LY-MHC in flight  

 

....the best ride you'll ever have!

 
  
 
 
 
 

 
 

Archived news

(in chronological order)

 

From April 2006 LY-MHC has now found a new home at Blackpool International Airport and will be based at Pool Aviation (NW) Ltd (www.poolaviation.com) for the forseeable future. The aircraft is parked adjacent to the JMax hangar between Bravo Taxiway and runway 25. Thanks to Simon Menzies, the Managing Director of Pool Aviation (NW) Ltd., for accomodating us.

'Hotel Charlie' has been seen at a number of airshows during Summer 2006.

The aircraft was recently temporarily repositioned near Cambridge for repairs and servicing but returned to Blackpool on 30th June 2006.

Our first photographic sortie took place on Sunday 4th June 2006. To read a report and see a selection of the pictures we took, click here

On 8th July 2006 LY-MHC flew to RAF Mona on Anglesey in formation with a 1942 US Navy Boeing Stearman flown by Mike Farrelly and Rohan Hughes. See AN-2 photos or click here for a short video of the Stearman as seen from the cabin of the Antonov (this may take a few minutes to load).

LY-MHC and this website were featured in the August 2006 issue of Pilot magazine.

On the weekend of 26th/27th August 2006, LY-MHC appeared at the Haigh Steam Rally. A Prize of a flight in the aircraft was offered by the organisers as a raffle prize with all proceeds going to the Derian House Children's Hospice (www.derianhouse.co.uk). We intend to continue to use the AN-2 to try to raise additional funds for this very worthy cause.

During the recent high winds during January 2007, LY-MHC was lifted from its ground anchors by freak 60 knot winds. Having landed unevenly, the flap hinge on the lower starboard wing impacted the ground causing the hinge to bend and a crack to appear. Minor repairs were needed and the aircraft was grounded for a few weeks until a replacement hinge was fitted. (pic)

 On 25th March 2007, having not flown for about 10 weeks, we took LY-MHC to Cark to blow the cobwebs off. We were very well looked after there by the members of the North West Parachute Centre (NWPC) and would like to thank everyone for their hospitality. As parachtists, they are, of course, completely bonkers as they routinely throw themselves out of perfectly serviceable aircraft, but they seem a very friendly bunch and were genuinely interested in the AN-2. Pictures (1) (2)

Whilst on the subject of parachuting, at the end of April 2007, Paul Squires and Mike Farrelly (who recently completed his AN-2 P1 rating in Klaipeda) will be attending a NATO certified Military Round Parachute course at Paracentrum in Texel, Holland run by the Association of British Military Parachutists (ABMP). Paracentrum use an AN-2 (HA-ANI) as one of their jump aircraft. It will be quite interesting jumping out of an AN-2 rather than flying it. Assuming they survive (!) and earn their 'wings', pictures will appear here soon. Paul Yates has already undertaken this course (see 'our hero kitted up and ready for a jump') and Paul Squires has previously done static line and freefall jumps using 'square' parachutes. However, nothing tests the 'mettle' quite like round 'chutes (Have a look at Paratrooper.net).The intention was to fly to Texel in LY-MHC but in view of the EASA difficulties, the flight will now be undertaken in a Beechcraft Bonanza A36 (G-FOZZ).

LY-MHC's annual inspection was due on 27th March 2007. Unfortunately, this year everything falls under the auspices of EASA and, in typical European fashion, as they haven't got their act together yet regarding the acceptance of the AN-2 type, the timing of the issue of a Certificate of Airworthiness is somewhat 'up in the air'. Unless a 'Permit to Fly' is issued as a stop-gap measure, the aircraft will regrettably be grounded for the forseeable future. This is particularly frustrating as the better weather in Spring and Summer would have resulted in Hotel Charlie being present at numerous airshows across the UK. Whilst currently grounded at its home in Blackpool, as soon as we can legitimately undertake a ferry flight, it is likely that LY-MHC will be temporarily repositioned to Little Gransden airfield (Yak UK Ltd) which is where the annual inspection is usually undertaken.

Paul Squires and Mike Farrelly have successfully completed their 'Wings' parachute course in Texel, Holland (see Archived News). For a full review, click here.

Following the bureaucratic difficulties which have kept the aircarft on the ground since March, on 13th September 2007 LY-MHC was repositioned to Little Gransden airfield (EGMJ) where Yak UK Ltd is based. Lithuanian engineers are scheduled to visit to carry out an inspection which will result in a 'special' Certificate of Airworthiness being issued. This is necessary as EASA have (eventually!) decided that they are going to categorise all Polish PZL built AN-2s as 'Annex II' aircraft. Hotel Charlie should be back in the air by mid October.

October 2007 - LY-MHC is now fully airworthy again and the aircraft will be moved back to Blackpool in the next few weeks.

26th November 2007 - LY-MHC is now back at Blackpool and will be flying again normally. We are planning a trans-Atlantic flight in June 2008 to raise money for charity. One third share is available at a price of £15,000 for any adventurer out there who wishes to join us on a journey that will route Wick or Stornoway (Scotland) - Vagar (Faeroe Islands) - Reykjavik (Iceland) - Kulusuk (Eastern Greenland) - Narsarsuaq (Southern Greenland) - Nuuk (Western Greenland) - Iqaluit (Northern Canada) and back again - total nearly 5000 nautical miles and some 53 hours of flying. Further details will follow in due course.

June 2008 - Our Trans-Atlantic flight has been postponed as LY-MHC has now been temporarily moved from Blackpool to a European location. Hotel Charlie may return to the UK in early 2009 and further news regarding its future operations will appear here.

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"A male pilot is a confused soul who talks about women when he's flying, and about flying when he's with a woman."

— Anon



 
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