Post lockdown engine blues, Rotax SMD ignition modules

mags before

Our Rotax 912UL has never started as well as it does now, but that wasn’t always the case!



Our aircraft had the post lockdown blues and so did we! The first time starting her and she would turn over, but not firing, there was simply nothing there. Others offered the normal advice, you know the normal things people say; make sure the throttle is fully closed, pull the choke fully out and run the electric pump for a couple of minutes! well yes, I had done all of that, next comes the offers to start her for me, they tried and failed too.  I remembered an article which said to warm the ignition modules with a hot air gun if you are having trouble starting. Hot air gun in hand I warm the modules for a few minutes, hastily getting back in and pressing the start button and the engine sprang into life! I warmed the engine before shutting down and putting the cowling on. Others experienced similar issues starting her over the next few flights when the engine was cold.

Then the battery gave out,  low voltage of a failing battery could cause the issue so this was probably the cause. After replacing the battery we could not start her due to the weather and the next day Gary Masters was due to do a service. Service done, it was time to do a ground run, I hit the start button and she turned over but didn’t fire! Gary came over and poured very hot water over the mags and she starts and runs perfectly. Gary then confirmed our suspicions that the Mags aka ignition modules have both failed! 


mags before


These Ducati modules have a reputation for failing and being expensive to replace, circa £1,500 a pair. In a BMAA magazine I had read of some recently approved modules from a company called Light Flight who are selling IGNITECH modules, I text the number on their website and shortly after had a phone call from a very helpful Andy Buchan. Andy told me the modules were approved for use by the BMAA and have been in use across Europe for some time. We purchased two modules with long leads and a simple bracket for £320.00 inc P&P, quite a saving, especially as they claim to be longer-lasting due to being mounted within the cockpit away from heat and vibration. The Modules have an option to boost the spark via a 12V feed taken from the starter solenoid switched positive. The boost ensures a full-strength spark at the low starting rpm. There is also a soft-start software option which we have not enabled currently as it doesn’t seem to be necessary.

Now with the new battery and the new spark boosting mags our Rotax starts effortlessly on the button. We could view it as we had to spend £320 or the way we see things is we saved £1,180!

The fitting is not difficult, but not straight forward either, as they are fitted inside the cockpit on the back of the firewall. This means drilling a hole of approximately 25mm to enable the pre-made cables to pass through, we then closed the hole by placing a piece of split pipe over the cable, thus protecting them and filling the hole. The wiring for the boost is simple, consisting of connecting 1 wire from each module to the switched solenoid terminal (Warning, ensure the battery is disconnected before connecting). 

We added a backing plate to the bracket to ensure airflow around the modules, they run warm to the touch the manufacturer says up to 50 degrees C. The 2 white blocks are voltage regulators for the supplemental supply and come with the modules pre-wired.

Would I recommend these modules? It’s early days, but with the ease of starting we now have and the fact they have a proven history in Europe, I think it’s worth the extra effort to fit these, not only because of the saving, but they have a spark boost and hopefully a longer life too!

Europa XS – The story of recovering a poor abandoned Europa part 1

Europa S

The drive home

A while ago myself and some friends decided to buy a GA aircraft, the criteria we set was a low wing, affordable (subjective, I know), Rotax powered aircraft. This effectively inferred a 2 seater, kit build, LAA registered aircraft. After we looked through the normal sites,, etc we concluded that a Europa fitted our requirement and we focused on trying to find an affordable Europa, it helps that the Europa Aircraft company is also only a short drive from where we live.

As luck would have it a hangar became available central to where we all live so we put our names down for the hangar and started the search for a Europa. This was somewhat frustrating as we had seen a few for sale before actively looking, but not many since. There was a Europa that had been listed for a while, but had not sold, so two of us made the 4 hour drive to view it. We quickly realised why she was still for sale as we looked around her. The current owner had made several modifications and not had them signed off, and although he seemed a nice guy, he was less than sold on the need to do so. The aircraft was on its third different engine type and bore the scars of the frequent changes in the form of holes in the bulkhead; fibreglass had been mounded high in placed to “add strength” the owner told us, It was a clear no from both of us.

