Flying

Back when I was young, the RAF selected people and taught them to fly, in the hope that they'd decide they rather liked flying for free, and would join the Air Force. I was one of the lucky punters, so I learnt to fly in a Cessna 150, in Southend. Shortly after I got the piece of paper, I had a bike accident that put me out of the running for joining the RAF. At this point I started a fight with the Civil Aviation Authority to be allowed to fly again... there's a reason they're known as the Campaign Against Aviators. I eventually succeeded, and ended up buying a share in a Thruster TST microlight.

The Thruster TST - a Rotax 503 powered taildragger from Australia. They say if you can land a Thruster, you can land anything. I was fine with this until we installed airfoil struts, and I couldn't land it solo any more, as it would float for ever.

The Rans S-17 - a Rotax 447 powered taildragger. I never flew it with the pod on, as it was designed without it, and I like the flies in my teeth. This thing was a bit of a handful to land, especially with me in it, as it would take off at the first hit of a gust.

I got a chance to trade this against a 2 seater when I was trying to figure out what to do with flying.

The Flightstar IISL - a Rotax 503 powered flying tricycle. It's nice and easy to land, flies slowly and doesn't use too much fuel. I try and fly it whenever the weather doesn't suck, and it's nice to be able to take passengers. It has a decent radio (rather than the handheld I used on the S-17), and now a digital engine information system. There's also a ballistic recovery parachute which I hope to never use. I put a Rotax 582 on it to get better climb rates (without affecting the fuel consumption significantly).

Having passed my gyroplane license, I traded this in on the Magni. I demo flew it, and delivered it to the new buyer in Marysville.

The Magni M-16

The Magni M-16 - I bought this as Ken was getting out of gyroplanes, and there aren't a lot about on the West coast. Still working on converting it over.