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.