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April 2010

Rebuild of a rebuild.........

Last autumn Sam Harper faced the nightmare scenario which every vintage aeroplane pilot most fears, when the engine of his Luton Minor stopped at around 100 feet, just after takeoff from his farm strip in Berkshire

It is a credit to Sam's airmanship that he was able to make a successful forced landing in a field ahead. However a steep sideslip over a tall hedge meant that G-ASEB hit the ground with a high rate of descent at low airspeed and the aeroplane was heavily damaged. Although uninjured Sam now faced repeating the rebuild he had completed less than a year earlier.

That Sam has achieved it inside six months and that G-ASEB is flying once again, is impressive in itself. That the restoration work including new wood, fabric and doping was carried out in the hardest winter in recent memory, is even more so. At one point conditions in the workshop not being condusive to dope and adhesives hardening, Sam even brought the Luton Minor fuselage into his living room!

If we had some kind of 'Minor Medal' to award, I am sure Sam would be the recipient!

.....and in Sam's words "You cannot see the join!"