BADA Awards 2012
Saturday 31 March 2012
The first member awards were presented at the British Air Display Association annual general meeting held on the 29th March 2012. Nominations had been received for the two awards and after much deliberation by the committee the following were asked to step up and receive:
BADA Trophy - Barry Sargeant
Presented by Nigel Foster of Hayward Aviation Ltd - Award Sponsors
The BADA Trophy is awarded to an individual or organisation that demonstrates the aims of the association 'To encourage, promote and advance Safety and Standards in British Air Displays'
Nominated by Pete Wells, SWIP Twister Duo
The SWIP Team was booked to perform at a show on the August Bank Holiday weekend last year. We were the penultimate act on Day 2 of a long, tiring, busy, but enjoyable, Show.
Unusually for us, we taxied out early to position onto the ORP prior to take off. During our taxi across the airfield we went through the ‘Jet Park’ before joining the taxiway.
My nominee was busy working with his Ops team and the crews in the Jet Park but, as I taxied past, something about the sound of my aircraft caused him to take note of us and alerted him to a possible problem. He wasn’t able to attract our attention directly but his experience as an engineer made him appreciate the possible significance of what he had heard and he reported this to the Display Director who was able to relay the message to us via ATC.
To be honest I had checked both aircraft earlier and had swung on both props and during the taxi out I recall thinking that my aircraft had never felt smoother from the cockpit - it was like a sewing machine. From the report I thought what he had heard was likely to have been just a bit of ‘Propeller Slapping’ i.e. a cross wind hitting the prop.
Nevertheless, because we were ahead of time, when we reached the ORP I asked Guy to shut down and jump out and take a listen. I ran my aircraft to full power and then back to idle and he reported all was OK. I felt even more convinced there was nothing wrong. However, 2 things made me shut down and just have a look around the engine.
1. We were not rushed and I could easily do this without missing our slot.
2. The fact that someone like the nominee had reported this and the fact that I have always had the upmost respect for him and felt sure someone with his experience would have recognized prop slap.
I shut down and jumped out of the aircraft and, to my horror, I found the prop flange loose on the front of my aircraft with the prop having developed a considerable amount of play.
The engine had just returned from having its crank shaft changed and I would guess that someone had neglected to correctly torque it up afterwards.
The engine manufacturer is convinced this problem would not have lead to any problem!! The only thing I am convinced of is that if my aircraft had 2 seats they would have been unlikely to come with me to find out!
This to me demonstrates completely the value of using experienced team members to assist crews at shows and highlights the professionalism and dedication of this particular individual in the way he carries out his role. I would like to nominate Barry Sargeant for consideration for the award of the BADA Trophy.