AirBike Down !!

While flying my Brititsh WW I wannabe fighter/bomber over the Eastern Front on its third bi-annual Candy Bombing Mission I ran into heavy enemy resistance which caused me to make a forced landing.  The Boy Scout encampment near Sedan, Kansas was the target area but damage from heavy enemy anti-aircraft fire and a wall of flak caused the fire to go out in my engine.

Managing to fly the cripled AirBike seven miles, I landed near "friendlies" but still within enemy territory. The  landing in the Flint Hills cattle rangeland was safe but during rollout the numerous rocks wiped out the landing gear.  The plane could not be flown. Fortunately, the underground helped me retrieve my plane within the day.
Sometimes the Huns Win!
Score: AirBike = 5, Huns = 1
Landing gear absorbed all the impact then collapsed upon hitting toaster-sized rocks during the landing roll-out.  AirBike Ace was unhurt.
Gear leg is supposed to be straight and not rotated aft!
AirBike resting on the trailer used to retrieve the plane from the SE Kansas Flint Hills area
Paul securing a wing to the specially made wing cradle mounted on the trailer.
Ready for the 45 mile trip from the
Cambridge, KS site of the forced landing
to my aerodrome in Derby, KS. The
fuselage had been transported earlier.
Up on blocks, the re-assembly process begins.  Fortunately, the prop stopped almost horizontally after shutting off
the engine just prior to the "wheels up" landing and was not damaged..
Replacement gear legs, wheels, tires and brakes are from a Rans S-12
I salvaged several years ago.
This is what my AirBike looked like a month prior to the ill-fated flight, it will soon look like this again less star pattern wheel covers.
A better view of what the gear
legs used to look like.
After flying at 5500 rpm for 35 minutes the engine suddenly lost power dropping to less than 4500 rpm.  By "working" the throttle I could keep it running but not achieve an rpm that would sustain altitude.  Gradually I lost altitude while trying to reach a known sod private airstrip 10 miles away. I didn't make it.

Subsequent inspection while the engine was ground tested revealed air leaks in the fuel line fittings from the wing tanks.  I replaced the hose clamps with safety wire; fuel lines immediately filled with fuel.  Also discovered the fuel filter was plugged as fuel would barely drip through it.  Engine runs fine now.
Engine Problem Summary
E-Mail Paul
Posted 05/10/05
This was a GOOD landing.  Had it been a GREAT landing,I could have used the plane again right away!!
Story about a previous successful bombing.mission