Sunday was a fantastic day to go flying blue skies, cold air and very light winds, in fact a perfect day for a first flight in a microlight, Neil could not have asked for better conditions for his first flight. the only spoiling factor was on the flight back to Chatteris where we suffered mechanical failure on landing.
We started our day with a short flight to my favourite airfield with the best local restaurant (or should that be the other way around!).
Fenland was as busy as normal and the air ground radio was efficient as ever when Ray is on the mic. We joined over head to follow another aircraft in, one we had been tracking for a while on SkyDemon via it’s PilotAware connection. I had also been playing with two of the recent new features, which I love, on SkyDemon. The location tracking with reference to a point and the radio tab, both are great additions, the first makes it so easy to give accurately your current location in respect to a town or other nearby reference and the radio tab to check you have got the correct frequency. The landing was text book and the meal was great too!
Flight back to Chatteris and mechanical failure on landing
After Lunch, we set off back to Chatteris via The Wash, King’s Lynn and March and Neil had a go at the controls and did very well. I took over as we got near to Chatteris and descended to circuit height. We joined the circuit on Downwind for runway 24 and all was well, first stage of flap on base leg, all still looking good. Turning final I made our call and I went for the second stage of flap pitching the nose down at the same time. A slight bang was heard and Flaps jumped back to stage 1, thinking I had not fully pulled these on I reset them to stage 2. All was fine this time and we continued our descent, at around 70ft up and a little short of the threshold “bang!” and the flaps jumped out again not really having time to think and with the sudden change of attitude close to the ground I went for full power and landed safely further down the runway with a single stage of flap.
This is my first mechanical failure I have experienced in flight and it certainly increased my heart rate!
It appears over time the latching holes become worn and don’t hold, the wheel they are cut into needs re profiling or changing. If you operate a C42 I would look at yours before your next flight!
Back on the ground a balloon we had seen from afar had landed just short of our airfield, picture below: