I’m singularly hacked-off today. No, it’s not about the call I had from The Halifax Bank surveying my opinion on the quality of their customer services. Would I recommend the Halifax to a friend? Not on your life, given the record of ineptitude I’ve experienced this year.

What really annoyed me today was a minor emergency involving my aircraft. I was due to have lunch this afternoon with Peter Hayes, the VP of Government Business for Microsoft and had planned to fly to White Waltham, near Reading, to meet him.

Fly EU Jet from Manston from September 1st

About thirty seconds after taking-off from the runway, a latch on the engine inspection hatch on my front cowling, failed and the slipstream swiftly found its way underneath the cover, breaking the second latch and forcing the hatch open to twist and bank against my windscreen, which was a little unnerving as it hid my view of the world outside. After another thirty seconds or so of flight, it twisted and tore itself off the aircraft, falling into one of the fields below, as I pulled the aircraft back into the circuit to make an emergency landing.

The damage isn’t serious and the engineer has taken a look and ordered the new parts which should be with me next week but it forced the cancellation of my lunch with Microsoft and my instrument revalidation exam tomorrow.

It could have been worse I suppose. I was thinking only this weekend that with the number of hours I now have, I’m about due for something to go wrong and so if this is the worst I can expect, I’m doing well.

Don't Believe It

Meanwhile, there are all kinds of daft rumours flying around that EU Jet, who start their scheduled service out of Manston next week, will only last until March, because the lease on their aircraft runs out and one can’t book on their website after April. I made a quick call to their Managing Director, who told me that it was “Absolute rubbish” as the software for next summer routes hasn’t been loaded yet and the aircraft are leased from the company’s largest shareholders.

It just goes to show that rumours are just that and as I look out of my window, I’ve just noticed one of the new EU Jet Fokker aircraft flying circuits. I’m taking my family to Nice on the 9th September with the airline, so I’ll report back on the experience, a change to have someone else doing the flying. I wonder if they go as far as White Waltham?


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