:58
3981 forum posts
714 photos

I'll be taking a foamie or two for the first session back. Warm the thumbs up with something easily fixed!

Flyer13/05/2020 13:24:33
622 forum posts
108 photos

Still in lock down in Wales !! crying 2

Engine Doctor13/05/2020 13:45:41
2530 forum posts
39 photos

We decided to keep our field closed . The relaxation of the rules is aimed at people from the same household or one other person from a different household with social distancing . And then all toilet have to be kept close sanitizer used when opening and closing gates etc. So many hoops to jump through so com decided to keep closed until next review in three weeks . Very frustrating but with over 100 members how do you limit numbers on field and police all the requirements etc ?

What are other clubs doing ? Most of our local clubs seem to be staying closed.

Peter Miller13/05/2020 13:45:47
11211 forum posts
1321 photos
10 articles

A couple of us are planning to fly on FRiday.

There may be some more on Sunday.

Anthony Scott 213/05/2020 13:59:08
102 forum posts
9 photos

Windy & cold in E Kent today but Friday onwards looking tempting

John Lee13/05/2020 14:09:58
763 forum posts
86 photos
Posted by Engine Doctor on 13/05/2020 13:45:41:


What are other clubs doing ? Most of our local clubs seem to be staying closed.

3 hours mowing this morning followed by 3 flights, all solo. Members must book a flying slot, max 2 Member at any one time but you can book a slot for solo use. All usual precautions of course.

Our Webmaster was hot off the mark & has embedded a calendar provided free by Bravenet in the Club's webpage. Members can book a slot online & it is visible to all.

It's been very well received by all Members. We are only a small Club but with over 15 hours daylight now even large clubs should be able to reach some accommodation.

Edited By John Lee on 13/05/2020 14:11:22

john stones 113/05/2020 15:20:19
11592 forum posts
1517 photos

Day off, slept in, winds picking up for weekend, Gallic (Yorkshire) shrug.

Tim Flyer13/05/2020 17:20:00
1295 forum posts
236 photos

Our club opened today . There was no mad rush and good social distancing was observed

We are not choosing to book slots for members as we feel it is not needed and would be impractical as there are huge differences in plane set up times and reliability

If we had members booking slots we might risk having an empty flight line . At our club we have never had to queue to fly and members are kind enough give others plenty of space

We have a large area and members have close by parking facilities . We do not have padlocked gates and access is via a farm road track.

We have limited club house access to one person at a time we also spaced our flying tables further apart .


Edited By Tim Flyer on 13/05/2020 17:20:23

Brian Cooper13/05/2020 17:20:49
565 forum posts
27 photos

After the morning flying session, I came home for some lunch.

I went out again this afternoon. The wind was picking up but it was only blowing at about 15 - 20 mph. . Another great session.

It certainly feels good to be outside for more than just a walk around the neighbourhood. yes


Edited By Brian Cooper on 13/05/2020 17:22:14

fly boy313/05/2020 17:32:15
3688 forum posts
22 photos

I,m with Flyer, I too live in Wales.

Geoff S13/05/2020 17:41:03
3694 forum posts
29 photos

I had an email from the club secretary that the field was open for use with the proviso that we keep 2 metres apart in the pits as well as flying. The club hut will remain closed. It won't be too difficult to extend the usual pit area depending on wind direction.

At least the relaxation has encouraged me to continue completing my Pup which has been in abeyance mainly because I'm not sure how to achieve some of the scheme featured but partly because it didn't seem to be very urgent.

I had a short bike ride this afternoon as a blister has made my usual 4 mile walk a bit uncomfortable. It was cold enough for longs, full gloves and my winter jacket (albeit just with a thermal vest underneath). Despite a few steep climbs I didn't overheat. It would have been decidedly chilly at the Ashbourne airfield, which is very exposed so I think I made the right decision.


Stuphedd13/05/2020 17:47:09
709 forum posts
374 photos

windy , most blue in the sky , perfect for a bit of fast flying .at midday ! After mowing !

gosh it felt good !

still smiling ! several hours later , and some what exhausted smiley

Keith Sharples13/05/2020 17:52:12
154 forum posts
2 photos

I'm with Flyer and Flyboy 3. I'm in Wales and still on lockdown.

The little grumble is the club field is about 5 miles into England, all of the members live in England, I'm the only one in the club that lives in Wales and then it's one mile in.

Hay Ho, still have time to finish some new models.

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