Saturday, October 09, 2004

We arrive...not by air, but by truck!

It took a bunch of logistics to arrange to move my plane. First, I had to borrow my friend's truck, then I drove about 65 miles to borrow another friend's trailer. I then drove about another 60 miles to the pasture where my airplane was. The ultralight had to be disassembled somewhat for transport. The wings had to be removed, as well as the tail section, the it all had to be loaded and secured to the trailer. The whole process from truck pickup to driving out of the pasture took about 6 hours.

The drive to the Fort Deposit airport was about 45 miles on country backroads. This was a good thing because even at 40 miles per hour, the components on the trailer were getting bounced around quite a bit. I was happy to get to the airport and unload, but I wasn't happy with the unloading process.

While unloading the wings, some of the fabric got caught on a sharp corner on the trailer and ripped in several places. On top of that, the fabric on one wing was rubbing on a trailer component for the entire trip, wearing a hole about 6 square inches in size. Also, the trike portion of the ultralight is quite heavy, approaching 200 lbs. I had help loading it, but I had to remove it from the trailer myself. While moving the trike, I lost my balance and the whole thing fell over backwards onto the ground. As I put the trike in an upright position, I checked it over carefully for bent tubes and damaged components. I found only minor problems such as the vinyl coating on one wire had a cut on it and the fuel tank shifted substantially due to the single, long attachment bolt bending. The bolt was replaced and the wire coating wasn't a problem. All other things were found to be in order. Pretty good proof of the durability of the early Quicksilver products. Presently, there are quite a few "ultralights" that would survive an eighteen inch freefall without damage, but back in 1984 you may have been hard pressed to find any!

I unloaded everything and neatly placed all the items into the hanger, then started the process of returning the truck and trailer and going home. I planned on putting the craft back together the following weekend


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