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Miscellaneous Luscombe Discussions

Moderator: HTB

 #9678  by cpdavey2
 Sat Aug 26, 2017 12:26 pm
Hi Everybody,

A lot of people, including some total strangers, have been asking me where G-EITE is and when she will fly again. Soon! I hope. As some of you may know, we found a small area of corrosion under the tailplane during a permit inspection two years ago. Just like when you poked that bubble of rust on the wing of your old mini, and you ended up rebuilding the front of the car with plastic padding, when we investigated further we found the whole panel was affected and had to be replaced. Once the tail was off and I had drilled out hundreds of rivets, we found the cause of the problem, at some point in the past a mouse had built a cosy little nest inside the tail plane. Mouse pee being very corrosive, the result was inevitable. Minnie Mouse had baled out years before, but the dry nest was still in place. There is a lesson for everybody here, especially anyone who keeps their aeroplane at a farm strip. A visitor to Henlow recalled seeing 'TE on a farm in Lincolnshire with the tail propped up on straw bales and it seems likely that is where she got in. Of course there was absolutely no way the nest could be detected even on a deep inspection, so Steve may well have been flying around for years with a family of aviating mice along for the ride; and he thought that squeaking was the tail wheel :lol:

The repair took much longer than we expected, mainly because my brilliant LAA inspector, Robin, who was running the job, found the roof of his house was in danger of falling in, and that took priority of course. We also had the mysterious business of the stolen dipstick! However, it is now done, tail back on with all new hardware. We hope to start test flying in September, ready for the winter flying season. It has been a bit of a saga, but I have enjoyed learning the aeroplane inside and out, and 'TE has gained a nickname. A French pilot visiting Henlow had heard about the mouse story, at the flying club, not in France, and came to have a look. He was very impressed with the Luscombe, patted her on the nose and said she deserves to be named after her brave little crew member, "La petite sourise", so "Little Mouse" she is.

Stay safe everybody