My first aviation engineer was Bob Wright from Jersey Channel Island Aero Services .. I used to love his easy going solid support and guidance ..not making me feel like some oik … muscling in on his profession but embracing, supportive and inclusive
Bob sadly passed away a couple of weeks ago … thank you Bob for all that you freely gave both in skills, friendship and support … I couldn’t have started OR finished without you.
Next was Mike Fleming, who also freely gave huge amounts of time to ‘watch at a distance’ a great skill … to not dive in and show me how it’s done (when all I would have learned was how good HE was at doing it !) but instead, nudge, ask (timely) questions … see if I understood what I was doing and what would then logically follow …. Mike did (and still does) provide context and oversight that meant you felt supported .. and learned from mistakes rather than bury your head in your hands !
Now, in the U.K., I have the pleasure of working with someone like James Milne. A wonderful easy going mine of knowledge and niceness
I could learn something every minute from this guy …. His focused ‘no nonsense’ approach to each and every step and then setting up and driving action to rectify anything is just great to be around.
At the Ranger annual today he spotted that a bevel was not quite as free as it should be .. he followed this through and suspected that he undercarriage had been stressed at some point.
To validate this we needed to get the weight off the undercarriage so, within minutes he was up a ladder, we had moved the aircraft to position it under a main hanger beam. A strop was erected and we had the aircraft floating just above ground level.
We slackened the main u/c pins and then strapped the Left and Right wheel .. so it wouldn’t splay on release, then removed the centre V brace.
Now, with the weight off … you could see and feel the saddle clamps had started to dislodge. I don’t recall any particularly heavy landings .. apart from the first grass one crossing the channel to Sandown …maybe it could have been just 5 years on concrete landings …
Whatever .. it’s been spotted … it’s a relatively easy reconstruct and replace with new parts … 2 brace arms, 2 cross plates, 4 mounting arms .. 4 saddle clamps and a set of nickel rivets