First time up to 5,000’ in the Sherwood

Time to get a little higher today as the clouds and winds favoured a higher trip.

Jersey ATC kindly cleared my to 1000, then 3000 then 5000 to the Southern training area 

Prepared by wearing my ski gear underneath as around freezing at that level this morning … knew it was going to be pretty cold up there

Descent starts around 5 min 15 in 🛬

Brake service

As part of the extended 50 hour service I have been re greasing all the hinges and checking all fixings 

Part of that check was to clean and check brakes and also re grease the wheel bearings after so many landings 

Jacking the aircraft up has always been interesting ..I am always concerned that I don’t damage something by squashing or bending whentaking the entire weight.

I remember in the barn build days loosely jacking the centre of the undercarriage and taking the centre wheel bolt out … not realising that the geometry of the u/c meant it immediately did a ‘Bambi’ on me and played her legs wide apart ! … moral of the story .. keep the legs braced or tied together if removing a wheel .. or have a grab point around the engine

Display 2018 –

20 minutes before display take off time I was trying to get my new go pro 5 to turn on and into film mode … decided I shouldn’t be distracted so gave up and focussed on getting me and the aircraft ready !

My ‘Box entry’ time had been moved from 1251 to 1245 and confirmed as opening the show. It was also confirmed that my exit time was 1251 .. so would be needing to call “1 min to exit” at 1250.

All pilots had been advised that we had about 3 min leeway in the entire schedule so literally any slippage or late entry or late exit would impact that for all others following .. no pressure …

Following, but actually before, the Red 1 question I had decided to get airborne around 1215 … this would give me delay time on inbounds to get airborne and also any delay time for flying clockwise around the island to join at the ‘designated’ SE corner for ore entry into the display area

Having got airborne and turned towards the North coast I advised that I would prefer to cut across to a holding area nearer the fort at St Helier but remaining low and out of site from the crowd lineI ended up getting there much sooner than I’d planned so was holding for around 25 minutes .. it felt a very long 25 ! Also holding in a nice close but safe orbit was the Piper Pawnee and then a few minutes later .. the big old Antonov biplane … all 3 of us orbiting at below 1000’As the minutes ticked around to 1243 I decided to call – Heading for the display- and break out of the orbit to enter .. Diplay control approved and acknowledged and hopped over the top of Fort Regent at around 800’I had decided not to enter, as last year, at 200’ but instead come in at 800’ ish .. fly to datum point and the pull the throttle … this would make half the people think it was about to plummet .. then enter into 2 (turned out to be 3) tight left hand turns down to 200’ and then power up and pull out of the dive and then a simple wing overThe practice on Wednesday .. albeit coming in from the other way, was ok .. but a bit “loose”in terms of crisp turns. Display day was much better  and pulled out nicely at around 200’ at about 80+ mphThe remainder of the display was fine with some steep and tight turns and a nice very slow pass at around 40 mph or just above.Rememberd this year to call ‘1 minute to completion’ and broke out of the display line to traverse the front a little longer before pulling out and climbing to Norimont point for some steep turns and then downwind to final 

Jersey International Air Display 2018

Well pre practice day on Wednesday proved a challenge .. I need to fly in front of the Squadron Leader Display Authority to be allowed to enter the display. We started the day at BKN at 100 … not a great start .. also several aircraft were still due to arrive …

Eventually it scraped up to SVFR so I thought great .. BKN 600 off we go … but the big chief Les .. a really nice genuine chap advised that we couldn’t authorise in less than certain minima and we needed 1000

At around 1400 local we finally just about managed it and I dashed out, started up and got airborne

ATC routed me straight into the Display area .. but this meant I was coming in from the ‘wrong’ end .. didn’t matter hugely but I had planned a different entry for this year .. to be fair I had only planned it that morning on the way in on the motorbike … the idea was to not enter at 200’ but come in at around 800’ .. pull the throttle .. slow right down at datum point .. centre of display line … peel over and spiral down to 200’ .. picking up speed on the way …

