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Old 06-18-2018, 08:26 PM   #97
woofa.express
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Join Date: Jan 2018
Location: Tocumwal, NSW, Australia
Posts: 1,157
Default Re: tell a Model A related story

Engine failure at Nagambie.
Years ago I was flying a 400hp Fletcher. This aeroplane was designed by a bloke named Thorpe. It was a upgrade from a military machine. Today the Fletcher is still a manufactured and productive machine in New Zealand. Today a small variant is a home made very light plane for enthusiasts.
One afternoonI felt it surging. Not badly but I knew something in the engine was amiss. I flew it to the maintenance engineer and yes there was failure. Metal segments were upsetting the prop governor and the prop pitch was hunting. I don’t recall what was failing, that was 45 years ago.
About 1984 Itook my Airtractor, powered by a Pratt and Whitney radial, to Melbourne for a rebuilt engine. One could not buy a new one for they had been out of production for about 3 decades. It was still a viable engine then and today it is poweredby a turbine and so is the Fletcher I mentioned above.
I had my buddy Peter Menhennit fly me to Melbourne in my Cessna. About 40 minutes into the return flight I felt surging. Yes, the same problem as I had experience inthe Fletcher.
I had an ideal landing strip, being a track running through a paddock. I closed the throttle and landed. Peter was flying close by and saw this but hadn’t figured what was going on. Because it was getting dark he just kept on flying. I watched my Cessna get smaller and smaller. Then disappear. Here I was, in a paddock and it’s getting dark. I didn’t have a dime on me. (To fly to an airport and pickup a plane didn’t need money or a wallet with ID.)
I got to the road. Women drivers ignored me. I couldn’t go to a pub or motel. With no money or ID I could even be seen as an escapee. Then some kindly bloke did pick me up.
I had a client at home by the name of Sleigh who came from this area and his parents still lived here. (The town was Nagambie Victoria.) I had the driver drop me off there. MrsSleigh answered the door. She opened it only about an inch. However I did establish my credentials and they treated me with great hospitality. But she asked me a question. I will never forget it.
“you went toMelbourne without any money?”. “who do you think you are? Royalty?”
Mrs Sleigh did think I should call the police and tell them what had happened. I pointed out that would start a chain of paper work which I didn’t want. She accepted that. End of story.
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Last edited by woofa.express; 06-18-2018 at 08:40 PM.
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