Thursday, September 13, 2012

one more step forward

I just moved one more step into the right direction. After a few days spent in and around the hangar at Bacchus Marsh aerodrome I came back home with this:

More than that ... I've learned a lot a discovered again that I really enjoy this kind of activity. I am very fortunate that I can learn from people who do it the way it's supposed to be done - no shortcuts whatsoever. In the end it may mean somebody's life. It makes you feel good knowing that you and decisions you make  are responsible for your safety and the equipment won't let you down. It takes hours and days to do the annual inspection properly but it ensures as much as possible that no one will find himself way high up there swearing: "If somebody had only checked and found that!" before pulling the red canopy handle ...

all in bits and pieces

The day we started working on the glider was one of the first beautiful Cu-days this spring. Winds were calm and it was nice and warm but:

"Sometimes it is better to be on the ground wishing that you were up there
than being up there wishing that you were on the ground"

Monday, September 10, 2012

Wilga trip

Yes, the club needs a new towplane. All agreed that this can't be a single use plane and has to have more than 1 or 1.5 (like the proudly called two-seater Pawnee) seats. Since there is a PZL-104 Wilga 80 for sale not too far away from us we decided to check her out. But first we had to dig the plane out of the garden shed.

one of the few garden sheds

Hang on, there is something not really right here.

view from the front yard - kind of cool

Have a closer look and explain to me what do Russian stars and others do on a Polish plane? Luckily that's only stickers and can be removed easily without the need to repaint the whole plane.


The interior and instrument panel don't hide anything unusual and the whole equipment is Wilga typical.

feels like home

You can't decide on buying or not without even starting up the engine and I did my best to make it happen but there is not much you can do with the air gauge showing 10 to start with. Especially when the plane was sitting in the shed for the last, I assume, years. After all the years I have spent flying Wilga I know a few tricks to fire the plane up but they didn't work in this case and we had to give up.

"Sorry guys, this is soooo not gonna happen"

In this case why don't you all have a sit and try to imagine flying :-). Ziggy seems comfortable here:

I'm not sure about the others though ... I would assume they'd prefer someone else taking that front left seat.

The idea of getting this kind of plane is worth thinking about and we can do it now knowing that the interested parties are aware what we are talking about. Too bad we didn't make it fly but the engine start-up issue was not the only one. The plane would need an annual and the farm strip needs to dry out a bit. If we decide to proceed we might have to go there again and do some test flying. Nevertheless it was a great daily trip and we discovered few more interesting things on the farm.


The drive down there and back was just magnificent. Perfect spring weather as wineries as far as you can see. We were in the middle of Coonawarra which is Austrlia's Red Wine Center. The best wineries in the country are based there and Griffo felt like we were driving through heaven.

Unfortunately the day was just too short to stop but we will certainly make a weekend trip over there one day.

We stopped here and there to drop off few of us and they showed us their places and toys. For town people like us, who moved to the country not too long ago, it's always very impressing to see the farm machinery and humongous sheds.
Hang on, is this a Jabiru in the corner?

Yes it is! And guess what? There is another one somewhere in this shed! There it is - hidden behind tons of farm machinery.

What I've seen from Jabiru, if you have one, you will need at least one more as a backup ... In fact it would't harm to have a third one just in case.

Ziggy had to try every machine he could find and was impressed with all the comfort. He especially loved the big screen that, he thought, was a TV. Who said working on a farm was hard?