I was sat at home the following evening feeling dejected at not being the proud owner of a Europa tri gear (we had ruled out the monowheel nicked named “the widow maker” even though to my knowledge it never has made anyone a widow, but it can be difficult to handle on the ground!), when I decided to try and locate a Europa XS tri gear near us so we could go and look at one, talk to the owner and maybe, just maybe, cadge a flight in it! The only source of such information is Ginfo, I manage to identify 2 in the first page or so of results and then on the next page was one that caught my eye, it was listed as owned by Mr xxxxx for the estate of zzzzz. This sounded like and aircraft in probate! I Googled the owner, he was indeed dead, I Googled the other name and he was a solicitor, was this a tri gear? it was a tri gear, it was an XS and it had the wide and high mods too. First thing in the morning I call the solicitor, who was on holiday and referred me to another member of his practice. I called her and arranged to view the aircraft which at the time was at Popham airfield, within 2 days three of the group were on site looking at the Europa.

First impressions of the Europa XS

Europa S

We arrived at Popham airfield and waited in the clubhouse for the airfield manage to show us the aircraft. As he walked us over we were given a brief history. There looking somewhat sad in the corner of a field was the Europa XS that we had come to view. No keys were available, but the cockpit was unlocked on one side, so we climbed in and had a good look, one of the first things that struck us was how much more room there was compared to the Europa Classic we had viewed. The aircraft has not been flown or started in around 18 months, there was some mould on the stick gator, the rudder had been damaged assumably from a gust of wind causing it to hit the elevator, one elevator had delaminated on its trailing edge due to having been hit down on to a pole and both elevators had a mound of fibreglass near the release pins. overall she looked like a nice aircraft, the paintwork was bright, where there was no mould the interior was watertight and clean, still it would be a big gamble as we could not start the engine! We took the cowling off and burped the engine successfully the oil looked clean and free from water. On the drive home, there was much debate about the risk of buying an out of permit aircraft, especially one that had not even been started in 18 months, but we decided we would put an offer in that reflected this. We waited to see if we were successful or not, as we knew there were at least 2 other bids! After around a week we heard from the solicitor that our bid had been successful. 

The recovery  


Still towing the Europa

We pick the first day that snowed in 2020 to go and bring her home, just our luck. Two set off for Popham and two set off to pick up the trailer. Simon and I arrived at Popham and started to remove the wings and the elevators ready for transportation. The guys with the trailed turned up, after taking a slight detour en route, and we loaded the Europa up and then started the long journey home. Our new home airfield was closed by the time we arrived, I think its fair to say we got some odd looks from the drives of the few cars that came around the corner to find a man waving a red flashing light and an aeroplane parked in the middle of the road!  We finally got the gates opened and pulled in and unloaded our Europa, she was safely stored out of the wind at the back in a dry hanger behind a Cessna 172 and a Piper Super Cub.

A few days later our faith in our purchases was validated by the engine starting first time after being stood for so long, the avionics sprung to life too, we had not wasted our money, a great feeling of relief was felt as she sprung into life!

Currently, we are all in lockdown and this has delayed the repairs to the rudder and elevators which sit in an empty Europa factory awaiting repair and the wings sadly remain detached too.

To be continued…

First Visit to Brookfield Farm Strip & another test for PilotAware & SkyDemon

This Sunday Simon and I followed Colin and John over to Brookfield Farm for their annual Microlight fly-in. Well when I say followed we were some 20 mins behind them.

We took off from Chatteris and planned to route via Coningsby’s MATZ and pass through their overhead, however after a few unanswered calls we decided to divert around as the cloud base was not sufficient to go over the top, this added around 10 mins to the journey and we had already considered this as a backup route. One of the many great SkyDemon features is while in flight a simple tap on the route line unlocks the currently planned route and then we simply dragged it wide of Coningsby’s MATZ and we were all set.

I’m pleased to say PilotAware held firm again for the whole trip showing traffic around us, the only time we had to change our plans was on the return but more about that later.

On arrival at Brookfield Farm there was some confusion as we heard an aircraft call right base and the plates showed all circuits to be left hand, a radio call and someone confirmed 31 was a right hand circuit, as we joined and called joining 31 RH an apology was heard and a correction runway 31 was indeed LH so we changed and joined 31 Crosswind. The approach looked good coming in over some lakes but my touchdown was a little long and the runway a little short! Time to play it safe and do a go around needless to say it was actually a planned flypast, I wanted to buzz the tower (honest)!!!


On my second attempt I was down a lot soon and made the first exit with ease.

The fly-in hosted by Phil Read and Jin Wiles who greeted each and every pilot with a warm welcome they also laid on a good spread of food including a wide selection of cakes and hot and cold drinks all for free!


