Slingsby T53B/C Phoenix
Update on the Slingsby T53 glider - added 15-12-08.
Re-registration of the Slingsby T53 under EU rules as G-DDHE
As from September 2008 all British light aircraft (GA) have had to re-register under the new European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) EU rules. This also applies now to gliders, and has proved to be a complicated and expensive business.
Gliders normally have a detailed annual check to obtain a Certificate of Airworthiness (C of A). This has been done in the past under the UK Civil Aviation Authority, but delegated to the British Gliding Association, who have always had their own form of aircraft markings.
The system has worked well for many years but since the UK government has decided to comply with EU rules, we were required to re-register the glider as from April, but before September 2008. This means that the T53 now carries the same type of identification mark as any other UK aircraft and instead of DHE, we now display on the fuselage the identification number G-DDHE. More importantly, and expensively, the glider now comes within the EU annual check system which starts with a detailed assessment of the airframe. This means that some 90 aspects of the airframe have been re-checked and all instruments have had to be identified and recorded. Fortunately we have a very good logbook going back to manufacture, and so were able to demonstrate that all mandatory modifications, which inevitably crop up during the testing process of any new airframe, were complied with.
The bad news is that this cost us £240, a substantial amount in an annual budget of circa £1000, but the good news is that G-DDHE now has a clean bill of health and will fly on hopefully for many years to come, a tribute to the restoration and maintenance work carried out by APSS volunteers under the direction of Jim O’Donnell.
More history of the T53 is given in this article written by James Mattocks and Eoin MacDonald for the APSS magazine "Fortune Teller" No. 11, Summer 2003.
The APSS is a registered charity
in Scotland, charity No. SC033307