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OldFart

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OldFart last won the day on June 28 2017

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  1. I have also never heard of a case of engine icing with fuel injected engines. They are not fitted with any sort of intake heater, so it's difficult to see how you could control it if there were.
  2. Depends on exactly where you are and what sort of clouds. Playing in & out of the tops of isolated cumulous can be done safely if you make frequent checks for traffic from a good vantage point out of cloud. Flying around the "mountains" and "valleys" of cumulous is good fun. The video stopped for me after a minute or so (copyright issues I think), so I did not get to see the point it was illustrating. As far as "hands off" on a helicopter - the time you can get away with it depends on the size. I would not let go of the controls of an R22, but a Jetranger is fairly stable in forward flight for a reasonable time - it can be trimmed far better than the smaller machines.
  3. A helicopter is the very worse type of aircraft to get into cloud with no gyro instruments, because it is inherently unstable. It will not fly "hands off" for more than a few minutes at the most. In a conventional fixed-wing you can safely descend through unbroken cloud (so long as not too turbulent) without gyro instruments if you trim everything for a straight descent on a Southerly heading (in Northern hemisphere) while above cloud and then take your hands completely off the controls, using the compass to detect the start of any turn and correcting with small *rudder* inputs. On a Southerly heading the compass will lead the turn, making it more sensitive to turns so you correct promptly. In the Southern hemisphere you should fly North. I was once flying a helicopter with no gyro instruments except a DI when low cloud formed beneath me incredibly fast - with its base on the ground in may places (i.e. fog). I spotted a hole over a field where the base appeared to be about 250 feet and descended through it in a slow, tight turn, but the hole was closing and I ended up IMC for about 10 very anxious seconds. Even after that brief time, I exited the cloud in an unexpected attitude. Another few seconds and I suspect I would have got into an extreme position that would not have been recoverable. The forecast had predicted an increasing difference between temperature and dewpoint throughout the morning, but they got it wrong, and quite a few pilots were caught out (my home airport had became fogged-in, but fortunately a field landing in a helicopter is a non-event, so I landed and waited for it to burn off, which it did after about an hour). I have as yet no experience of paramotors, but I would have thought that so long as you ensure you are not going to fly into cumulo-granite, a decent without instruments should be fairly easily possible with no loss of control due to the inherent stability, but I stand to be corrected.
  4. Oh, I dunno. That would be a reverse loop (a bunt), which would look pretty spectacular, especially as I suspect the pilot would involuntarily initiate the equivalent of "smoke on" during the process. I'd be more concerned about a 180° where the manoeuvre terminates with the pilot left vertically above the wing, which could prove a tad tricky to recover from ...
  5. Amazing that I have never heard of this before. I was aware that being trapped (e.g. in a cockpit) upside down could lead to death (I think positional asphyxia BICBW), but was completely unaware that hanging upright in a harness was also dangerous. Excellent post!
  6. That's known as "QFE" (pressure at ground level at a particular location). That's useful for local flights, but not cross-country flights. It will not relate to any of the heights on a chart (of objects and airspace), and will also not help you maintain separation should you be told of another aircraft flying at a particular height. If, for example the bottom of controlled airspace starts at 2500 feet and you are pootling around at 2000 feet indicated - but you set your altimeter to read zero at the top of a 600 foot hill - you will be violating controlled airspace!
  7. AFAIAA using the registration of the aircraft as a radio callsign is only a convention. So long as the callsign used stays the same throughout the flight, is unambiguous and ATC know who & what they are talking to I believe anything is legal. Almost all commercial and many private aircraft use their company name plus a flight number instead of an aircraft registration, and all aircraft flying in a formation will typically use the same ad-hoc root callsign followed by a number. Even if ATC cannot see you on radar it is useful because they will warn other aircraft of your approximate location and last known altitude, and give you a heads-up about traffic in your vicinity - and they will call you for a position/level update if other aircraft get close to your track. Remember that altitude is usually reported relative to "regional QNH" rather than actual height AMSL or standard pressure, and on some days this can make a considerable difference if you are relying on reported height differences for separation.
  8. I sit corrected. It must be a relatively new regulation - it was not required about 15 years ago when I bought an aircraft, which surprised me at the time (though I got full hull insurance as is the norm).