After spending a few hours there we decided to depart and flew back to Chatteris via the  same routing. As we approached march we made our call that we were inbound and a few seconds later we heard Pat call that he was inbound from a similar position, we looked but could not see him. We zoomed out a little on SkyDemon and there Pat was 600ft below and a little off to our left side, we then managed to locate him visually too, we made radio contact with Pat reporting our position and intent, we went around to the north west and joined downwind while he went to the east and joined on the base leg. I’m sure we would have seen each other eventually without PilotAware and SkyDemon, however having that early representation on the map is a great help.

Unfortunately, not all aircraft are equipped with ADSB Out we added it to ours and Pat’s for around £50 each. I just don’t understand why the CAA don’t mandate it or why people won’t spend £50 on adding ADSB Out to their existing Mode S transponder!

SkyDemon, Pilotware and a trip to North Coates

I have been having reliability issues with my home built PilotAware to the point where when I went flying it was not a case of if but when it would have a problem! Well (touches wood) I seem to have gotten to the bottom of my issues, first of all I would like to make it clear it was not a fault of the PilotAware software.

The issues I had were that it would take a good three minutes or more for the Ublox VK-172 GPS to get a fix when connected to my PilotAware and if it lost its position in flight at 70 knots it would not get its position back very quickly or sometimes it would never get it back. However, when connected to a PC running the Ublox software it worked fine! I eventually ordered another from HK via eBay, when it arrived a few weeks later I was somewhat dubious as it came sealed in a plastic anti-static bag, whereas the first one came in a blister pack with CD and manual too. I connected it up and within around 45 seconds it got its first fix and ever since it seems to take about 20 seconds and it’s ready to go.

The second issue I had been having is that the WIFI link would drop and I could not reconnect without rebooting the PilotAware however, this seemed to only happen in flight. I considered various things such as interference from the aircraft, vibration etc, but in the end a thicker supply cable (20 swg) as is recommended seems to have fixed it.

I had tried it on a few short flights without issue so now it was time to try it on a flight of more than an hour as previously the issue could take 30 -40 mins before showing up.

A flight up north to North Coates was selected and Sam and I set off, on route we occasionally saw or own trace on SkyDemon from PilotAware showing up but, later I found this to be a wrong setting and selecting the filter (beta) option seems to have resolved this.   We saw several different aircraft show up on SkyDemon however, one of interest at our altitude and heading in our general direction. We kept a keen lookout for this (and any other) aircraft. Eventually we saw the Aircraft on our left and by now both visually and on SkyDemon (thanks to the data feed from PilotAware) it was clear it would pass safely behind us.

We arrived at North Coates where the wind should have been at 40 degrees to the runway at 10 knots but in fact it was highly variable in direction at while landing it was 10 knots across the runway with turbulence coming off from the adjacent hangers. It made things a little more interesting but the final touchdown was nice and smooth.

North Coates seems a nice airfield with a small and friendly café and no doubt I will be going back at some point soon.

The Wild Cats were due in at 14:00 so we waited until 14:20, but there was no sign of them and we needed to be getting back so we left and shortly after calling that we have left the circuit we heard them on the radio inbound, I think that is called sods law!

The take-off and flight back was uneventful with the wind having died down, we had a few more contacts on SkyDemon via PilotAware on the way back but nothing near us. There was no loss of connection in either flight and the whole system was rock solid.

So with my fingers crossed and touching wood it seems like my PilotAware issues may be fixed and when SkyDemon with it new traffic radar display is combined with PilotAware the benefit is more than doubled, it is a very useful secondary surveillance device, your eyes must however remain your primary!


Set QFE in Dashware

I was recently asked how I managed to change the altitude to QFE (ground level) on my videos, well when I can be bothered to do it! So here is how to do it.

I use Dashware to add the tapes to the video before editing the video, I do this before to ensure the data is in sync with the video.

I capture the video using my TomTom Bandit, which has a built in GPS. However like all action cameras I know of, it suffers from strobing on the prop. To overcome the strobing I made an ND8 (neutral density) filter by ordering a plastic ND8 filter from ebay. I cut in a circle and held in place using some large heat shrink. Anyway that’s for another day today we are looking at how to offset the reported altitude. Or put another way QNH to QFE.

For this I will assume you have your data and video file ready and that you know how far out the altitude is.

Below I’m using Dashware version 1.9.1

Load your video in the normal way then:

1.      Open the load data screen

2.      Select the data file and click “Edit Profiles”

3.      Make a clone of the data profile you are using, so that you can edit it.

4.      Add a Math Calculator (bottom left area) that takes the Altitude and subtracts the offset                needed, you may need to play a little with this value. the value is entered into the “Constant Parameter”. use the other settings as shown below.


