Between late April and the begining of May we had a few flights in G-EJBI from Tibenham. Andrew flew it in the main but I was allowed a few take offs and landings and with the drier weather we decided on a trip down to Clacton. It’s a nice place to visit, £10 landing fee, which included a couple of extra circuits coupled with a nice trip to the beach for some beach cafe food. Recommended as a relaxing destination, a bit old school, nice and quiet.
After our first flight we resolved to fix the tail wheel lock. On the ground directional stability seemed poor and would be helped by the lock during take off and the landing roll. The lock was not engaging as it was misaligned. Shims of pretty poor quality were replaced and the lock realigned with the hole on the support tube. The bolts holding the tail wheel assembly would benefit from being fractionally longer to allow a full set of washers but discover sourcing metric bolts quite a challenge. I have ordered some Imperial and a reamer, will need to talk to licensed maintenance before proceeding.
After our first flight it was decided we had to fix the tail wheel lock and replace the battery before further flying & starting attempts. Eventually the tail wheel lock issue was resolved and with the ARC due soon G-EJBI headed off to Little Snoring for a discussion with the resident maintenance company. The guys were very pleasant but decided, probably quite rightly, it was not their type of plane and although they did not want to leave us in the lurch I was advised that any work they undertook would be expensive. We left Little Snoring a little unsure how to proceed.
The day after G-EJBI had landed in Norfolk it was deemed time to go and fly her. Andrew had read the flight manual, had flown with the previous owner and had completed a tail wheel course. I was not much help, all I kept saying was the ATA pilots in the last war only had the pilots notes to teach them a new type. We were airborne just after 2pm and back on the ground at 3.45pm. The flight was pretty uneventful, Andrew did a great job, the roll out on landing was a bit too interesting. We learnt quite a bit about the tail wheel lock, namely that it didn’t work on our aircraft and it would be very useful if it did.