On recovery to land I was held at a couple of points due to inbound traffic but eventually got to Corbiere (lighthouse) to hear someone call ‘Red 1 .. ILS’ .. my heart sank .. it was great to hear they were here but it sounded like, due to the bad weather, they were coming in singly .. which indeed they were ..  a few minutes later .. Red 2 .. ILS … by the time Red 3 called I had sort of worked out I could well be number 11 to land ! ! And it was getting not only cold but the base was now about 900’

As Red 3 dropped out of cloud .. ATC advised me to call final … then advised me they were landing in 2’s and 3’s so no .. I wasn’t number 11 to land 😉

I peeled over to a tight base leg and went IMC for about 10 seconds … not great as I don’t have an Artificial Horizon … popped out of cloud and landed about 1/2 mile behind Red 3 …

That evening, at the Government house reception I had the pleasure of meeting Red 3 who said … “ oh you landed in the small yellow biplane .. right after me … that’s a Sherwood isn’t it ?’ … turns out the Reds are very into their GA and know their aircraft types !

Thursday – Air Display day

Woke up to a text from a friend asking if I was going to be at the Static display at 8.00 … oops better get my finger out

Got to the aero club in double quick time and put the fold away steps in the front cabane along with the Flying helmet and handouts for the static .. I had had around 70 + kids sit in the aeroplane on Wednesday static and Thursday looked like it was heading the same way. Taxied around to stand 19 and parked up next to the Bronco and a couple of lovely old twins

Jumped out and turned her around by hand and the marshalls kindly dropped the fencing and helped pull her onto to the grass parking for static

At around 9:20 we still had around 10 people lined up for photos and a sit in so speeded through to allow me to get away for the 09:30 pilot briefing.

Pilot  briefing ….

we all sat around .. it’s a great ..but nervous .. feeling .. you are sitting with some pretty awesome pilots .. including , in front of me .. 3 Red Arrows pilots including Red 1.

We were all duly briefed on entry procedures into the box, what to say on the display frequency .. what Not to say … basically you have 3 things to call

– Entry into box

– 1 minute to leaving display

– Leaving box

The rest of the time you are expected to be silent …

After weather and a final running order briefing … we were asked by Les our supremo .. any questions ….

Well .. the earth could have opened up for me when the ONLY question was from Red 1 … “Can I ask a question about the Sherwood” ….!!!!

I was first and they were last .. what could he possibly want to ask …?

“Given the Sherwood planned box time .. and his take off time .. we all 9 .. will be on the runway at the same time as the Sherwood as we line up for departure for the Guernsey display”

Fair point … and one I could actually answer .. I had already planned to get airborne a good 30 mins before display box time … that stated .. Red 1 turned and said .. great .. no problem .. phew.. two of the Reds then chatted about the Sherwood and it’s build and bits .. really nice genuine guys

That sorted .. we all disbanded and I set off to do the final static and get ready for the display ….

Pre prep Air Display 2018

Last weekend I managed to get away from work for a while and ran a nice 1 hour 30 min test flight to checkout the 50 Hour service … ran a dream .. took her up to the South East corner of the island up to around 2,500 feet in a nice slow gentle climb

All temps and pressures absolutely fine .. lots of holds at various parts of the island as it was a really busy day on Saturday .. thing is I don’t mind the holds, which most do, as it gives me an excuse to do lots of figures of 8’s .. make sure I fly through the ‘start’ propwash which means it should be a nice circular shape. The first time you do that it’s quite a shock .. remember doing it in the Stampe and thought something had fallen off as I got a big kick in the wash

A couple of slightly crosswind landings so all good practice …

On the Sunday I took a great friend who I had been on many bike track days with .. a super engineer at heart .. so knew he would get a kick out of it … he flew some lovely steep turns and super straight and level … and some nice hands off to Show it’s nicely balanced even two up

Another good wash and hose down to get some of the grime off ..

Also, cleaned and re-greased all hinges and tail wheel fittings

Will need to get in an under seat to grease yokes and joysticks and also clean floor bits.

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