Rays of hope for a better year and more flying days ahead

In this issue:

Shaw's Report - our Chairman Ian's Reflections on 2020 and his New Year's resolutions

Club Night Report - the talk, the video, the quiz, the cocktails and Ian on why CF is the best flying club in the world

Sue Beesley describes her first solo

Daniel Langton thanks the flexwing fixers of Rochdale

The Flying Bard a.k.a. Dave Moore plays rhymes with the LLR

Shaw's Report

Welcome to the first edition of Cheshire Flyers 2021 and of course a very Happy New Year to all our lovely members.

First up – my New Year’s resolutions and this year I'm determined to master the art of Aeros, start my Instrument Rating as well as stop drinking those cheeky glasses of wine mid-week (except 3rd Monday of course), get fit(ter), finish those outstanding projects I never get around to - songs, motorbike/ car rebuilds etc, produce Shaw's report on time... In fact, virtually identical goals to last year – all of which I failed in miserably…

For those who missed our glorious zoom Christmas bash we enjoyed a superb night of fun and antics. A huge thanks to all those who assisted in making it a very enjoyable evening – you know who you are! I gave my customary Reflections of 2020 chat which, for those who missed it (and are in need of a brief nap), is reproduced in its entirety below.

Safe Flying for 2021....

Reflections of 2020 (delivered on the Christmas Club night zoom call)

Welcome to Cheshire Flyers – soon to be the most stylish flying club on the planet! But what a weird year, strange times for us all…

A year when Cheshire Flyers were treated by baptism of fire to our new social media channel - I am of course referring to’ Cheshire Flyers Whats App Chat Group’ – often fondly referred to as the ‘the Nick & Garry experience’

And who can forget with such blockbuster movies as ‘Missing fuel cap’, promptly followed by the much- awaited sequel ‘Found the fuel cap’…Such was the public response I’ve heard they are secretly working on part 3 ‘Where are my keys?’

All that to come in 2021…

But frankly talking – and let’s be honest - without their constant Tom Foolery, our cyberspace would be a much duller place to hang out…

2020 - the year when corona juice hit our shores causing multiple lockdowns, missed flying opportunities, massive bacon butties deprivation and the loss of our monthly Wheatsheaf get together.

But did we give up and let these sad unusual times get the better of us?

NO – Of course not, in fact we did exactly the opposite – we prospered!

Now, has anyone heard of the Infinite Monkey Theorem? It's a true theorem that says if you give a monkey a typewriter and sufficient time, the monkey will eventually type the complete works of Shakespeare. Scientists have actually worked out the probability. Granted the chances are very low - it could take billions of years, possibly longer than the age of the universe but it would eventually happen as the probability is 'technically' not zero.

Well against all the odds that evolution could throw at us, bypassing billions of years - Cheshire Flyers have effectively beaten that probability in one month!

John Bradbury, who is still mourning of his NOKIA 6310 mobile phone (coz its battery lasted for a whole year or something…) - John actually got to grips with Zoom, which involved online stuff, computers, the t'internet and everything. He can host our monthly show with 'almost' no technical problems whatsoever. Scientists are in uproar; it’s wrecked years’ worth of 'monkey type' research.

Before we knew it the Cheshire Flyers monthly meeting was reborn ‘online’ – which in fact brought a whole new dimension to our monthly meetings.

Firstly, and most importantly, I could have a drink!

Secondly, lots could join in the fun which would otherwise be unable due timing, distance – whatever!

Numbers went up from our usual 30/40 or so to 50 / 60 / 70 tuning in to listen to guest speakers which included Wing Commander Chris Pote from RAF Valley, Kevin Edmunds - M/cr ATC Controller, David Bremner operating a WW1 aircraft the Bristol Scout and Eddie McCullum bonkers pilot who flew to the USA from the UK in a CT microlight.

