My (probably too) early submission to the LAA noted that they required me to have more recent tail dragger experience before they would approve me test flying my own creation !
I definitely wouldn’t want anyone else test flying her so called Paul (H S) to see what could be worked out.
He kindly contacted Howard Barbour, a local instructor at Little Smoring, and we made several attempts to coordinate with me being in the UK, Howard and G-TLAC being available AND the weather behaving … It was the latter that made us abandon every attempt since the tail end of 2015.
Then we were over for a family get together this week and Thursday saw a very soggy runway being effectively closed. Friday brought about 500m viz but we were all sure it was going to lift and lift it did !
Stunning clear day with just a little crosswind to start with to add to the fun.
Howard kindly said that I should sit in the back from the off and let me have the controls the entire time …
Climb out to around 1,500 for some general handling and turns then back into the circuit for some classic Sherwood approaches .. Real Spitfire stuff .. Absolutely awe inspiring .. This aircraft is simply unbeleiveable .. What a machine … You think .. And she goes exactly where you want her to …
After hundreds of recent hours on Pipers the first approach feels somewhat scary but as long as you keep an eye on the numbers .. Speed, revs and height …. In for a first wheeled landing .. Followed by a near three pointer… Followed by me touching the heel brakes in landing and getting the nose a little low ! Howard quickly picked me up on these things … And also on my take off attitude … Nothing personal ! Just don’t don’t get the nose too low …
Howard was so accommodating and we discussed what might form a typical Jersey runway approach ie straight in which can often happen … So we setup a 2 mile plus straight in and of course had to sideslip pretty much the whole way in so that you could see over the nose … The Sherwood is a breeze to do this and behaves amazingly well.
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