Magni News 200303

Newletter South Africa Issue Number 8 High altitude flying deep in Africa by Bruce Field Editor Thank you to all of you that supported our newsletter so well this month, makes for a bumper issue also to all of you that read it, I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed producing it. Remember my Email address. My Email Address is Please send me some interesting reading for the newsletter THANKS!!
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  Newletter South Africa Issue Number High altitude flying deep in Africa by Bruce Field Editor   Thank you to all of  you that supported our newsletter so well this month, makes for a bumper issue also to all of you that read  it, I hope you enjoy  reading it as much as  I enjoyed producing  it. Remember my  Email address.  My Email Address is  Please send me some  interesting reading  for the newsletter THANKS!!!  Bruce thank you for your story and Photos, nice to know Magni is even present in darkest Africa!. Only a MAGNificient machine can fly so well at  such high altitude. When you are flying that high again please record the rotor R.P.M for me and  send me an Email with the facts I guess it must go up to about 500MPH tip speed. We have to do a expedition to your part of the world one day . I am not sure how many father/son active pilots there are, but I went flying with my son Ross (recently been checked out by Eric). Over the  weekend of the 25/26 January we went up to see my daughter who lives in Timau about 130km from Nairobi on the slopes of Mount Kenya (17000ft high and is Africa’s second highest mountain), with her boyfriend who farms wheat there. The farm airstrip is 8000ft  ASL, with temperatures often well above 25° C. We took a number of people for “flips” on this  weekend and buzzed about the farm all after-noon with no problems although the density altitude was 11000 ft plus. Both on our journey from Nairobi to Timau and on the return we decided to take the straight line route, that is over, instead of round the Mountain, the photos shown were taken from  just under 13000ft. The mountain to our right (Photo 1) and Lake Rutunda(approx.11000ft) to our left (Photo 2 and 3), just to the right of the lake is an airstrip at 11000ft!!. We did not land this time since we were on schedule for a 50th birthday lunch, but definitely next time!. Lake Ratunda has three bandas(see bottom lest photo 2) for overnight stays, and I am told good eating trout live in this lake. Whilst in Timau that weekend, my daughter insisted on being Ross’s first passenger since recently going solo, so there was I with my two children aloft!. Quite a “cool” moment, a first but who knows maybe my enthusiasm will now cost me my Gyro since its only recently that both my chil-dren have been “pinching” the car, and now it seems it might be the Gyro’s turn Incidentally, when flying from our strip just 15 miles South East of Nairobi at this time of year one has Mount Kenya to the north and Mount Kilimanjaro (19000ft) to the south, clearly visi-ble most days.  All the best to all down South Africa there. Bruce Field 5Y-SFL ongratulations arry Jones Of Global Eagle for breaking the World non stop distance record for Auto gyro on the 17 February 2003 Read this exiting story at: Http://  MAGNIficient Europe by Ben Henderson  Ben thank you for your story and these  magnificent pictures, We wish you great  flying in Europe with your new MAGNificient  machine . It must be wonderful flying over Switzerland in a Gyro Eric, our international traveling instructor/engineering expert and fixer of all things gyro, had agreed to come across to Europe to help finalize the necessary ar-rangements on a new gyro for me. Being stuck over here in Europe, a long  way from Baragwanath and ZU-COU, a Gyro based in Europe seemed the only solution if I wanted to be able to continue MAGNIficent flying. However, it wasn't as simple as you'd think and both the pur-chasing and the bureaucracy took quite a bit of arranging. To complete all the tech-nical formalities, and to finalize the instal-lation of various bits and pieces, Eric had agreed that he would come over to Italy - and Switzerland - to help out. Magni had finished the M-16 in Italy during December, just before their Christmas shut-down. Eric had taken care of the ar-rangements and paperwork at the South  African end, I had taken care of ordering the various instruments that were neces-sary at this end. During December and  January the Vertical Card Compass was delivered, as was the Microair M760 transceiver, the M2000 transponder, the  ACK Mode C Altitude Encoder, the life  jackets, the Lynx helmets, the EPIRB, a Garmin 196 GPS and all the various