Jump to content

Uh-oh! The UK (and Europe's) airspace just got a bit more dangerous!


Recommended Posts

No, it wasn't the arrival of Donald to Ol' Blighty's shores! It is much... much... much worse.. Despite an ex-RAF fast jet pilot, test pilot and fast jet instructor evaluating me, I have been cleared to fly the new syndicate aircraft I have just bought into.. A superb TB20GT. I know that amongst a lot of you who may even be bothered readinf these pages, this is a floppy jalopy (galopy); a go-go-mobile with wings.. and you look at me at disdain with sticking to ICAO CoA types rather than the pure flying of RAA/LAA types. And I know a Vans can go a bit faster (hmmm.. maybe I should rethink this again)..

 

But.... What an aircraft she (or for those of gender fluidity, it) is! 7 Hour endurance will beat my bladder endurance; by as much as 6 hours and 30 minutes! 235HP feels like 235 horses pulling it thorugh the air at a great rate of knots, yet able to carry 5 (well, room enough for four adults and either a model or young child), lots of fuel and some baggage (oi! The partner doesn't fly with me.. she's too smart!)

 

Quite simply, this is a go places aircraft that is built to take the punsishment I can meter out to it. Now, I can hear Jim Davis (Davies?), previously of Aussie Flyer writing fame but now retired in Africa somewhere reaching to dial +61 000, because I don't know much about hydraulics or pumping the backup gear extension system when the thing goes mammaries up (or more accurately, stays wheels up) - and he is sure I am going to drive it into what will become a smoking hole (he may be right). But the beauty is... there is a simple lever one pulls to dump the hydraulic pressure as it is hydraulic pressure that holds ithe wheels up - all the time. Dump the hydraulic pressure and the wheels fall down and lock - simples - no more winding, pumping or pulling (sounds like a swingers party) and losing control of the aircraft as one can't aviate while attempting to get enough pressure on the hyrdraulic line to flop the wheels down.

 

And for the gadget afficiondo (sp?), there is a lot to admire. It has almost everything a moden, quasi-airline piliot wannabe wants.. I am not going to use half of it - for a long time - but that is not why I bought into the group; this is a sleek, stylish and reasonably high performance aircraft that does throw you into the back of your seat a little when you pump the fuel through the injectors. Oddly, I have always had to initially start with left rudder before applying right - not sure if that is gryoscopic forces of the three-bladed Hartzel (I assume) prop kicking in before the helix. And, for going to the French part of the Contintent, it is perfect; I will definitely get priority ATC handling over other British (now vermin as far as the EU is concerned) pilots in lesser (read non-French) marques... And, since my partner doesn't fly with me, it will be "ooh la la" with the local grannies on the incontinent.

 

But, being French, it is designed beautifully, but in some ways impractical. The step onto the wing is narrow due to the wide flap - but lifting those gull wing doors means someone of even my short stature has to step back and I did feel the top skin of the flap press down with my left foot (will never make that mistake again). Retractable undercarriages on a low-wing - yuk! I don't want to have to test the emergrency gear release, so I have to literally lie down on oil-stained concrete to give the gear a good inspection.. The seats are uber luxurious and have a million different settings; and when you're in a syndicate of more than one, adjusting after the last punter can be a chore. The seatbelts across the lap don't adjust easily.. And the starting sequence of that lycosaurus is resplendent of a joining ritual of the freemasons or some such fraternity - lots of arms flaling and hand/finger wriggling. The official POH checklists are plain wrong and have gaps wide enough to drive a truck through (the instructor said they were designed as a guide and for or one to engage one's brain!!). And, while the gull wing doors are elegant and give the air of that 60's or 70's Merc, if one happens to flip on a forced landing or ditching, they will be an absolute pain to open - ours has had the magic mod, which means kicking out the back window is not an easy option as those who have yet to have the magic mod (whatever it is.. something about widening the doors).

 

Yet, these are minor nitpicking things - well except for the one about not being able to get out of an upturned aircraft - and the checklist is devoid of opening the hatches during a foced landing. It has the range in economy cruise to get from the wrong side of London to Paphos (Pafos) in Cyrprus - in still air and economy cruise - minus statutory fuels reserves. It has a very wide cabin - no more rubbing shoulders with your pax; it is extememly well behaved in all practiced stall configurations; As a tourer, it is not as responsive as, say, a Chippie, but one of the syndicate pilots showed me how it can be turned on its wingtip at almost 90 degrees and still hold its height - very impressive (if a somewhat excessive manouvre (sp?)). It also has a nice demonstrated x-wnd component of 20kts and the checkflight was using about 18 - gusting a little higher - of them.