And who is responsible for organising this little lot – our unsung hero who is a constant source of inspiration to me, beavering away quietly, diligently in the background - Steve Rosser!

And when we got the opportunity to go flying, we did – which included death defying trips around the UK coastline, almost socially distanced trips to Sandown and the fabulous Anglesey outing with ‘live music’ hosted by Sarah and Nigel Musgrave.

All of this of course has been faithfully documented in our fabulous monthly newsletter by Sharon Cox. This publication goes from strength to strength and is a regular source of material for Microlight Flying magazine. Sharon has the amazing gift to make me feel the laziest person on the planet given her ability to organise, procure, produce and publish monthly content running into pages and pages. How she does it for the money is anybody’s guess?

So, there is much to celebrate in 2020 and one of the ways in which we do this is with our annual club awards – which are awarded to our most deserving members and this year we have 4 prestigious awards to present….

So that’s it from me for 2020.

I’d like to say a massive thanks to our guest Rob Hughes, the quiz hosts for this evening Nick, Garry and John Skelley, our Committee for helping to make all this happen and of course you - our Cheshire Flyer members who do a fantastic job of making this truly the finest flying club in the country.

Let’s hope we get some cracking flying days next year and we hope to see you on one of the many planned flyouts.

Happy New Year and safe flying for 2021!

Club Night Report - 21.12.20

Surpassing my hopeful expectations, Christmas club night in 2020 was a memorable occasion, fun-filled and uplifting in a way perhaps only Cheshire Flyers can be. I am sorry for those members of the club that missed the evening for whatever reason. We had a very interesting talk from the Chairman of the BMAA, Rob Hughes, on FAI competitions and his own flying history; it made quite a few of us make a mental note to consider some competitive challenges next flying season. Rob also reminded us about the BMAA Wings scheme, designed to encourage pilots to build upon their airmanship and skills. Thanks very much Rob for the efforts in putting together the video clips and photos to make an entertaining talk for us all. We heard Ian's state of the nation speech on the Club's flying year where he also thanked the more lively members on social media for their amusing contributions and he showed off the club merchandise which we are all looking forward to wearing. The Awards were duly presented virtually (summarised in the next section). Nick Buckley showed his very funny video of Freddie and Megz enjoying a clean up session to Queen's music complete with strobe lighting. Available to watch on Youtube, thanks to the generosity of Nick. Feel free to donate to his charitable cause if you haven't already.

And then there was the fun quiz, cleverly put together by Nick Buckley, John Skelley and Garry Roberts, featuring quite a few Cheshire Flyers in the questions which made us all laugh a lot. And I bet quite a few learned some interesting facts about other members. The questions are included at the end of this section. Those that didn't attend, test yourselves. The answers are also included at the very end of the e-zine. The score to beat is 14 (Ian and Sharon shared joint honours).

Dave Creedy captured one page of the zoom meeting - there were another 2-3 screens of everyone in addition to this.

Cheshire Flyers awards 2020

Each year, potential recipients for the prestigious Cheshire Flyer awards are nominated by the committee and voted on where several nominees have been put forward. It is then customary to let the winners know during the Christmas bash with the previous year's winners making the award to the new recipient, reading a script given to them.

This year of course has been the strangest for everyone. Ian has already noted that while he was initially sceptical as to whether remote club get-togethers could work, they actually have, and often with as good or better turn-out than the physical meetings at the Wheatie. "Let's Zoom" has become common parlance in everyone's language this year and so it has been for Cheshire Flyers Club Nights too. The one thing that really cannot work is handing over a cup or trophy. Still, last year's winners did a fantastic job delivering the scripts and waving the trophies at this year's winners. Goodness knows when the worthy recipients will have the various trophies in their hands.

For those that couldn't make club night, the Awards and reasons for winners' successes follow.

Noel Alms Memorial Trophy

The Noel Alms memorial trophy is awarded to ‘That member of the Cheshire Flyers Microlight Club who, in the opinion of the Committee, best fits the criteria of dogged determination, tenacity and triumph in the face of adversity’.

