The BMAA Flying Show 2014

This year the flying show was held at Telford which for me is further to travel, on arriving at the show we saw a sign for “PATS Open day” but continued on as the Satnav said too and there was no mention of the flying show, however at the roundabout there was a flying show sign directing us back to where we had just come from! Parking at the show this year was more reasonable at £4.00 last year at the NEC we paid £10.00, the walk from the car park was also a lot shorter.

Our first stop was the careering area at the back of the hall where we all had a breakfast roll and coffee.

The show filled the hall where as at the NEC there was space left. Two notable absences from the show this year were no Eurostars EV-97’s on display and no flying area for models.

This year eGo  was at the show, which is an interesting SSDR, which I have mentioned in other posts, it has recently gone into production with the first production build aircraft said to be due soon. The display model was a little battered in places, but as the sign next to it read “I May not look my best at the moment, but I am a hard-working development and test aircraft” we chatted a little while with Adrian Hillcoat, Chief Executive Officer and Director at eGo who talked about the glass cockpit, the handling of eGo and the easy of flying it and how they will help owners transition to the eGo. It looked a lot small then I expected but a lot of fun too, I look forward to seeing them flying around.

We moved on looking at many stands and talking to many people, too many to include all of them here! We spoke for a while with the guys at CFS Aero who have recently been appointed a Rotax distributer, We asked them about a recent post I did relating to turning the engine backwards and the potential damage it could cause, they said they will investigate and let us know, so I hope to be able to update that blog soon!

We stopped to look at the C42s on display by Red-Air UK and spoke to Malcolm Stewart, we took the opportunity ask if when keying the mic all C42’s trim and or fuel gauge displays alter, he explained that many do, some more than others and if we wanted to lessen the problem we should separate the white and coloured wires running under the stick area as its normally caused by RFI. Moving over to G-KTOW the C42 glider tug and talking to Jonathan who’s C42 is kitted out with 2 EMSIS monitors replacing the need for many gauges, Jonathan kindly switched on the master switch and showed us them working, they seemed very impressive and created a lot of room on the dash too! I would love to get some for our C42 at some point…

We look at Skydemon too as all three of us are getting ever closer to taking our GST and would like to fly with a tool that will keep us on track and out of controlled airspace,  at our club the majority who use a moving map use Skydemon in their microlights. Rob from Skydemon was happy to show us their software and answer any questions we had. My only concern with using cf-lgSkydemon is using the inbuilt GPS in either an Apple or Android device people in the club have reported not having a GPS signal at times. I raised this question to Rob who suggested the use of a Garmin Glo as it has a much faster refresh rate (10 reports per second) and is not an “assisted” GPS, it also supports Glonass removing the dependency on a single satellite network. I think this is the route all three of us will probably go once we have our licences.

Overall we enjoyed the show and will probably go again, but still feel it could have more 3 axis microlights, as we did last year and without the Eurostar probably even more so!

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BMAA Flying Show 2013

My first visit to the “Flying Show”

Simon and I decided to visit the flying show on Saturday 30 November 2013, we are both relatively new to microlighting and thought this would be a good way to get a broader view of the sport and a fun day out.

We drove up to the NEC and packed in the car park signed for the show, a tip for future years would be to park in the Birmingham international train station car park, as it is half the price and short covered walk to the NEC! Car parking at the NEC was £10 per car per day.

We didn’t know what to expect from the show, not having been before, but had been told in previous years it have not filled the hall, this year and possible previous years, it was in hall 12 and it pretty much filled the hall to capacity.

Overall we enjoyed the show with its display of light and Microlight aeroplanes a few gliders, quite a few flex wing and a health number of impressive looking gyrocopters. Also in there were displays of radio controlled aeroplanes and helicopters both static and flying, a racing car and GoCycle with a short test track!

I was looking to buy a couple of things from the show but ended up buying just a chart, from what we could see from the Flight Store, AFE and Pooleys stands the only saving to be had was on the postage, I had hoped for a bit of a deal! Maybe there was on some of the items, but not the things we were looking at. If you were joining the BMAA they were offering a good £10 discount for people signing up on the day, it would be good to have some more show only deals.

There was a lot to see and do and we enjoyed chatting to various people and looking over the aeroplanes on display, however we were both a bit disappointed in the number of different fix wing Microlights on display, there was a few, but we would have like to have seen more manufactures displaying their planes at the show so future (hopefully future!) pilots like us could get a better idea of what we might want buy once qualified.

Will we return next year, possibly, I’m undecided at this point in time, for me if there was an increase in the fixed wing microlight displays, preferably by the manufactures, then I think I would certainly go again.

Below is a gallery of pictures from the show for you to browse.

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Little Gransden Air Show 2013

25th August 2013, a day I will remember for a long time, no it was not the day of my first solo that is still to come, in fact I was not long into my training on the 25th. This was the day I first got to fly into an air show, although the day did not look promising to start with. The plan was to get to Chatteris at around 10:00 and then fly over to Little Gransden Air show. On the day I was quite excited about this, so I got to the club about 90 mins early, but it was a very grey day and it was looking unlikely that we would be able to fly to the show. As time went by the cloud began to lift and we got the aeroplanes out of the hanger. It was the first time I had been early enough to take part in this, I normally opt for an afternoon lesson. Once we got the Microlights out Mike talked me through doing the oil check and burping the engine on the training one. They have a dry sump so before the first flight of the day you need to turn the engine over on the propeller by hand to get some oil in to the engine, as you do so you get the gurgling/burping sound that tells you have done enough rotations.

Now with the aeroplane checked out and burped it was a waiting game to see if the cloud would continue to lift, while we waited Mike showed me the route we would be flying and how to read a weather chart, Mick was on his phone to someone near or at the show and they said it was OK their end. At around 11:00 Mike said lets go and we all flew out, three C42’s and a thruster all flying the short journey. We got airborne at 11:15 and the flight was uneventful, we flew higher and fast then Hazel’s thruster and I remember seeing it bellow and to one side as we went passed.  

Mike took the controls as we turned on to base leg and flew us in, shortly after parking up a Yak 52 landed behind which was great to see.

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As we walked around to the reporting point a number of the crowd asked about our aeroplanes and where we were from. As we walked by the display aeroplanes Mike stopped to talk to most of the pilots, it seems everyone knows Mike!

The show itself went off well and was a day to remember after all it’s not every day you can fly into an air show!

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