 

My plan... I have it booked out for another hour of circuits to get myself used to it without the right hand seat advising me what to do. Then, I am going to enjoy it VFR and ignore the advanced gadgetry for a while - 23"/2300RPM at about 135kts should keep me happy for a while until I am really happy with myself and have made the move from C172/PA28s to it. Then, as it is N reg and we have a few FAA training schools here, so the FAA/IR (getting the piggy back licence as I write). Then... bank account drained and time for a second job ;-)...

 

Excited! You bet!

 

 

  • Like 4
Link to post
Share on other sites

Never flown the Trinidad, but had a fair bit of time in the Tobago (wheels welded down version and slightly less power) lovely to fly and everyone, back seaters as well can see down past the wing, unlike the Warrior! Always felt a bit like flying in a French brothel with all the purple velvet trim. As for the wheels falling down when it loses hydraulics, Piper introduced that on the Arrow round about 1960, it was supposed to be impossible to land gear up. It was however, possible to kill a mechanic (or nearly!) because when we jacked it up and retracted the undercarriage to inspect doors etc and turned the master off, as had previously been our habit, the wheels dropped with a massive thump, scaring the poop out of the poor mechanic lying underneath! I was the unfortunate apprentice who received the brunt of his anger until he discovered what had happened. Anyway, sorry for the saga, sure you will love flying it but just keep an eye out for corrosion.

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Actually, you'd think belly landing the TB20 would be impossible as well.. But that is what happened to the one I bought into - google N20TB and read the AAIB (UK version of ATSB) report. It is the reason why a vacancy in the syndicate came up. Not much damage to the plane, but of course, dug the prop in and the engine had to be rebuilt (zero-timed) thanks to shock loading.

 

Although the AAIB report goes into the main reason why - a failure to double check - the real problem I am told by a reliable source is that because the gear up warning horn sounnds so similar to the stall warner horn, the pilot thought the stall warner was going off and therefore was applying power at the time... Bit of a shame and I feel for the poor buggah.

 

But it is all rebuilt - but not painted. The synidcate has decided to use the insurance money for painting the underside of the plane as part payment of a full bare metal respray - we will have to kick in a few hundred pounds each to make up the shortfall - but as I understand, it includes some anti-corrosion treatment as well.

 

Next flight is scheduled on the 18th; my medical expires today and, although I had an appointment a few weeks ago, I had to bin it because of work and the next available appointment is the 17th. I could have found another AME, but these blokes still do CASA medicals despite the administrative changes. Wx permitting, after an hour of circuits, I will be taking it down to Somerset (where I apparently live) for the night and the 19th I will be taking a colleague who has been bugging me for a joyflight and after that, back down to Somerset.

 

I will be UK bound for a while, waiting for my US piggy back licence to come through, so I am planning a flight up to Liverpool and then another to Unst (believed to be the most northern airfield in the UK... And of course, to the Scilly Isles - to the very south west... Pictures below.

 

Untitled.jpg.4e03ee746097853b3d7096b0c814d539.jpg

 

scillyisles.jpg.9940cad80541a9a5dda2fbdbd75ef8d0.jpg

 

Mr Perry (and anyone else in the UK or coming to the UK) - once I am totally at home flying it, you are most welcome to come along for a flight.

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

@derekliston - I have had a few hours in the TB10 as well - an absolutely fantastic marque. The extra 55 hp in the TB20 are a dream come try.. it is the first GA type I have flown that pushes you into the back of the seat.. I know it is not the only one...

 

I almost bought a TB10 outright, but SWMBO decided the money could have been spent on better things - her!

 

Oh, yeah... The seats are blue leather.. with armrests! With my warped sense of humour, I think I may have preferred purple velvet with a fluffy-dice air freshener.

Link to post
Share on other sites

@derekliston - I have had a few hours in the TB10 as well - an absolutely fantastic marque. The extra 55 hp in the TB20 are a dream come try.. it is the first GA type I have flown that pushes you into the back of the seat.. I know it is not the only one...

 

I almost bought a TB10 outright, but SWMBO decided the money could have been spent on better things - her!

 

Oh, yeah... The seats are blue leather.. with armrests! With my warped sense of humour, I think I may have preferred purple velvet with a fluffy-dice air freshener.

The ones I flew were , I think 1989 models. From memory, seats were leather but trim was purple velvet. Memory could be wrong though, last flew one more than 15 yrs ago!

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 4 months later...

Is it based at Jandakot, Northam or somewhere else? Is it more or less tatty or does it look like a major job to get airborne again, or does it look beyind repair? There is an old Seminole at an airfiueld here which is obviously beyond repair and has been for a long time, but someone is still paying the parking..

 

Will visit the a/c tomorrow to retrieve an ipad and take some more photos of my beasty babe,.

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Speaking of abandoned aircraft, it's hard to say if this aircraft is being overgrown, or if there is a strip of uncut crop between the aircraft and the camera.

