Monday, May 17, 2004

The ultralight falls into disrepair

Danny had always kept his MX stored outside, tied down under a big oak tree. When I bought it from him, I didn't have anywhere else to store it, except outside. For those who don't know, many ultralights have thier flying surfaces covered with dacron (heavy-duty polyester) fabric. One of the things that degrades the condition of the fabric is sunlight and the ultraviolet rays the sun radiates. The worst thing you can possibly do to degrade the overall condition of an ultralight is to store it outside in the sun and weather, but I didn't have any other choice.

I flew my MX whenever I could, an hour here, and hour there. I always did a thorough pre-flight inspection of everything, including the condition of the fabric. The sombre day came when I put my finger through the fabric while testing it's strength, and I knew my flying days were temporarily over. New fabric for my airplane was about $700 and I knew it would be longer than I wanted before I could get new ones. I expected to be grounded for 6 months or so. Little did I know at the time that it would be over 6 years!


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