General Conference at London October 2006
Text & photos by Roger Holm, Norway
Dominique Mereuse re-elected as president of EMF. In addition the Board
now consists of first vice president Jan Fridrich, second vice president
Flavio Giacosa and Treasurer & Secretary Keith Negal. EMF has more than
37000 paying members.
The new Board: Flavio Giacosa (Italy), Dominique Mereuze (France), Keith Negal (UK) and Jan Fridrich (Czech).
The annual General Conference was held in London, at the Royal Air Force Museum near Hendon on the 8th of October 2006. The minutes from the meeting will be written by the secretary and approved from the board before we post it here. An important message to all microlight members came out of the meeting. Every single member og any microlight club in Europe is requested to send to EASA a response to the A-NPA 014 in order to convice the rulemakers that we are serious about this, and that we are standing together in our efforts to get a good step further in attaining better rules for our activities.
In this little report however, we are giving a far less formal story of the weekend than the quite serious matters being discussed during the meeting.
The meeting started actually Friday afternoon where well known microlight pilot Richard Meredith-Hardy presented the flight above Mt Everest last year, where he used a trike to tow the late Angelo D' Arrigo in his hangglider all the way from their base at 9500 ft to the 29,000 feet altitude of the highest summit in the world. Richard gave a detailed description of the tour in an entusiastic manner. Hardly heard of, Richard later learned that about 40-45 people had reached the summit on that very day, and many of these were clearly visible in many of his pictures taken during his circling above. Interesting was it to see the pictures they had sent him showing him circling above their heads at the top of the snow capped Mt Everest, believing they were at the top of the world. Must have been a strange feeling.
Due to a sudden unexpected
flicker, the hangglider broke the towline just about reaching their goal,
and Angelo was left to sweep over the
and find his way home alone. Due to the white wing against the white
background, Richard never saw him again on that flight. Asking Richard how
it is possible to climb to that altitude with an ordinary crude trike wing,
he replied with only one word, Turbo. The
turbocharged Rotax 914 can maintain all 115 horsepowers up to 18,000 feet,
after which it will drop gently as one climbs further up. When the line
broke, he established a steady 300 ft/min climb at that altitude, continuing
up to more than 30,000 feet, well above the peak. The flight was only
possible after months of testing of the equipment, even in a deep frozen
wind tunnel to check if it was possible to carry out a flight in free air
under such conditions. They also did a similar flight above the highest
mountaion in South America.
More about the meeting later.
Before Richards presentation on friday afternoon, and during the lunch breaks, we had the chance of taking a look at the plentiful items in this famous air museum, situated near Hendon in north London.
We were given a complimentary tour around the war plane area by Edgar M Child, who was flight engineer on Lancaster bombers during the second world war. The Lancaster appeared to be much bigger than most of us had imagined from pictures, having main wheels like a tractor and a 30m long fuselage.