 

449629841_VH-GKYCessna337SkymasterYBSS20130114.thumb.JPG.fab5ad906e68bf9f9f5a79cfe5ef1cfa.JPG

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
Is it based at Jandakot, Northam or somewhere else? Is it more or less tatty or does it look like a major job to get airborne again, or does it look beyind repair? 

 

Sitting on a spare lot amongst hangars at Bunbury. Looks serviceable.

 

Will try and chase up some info...

 

Anyone with Ozrunways can see it on "camera view". (Might need landscape view)

 

http://vh-jttvsaustralia.blogspot.com/

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...
A Jabiru (VH.ILL) Brand new was left to rot outside Jabiru's place, 9 years someone said, I wonder if it's still  there ?.

 

spacesailor

 

ILL is owned by a doctor, that could explain it.????

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 months later...
  • 3 weeks later...

FFS! The shop was ready to turn it over to the mechanics to put togeher and they noticed the "forgot" to paint the undercarriage wells and fairings... The whole effin reason it went into the shop..

 

On my way home yesterday (Friday), I thought I would pop in.. abot 3pm... They were shut and had gone booine, I guess...

 

5 months + now and counting. I haven't flown in that time.. Decided last weekend I would rent a club PA28.. Of course, Storm Ciara decided to pitch up.. So thougth I would do it this weekend.. Storm Dennis!

 

I tell ya, I was never religious or really believed in the big fella upstairs... But I am changing my mind. My father.. who passed away about 8 years ago, hated me flying... hated anything that may have resulted in his children being injured or worse.. from a sensationalistic point of view..

 

Well, since his passing, and given his resolute stubborness, there have been countless challenges thrown up - mainly wx realted that has restricted my ability to get out and take to the blue yonder. My guess is somehow, he got through the pearly gates and looks down, has a sqizz at my booking sheet and then cajoules the bog fella into throwing wx events to stop me flying... Either that, or the guy that looks after the lower regions of spiritual life has more control than we think.

 

(p.s. I am not religious.. .I am frustrated)

Link to post
Share on other sites

As long as you don't get affected by storm(y) Daniels you will eventually get there.. If your money and age don't complicate matters and run out You can be happy and relaxed OR Own an aeroplane . Sorry but how do I know? Nev. .

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...

Do you know.. I think I was ahead of myself when I stated Europe's airpspace has beome more dangerous..

 

Last email today from our maitenance guy... in response to a question of whether it is due back this coming week:

 

"No, it has been ‘delayed’ pending the arrival of a new localiser / glass slope antenna from the US (that was broken during the respray). Rudder can’t be put back on without fixing this antenna. "

 

Flipper knows when that beastie of an antenna will be back..

 

At least the paint is complete!

 

I guess it's not all bad.. The UK has been battered with storms normally reserved for th Atlantic ocean.. so at least it has been snug in a hangar rather than being snowed, p!$$ed, sleeted and ratted on..

Link to post
Share on other sites

My partner asked after my loud exclamation of "Hoo-bloody-ray" if we had won the lottery.. Nope.. The TB20 is finally re-assembled after a locally sourced antenna was found. It has been so long since I have flown it, I have decided to bleedin well do a checkout on it with the syndicate instructor again.. I vaguely remember the speeds and will re-read them tonight... But, I can't wait to get it into the air for a spin...

 

I'll get some photos of the beast and post them soon-ish..

  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 3 months later...

The European skies have just got a little safer ?

 

Yesterday, I handed tentitavely handed over the keys to the TB20.... It was actually organised before lockdown as the idea was that I would be working locally to where I live and it's base is light years away.. so no longer practical. Unfortunately, where I live, the market has dried up so it looks like I will be working back in London if it ever picks up... which is doubtful anyway... Maybe I will set up a used aircraft dealership because at least I made a bit of money on it. But, a low time 2002 TB20GT with 150 hours on the engine and a bare metal respray for the pro-rata equivalent of £145K is not going to be easy to replace.

 

I will upload some photos in the following posts (1 per photo) to beat the size limit ;-)

 

I will miss what little time I had with it.. Actually, in the end, it as a pain in the proverbial. Bought the share in March 2019.. couldn't get the instructor to check me out for 3 months (late June).. Had a good rider in her until it went into the paint shop towards the end of September. The shoddy workmanship at manufacture meant it needed 6 months (because they had to juggle the aircraft coming in for pain after ours was scheduled to go out)... just in time for lock down... But, for a GA complex single, of which I have Mooneys, Bonanzas and, my namesake, Lance's in the log book, this was by far the most comfy and stylish and although a few knots slower than the aforementioned, best touring of them all.

 

We even had a Dynon in there...

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...