5.      Call this new channel QFE in the output value.

6.      Now add a mapping channel for QFE by clicking the + in column mappings

7.      Map the columns as shown below

8.      Click OK to close the Data Profile Editor screen

9.      Then back at the add data file screen ensure you have the newly create Clone profile selected and click add to show your new altitude.


I hope this helps!

A quick blog about a short flight testing PilotAware with SkyDemon

So a great day to fly on Saturday, however our microlight was booked out for the whole day, well actually it wasn’t, it was just that a booking failed to be cancel that a member of our group said they had cancelled, man vs machine! Not to worry Sunday was looking promising, but as it turned out it was not so good, rain and low cloud was the order of the day. I did get a 10 min flight in and my friend Simon and I went up for another 20 mins later too.

Hardly worth blogging about really, but I had built my PilotAware into a single case and wanted to ensure it worked so 10mins and a further 20mins was indeed worth it, well for me any time spent aloft is worth it!

So this is what PilotAware looked like before I rebuilt it:


And now it’s more robust in a single case:



I have also removed the casing from Both the GPS and DVB-T TV tuner dongle RTL2832U that is used for the ADS-B receiver. The ADS-B receiver runs quite hot so I have ordered some SMD heatsinks for it, but they have yet to arrive.

So on the first flight I had it wide open to all traffic and wow with the change of aerial to the “Rubber Duck” meant I could see traffic everywhere, all way out or way high! It could have also been that I had enabled the feature “Mode-CS (Beta)”.

The first thing to note was I was seeing myself as a target on my Skydemon, When back on the ground I added the Hex of our aircraft and rebooted the PilotAware, this resolved the issue of seeing myself. Next I downed the range from long to medium and the height in Skydemon from 50,000ft to 10,000.

So on our next flight and with Simon at the controls I had time to play with it and we were picking up traffic, but with the new settings the screen was a lot less crowded, however we did not see a Mode S equipped aircraft below us and landing and I’m unsure why that was, it was showing in the Traffic screens so I will be asking that question to see if it is my configuration.

Overall I would say this is a great supplement to your own lookout, which remains the primary way to observe in VFR.

Next up I have ordered a plug to connect my headset to the audio out so I get any warnings without needing to watch the screen. I will let you know how I get on with that soon.

Extra eyes in the sky with PilotAware and SkyDemon

I have dipped in and out of the PilotAware project for over a year, but as the weather was good and I was not flying alone last weekend I decides it would be good to try it out.

So first off what is PilotAware? Well for a full description I would suggest you head on over to their web site where they will summarise it as:

“PilotAware is a low cost portable traffic awareness unit for use in all types of aircraft that shows where aircraft are in relation to you. PilotAware integrates with existing popular navigational equipment such as Sky Demon, Easy VFR, Runway HD, both Android and iOS, and is also compatible with other fixed navigation equipment such as Dynon equipment. Also includes audio alerts.”

All of which seems to be true! It is based on the popular Raspberry Pi 2 B and uses an uBox USB GPS, A DTV dongle, USB WIFI and a PilotAware bridge board for the reception and broadcast of their own system, which is supplemented by the reception of ADS-B via the DTV dongle, clever and cheap (comparatively speaking).

So why have I left it so long before flying with it? Well a number of factors, first it originally used an off the shelf transmitter, but they found this was underperforming and the all new board was only released earlier this year. Next and still a concern for me is the uBox GPS, it is very slow to get its first 3D fix and thus rightly or wrongly I’m concerned on what will happen if it loses its fix in flight and how accurate it is. I think I will raise my concerns at the 2016 Flying Show with the PilotAware team in December as they are showing the system there. Also I don’t like the exposed wires and USB dongles, I would prefer them all to be encased; lastly I have only recently purchased a 16Ah USB battery to power it in flight, the plan was originally to use our aircraft’s 12v socket, however no plugs seem to reliably stay in it, a problem with our aircraft not PilotAware.

So onto the flight!