wiring harnesses. Eric was to source the balance in SA - aerials, harnesses, covers, etc. Everything was in place, Eric's visas were finally confirmed and the date was set, Eric  would arrive at 0840 on the morning of Tuesday 18th Feb. His flight was bringing him from Johannesburg to Frankfurt and from Frankfurt to Malpensa, Milan. I would collect him from Malpensa and, assuming he was up to it, take him from there to Magni's factory at nearby Besnate. Sure enough, Eric arrived on the sched-uled flight and after clearing Customs and declaring he felt fine, we headed for Magni's in Besnate. There, sitting in all its pristine beauty, was the M-16 that was des-tined to become ZU-DAN, waiting for this moment. As this was Eric's first visit to Besnate, he was introduced to the Magni family: Vittorio, Pietro and Luca - and the never-to-be-forgotten Sonja was there to help us all through the language hurdles. Chatting over a cup of coffee in Vittorio's office, it was clear that Eric had estab-lished an automatic bond with the Magni's and I left him to it while I returned to work, across the border in Lugano, Switzerland. That afternoon, tied up in a meeting and unable to get away, I arranged for Eric to be collected from Besnate and brought through the border into Switzerland. By the time he arrived in Lugano, the meeting was still in progress and Paola (my assistant) put Eric in my office with a cup of coffee. I nipped out of the meeting to tell him I hoped not to be long and to give him some-thing suitable to read: the very good Paul Craig's “The Killing Zone”. Half an hour later, at about 1845, when the meeting ended, I came out to find Eric, with his head down on my desk, 'resting his eyes'! It had been a long day, but it wasn't over yet. Still game, Eric agreed to come out to din-ner with us that evening, direct from the office, and after a ten block walk into town,  was introduced to his first Swiss Mexican meal, accompanied by a suitable lubri-cant—margarita. Fortunately we weren't too long and Eric was able to come back home and turn in reasonably early, al-though by my calculation he had been on the go for at least 40 hours without a break.. Made of strong stuff, these South  Africans. Wednesday morning and Thursday morn-ing, I ran Eric over to Besnate to continue  work, installing, fixing, weighing, testing until he was sure that everything was 100% as he would like it to be - perfect. By Thurs-day night everything was ready. All that  was required the following day was the engine test and then the aircraft itself to be flight tested. That was all scheduled for Fri-day. Unable to contain my mounting excite-ment as the moment drew closer, I was able to skip work on the Friday and to spend the day at the Magni factory with Eric and the Magni guys. With the M-16 tied to a tree in the factory yard for safety, the 914F test went perfectly. As sweet a sound as you could want to hear. Not that I expected anything else. The Magnis are a family that take tremendous personal pride in their work. Everything is made and as-sembled to a degree of precision rarely found in today's world. Whether it is Pietro's hands running possessively over the curve of a hand-finished rotor, Vittorio's double checking of absolutely everything, or watching Luca assembling the airframes in a workshop clean enough to be a dairy, it is impossible not to feel the amount of care all of the Magni staff put into their  work. They want to know that each one of the machines that leaves their factory is, most of all, safe. It has to be; they are going to fly it first. With the summer sky blue M-16 loaded on Magni's trailer, Eric and I followed on behind as Vittorio drove through winding, twisting, apparently directionless roads towards the airfield at Spessa, down in the Po valley. All along the roadside in Italy there were ladies standing in the lay-bys. Although I explained to Eric that they were sort of sales reps, he didn't seem to believe me as they apparently had nothing with them for sale…  MAGNIficient Europe continues….   