This year the committee has decided to award this trophy to our most tenacious pilot. A 2-stroke engine and dogged determination has taken him on flyouts where only fixed wings normally tread. He has earned the BMA silver wings and is an exceptionally gifted writer of flying exploits. During an interminable wait for spares to arrive from India for his Quantum, he refused to remain idle; with unstoppable enthusiasm he elected to learn to fly a 3-axis aircraft just for fun. However, he professes to remain committed to the purity of flex-wing flight. The deserving winner of this award is Daniel Langton.

The 2019 winner was John Bradbury who will make the virtual presentation and a very, very, short speech

Ray Garnham Cup

The Ray Garnham Cup is awarded to that member of the Cheshire Flyers Microlight Club who, in the opinion of the Committee, has shown the most enterprise, or made the greatest contribution to the sport, in relation to his or her capabilities, during the past year.

For several years, Nigel and Sarah Musgrave have kindly hosted a superb fly-in at their house on Anglesey. Their enthusiasm to do the same again this year was enhanced by many other events having being cancelled due to Covid. As soon as was legal and practical, Nigel sprang into action and prepared the adjacent field for our arrival, including a last-minute cutting and rolling of an extra runway due to potential cross winds. Lots of CF members flew in and transport was even laid on for those with heavier aircraft having to land at Mona. With the pizza oven fired up, the party took off. Nigel and Sarah’s ability and willingness to do all the catering, including breakfast the next day, is legendary. Nothing ever seems too much trouble; their hospitality and welcoming nature is appreciated by us all. It could be that the Cheshire Flyers were the only visitors from England welcomed to Wales in 2020. They are, without doubt, very worthy winners.

The 2019 winner was Daniel Langton who we ask to kindly make the award.

Senior Mug

Noel Alms received a tankard in 2002 as the oldest pilot to attend the IOW Rally. His Family has asked that this inscribed award is made to the oldest pilot at any occasion of our Committees choosing. We have called this award the “Senior Mug.”

Senior members of the committee attempted unsuccessfully to give the award more gravitas by suggesting that it should be renamed the Senior Tankard.

This year’s senior mug is being awarded to an extra special member indeed: someone who has the cunning financial prowess of Warren Buffet; who can seemingly invent cash when there is none to be found; who keeps our glorious club solvent when there is no income whatsoever; who single-handedly flies through some of the most atrocious weather you can encounter – without drama or fuss or soiled trousers; who decides to reinvigorate his flying by throwing out his tried & trusted, much coveted, aircraft and move to a more challenging hotship; who takes part in virtually every club flyout without ever eating a bacon butty; who is always the voice of reason and considered decisions and who is ‘most importantly’ an inspiration to us all.

…and all this at the tender age of (cough, cough)…

Whom am I referring to? That person is of course the one and only Ken Watt!

The 2019 awardee was Mark Jealous, our oldest Concord pilot and he presented the award to Ken (who sadly wasn't able to attend the club night through illness (but he is recovered now and looking forward to the new flying season)).

Bent Stub

This award is highly prized and, most years, our pilots compete wholeheartedly to find new ways of destroying their aircraft. Due to lockdowns, high training standards, the growing skills of our pilots and a miracle, there have been no serious contenders in 2020.

For one year only, the Bent Stub has been temporarily replaced by the Bent Arm award which has been won decisively by Stewart Prentice.

Stuart, having sufficient solo hours to gain his license and having completed both qualifying solo cross country flights, was preparing for his GST when disaster struck. Stewart was out walking his pet dog when he fell over the said dog, fracturing his arm and dislocating a shoulder. As Stewart is currently still unable to return to flying, he certainly deserves this award and is to be congratulated on his novel approach to the bent stub accolade.

