August 2021 update
I have been waiting for a few developments to come to fruition before penning this update. While quiet on the update front, there has been an immense amount of work going on, in particular by Steven Bodt and Steve Scott. I will cover the detail by referring to progress on each of our fleet and finish with detail of our fund raising efforts and requirements. FML FML continues to provide sterling service to Wellington Aero Club and to generate much needed income. However, we are needing to spend a reasonable amount on maintenance issues that come up as a result of the fact that FML is a fairly high time airframe.
MUM Jay is making strong progress on MUM’s full restoration. Most required parts have been ordered and many received. Jay is planning to have the fuselage painted in the next couple of weeks. The engine intended for MUM, which came in with N24634, will be sent to Dunedin for overhaul. We expect it back by early November. We believe we are on track to have MUM airworthy by the end of November, bugs permitting.
After COVID generated challenges, it was a huge relief to me to be at Port Nelson, a couple of weeks ago, for the opening of the container, with N24634 appearing to be safe and sound, and all as we hoped it to be. Fumigation complete, the aircraft is now unloaded and safely in Jay’s hangar at Omaka, where the import CofA will be undertaken. We have not yet confirmed the registration this aircraft will receive, hence I am still referring to it by it’s US registration. We hope to have the rego and colour finalised in the next couple of weeks and Jay is planning to have the the aircraft painted in the WASSI scheme shortly thereafter. The import CofA process can be significant and potentially time consuming, depending on a number of factors we are not yet sure about. We have ordered an engine from Lycoming for N24634, which we expect will be delivered in November. The intent is to fit that engine, complete any other maintenance action required to complete the import CofA and return this aircraft to airworthy condition and complete the running in process in time for the school in January.
The engine for JHF recently arrived from LyCon in the US, courtesy of Air NZ airfreight. Dave Morgan has been very supportive in facilitating Air NZ’s support with airfreighting both to and from the US as required. Which, given the challenges of COVID, especially to sea freight, is very helpful. I spoke today with the engineers in Taupo who are helping us with JHF, they are hopeful of having the engine fitted and the aircraft ready to begin the running in process, in the next fortnight. We hope to have JHF on lease with the Wellington Aero Club at least until January, but I don’t expect we will be in a position to have it painted in the WASSI scheme until some time next year.
We have ordered a second engine from Lycoming, which will be for MAJ, we expect it will also be delivered in November. The intent is to fit that engine, complete any other maintenance action required to return MAJ to airworthy condition and complete the running in process in time for the school in January. However, we don’t expect we will be in a position to have MAJ painted (shocking pink!) in the WASSI scheme until some time next year.
The WASSI continues to receive regular contributions from a large and growing number of members. And while each is not as ‘impressive’ as some of the one off large donations, the combined and regular effect is invaluable, and allows us to make commitments to investing in safety equipment with a degree of confidence that we can meet our obligations. So a very heartfelt thank you to you all.
In the last few months we have also been fortunate to receive another significant contribution from Pub Charity. Also, a colleague of Steve Scott’s introduced him to a person who was interested in our project. This benefactor recently made a significant contribution which allowed us to order an engine from Lycoming for MAJ.
While these are great, we do not as yet have sufficient funds to be sure of having all five of our aircraft on line in January ’22. Our objective is to have three FML, MUM and N24634 in the WASSI colour scheme, and JHF and MAJ at least re-engined and otherwise airworthy by January. To achieve this, our cashflow forecasts show a shortfall of about $100,000.
Consequently, we have a number of applications in with potential funding organisations and are working with individuals who may consider supporting us. Naturally, we would welcome your ideas, contacts and support.
I would like to end with a personal thank you to all of you who make regular contributions. Large or small, these are the backbone of our society.
Take care all,