Tom and I got to the airfield in time for our flight and we waited for the person before us to return to the airfield. While waiting I switched my PilotAware unit on as the GPS I have is not the fastest in the world to get a fix! I left it on in the car for around 45mins and had previously ground tested the PilotAware driving for around 1 hour, the flying time today was 2hrs 15mins and I left it on while on the ground for around 1 hour at Cromer. So a grand total of 4hrs 15 mins and the battery pack was still over half charge remaining! I’m using the RavPower iSmart 16.75 Ah battery which can be seen on Amazon  here

I use SkyDemon for my navigation and connecting the PilotAware is very easy, once setup. Simply select Fly and now you have a choice “Use Location Services” or “Use FLARM”, Pilot aware uses the FLARM protocol to pass location and traffic information to SkyDemon. If the system were to fail you can simply stop the Navigation and restart it using Location services or get the map out!

The first thing to say is the GPS did not drop its fix at any point and seemed to be very accurate. We flew to Cromer for the first leg and stopped there for lunch, where we met by chance some of the guys from Boston airfield.

Another feature of PilotAware is that it has an inbuilt track logger and the below image was up loaded from this test flight. SkyDemon also saves your tracks and they can also be exported into a map the same way.

I currently have the system set to 30,000ft separation, just for testing, on the flight back we saw on screen and in the sky a number of commercial aircraft way above us. Which we thought was pretty cool!

On our final leg back we had a RV8 cross us 7 miles out, we did not make visual contact, but it was on the display and we could see he was climbing out.


I think this unit has proved itself and adds even more benefit to flying with SkyDemon, even if just for a local flight.

My next task is to build it into a single all inside case, that I have ordered from eBay.

For those that prefer to fly with a paper map the unit also has an audio out for announcement of aircraft e.g. “Traffic, One O’clock, level, ten, kilometers” will be announced.

Many light and Microlight aircraft don’t have a GPS connected to there transponder, if this were to hardwired into the aircraft it has a GPS out option that can now be connected to a compatible transponder. See this report on the NATS web site

Overall I was very impressed, anything that helps you see other aircraft early has got to be a good back to your lookout and a safety improvement, I for one hope more people use PilotAware or at the very least connect a GPS to their transponder.




Turning a Rotax engine backwards

I have always been told never to turn the Rotax engine in the wrong direction as it will cause damage, but recently seeing someone turn a prop backwards a few degrees I challenged the person who said “what damage could it do!”, this got me Googling it and I found many hits saying it will damage the engine and as many saying it won’t, below is a summary of what I found, I have also emailed Rotax but not had any response!


  •  Turning an engine backwards will only cause an issue if it has a dry vacuum pump.
  • Turning an engine backwards to re position the prop is preferred as the engine will not fire even if the mags are on as they only work when rotated in the correct direction.
  • Turning the engine in the wrong direction causes oil to be squirted into wrong places.
  • Turning the engine backwards or forwards by hand causes no issues.
  • Turning the engine backwards causes the engine to suck in air, all you need to do is re burp the engine in the correct direction and all is OK.
  • Turning the engine backwards causes the engine to suck in air and if turned for more than one revolution this may enter the valve train, thus the engine must be vented.

What is the truth and what should one do if the engine has been turned in the wrong direction?

While there would seem to be some truth in a few of the above and others may be pure fiction, I’m not an aircraft engineer and I’m not going to comment on which are correct and which are not, but I what I have found out from 2 Rotax bulletins is this:

A rotation on less than one revolution in the reverse direction of the prop appears to require no corrective action, while a rotation of one or more revolutions in the wrong direction requires the engine to have the venting checked as layout by Rotax. The bulletin says that the rotation of the prop in the wrong direction may cause the ingestion of air into the valve chain.

Rotax references:


Service Bulletin: Inspection for correct venting of the oil system for Rotax engine type 912 and 914 (series)
SB-912-036 R1 SB-914-022 R1

Cited in Compliance 1.5 – “engines which have had the prop spun for more than 1 turn in reverse direction allowing air to be ingested into the valve train.”





Service instruction: Venting of lubrication system for Rotax engine type 912 and 914 (series) SI-04-1997 R3

Cited in 1.3 Reason – “and/or had the prop spun in the reverse direction allowing air to be ingested into the valve train.”


I have not included the SB or SI documents as I have not had permission from Rotax, but just google SB-912-036 or SI-04-1997 and you will find the PDF files!



Grounded by the wind and how to take a strobe apart!

When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it.” – Henry Ford

A nice quote from Henry Ford and quite apt after my previous blog post here, but alas when the wind blows hard microlight pilots can but sit and drink tea!

Another disappointing day today due to a different reason; Mike let us know that there would be no flying due to the strong and gusting wind, I really wanted to fly in the hope of putting last week’s trials well and truly into the past.

