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  1. #11
    Captain Randombloke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Halibut View Post
    What news?
    You need to look here:

    http://www.micro-trike.co.uk/wordpress/
    Steve U.
    PG, HG & microlights
    "Weekend bimbler, day to day car driver & genuinely undeserving Southern oik who has never done anything of any worth"

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    Gentreau (02-11-19)


  3. #12
    Captain Roger Mole's Avatar
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    Hi all, sorry for not keeping things updated on here but after giving up and returning to France on 25 October we've been suffering in France from the same appalling weather that you have. In the three weeks that I waited in the UK for a weather window to fly what is now 24ZN over, it wasn't possible to get suitable weather on both sides of the Channel at the same time and I can't take the risk of doing the crossing and then getting stranded somewhere in France with the aircraft in the open and getting battered by high winds.

    Since I got back I've continued to watch for an opportunity but nothing much has changed and as it looks as though the weather is going to remain unsettled at best, I've now modified my plans to cut what was going to be a leisurely 3 day flight back to 2. My original thinking was that when I did the flight 7 years ago in G-MYRO, my old AX3, I was able to do it in 2 days partly because Abbeville, which is on the way south, was the port of entry into France. Now for non-transponder aircraft it's Calais which means going north before heading south adding time to the flight - maybe only 45-60 minutes if you can get a quick turn-round there, but enough to make day 1 a bit too long in a slower 2-stroke aircraft because as well as losing Abbeville, my original day 1 stop-over has also gone. This was Wanafly, the marvellous school north of Limoges run by Dave and Amanda Lord who have now returned to the UK and which many members on here have flown into. As a result of losing Wanafly, I originally decided to make a night stop further south at Bellac, but the extra distance meant starting the day in France rather than the UK.

    Therefore my original plan was day 1, Headcorn to Abbeville via Calais, day 2, Abbeville to Bellac and day 3, Bellac to Chateau Malbec, my home airfield. But as I said earlier, I've now decided to cut the 3 days back to 2 which if the wind plays ball should be possible because (a) the X-Air is 5 kmh faster than the AX3 and (b) previously I started from Stoke which is twice as far from the Channel as Headcorn is, effectively negating the Abbeville/Calais factor.

    But that still left me with a new day 1 overnight problem and my first thought was to stop over at Le Blanc, north of Limoges and the old Wanafly airfield and some way north of Bellac. The airfield there has a good firm runway as it's mainly Group A and it also has fuel available, although I think I'd be lucky to find anyone there to supply it to me at this time of the year. Certainly when I passed by a few weeks ago (late Aug, early Sep) when I flew up to the UK in my Savannah, it was deserted both times. However, my searches uncovered a small private hotel not far from the airfield by taxy where I could overnight and also pick up 20 litres of fuel, which is all I'd need, as there's a service station only 200 metres from it.

    And that was where I was at up to 24 hours ago when Clive/Gentreau came up with an even better plan, which is to stop over at Montmorillon which is within spitting distance of the old Wanafly base. Didier runs a school for instructors there and not only is there fuel on site but also a caravan that visitors can use. As we've only just got our internet back today after having our electricity cut for over 26 hours as a result of high winds, I'm going to be contacting him tomorrow and I'll keep the forum posted on the situation as it looks as though the wild Jetstream, which is the cause of all of our weather problems just now, may be easing a bit in the second half of November with there being a possible window in the second half of next week.

    If so, as 24ZN is ready and waiting and all ready to go, I'll be dashing back to the UK this weekend-ish but this time by car. That will allow me to take a lot of stuff with me that I couldn't when I flew up on Ryanair, including such luxuries as my video kit. I'll then be able to fly 24ZN over with minimal unnecessary baggage as I'll be leaving my car and the extra stuff at my family's home in Kent. Once 24ZN is safely esconced in its new home, I'll then be able to fly back to the UK at my convenience by Ryanair, probably enjoying Christmas with my family before heading back in my car around New Year. Luckily I've got a second car here that I'll be able to use in the meantime before I do.

    So there you have it. The weather is making planning devilishly complicated but one thing's for sure. There's no way that I'm going to take any kind of risk and if it means waiting a while longer until I'm absolutely sure, so be it.

    BTW, when everything's all done and dusted, I'll go through and explain in full the process that I had to follow to export the X-Air from the UK to France.

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    Gentreau (05-11-19)


  5. #13
    Captain Roger Mole's Avatar
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  6. #14
    Captain Roger Mole's Avatar
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    Just got off the phone after a phone call to ATC at Le Touquet. Those guys are so helpful. Le Touquet is in Class D airspace so a transponder is mandatory. However, they have agreed that so long as I don't want to go in when traffic is heavy eg at the weekend, I can enter in 24ZN which is not so equipped (unlike my Savannah) at the discretion of the controller on duty. They suggest that contacting Le Touquet tower ASAP will be OK (and if I'm refused, which I doubt at this time of year I'll have to go into Calais instead) and they also suggest that I phone the controller direct before taking off from Headcorn and have given me their direct number.

    This will be a great help as it means that I wouldn't have to go north into Calais before going south and will save me quite a lot of time which is very valuable while the weather is so unpredictable and the days are shorter. So good news.

    Pity that I wouldn't get Calais into my log book but I can live with that - for another time maybe


  7. #15
    Captain Roger Mole's Avatar
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    Oh dear, things are getting a bit butt clenching. The X-Air has to be moved out of the barn where it's currently hangared because the owner wants to fit a new shutter in its front with a restricted width. So it'll have to go outside probably this Saturday just as some more wind and rain is forecast. Luckily it has outdoor covers but it's concerning insofar as having checked that it's airworthy for its Channel crossing I would have preferred it to remain inside.

    I've also just got off the phone with Didier at Montmorillon and he says that the airfield is currently waterlogged and too dangerous to land on right now and he won't know whether it'll be possible to do so during the coming week until Monday.

    I'd prefer to move the aircraft away from the place where it's currently stored because there's very little shelter there if it's outdoors so I've now got to find somewhere suitable on the assumption that I'll be able to take off from there on Saturday, possibly Headcorn but I've got other ideas. As was suggested, Lydd would be a possibilty as it's got a hard runway and possible overnight hangarage but it would become a very expensive option if the aircraft had to stay there for several days. Also, it's quite a long way from where I'll be staying in the UK.

    This is becoming a real headache as this appalling weather continues


  8. #16
    Co-Pilot jetlag's Avatar
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    Is stripping her down and trailering her back not an option?
    F-JRIB LF1751 Corme Ecluse

    Today is the tomorrow you worried about yesterday.

    Phil.


  9. #17
    Captain Roger Mole's Avatar
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    Morning Phil, I'd prefer not to. The wing covers are pretty immaculate right now and bearing in mind how old they are, I know from experience that when they've been removed and refitted, they never go back as well as they were. Also, it's quite a large beast to trailer, especially on the ferry if the tail is left on and removing it creates more problems. I've made a few calls this morning and there's light at the end of the tunnel as I've got a couple of places that I can shift it to where it can wait in secure surroundings until there's a weather window and I can stay in the UK with my family for as long as it takes within reason. Sadly it will have to be left outside though, but it needn't be the end of the world so long as I can inspect it and test fly it, which I will be able to at the new location(s), at my leisure before I do the flight over.


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