Tuesday, August 14, 2007

The Great Jabiru Expedition - Day 4

Mike Hogan up bright and early for his morning walk and the search for a source of breakfast. The party returned to late from the sports club to put in a breakfast menus at the motel. The “Scottish Restaurant” was located just up the road and the whole party headed off for breakfast and the start of the hand over of the new Jab.

But not so fast. A problem had arisen early on in the trip as to a suitable photographic record. Mike Hogan suggested just the one digital camera would do the job and as his was smaller and lighter than Mike Sudholz's, we should take his. But unfortunately Mike S dropped Mike H's camera out the door of the club Jabiru just before takeoff for Griffith. Mike H thought it was only the case that was left behind and kept going for Griffith. The camera was found on the ground next to the refelling bowser at Horsham by helicopter pilot who landed as we took off. The camera was later retrieved by Max Hedt. Mike H finally realized that it was the camera and bag that was missing when he asked Mike S to take a photograph as the proceeded on track.

To bring this story back to Day Four, Alan decided to buy a digital camera for himself and most of the morning was spent at Harvey Norman next to the motel haggling and bartering over the price of a camera, case, charger and suitable batteries. The party finally got to the factory after 10.00am and were meet by Rod Stiff again and his 2IC Jamie who showed us around the factory and introduced us to our new baby; Jabiru J230-D, 25-5109.

What a wonderful plane, photo's were taken from all angles, hands were run over her fine lines, the seats tried out for size. Everyone was very impressed and the first jokes were made at her expense. The two mirrors needed for aerotowing stick out like a pair of large ears just behind the upper engine cowling. This arrangement of mirrors lead to Alan giving the 230 the nick name 'Prince Charles'. Although mike H suggested that with some streamlining added to the mirrors it could be called 'Madonna'.

While some issues with RA-Aus over the final paper work were ironed out by the Jabiru staff Al, PW and the two Mike's spent the remainder of the morning hunting up items on our extensive shopping list. There were things for the club, stuff for Doug Brooke and a few items for Alan as well.

At last the 230 was finally pushed out of the hangar and a flight briefing provided by Neil, one of Jabiru's test pilots. Neil gave us a good idea of what to expect from the aircraft and then he and PW went out to do a familiarization flight. PW had an excellent first flight, but he did need cushions in order to see clearly over the instrument panel. So a quick trip was made to a near by Big W stored to by cushions. Unfortunately a second trip had to be made for extra cushions and there was not enough time to have any more flights. Again the evening was spent at 'Brothers'. Another filling meal and some more beers and another local beverage nightcap saw the end of Day Four.

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