I decided to go to the club anyway for a cup of tea and a chat. On arrival I saw my instructor Mike outside cutting drainage channels into the concrete slab, I asked if there was anything I could do to help, but my timing was impeccable as Mike had just finished so I went into the clubhouse and made the tea. In the clubhouse were Katie and Pat, passing the time of day with their usual banter, but welcomed the offer of a cup of tea.

I went and took some pictures of some of the Microlights which I have uploaded to the photos page on this site here. Talking about the site there has been quite an upturn on the page hits over the last week with a new daily high of 105 and a number of days above 70 hits per day. This seems to be traffic coming from Twitter, a post on the Microlight forum asking for people to upload pictures and from Google with people searching for “air law notes”, I hope that it will continue, but time will tell.

Shortly after I had made the tea Mick and Julie arrived and they were soon followed by Alan who was carrying a food parcel of savouries and cake, always a welcome site! We all sat around passing the time of day and optimistically hoping the wind would die down so we could fly, however it did not happen.

Collision avoidance strobe

The collision avoidance strobe light on our aeroplane had been removed as it had stopped working a few weeks earlier, I asked if I could take it home to see if I could find what was wrong with it and I also like seeing how thinks work. It’s a Skyflash 2000 self-contained strobe only requiring 12V dc and no external driver unit; it is a sealed unit with no obvious way of taking it apart that could be successfully reversed if it could be repair.

Inside the strobe

After careful examination and noting another’s attempt to open it I came to the conclusion the aluminium ring must be holding an upper and lower plastic moulding with the circuitry sandwiched between them, but try as I might the aluminium ring would not turn or move in any direction. As the unit was scrap anyway I decided to take a craft cutting disc to the band, as I carefully cut throughout the band it suddenly sprung open a little, working my way around the band I managed to separate it from the plastic body to reveal the construction I had assumed they used. It looks as if the band, upper and lower parts had a silicon type bonding agent keeping all of them together.

Now it was open it was obvious where the problem was, the storage capacitor had blown its top and leaked its electrolyte out for good measure.

Warning: Xenon strobes use high voltage for striking the flash tube it may only be 12V dc in, but its hundreds of volts across the tube.


I have ordered a new capacitor which cost a little over £5 and we will see if that is the only thing that is wrong with the flash unit once it arrives. If so the next challenge will be to find a tube with an internal diameter of 55mm and 27 mm in length to hold it all together!

To be continued…

Web site hits new high

The blog hit a new high on Friday 24th Jan with 75 visitors in one day, I know it’s no Google or BBC but I was very pleased nonetheless.

Top search terms were “learn to fly” followed by “Microlight VFR” and then “e-Go”. The user stats have been bouncing around, as can be seen from the graph with a previous high of 66 (not on the graph) when a blog contained the words “engine failure” in the title, just goes to show how people like to read about drama.

A couple of people have messaged me to ask why I have not posted an update on my progress (or the lack of it!) for a while well it is quite simply down to the weather, if I don’t fly I tend not to blog. I did go to the fly club this weekend and the two instructors Mike and Katie were there, but no one else. The parking area for the aeroplanes looked like a small lake maybe we should fit floats to the C42s, now there’s an idea!!!


I went over as I was due to fly so I had nothing else planned and during the week I had bought myself a David Clark H20-10X headset from a well known online auction house. They were advertised as being in good condition and working, however when I got them they had two issues, the mic boom would not stay in place and the LED light that flashes to say the battery pack is supplying power was not flashing. I emailed the seller who assured me they were working when he last used them and that he had sold them with good intent, going by his tone I believed him and decided to keep them and ask my instructor to take a look at them, before sending them back to the sell if they still didn’t work.

Not everyone seems to know this, but if you use “buy it now” as opposed to bidding, even on a second hand item you are covered by the distant trading laws, no matter what the seller may say or put in their listing, they cannot be more restrictive than the rights you have in law. I’m not sure what the case is if you are buy from an overseas seller, but that was not the case for me anyway.

After having a little play with them I found the LED would come on if I put pressure on the connection to the battery pack and the mic stayed in place if I push the plastic sleeve back into the hole where it exits the head set.

Mike is very thorough in everything he does or so he seems; I guess that’s a good trait for a flying instructor, he tested them out tighten the battery connection and found one of the cable strain reliefs needed replacing so fitted a new heat shrink to it. I now have a working headset which I can’t wait to try out in the air, hopefully next week UK weather permitting

I’m thinking maybe I should write some reviews and then just maybe I would get some free samples!!!