  9. As an ignorant additional question - which is the safer sport? ISTM that flying in relatively calm air by yourself 1000 feet from anything solid might be safer than flying in more turbulent air close to a hillside in close proximity to other aircraft, and additionally the more frequently a person gets to fly, generally the safer they become. Also I should think it is nice to have the option to "go around" if you've badly misjudged the landing approach or spot an obstacle very late. But as I have as yet zero experience of either, I've probably overlooked many other factors.
  10. I suspect that will depend on whether you friend was commenting or complaining!
  11. Conventional private aircraft don't by law require insurance in the UK either, though you'd be hard pressed to find any that do not have cover. Most licenced airports won't allow an aircraft to take off without insurance (though in my experience they never ask to see it). I'm reasonably laid-back about the importance of it - it depends how more likely you think it is that you will cause expensive damage to other people while pursuing your hobby than you are when doing other stuff that is not covered by insurance. It hardly seems worthwhile to have rescue cover of a measly 2500 Euro.
  12. I've not yet done any paramotoring (plan to start mid-July), but I do have a PPL, though my knowledge of air-law may now be a tad out of date. I saw the query about how to get to 500 feet without breaking the rules. I'll comment that the 500 foot rule states that you must not fly within 500 feet of people and structures *except for the purpose of take-off or landing* so you are operating within the rules during your take-off climb and landing descent. The 1500 foot rule applies effectively to areas coloured yellow on a UK air chart. The rule regarding the amount of times per year you are permitted to use a private site refers to the number of times *per runway*. Change your take-off or landing direction by more than 10 degrees and it becomes a different runway! I was told by an instructor that the purpose of the latter rule is to prevent aircraft operating from a private site from becoming a noise nuisance. It is unlikely to be enforced unless there are noise complaints, so choose departure routes to limit your noise footprint over residences. Landings are less sensitive (lower noise). Apart from accidents, excessive complaints from members of the public are what would be likely to drive regulation and registration the most, so to stave off the regulations for as long as possible, fly considerately. As well as noise, that will include not flying in a way that would make the average non-flying person who sees you fear for the safety of yourself or others. Don't "blip" the motor (can be mistaken for a mechanical problem). If you do any aerobatics or other extreme manoeuvres, stay in the area for a few minutes afterwards in climbing & controlled flight so that nobody sees you disappear over the horizon, thinks you've crashed and calls 999.
  13. Some people get bitter as they grow old, others become more benevolent. I've seen the best in people and the worst in people. I always assume the best unless proven otherwise. I've been right more often than I've been wrong. Besides, I'd far rather get conned than refuse help to someone who genuinely needs it.
  14. No, I haven't joined any club yet. It's just how the kids usually refer to me!
  15. I started flying sailplanes when I was 14 - that was 48 years ago (though not in England), and went solo in just a couple of months. I got lots of help from the club members, often helping with the various jobs in the club in return for a flight, and also being taken up by members who owned 2-seat sailplanes to get unofficial practice. Unless things have changed a lot, club members are very welcoming of youngsters who have a passion for flying. Later in life I took up skydiving briefly, and there was a 16 year old who was equally welcomed and had many "sponsored" jumps in return for doing catering and cleaning jobs in the clubhouse, and joined us on many "away" events. I've since done many different flying activities, and will soon be starting to train on paramotors, but have yet to visit a club. I am slightly surprised by Casper's response, as I would have thought that paragliding clubs would be equally welcoming of someone your age, and you wouldn't have a great deal of difficulty in finding someone who would give you lifts when necessary and assist getting you flying. But I am also aware that the World has become far more paranoid and protective, and while in my youth teenagers would routinely "do their own thing," hitch-hike far and wide for weekend unsupervised camping trips and partake in all sorts of "dangerous" activities with no thought of needing parental permission, these days it is frowned upon for a teenager to be too independent, so unless you can get a parent involved to provide the necessary cotton-wool, you may not have that option. So maybe you could get your Mum or Dad interested? Or another close relative? Even if you tell them it is just for a one-off visit to a club. You never know, they may get "bitten" by the flying bug.
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