Before leaving the factory for Spessa, Vit-torio, Eric and I had held a brief discus-sion about whether Eric and I were going to be able to fly the gyro under the exist-ing insurance cover. In the end, it was agreed that, with a small extension -  which Vittorio arranged, Eric and I would be able to fly, but only on that Friday. Sad, as I had hoped for at least a week-end of flying before having to shut her up for transport over the border to Switzer-land. A call that evening to gyro insur-ance guru Malcolm in Johannesburg to arrange cover from Friday onwards was intended to take care of this, but we  would see. It would be Vittorio Magni's call as, technically, the aircraft was still in his care. Eric was now fully acclimatized to life in Europe and, after his few days working in Besnate was fluent in Italian - or some of it. He could handle Si, and Cappuccino, and Arrivad-erci, and a string of other useful words and phrases. Talk about adaptability! However, as we wound our way through Italy in what seemed like endless changes and reversals of direction on our way to the airfield, I don't think that Eric was too impressed with Italian ground transport arrangements. There were references to the Italian Defense System and the impossibility of any invading army finding its way to its destination, etc. We were luckier; despite Eric's aversion to GPS, my car, fitted with the most perfect companion called Matilda, the onboard audio GPS, guided us through convoluted streets and byways until we eventually reached the airfield. The trip took us an hour or so before we arrived; Spessa is near Spezziana in the Po valley, and while Eric and I grabbed a spot of lunch (ravioli, what else! 'No wine, thank you, we're flying.') in the airfield restaurant, Vittorio and Lucca assembled the rotors and the M-16. Before we had completed even one course of our meal, we heard the Rotax fired up and Lucca taxiing out to the runway. Eric's comment. “They don't waste any time, these guys.” He's right, they certainly didn't. Lucca had made a couple of circuits before declaring himself satisfied. At which point he turned the machine over to us. It was bitterly cold and in deference to the weather, Eric decided that Lucca could take me for my check-out. Lucca did, declared himself satisfied once again and turned me and the machine back over to Eric. Unable to duck the freezing cold this time, Eric had no choice but to climb in the back of the M-16 and, much to his horror, to have to wear the Italian-compulsory helmets. We set off on a few circuits and after al-most exactly five months since my last flight (Bara to Himeville and back) I was a bit rusty on the controls. Everything seemed a little un-familiar: new aircraft in which everything seemed a bit tight, a new grass airfield, nearby villages that didn't like to be over flown, height restrictions to 500 ft agl, no radio comms (apparently the locals don't believe in them), new headsets, new radio, new full face helmets, new area, bad visibility... I felt a faint touch of panic. Fortunately, it passed almost as quickly as it arrived, and things settled down. The low level altitude of the airfield (215' asl) gave everything extra bite and the Magni, even with two of us aboard, seemed to leap into the air. Eric soon declared himself satisfied (not to mention cold), climbed out and left me to it. I continued in the circuit for a while longer, car-rying out 'touch and goes' as I grew increasingly familiar with everything. Slowly expanding these circuits to take in a little more of the almost invisible, haze covered countryside around us, I gradually succumbed to the cold. At 0C on the ground, I didn't even want to think what it was in the air. Increasing cold and approaching dusk soon overtook us, but on wrapping the plane up for the night, pushing it into the Magni filled han-gar, we learned that we would be able to fly the following day, Saturday. Great! Back to Lugano for the Friday night, down to the local hardware shop on the Saturday morning for a few bits and pieces to make up a] a stopper for the pitot tube intake, and b] the retaining strap for the pilot's 'joy stick', before heading off, back to Spessa. The gyro was standing outside on the forecourt in front of the hangar at Spessa, waiting for me. The weather was dry, visibility about the same as the preceding day, temperature slightly above freezing. The oil cooler was strapped up to maintain engine temperature. For the same reason part of the cooling radiator was similarly blocked off. Local climatization. Braving the cold, Eric came with me on a slightly extended familiarization tour of the area, but once back on the ground, he quickly retired to the lee of the hangar out of the way of the light but biting wind. Slightly 'mad in the head' as my erstwhile instructor claimed, I returned to the air and continued my familiarization tour. Initially, the very poor visibility and low sun angle combine to make ground recognition very difficult, but after a while you begin to identify those few landmarks which stick their heads up through the gray murky soup below. And once you are close to overhead your target destination, visibility improves with your  vertical perspective to make landings safe and easy. Feeling slightly more confident, but failing to persuade Eric to join me, I prepared to set off on a short cross-country. Lucca Magni gave me some words of local wis-dom, where to go and where not to go, which villages to avoid (do they shoot at you?) and where not to land. Af-ter agreeing not to land anywhere on this exploratory trip, I set off northwards towards Vigarolo. Despite Eric's preference for traveling by map, I was very, very pleased to have my airborne Matilda (GPS196) with me.  