Aladdin’s Cave

When the Cub’s elevator was damaged a new part from the US would have been rather expensive, so the jungle telegraph sprang into action. RV Chris mentioned the situation to Tim at Insch airfield who told me that Neil at Fordoun has a stock of Cub parts at his hangar. I had asked Neil for advice last year when there was a choice of two Cubs, so I already had his number. I gave him a call and arranged a visit.

You know those clickbait links which say things like “Your jaw will drop” and “Try not to gasp when you see…” ? well, in this case it was true, Neil’s hangar is a veritable treasure trove of stuff. There are several aircraft undergoing restoration including a Beagle Pup:

Racks of parts next to some wings, a couple of jeep projects and an old army 4-ton truck:

Restored Cub wings being recovered:

And a whole stack of spare Cub parts, one of which was the required elevator:

Neil calls them “new, old” parts, meaning they were made years ago but have never been used. Unfortunately this one came with no paperwork from a container load of spares bought from the Italian military, but also in the stack of parts was an already covered one (painted yellow) which came with paperwork. A quick repaint and it was ready to go:

And then it was a case of waiting for the paperwork to come through – see previous post for the “NARCed off” experience.

Finally it was time. Pull the aircraft out of the hangar…

…into the sunshine:

And go flying. Lovely summer views out of the open windows:

A closer look at some local bridges. Or choke points as the Cub would probably call them. Raining artillery fire down on these could cause a major headache for the enemy’s transport system:

It’s altogether more peaceful these days. It’s lovely to fly with the windows open, inspecting anything that takes your fancy as you proceed sedately across the countryside at 80mph:

I can see my old house from up here! And some controversial new development next to the woods in the centre. Apparently Blairgowrie really really needs Starbucks, Home Bargains and Lidl…

Planning arguments aside, the Cub flies again at last! Big thumbs up to the jungle telegraph, Chris, Tim and Neil with his Aladdin’s cave of parts…

Independence Day

July 4th. It would have been nice to go flying in the Cub today. It’s a nice warm day with fair-weather cumulus clouds and very little wind – perfect Cub weather.

The aircraft has been with the engineers for its annual:

…which also included the repair of the right elevator, which got crumpled when I stupidly left the aircraft alone and it rolled into a shipping container:

Sadly there are delays in the paperwork. The aircraft went in to the engineers on April 28th, and has been back in the aero club hangar for a few weeks now. I could jump in and go flying as it’s all fixed and inspected, but because the paperwork is not yet completed, that would be illegal. It is a pain in the butt (n.b. use of “butt” in deference to our stateside friends who are celebrating today).

The paperwork delay is due to the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA – Campaign Against Aviation) who have had the application papers for several weeks now. They have to issue a NARC – National Airworthiness Review Certificate…without this highly technical and expensive piece of A4 paper the laws of physics do not apply and the aircraft is unable to fly, so we just have to wait patiently. As usual this year, the delays are being blamed on BREXIT and COVID. Very convenient excuses.

In contrast, The RV is a”Permit to Fly” aircraft, and in the time since the Cub NARC application was submitted, it has been taken apart, cleaned, lubed, inspected, repaired as required and been half put back together again.

Once it’s reassembled there is a short test flight to fly and a form to send off to the Light Aircraft Association (LAA). Last year I got my renewed permit paperwork back within 36 hours – and that was with all the engineering staff working from home! We’ll soon have the RV grin back:

At least we’ll have something to fly while waiting for the Cub NARC.

I’m sure this is where the term “NARCed off” comes from! The CAA could learn a lot from the LAA.