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Thread: Ex-Pat X-Air

  1. #11
    Captain Roger Mole's Avatar
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    Yes, your comments are very fair Steve. I'm certainly not trying to suggest that it's all roses over here, far from it, but I would certainly find it very difficult to return from where I now live to where I used to. But I guess that's true of most of the ex-pats like me because for the most part we all choose somewhere like the Dordogne to retire to precisely because of the reasons I've described.

    The other thing which I wasn't going to mention because it doesn't affect everyone is that my experience of the French health-care system was streets ahead of what I know to be the case in the UK for the sort of problem that I had, although some are suggesting that that may not continue indefinitely as budgets are coming under ever more pressure on this side of the Channel. Even so, I can't see things like waiting times ever getting as bad as they are in the UK especially for procedures involving more serious conditions.

    Funnily enough, yesterday I received a letter from gov.uk about health care provisions after Brexit and hopefully it looks as though although I may have to apply for a 'carte de séjour' (residency permit) which I never have done up to now, things will continue in that department very much as now as I have had a Carte Vitale from the day I moved here. Hopefully the adults will come to the table very soon and after proper discussions, very little will change in the future re the UK's general relationship with the EU members. But it'll all come out in the wash eventually.

    Martin, I had to smile ruefully when I saw your post about dog mess. It's one thing the French have a blind spot about. When I had my old dog who I brought to France with me and took back to the UK a couple of times on the ferry, I used to let him out on 'waste ground' near the ferry terminal for a last pee before boarding. The area was close to a block of flats and it was almost impossible to walk with him because of the huge amounts of dog mess that were there from the flat residents taking their dogs there to relieve themselves. Very few people pick up either in the towns.
    Last edited by Roger Mole; 29-09-19 at 10:41 AM.


  2. #12
    Co-Pilot Martin Watson's Avatar
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    Lovely looking Xair, Roger. I'm a great fan of the type.
    Serious question: is the mudguard on the nosewheel the right way round? It looks back to front to me. It's not of huge importance, obviously, but it would annoy me looking like that.
    Martin
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    Fixed wing instruction, examinations and revalidations in Norfolk.


  3. #13
    Captain Roger Mole's Avatar
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    I agree Martin, it's a bit crock*-eyed. I suspect that much like the nose wheel mudguard on my French Weedhopper, it came undrilled and the original builder drilled it with its leading edge too far forward. I was able to trim my Weedhopper one back to make it look better but the Xair's one has a curved edge and it wouldn't be possible to do that without affecting its appearance. So I'll have to live with it but you're quite right. Otherwise the builder did a great job with the finishing detail being very good. It has an electric fuel pump which I am definitely not a fan of. It's just extra weight and it starts easily after just a few pumps of the hand primer and as I've never heard of a Mikuni failing in flight (you always get a warning over weeks if not months that its on the way out) I'll probably be taking it out.

    The other good thing is that as a result of my searches as advised by Rand Kar to locate a serial number which they originally applied on each cover in indelible ink but which wasn't there, I now know that the covers have been replaced since new. I didn't know that before as there was no paperwork to that effect. My pal acquired it in 2008 and as it was built in 1999, the covers must have been changed not long before that. As it has hardly been flown since then and he's had it under Top Flight outdoor covers since then, much of the time in a hangar, the covers are more or less pristine except for a small area behind the engine which has faded a bit as it wasn't covered. It also puts into perspective the comment that 'It'll be the last time that the covers get through permit inspection', but that's water under the bridge.

    * spelling altered to avoid being censored
    Last edited by Roger Mole; 29-09-19 at 11:12 AM.


  4. #14
    Co-Pilot jetlag's Avatar
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    Roger, for once I'm trying to keep my gob shut !!!! quietly and smiling to myself I have to agree with you. The French have a saying "moins tu en dis mieux tu te portes" similar to "least said soonest mended" and that is so with all in France. Almost all things are "declarative" meaning simply you says it's OK, it's OK, but, if the brown stuff hits the fan and there is an underlying falsehood ..... oh dear.

    I can't comment on the differences between GB and FR never having flown in GB, but I hear/read the tales. There are many dedicated resident GB flyers who visit our adopted home and opinions would probably provide a more balanced view than my "I love flying in France" view.

    Off piste a little, I've only gone and done it Roger ..... I'm now the proud owner of a kit French Deluc Autogire, have to talk very very nicely to 'er indoors aka the accountant to try and keep both of my birds ... fingers crossed.


  5. #15
    Captain Roger Mole's Avatar
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    A quick update. New registration received and all buttoned up this morning. A quick and relatively painless process after we'd sorted out my misunderstanding of the rules relating to the need for a copy of the original 'fiche d'identification' supplied by RandKar with the kit back in 1999. Only 20€ for the registration and 200€ for the copy of the fiche but the latter not highly significant in the long term scheme of things I guess. Mind you, I'll be miffed if my pal who I bought the aircraft off has missed seeing the original in the aircraft's paperwork file!

    So I'll be winging my way courtesy of Ryanair this coming Friday from Bergerac to London Stansted bringing with me new carb rubbers, new fuel pump mount rubbers, some plugs, some self-adhesive grey dacron tape and my life jacket. Two new 20 litre plastic jerricans are awaiting my arrival to be filled with 50:1 for my flight over. I'll then be giving the aircraft a thorough check over after which I'll be taking the first weather window opportunity to do the crossing. My GAR exit and Schengen arrival forms are ready and waiting on my phone to be popped off together with my flightplan, my excel spreadsheet for my route only needs the wind info to be added and my route is plugged into my tablet and my phone for backup.

