May 21, 2007

Low and Slow

My other plane is a Mazda Miata ... well not really. But when I began flying our amateur-built CH601, that's how I described it to folks. "It flies the way a Miata drives." I don't drive a Miata so it's all about impressions rather than facts.

During the move to the west coast, the nose tire went flat. The culprit was a piece of metal debris embedded in the tread. The original kit-tires were labeled "Wheelbarrow Tyre. Not Approved For Hiway Use." Which always made me laugh wondering if that meant I shouldn't land on a road in the case of an engine failure. I could just imagine the RCMP officer congratulating me for surviving the landing, then noticing the inscription on my tires and with a long face, issuing me a ticket. Then of course Transport Canada and my insurance company would become involved, arguing about whether this invalidates my Certificate of Airworthiness. And the more I'd laugh about it, the more I'd wonder if this could actually happen!

Last year, I'd already swapped the main tires for trailer tires. Not because of any serious concern about the above comments, but because I use asphalt runways more than grass, and the wheelbarrow tires were wearing out too fast. I think the rubber can't stand the heat. I was procrastinating about the nose-wheel so this was the time to change the whole unit.


Meanwhile the airplane sat out at the airport looking very dejected and neglected. It was being carefully guarded by the official airport attack rabbits. And also by several friendly and welcoming pilots and home-builders. Airport life turns out to be about three parts socializing, and one part actually working on the plane.
So, when time came this spring to finally get the nose wheel re-installed, I was grateful to have my wife and chief 'assistant' along. As well as being an accomplished commercial pilot and flying instructor, she's also comfortable with wrenches and such. Consequently, while I was engaged in greeting the new friends at the field, she actually managed to get some work done.

And finally the airplane is re-assembled and waiting only for the Annual Inspection.

1 comment:

Flyin Dutchman said...

Looks like you will soon have a great platform for picture taking !

Can't wait to see some coastal mountain pictures as well as up the strait !

Cheers,
FD