Mike Gilman is currently the holder of the bent stub and, for reasons beyond our control, it looks like he is stuck with the offending article for another year. We ask Mike to make the necessary virtual presentation to Stewart.

That Quiz

Put together by Nick Buckley and John Skelley, with Garry Roberts allegedly helping a bit.

Q1: How far apart were the remains of Dave Creedy’s mobile phone and his apple after they passed through the prop of his flexwing on take-off?

A. No idea but the apple and the iPhone had made a nice crumble

B. About 5 metres

C. Could be many miles, a surprised looking crow had collected the shredded apple and flown off with it

D. At least 50 metres

Q2- What did Mark Atkinson say to his student Tony when they returned to DHF to find the runway littered with paramotors? Was it:

A. Go around, do it now!!!

B. Why aren’t they using the radio?

C. I quite fancy having a go at that

D. All the above

Q3 - When requesting information over the radio for landing at Headcorn in Kent, a certain club member (Ian Shaw) failed to note the wind strength and direction. Confirmation was requested with the message:

A. Say again

B. Confirm wind

C. Pass wind

D. Do you have wind?

Q4 - Whilst ordering an all-day breakfast in Wellesbourne airfield café on a club flyout, a certain club member (Ian Shaw) having a dislike for eggs, asked the chef if he could have ‘what’ in exchange for an egg?

A. A rasher of bacon

B. Half a sausage

C. A piece of toast

D. A poached tomato

Q5 – On FAF 3 2020, what fundamental mistake or mistakes did Garry Roberts make at Compton Abbas?

A. He left the toilet door open and a bemused man walked in on him doing a number 2

B. He landed with his tail strobe hanging off, only still attached by the power cable

C. He took off from the taxiway instead of the runway

D. All of the above

Q6 – Charlie Appleby is posing in front of the “Welcome sign” for which airfield?

A. Cromer

B. Skegness

C. Barton

D. Sandown

There was a bonus point if you could identify another Cheshire Flyer in the picture above.

Q7 – In 2009, Steve Bettley flew his GT450 to the beach and subsequently crashed, winning the Bent Stub award that year. How did he crash?

A. On landing a nude bather ran out in front of him; he veered off to the left into the dunes

B. On take-off a nude bather ran out in front of him; he stalled into the sea

C. In a low-level turn

D. All of the above

Q8 – Whilst Gordon Verity was converting to fixed wing on a C42 at Barton in 2006, what “incident” took place?

A. The aircraft had an engine failure and Gordon was recovered from a llama sanctuary in Staffordshire

B. The instructor forgot to put enough fuel in the aircraft and they had to land in Blackpool

C. A wheel, yes, a wheel fell off the school plane whilst in flight

D. Gordon used the wrong radio frequency (now known as doing an Ian Shaw) and reported “final” at Manchester international airport

Q9 – In 2004, Gary Cliffe was so determined to win the Bent Stub award, he had how many attempts at it?

A. 1

B. 2

C. 3

D. 86

Q10 – Our wonderful Sharon Cox has had an accident of her own in recent years and holds a “Cheshire Flyers record” because of it – what is this record?

A. the only member of Cheshire Flyers to ever land a plane backwards?

B. The only member of Cheshire Flyers to land on her own car?

C. the first ever Cheshire Flyer to land at two airfields at once?

D. All of the above

Q11 – Nick Buckley received a text message off Charlie Appleby with a reason as to why he was running late for their 3-day camping trip around the east coast. What was this reason?

A. Charlie had forgotten to pack his shrimp for the barbie and had to find a fish shop

B. There was an altercation with a shop assistant who tried to sell him “Fosters lager” because he is Australian

C. He lost the oil filler cap on G-CFTZ

D. Charlie arrived at Hawksview to find his neighbour’s cat asleep in the back of his car

Q12 – Who hosts wonderful parties and prepares this great strip every year?

A. Captain Bradders

B. Mike Gilman

C. Nigel & Sarah Musgrave