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5th May 2008
I moved our permit renewal last year to the autumn as it previously clashed with summer flying. This was all well and good, but shortly after gaining the permit for this year ,last Nov 07, we had another mice outbreak. Mice tally now 16 .All caught around the barn floor using traps. None found in the aircraft since installing battery operated sonic device in the foot well. Now, one could be tempted just to do enough to rid us of mice & indeed in my naivety that is all I initially did. Bad mistake !....The smell in the cockpit persisted some while after the last mice had left. The only way to rid us of this was a complete clean in side. So… floor board up & side carpets out. Low & behold a luxurious leather nest made of my stick gaiters !Useful surveyors maxim follow the trail, taken from case law, now came in useful. Inspected all…I mean all….wiring cables & hoses. Wiring was checked, made good, tested, and reinforced with spiral binding. The mice had started to nibble the flexible hoses to the sides of the footwell. These have been replaced and checked by LAA inspector. They were getting brittle and should have been replaced anyway. The thought of wing tank fuel gushing out on the cockpit floor …is enough to give me nightmares ! So a full check every spring aswell & replace every five years from now on.
So even after the Autumn Permit renewal I still needed a thorough Spring check….one of the “extra” things that you need to think about if hangared on a farm strip!
Well the owl is now back and a lovely sight hunting at dusk, and recently Lapwings have been courting in pairs flying amazingly tight turns & sudden dives over the adjoining fields. Who needs a wind sock when the sparrow hawks are always hovering into wind !