MAGNIficient Europe continues She led me direct to the Vigarolo airfield, which I didn't see until I was almost directly over-head. The combination of low altitudes and poor visibility makes assistance like that almost essential. Feeling a little more confident, I set out for Crespiatica, still to the north. Finding that airfield, I turned left and had to circle once or twice to find my third waypoint, Dovera. Looking down, even from 1000' agl, selecting which field from all the fields below was the landing field was difficult until I saw a microlight trike parked outside one building. Once I'd seen that, the rest of the airfield took shape and I could turn for home, comfortably content that I would be able to find my way back to Spessa. Dog legging through the air to try and avoid over flying the innumerable villages below, the five or six storey bulk of some large industrial building soon loomed out of the ground level murk to guide me home and I made my landing on the airfield at Spessa without difficulty.  At last, all these months of waiting were over. Once the final paperwork was completed (which means moving the machine across a couple of borders to comply with various local require-ments) visions of flights across Europe, to all sorts of interesting places, open up before my more than fertile imagination. I'm already planning South African, COU-type trips to distant European places. We'll see how it goes, and I hope to be a regular contributor to our newsletter. Eric did manage a trip to the mountains on his last day here. A little glimpse of what Switzerland is supposed to be about! So, thanks to Eric, who has now returned to SA (last night) for bringing and fixing everything he did, and for initially teaching me to fly these marvelous machines; thanks to Butch for all his arrangements, for introducing me to Magni's, and making everything possible; thanks to Sonja at Magni's for all her help so far (still some to come!) with all the arrangements necessary to make these months of plan-ning bear fruit despite the apparent obstructions presented by local regulations; thanks to Vittorio, Pietro and Luca Magni for making such incredibly MAGNIficent machines with such care and for being such warm and welcoming hosts, and last, and certainly not least, thanks to you, Kevin, for providing this forum in which we can all share our MAGNI experiences.  Although I envy you your trips to Namibia and the South Coast, I'll try to find interesting European equivalents and share them with you all. Some more African moments caught on camera This story is by Bill Ross BBC Kampala, this is our wonderful continent Africa Ed One particular exhibit has been drawing by far more attention at an East Afri-can trade exhibition in the Ugandan capital, Kampala. Large crowds have been gathering around a red and white object, three metres long and less than two metres high made of scrap metal it is Uganda’s first home-build heli-copter– designed by boys from Katwe Youth Development Project. One of them Joseph Kantinti Mbazira, told me how they came up with the idea after  watching helicopters flying overhead. We wanted to do this for ourselves so we went to Entebbe airport to see how the helicopters worked”, he said. Joseph told me that with its engine adapted from a water pump, the helicopter can fly about four feet off the ground or three feet off the ground if it is carrying a Pilot?. But he is keen to get more help to develop it.  After a great deal of discussions at the Expedition, there was a call for a col-lection of money to put some petrol into the helicopter. Rather dangerously, the rotor blades began whirling at roughly about my neck height. With the blades rotating, the crowd tried to persuade the pilot to get the helicopter off the ground. Fearing a decapitation and remember-ing that Uganda’s only independent newspaper was temporararily shut down recently for reporting that a helicopter had been shot down, I made a hasty retreat. In fact due to safety reasons the organizers of the trade fair banned the helicopter from taking off so two people  wearing crash helmets held the helicopter down. But however crudely made it may be, the crowd seemed pleased. This was after all made in Uganda.
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