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  • Newbie questions

    Hi there,

    I used to fly gliders down South and when I moved to Staffordshire, the lack of facilities in the area forces me to find another way to get into the air and a flex wing may just be the drug to I need to fuel my addiction.

    I've been down to my local airfield at Archlid (8.5 miles away from home :yeah: ) and possibly driven the CFI there mad bombarding him with questions.

    My aim is to obtain my microlight 'Wings' and buy a fairly basic elec. start, 2 stroke ship to build hours/experience and undertake a few simple tasks, hopefully in the company of new found friends (wife not interested yet!).

    There are a few more questions I have and please, forgive me if you have been asked them a hundred times before but before I make the commitment, I need to do my homework.

    What is the Betts test, how often is it conducted, who conducts it and what is a ball park figure to have one conducted?

    I am assuming each engine manufacturer supplies their own maintenace schedule but is there an average service interval ie every 100 hours? Does the person carrying out this schedule need to be a licensed? What records need to be kept to validate this work has been completed?

    At what intervals does the airframe need to be inspected? I assume each year to maintain C of A

    but just checking.

    What costs are involved in an annual C of A?

    If I wanted to fit a landing light, strobe, VHF radio/ant. etc, do these need to be fitted by a licensed engineer and will the installation need to be type approved?

    After having looked and a large number of adverts for flex wings for sale, I see the majority have a significant difference in airframe hours to engine hours (more AF hours/less eng. hours). Do I assume the engine had been upgraded? Obviously something to ask the seller but it seems the norm. especially on the older ships.

    What (in A/F hours) is considered an old aircraft or is this a balance between airframe/engine/wing/upgrades/replaced items etc?

    If I view an aircraft for sale, what paperwork should I be looking for, should I negotiate if the engine is due/past its service interval or is that not the done thing in such circles?

    Are there independant folk I could call upon to take with me to view aircraft I am considering buying?

    Forgive me if the questions are out of line or submitted on the forum subject and thanks for taking the time to read the above.

    Rob Shepherd

  • #2
    Newbie questions

    Rob Shepherd wrote:

    Hi there,

    I used to fly gliders down South and when I moved to Staffordshire, the lack of facilities in the area forces me to find another way to get into the air and a flex wing may just be the drug to I need to fuel my addiction.

    I've been down to my local airfield at Archlid (8.5 miles away from home :yeah: ) and possibly driven the CFI there mad bombarding him with questions.

    My aim is to obtain my microlight 'Wings' and buy a fairly basic elec. start, 2 stroke ship to build hours/experience and undertake a few simple tasks, hopefully in the company of new found friends (wife not interested yet!).

    There are a few more questions I have and please, forgive me if you have been asked them a hundred times before but before I make the commitment, I need to do my homework.

    What is the Betts test, how often is it conducted, who conducts it and what is a ball park figure to have one conducted?

    I am assuming each engine manufacturer supplies their own maintenace schedule but is there an average service interval ie every 100 hours? Does the person carrying out this schedule need to be a licensed? What records need to be kept to validate this work has been completed?

    At what intervals does the airframe need to be inspected? I assume each year to maintain C of A

    but just checking.

    What costs are involved in an annual C of A?

    If I wanted to fit a landing light, strobe, VHF radio/ant. etc, do these need to be fitted by a licensed engineer and will the installation need to be type approved?

    After having looked and a large number of adverts for flex wings for sale, I see the majority have a significant difference in airframe hours to engine hours (more AF hours/less eng. hours). Do I assume the engine had been upgraded? Obviously something to ask the seller but it seems the norm. especially on the older ships.

    What (in A/F hours) is considered an old aircraft or is this a balance between airframe/engine/wing/upgrades/replaced items etc?

    If I view an aircraft for sale, what paperwork should I be looking for, should I negotiate if the engine is due/past its service interval or is that not the done thing in such circles?

    Are there independant folk I could call upon to take with me to view aircraft I am considering buying?

    Forgive me if the questions are out of line or submitted on the forum subject and thanks for taking the time to read the above.