    So it's all systems go!


  6. #16
    Co-Pilot Martin Watson's Avatar
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    Awesome! Best of luck with the ferry flight.
    Martin
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    Fixed wing instruction, examinations and revalidations in Norfolk.


  7. #17
    Captain Roger Mole's Avatar
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    Thanks Martin. I'll keep everyone posted on how things go. I've been told by my family that the week following my arrival is going to be gale-force winds and rain so I could be staying over for a week or so. But whatever happens I'll not be taking any chances and certainly won't be going for it if the weather's anything like it was last time with the Savannah. As we all know only too well, the Channel can be deceptively treacherous for unsuspecting aviators.


  8. #18
    Captain Randombloke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roger Mole View Post
    The other thing which I wasn't going to mention because it doesn't affect everyone is that my experience of the French health-care system was streets ahead of what I know to be the case in the UK for the sort of problem that I had, although some are suggesting that that may not continue indefinitely as budgets are coming under ever more pressure on this side of the Channel. Even so, I can't see things like waiting times ever getting as bad as they are in the UK especially for procedures involving more serious conditions.
    The French system is better funded and has much shorter waiting times, and post operative care is in place much sooner to shorten recovery times in case of muscular or skeletal injuries.

    There is, however, a fundamental philosophical difference between the UK & France, as I understand it, in that the UK system is free at the point of use, whereas the French system offers those entitled to healthcare a huge discount (70-75%?) with the rest either covered personally or by insurance.

    As a footnote, most people I know with a UK background who are working in France did the Carte de Séjour (CdS) before the last Brexit date which didn't happen.

    Quote Originally Posted by Roger Mole View Post
    It has an electric fuel pump which I am definitely not a fan of. It's just extra weight and it starts easily after just a few pumps of the hand primer and as I've never heard of a Mikuni failing in flight (you always get a warning over weeks if not months that its on the way out) I'll probably be taking it out.
    My experience with this is that any problems (and I've had them) are caused by the wrong fuel filter, tired hoses, or trapped air. A refurbished Mikuni pump on an X-Air will run to the maximum allowed fuel pressure at maximum revs. If you've got a fuel pressure gauge, I'd ditch the electric pump, if you haven't, I'd think twice or fit a gauge with the usual restrictor T-piece up at carb level.

    Also, a fuel pump refurb is one of the easiest things you'll ever do...

    Quote Originally Posted by jetlag View Post
    Roger, for once I'm trying to keep my gob shut !!!! quietly and smiling to myself I have to agree with you. The French have a saying "moins tu en dis mieux tu te portes" similar to "least said soonest mended" and that is so with all in France. Almost all things are "declarative" meaning simply you says it's OK, it's OK, but, if the brown stuff hits the fan and there is an underlying falsehood ..... oh dear.
    I've done two visits to French microlight manufacturers, both flexwing. France has more freedom but with freedom comes responsibility. If you've declared something, then that's where the buck stops.

    OTOH, one of the side effects of certification by an authority is that if an issue arises, you can hide behind the certification to say there's nothing wrong with it, and that someone in authority said so. When I was doing airworthiness for the BHPA, there were a couple of times when a problem arose that needed sorting, but the vendor/UK importer or the manufacturer hid behind certification for responsibility and/or moaned that changes would have to be re-certified.

    Quote Originally Posted by Roger Mole View Post
    My GAR exit and Schengen arrival forms are ready and waiting on my phone to be popped off together with my flightplan, my excel spreadsheet for my route only needs the wind info to be added and my route is plugged into my tablet and my phone for backup.

    So it's all systems go!
    All the best for a safe crossing!!
    Steve U.
    PG, HG & microlights
    "Weekend bimbler, day to day car driver & genuinely undeserving Southern oik who has never done anything of any worth"


  9. #19
    Co-Pilot Halibut's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roger Mole View Post
    A quick update. New registration received and all buttoned up this morning. A quick and relatively painless process after we'd sorted out my misunderstanding of the rules relating to the need for a copy of the original 'fiche d'identification' supplied by RandKar with the kit back in 1999. Only 20€ for the registration and 200€ for the copy of the fiche but the latter not highly significant in the long term scheme of things I guess. Mind you, I'll be miffed if my pal who I bought the aircraft off has missed seeing the original in the aircraft's paperwork file!

    So I'll be winging my way courtesy of Ryanair this coming Friday from Bergerac to London Stansted bringing with me new carb rubbers, new fuel pump mount rubbers, some plugs, some self-adhesive grey dacron tape and my life jacket. Two new 20 litre plastic jerricans are awaiting my arrival to be filled with 50:1 for my flight over. I'll then be giving the aircraft a thorough check over after which I'll be taking the first weather window opportunity to do the crossing. My GAR exit and Schengen arrival forms are ready and waiting on my phone to be popped off together with my flightplan, my excel spreadsheet for my route only needs the wind info to be added and my route is plugged into my tablet and my phone for backup.

    So it's all systems go!
    Sounds brilliant. Good luck!
    We've gone on holiday by mistake


  10. #20
    Captain Roger Mole's Avatar
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    Thanks gents. Biggest problem is Ryanair's bag restriction - I hope I won't be staying over too long because after the stuff I need to bring with me for the aircraft I can hardly bring any personal items


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