Having extended the time between overhaul of the propeller by operating on condition, it now seemed prudent to have the prop off and sent to a repair shop for a thorough inspection. The Bölkow 207 is normally fitted with a steel hub Hartzell constant speed prop. The fact that this steel hub model is the only Hartzell prop specified by the airworthiness authority that may be fitted to the 207, is about to cause me a few problems.
On the taxi out at Freidrichshaffen I noticed a slight judder from the right hand brake. Back in the UK we replaced the pads and flipped the disc and all was well. G-EJBI flew three local flights in September, two local flights in October and just the one flight in November. December we flew a local flight and then commenced the annual maintenance. Little did I know it would be May 2021 before G-EJBI flew again.
Paola, Lucy and myself had a lovely couple of days at the Bölkow and Friends Frierichshaffen fly-in. We even recieved a prize for the furthest arrival. After some lovely food, beer and wine on the Saturday evening it was time to fly home on the Sunday morning. Three up with full fuel, camping gear and our prizes, G-EJBI flew direct to Tibenham at FL85 in 4 hours and 10 minutes. The Bölkow 207 is a great touring aeroplane. On the drive home from the airfield, Border Force gave us a ring. Apparently we now need to complete a health declaration 24 hours before arrival in the U.K. Oops!
After a brief stop at Colmar Houssen it was an hour long flight to the Bölkow and Friends organised fly-in at Friedrichshafen. It was becoming a very warm day so after landing it was doors open to catch a cooling breeze. The airport has the Dornier museum and in town there is a Zeppelin museum. Zeppelins fly pleasure flights from the airfield and despite the modern variety being much smaller, they are still quite a sight.
I’m a bit behind with the Blog, so time to catch up! Early August 2020 after three Blackbushe trips G-EJBI set off for Friedrichshafen. Flying direct seemed a bit marginal so we routed to Colmar Houssen in France to clear immigration and pick up some fuel. A very early departure from Tibenham saw us arrive in France mid morning flying over a very beautiful town to a very quiet airfield.. Immigration it seemed had arrived just for our flight as they didn’t hang about after they had checked our passports.
Towards the end of July, Lucy flew Andrew and myself to Blackbushe and then on to Compton Abbas. You need a long cross country with two intermediate stops for a commercial license. Blackbushe has been an excellent destination during these Covid times, very helpful and reasonable for refuelling and any fees are invoiced a few days after your visit. Compton Abbas was its usual busy self, a very beautiful airfield and lovely lunch stop.
Weybourne for Cake
Mid July and a busy flying day for G-EJBI. Lucy and I did few circuits at Tibenham and then flew off to Weybourne to meet up with some other fliers from the Priory Farm Aviators. John Fielding had kindly brought along some cakes which were most welcome. Weyborne is a delightful strip but can be a bit tricky, it all depends on the wind direction. Today it was a nice into wind upslope landing on the short runway but required the longer downhill crosswind runway for departure.
At the end of 2019 my oldest daughter Lucy, obtained her PPL and early 2020 she added a night rating. Now it was time to add the tail wheel differences training. We returned to Clacton so Lucy could fly with Jo McDonald in the Piper Supercub. The five hour course takes a couple of days so on day 2 we flew to down Clacton in G-EJBI. While Lucy was getting to grips with the Cub, I took G-EJBI across to Damyns Hall for fuel. Damyns is a lovely grass strip close to London. Free landings for vintage types is a welcome bonus. Picture is of a Cub departing Clacton, not my finest!
An early trip in June to Blackbushe was followed by a nice day out at Hinderclay Meadows. Hinderclay were having a bit of a Covid secure fly-in which attracted around thirty or so participants. A good study of the approach and airfield information is required as rather unusually for an airfield, along with some trees at the threshold there are some high tension electricity cables running across the runway a little further in. One participating pilot had a very luck escape when he managed to clip the wires on his first approach.
April & May 2020
Due to lockdown G-EJBI didn’t fly in April but May was a bit of a bumper month. Our first trip was an overfly of London Stansted airport, for a bit of sightseeing and a look at all the airliners parked up. Further trips during May were to Leeds East and Nottingham, both first visits for G-EJBI and both first visits for myself. The fuel price at these airports was about the lowest we could find, It’s always a good feeling to fill up with cheap fuel.