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Monday, 27 August 2012

Almost there

Saturday the 25th, was the day that the maiden flight of our new plane would take place. Unfortunately, the weather was not good enough to fly, so that flight was postponed. And of course, that also meant the the weather was too bad for us to fly to the factory as well :(
Weatheralert Saturday morning 0900 (exactly the planned departure time)

Orbifly map: Light Green = VMC, Dark Green = Marginal VMC, orange = IMC, rood = intensive IMC, Dark Red very intensive IMC (like just belowr Berlijn...)

One of the fellow pilots got a chance to do his Glider instructor exam Saturday, so he had cancelled anyway. We would fly with 5, instead of 6, and one was already there, doing a full week Berlin.

Weather forecast for Saturday was not very nice, but a single shower can be circumvented. For Sunday, however, KNMI (Dutch meteo) predicted almost continuous rain with thunderstorms and gusty wind uo to 75 km/h (35 to 40 kt). Thunderstorms are a severe no-no in aviation, and the possibility of low visibility, low clouds, and windshear, downdrafts, or extreme gusts was also not very appealing.
So, on Friday afternoon I got a cancellation mail from the PIC (Pilot in Command) of the airplane I would fly with, soon followed by the same message from the other PIC. Of course not the message one would hope for, but the only sensible choice. "Better to be on the ground wishing you were up there, than the other way around". A wise saying from the aforementioned PIC.
Halfway Sunday: thunderstorms reign the Dutch-German border
Thunder, and heavy precipitation over NL, on Sunday
I did go to the club, early Friday afternoon. I could borrow Emile's headset for the flight. We would meet at the club after he had made an intro flight with a prospective participant, after which I could use the headset. This type of headset (Lightspeed Zulu) is on my wishlist, but before I spend €800,= on such a thing, I would like to know if I find it worth the money.
Lightspeed Zulu Headset

I did not get to fully test it, because I did not try it out in an airplane. But I did get to feel the fit, try out the ANR (Active Noise Reduction), and the sound quality of music from my Iphone over Bluetooth. I must say: top notch on all three accounts :) I was especially positively surprised by the wearing comfort. Now, I don't have anything to objectively compare to. So far I have only worn those headsets anyone can borrow at flying clubs; not the best quality any more ;). So that does not count in the sense of a product comparison. I have worn the headset for about one hour, with my regular glasses on (thicker "legs" than my sunglasses), and did not feel any pressure spots whatsoever. The cups seal very well, which of course is essential for good ANR performance. Weird experience, this ANR. But ideal in a cockpit situation, I would imagine. I'll have to try that out some time soon :)

That chance might come sooner than expected, because word came from the factory that the airplane is almost finished.
Starting to look like the final plane... :)
The bottleneck for delivery will probably be the paperwork for the Dutch aircraft registration. The expectation is that delivery can be arranged in two or three weeks, preferably on a Friday. Flying there on Thursday, and back on Friday would mean 2 days off from work. Probably we'll go there early Friday morning, do an acceptance flight on Friday, and the return leg on Saturday.
Let's hope I can get those particular days off, and that we'll fly to Schönhagen with two planes, and back with three ...
Maybe I'll even get to fly a leg of the deliveryflight. How cool would that be! :)

To be continued...

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