Newsletter Issue 29 – September 2016

Blackburn Flyers Newsletter

Issue 29 – September 2016

Brough Family day

The big event to commemorate Brough Centenary has finally arrived and we prepared the Seaplane for the remarkable flight on Family day.

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Click on picture to enlarge

The day was filled with surprises.  To start with the wind was too strong, cross the runway and just below the acceptable flying envelope, so we did a quick assessment to see if it is still possible to fly in that strong wind. The pilot wanted to fly from the grass runway as it was more favourable with the northerly wind direction. Although we were within our time slot, it didn’t take long before we realised that the display planes are still approaching the airfield and landing on the grass runway.

With the grass runway out of reach and most of the normal runway used as car park, we planned to fly across the runway towards the wind and use part of the taxiway as extra take-off space. This would have given us a similar space as the previous flights, so we saw that as a feasible alternative to the grass runway.

As we were discussing where we could move the seaplane in relation to the runway, a Huey helicopter approached and landed in the middle of our designated flight path. At this point the flight team were discussing if they need to abort the flight all together as the helicopter was a big liability and directly in the flight path.

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Click on picture to enlarge

With all the pressure to get airborne the team were looking at alternative plan and decided to move to the back of the runway and fly in front of the helicopter but this would have provided smaller area and sharper turn which was at the edge of the seaplane’s flight capabilities.

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Click on picture to enlarge

Well as you can see from the photographs we did get airborne, but with the combination of lack of flight space and high tail wind, the seaplane did not gain adequate height and landed at the side of the grassy bank and there were some damage to the float struts, wheels and lower starboard wing.

Following the incident we examined the data captured by the flight data recorder and it is evident that the position of the helicopter combined with unfavourable wind speed and direction were the main contributors and the combination of these factors stopped the seaplane gain adequate altitude to clear the grassy bank.

 

Build Next steps:

Repair the minor damages and take the seaplane to Scarborough Engineering week on 11th to 13th October 2016.