Winter Blues . . .

The period between mid-November and April is traditionally the maintenance time for our HAAF aircraft. This year was no exception but was to prove a “bit of a challenge”.

It started off by getting an early start on a “major” on the Beaver. Oh dear, that consumed people and patience. Then we started on the Sioux and the Auster Mk 1. The Sioux had issues and the Auster even more. So more people and patience consumed. We solved most of those on the Sioux and decided the Auster Mk 1 was a long term project after all.

Ever the optimists, we began work on the Scout… Oh dear, the effort to improve the radio and intercom was a “bit of a challenge”. Spot the emerging theme?

Oh well, on to the Chipmunk. Ooops, the generator and voltage regulator are not playing, none in stock and getting into the cockpit to remove them is a “bit of a challenge” for old men who don’t fold and bend very easily.

Never mind – we shall start on the Auster 9 and ground run the Chimunk… Ooops, the hangar doors have jammed, cannot get an aircraft out. Another week lost, a “bit of a challenge”.

We lost time because of bad weather. We lost time trying to get some fuel. We lost time for staffing issues (holidays, as if volunteers can have holidays). We lost time because of complexities of aircraft we had forgotten about and had to relearn, a “bit of a challenge”.

This winter has been a “bit of a challenge” but we shall get there and fly the aircraft. That is why we love doing this. After all, where is the fun if it is not a “bit of a challenge”!