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The falking is back...


Summer is on the way, and it's going to be hot, real hot. The temperature was hitting the early 30's but fortunately there was a nice fresh breeze from the E, no SE, wait S, no no E, no rather SE; well it just couldn't make up it's mind.

Skylark 3Our old Skylark 3B that has not been flown in over two years was stripped down and given the full treatment for it's airworthy certificate. This will be the next plane I fly as it apparently flies much more like the Blanik than does the club's single Astir CS Jeans.

So of course I gave the cockpit a try. Nice and snug to say the least. The place-card had some really interesting numbers, like a maximum winch launch speed of 100 kph and a Vne of 180 kph, mmmhhhh?

Sklylark 3 winglessOk, so let's start flying. It was then that we discovered that our trusty winch was kaput (again). Someone had left the radio on during the week and the battery was very much pap. To make things worse it seems as if the alternator may no longer be functioning quite as an alternator should.

Fortunately the Motor Falke is back in action and the instructor gave me the go ahead for a flight. A quick look at my logbook showed that so far I have had 14 solo flights and the last one was 9 September this year, just before it's prop strike (not me!!!). So that's well, eeeerr, carry the two, ok, 3 months since my last flight. I was a little apprehensive, especially regards that all important landing bit. But once I was back in the cockpit it all came right back to me. My first circuit was short and low but it went off well enough.

Goodyear and VW SA FactoriesI then headed for the ridge and with the Easterly blowing I was hoping for some lift; nothing. I scrapped around there with the engine on idle for about 15 minutes before I ventured elsewhere for lift. I found some nice thermals to the north of the ridge near the sandy patches and managed to thermal up to 2000 ft. I was then joined by a Lambada motor glider and it was fun.

I returned to the airfield for a touch and go then a full stop landing. When I filling the logbooks I was surprised to notice that I had been away for 75 minutes. How time flies when you are having fun. Going to be a bit tough on the bank balance though at 274,20ZAR.