    Rob Shepherd

    Hi Rob, firstly welcome and no your questions are not at all out of line. Let's see what I can do with your perfectly valid questions.
    1) The Betts test, this is a method of testing the integrity of the wings fabric. Crudely put, a little spike attached to a spring balance is hooked into the fabric and a measured load appied. Fabic weakened, probably by UV damage, will tear.
    This is carried out every year by your BMAA inspector as part of the inspection of your aircraft of the issue of its "Permit to Fly"
    2) Engine maintainance should be carried out as recomended by the engine manufacturer. It is the responsibility of the aircraft owner the ensure that this and any other maintainance task is carried out. Most people do their own until the major service (with a Rotax every 300hrs) this is often done by a more qualifed person, although you may do it yourself.
    A 2 stroke egine this will probably be one of the Rotax types although an earlier type may be fitted with a Robin engine. Each aircraft should, as part of its paperwork have an operators handbook this will guide you as to when work neads to be carried out. e.g. check for decoke 50hrs.
    Records of this must be kept in either a section of the logbook that is supplied for the purpose or a logbook specificaly for the engine.
    3)Microlights are amongst the aircraft that fly with what is know as a "Permit to Fly". This must be renewed every year and as I mentioned above it is carried out by a BMAA inspector.
    This inspection is of the entire aircraft and its paperwork that is the logbooks, engine and airframe and all the receipts for any replacement parts. That last is to prove that only the correct parts from a suitable source are fitted.
    See
    http://www.bmaa.org/upload/techdocs/2004541056200.Guide%20to%20airworthiness%20procedures_7.pdf
    Worth mentioning is that this will not apply to sub 115kg machines as defined here
    http://www.bmaa.org/newsitem.asp?NewsID=84
    4) This varies from inspector to inspector but typicaly £70-£120. Plus, of course the cost of any work that he identifys that needs to be done
    5) all these are jobs that you can do yourself once you have the mod. cleared by the BMAA Tec. Office. The sort of job you mention can be done under the "Minmod" scheme.
    For details of this see
    http://www.bmaa.org/techdocs.asp?Doc...+Modifications
    6) Yes almost certainly. Engines are often changed as the unit grows older, possibly because of failure or maybe just to replace an engine that has been flogged to death, perhaps just to upgrade to one with a stronger crank or to move away from points ignition.
    To check if engine has been correctly maintained check the enginge logbook against the appropriate one of these
    http://www.rotax-aircraft-engines.com/a_searchdoc.aspx
    7) This depends on the individual aircraft. Normaly it is thought to be best if aircraft has been correctly maintained and used fairly regularly. A carefuly used correctly maintained aircraft with over 1000hrs is fine.
    8)If you are checking an aircraft idealy you will want a copy of the aircrafts's TADS you can find those here for any flexwing type
    http://www.bmaa.org/techdocs.asp?Doc...ets+%28TADS%29
    These will give details of the type including any mandatory mods. You can also contact the manufacturer, details here
    http://www.bmaa.org/directory.asp
    to get copies of any service bulletins including advisory ones
    Check those and the engine stuff against the logbooks, there should also be the receipts mentioned above.
    9) The best person to take along is a BMAA inspector who is familiar with the type , advice at your nearest club should point you at the local guy.
    As you can see it is well worth spending time wading thought the BMAA site there is masses of info there
    Good Luck
    Ginge

    Comment


    • #3
      Newbie questions

      Ginge,

      Your response is very concise and, I imagine, took quite some time to compose, thank you very much for taking the time to reply.

      I actually got my first hour in a microlight today and I do believe I may just have to see it through to the end, much to wifeys despair, bless her :tongue:

      Rob Shepherd

      Comment


      • #4
        Newbie questions

        Rob Shepherd said...Much clipped

        I actually got my first hour in a microlight today and I do believe I may just have to see it through to the end, much to wifeys despair, bless her :tongue:

        Rob Shepherd

        [/quote]
        Well done Rob, I've sat here all day surrounded by huge cu nims, that is when they weren't overhead :cry:
        Ginge

        Comment


        • #5
          Newbie questions

          I recently boaught a copy of "Leisure Aviation" and was surprised at the number of microlight in there canyou tell me if the following still applies - MTOW 472.5kg Stall speed 65 kph and wing area of 25 sq ft - the last one is the most important as most of those machines classifid as FAI - ML are well over this. Bearing this in mind can some one either direct me or tell me what the main criteria is :devil:

          Comment


          • #6
            Newbie questions

            I think you may be refering to a wing loading not greater than 25kg/m which is an alternative in most countries to having to prove compliance by stall speed measurement. It is generally accepeted that with a wing that big it will comply without any high lift devices (flaps, slats etc) evcen with a relatively low lift coeffcient aerofoil. Most modern tyes have higher laoded more efficient wings so go for the stall speed measurement. they then benifit from faster cruise speeds and better turbulence handling. However generally they are more complicated and cost more!

