It was quite a bleak, somewhat miserable day on Wednesday 25th May. Helping to cut the grass on the landing strip meant standing around for some time in the chilly wind watching the more experienced members of the club operating the mowers with precision and skill. When flying actually commenced, one or two members were were chilled to the bone. However, Campervan Dave had a plan to warm us up.
He launched his Riot and flew it about for a bit. I was flying my Trainstar at the time, so I didn’t take a great deal of notice of the sounds that were coming from Dave. He often comments on how well his flight is going, so at this stage I wasn’t concerned! However, when I landed the Trainstar I was the only person on the flying field and when I returned to where the cars were parked, there wasn’t a soul in sight! Everyone seemed to have disappeared!
To cut what could be a long story a bit shorter, it appears that Dave had lost control of the Riot which had quickly flown out of the flying field and apparently out of the next field as well! Everyone had formed a search party to look for the missing Riot.
The good news is that the Riot was found. The bad news is that it had apparently landed on its tail. Again another first for Dave.
When it was first inspected, there didn’t seem to be much damage!
However, on further inspection there was some minor damage which would probably need a bit more than a polish!
Dave was sure that when the Riot took off, both wheels were pointing in the same direction.
He was also sure that it didn’t have an all flying tailplane and rudder!
In fact the damage was so bad that Mel commented – ‘It’s dead, Jim!’ ( I think that’s what he said!)
There was much speculation about what had caused Dave to lose control. Some suggested the ultra-sophisticated, modern, technically advanced frequency hopping ACCST technology. Others suggested pilot error and failing eye sight. There was no firm conclusion to this debate.
Dave tried to screw the Riot back together with his biggest screwdriver, but even after lots of advice and guidance from colleagues backed up with offers of gaffer tape, superglue, hammers and a six inch nail, Dave decided to abandon flying for the day and get the Riot back to the workshop for a bit of a makeover. It remains to be seen whether he chooses to keep the all flying tailplane and rudder.
On the bright side – the folding prop was still serviceable!