Morning Glory Cloud

Morning Glory Cloud
Morning Glory over Massacre Inlet (photo: Diane Davey)

Friday, October 29, 2010

Good to go, except for low

I went back up to Tocumwal on Thursday evening so I could get an early start Friday helping Mike fit the magneto back in FLK and time it. The magneto is the engine bit that makes the spark plugs spark, so it's essential for the engine to fire. It's also important that it is timed properly so that the spark is created at the right time for the engine to run smoothly.  FLKs magneto was behaving badly, so it needed a bit of attention.
Quick magneto story... When I first came to Australia, I was really into skydiving.  I was jumping down at Pakenham and occasionally helped out on the manifest desk on the weekends. Manifest is like the front desk - where jumpers sign up to go up on a load and also pay for their jumps. The planes used to work pretty hard down there and as you'd expect, things occasionally needed some maintenance. Manifest would also keep people informed if there were any delays or issues with loads. Mary Kelly, who used to run the desk had a clever way of handling questions relating to aircraft issues. Regardless of what the problem was (often we wouldn't know yet anyway), Mary would put on a sombre expression and nod knowingly, saying : "magneto..." The person would either return a knowing nod and shrug "hmph..." or just look blankly. Either way, it would immediately stop any further enquiries on the matter, which was the desired effect.  
How clever would I have looked if I'd applied Mary's theory to FLK!  You wonder why I fly planes with no engines.
This weekend is Melbourne Cup Weekend, which means Tuesday is a public holiday and many people usually take the Monday off. It also often means Victoria is likely to be covered in a low pressure system (wind and rain).  Melbourne Cup weekend is the unofficial start of the gliding season. There are club camps and activities all over the place (e.g. lots of Victorians going to fly elsewhere). The Vintage Gliders Australia folks are having gathering at Bacchus Marsh so having missed out on flying into the Antique Aeroplane Association of Australia's fly in last weekend, I was hoping I could fly the Falke into this Vintage Gliding event. Unfortunately, now it's the weather's turn to be uncooperative. I still can't wait to get down there (driving)  to catch up with everyone (better get going!)
So FLK is now ready to finish off the trip (thanks Mike!). Aside from the weather, there are a few logistical challenges to work through but essentially we're right to go. I can't wait to get back into the air!

Must be Melbourne Cup weekend! (image from Weatherzone)
FLK with 'The Catcher' - my time saving low tech invention for accidentally dropped bolts and screws.

Mike hard at work while I warm up in the cockpit. Someone had to take the photo!

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