            Paul

            Comment


            • #7
              Newbie questions

              Yes sorry Paul thats what I meant so if I understand you right if you don't exceed the stall rate with a wing loading greater than 25kg/sq metre then that satisfies the letter of the law. Also looking at the site there are none of the later microlights, does that mean they do not have a Permit to Fly for the UK.

              Regards

              :devil:

              Comment


              • #8
                Newbie questions

                I'm sorry if my question seems rather simple and doesn't deserve an answer but to a newbie its a minefield out here so will try again "Yes sorry Paul thats what I meant so if I understand you right if you don't exceed the stall rate with a wing loading greater than 25kg/sq metre then that satisfies the letter of the law. Also looking at the site there are none of the later microlights listed, does that mean they do not have a Permit to Fly for the UK." Also can anyone tell me if any pulsar models have been accepted as a microlight in the uk and if you purchase a microlight from a European Country that has certificated a model as a Microlight can that be flown in the Uk by a Uk user or does it have to be re-certificated and who and how is that done.

                Regards

                DaveN

                Comment


                • #9
                  Newbie questions

                  [quote=Dave Newington (Been told I could)]
                  I'm sorry if my question seems rather simple and doesn't deserve an answer but to a newbie its a minefield out here so will try again
                  Actually your question is not simple at all and it's a minefield for the experienced people too.
                  Generally, I would advise someone interested in a particular type, especially a new or newish type,to direct their questions straight to the manufacturer or importer.
                  On the general matter of 25N per sq metre wing loading, no that is an alternative to the stall speed requirement - or in historical terms, the stall speed requirement was brought in later to permit aircraft with a higher wing loading to be classified as microlights.
                  I cannot advise about the details of importing a new type or variant into the country because that is indeed a complicated matter. I suggest you start by reading this 12-page Technical Information Leaflet published by the BMAA.

                  have fun
                  Joan :smurf:

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Newbie questions

                    Thanx joan will have a good read and may have to come back but thank you for you quick response

                    regards
                    DaveN

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Newbie questions

                      Dear Rob,

                      Looks like you've had most if not all of your questions adressed.....

                      Anyway, if you're in Staffordshire,... what on Earth are you doing at ARCLID ???

                      They're all too sensible up there !! If you'd like to balance this by meeting a bunch of looneys, just pop down the M6 a bit further to OTHERTON ( opposite Penkridge, between J12 and 13 - exit at 13 )

                      The airfield cafe is open between 11 AM and 4 PM on weekends and you'd be very welcome, better still, why not get a ride here in a microlight and have your brekkie ?? so long as this doesn't interfere too much with your training schedule / budget.

                      Keep asking the questions....

                      Kind regards,

                      Phil

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Newbie questions

                        Hello,
                        I'm a newbie, my name is Chuck. I have a Laron Aviation Streak Shadow aircraft and am needing some guidance. I'm trying to find a Crosbie wing fold hinge to put on my aircraft. If I could get some dimensions, photo's, and mounting directions it would be greatly appreciated. I have the ability to make the hinges myself. I've searched the web and other sites for information and found no help so far. Thank you.........Chuck

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Newbie questions

                          It's quite a while since these questions were posted and most of the links are no longer valid since the BMAA web site has been revamped.

                          Best bet is to go to www.bmaa.org and follow the big red button on the home page.

                          Joan

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Newbie questions

                            You could also try asking on Microlight Forum as this one does not allow non BMAA members to join, where as the other forum is open to all.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Newbie questions

                              Indeed…

                              or

                              http://www.pprune.com/


                              or [url="http://services.lightaircraftassociation.co.uk/phpbbforum"][u]

                              or http://forums.flyer.co.uk/

                              or http://www.recreationalflying.com/forum/#recreational-aviation.27

                              or any good search engine.

                              However you find out about our sport: welcome.

                              Comment

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