19 December 2002
Thanks very much for your long letter and photographs on your trip across the mountains -
absolutely spectacular and certainly something that 1 would be very reticent to do, not having
as powerful an engine as yours.
The article certainly makes excellent reading and, once again, reinforces the strength and
dexterity of our aircraft.
I am going to show your article to Jas and quite a few of the other guys so that they can see the
sort of flying that is done in your part of the world and the incredible beauty that you witness.
Even Lindsay was envious! She's only been up to 10 000 ft along our Berg range which is no
comparison with your magnificent mountains.
I am glad you got the Microflight magazine. I posted it on 30 October and it would be
interesting to know how long it took to get to you. You definitely have the right posture for
reading the magazine - next time make sure your feet are up! Makes for TOTAL relaxation.
By the way, I spoke to Kevin Fryer, a club member who is involved with the magazine,
regarding your query. He advised that the magazine is not on a website at this stage but he will
speak to the editors and see if they can put you on the mailing list for the magazine.
Apparently copies of Microflight are sent to Britain.
If you do wish to contact Kevin his email address is kcvn'^ekciivnucqj.'- •-.•••..-•. •. (It is also on
the first page of the magazine.) He would like to hear from you. Kevin has also been involved
with helicopters and their maintenance and 1 am sure this would interest Zaka.
It's a pity you haven't been flying too much but the same thing is happening here. Our weather
has been atrocious for the past two months, with plenty of rain, thunderstorms and high wind.
At the moment I am doing a major annual inspection so the plane is stripped at the moment.
I am glad that you are looking at the four-blader propeller and I am going to wish you lots of
luck. George hasn't spoken to me at all about you so I will ask him next time I see him.
Ajab, I don't know how you balance your propellers, but this is how I have always balanced
mine. Firstly I place the propeller between two balance beams which are perfectly level to
establish which blades are heavier than the others. What I have found is that most microlight
pilots never think of balancing the nuts, bolts and washers which are all different weights.
Normally what I do is take each nut, bolt and washer and weigh them on a very sensitive scale,
preferably one that reads in one-hundredth of grams for accuracy. I have often found that the
difference in the heaviest and lightest can be as much as two grams of weight, which certainly
affects the balance of the propeller. What I do then is put the heaviest bolts on the lightest side
of the propeller and work the other bolts around so that the lightest bolt ends up on the
heaviest blade. I then start playing with additional washers of various sizes until the balance is
absolutely perfect. With numerous experimenting I have found this to be the best way to do a
Not to put you off, but my 4-blader took me eight hours to balance but the results were worth
Even a small piece of paper with the weight of 0,20 grams at the end of the blade would turn
the propeller on the balance beam.
In addition, if you were able to have it dynamically balanced once it was on the engine, it
would make a huge difference as well.
Thanks for the information on the cushions. I will visit their website.
Dave Cormack actually had a hand in building my plane and is a member of our club so I am
in constant contact with him. I will ask him if he can send the design and drawings for the
aluminium hubs to you.
I spoke with David Cook this week (the "Russian"). Yes he did explain the whole story to me
how he actually got that name from you and Zaka. I think its quite funny. David has asked me, to send you his fond regards. He and his wife want to possibly come out to South Africa in
March/April next year and spend time with all of us (Flynn, Len & Dave Cormack and
Attached is a copy of my article on our trip to the Cape. I don't think it is going to appear in
the Microflight magazine as I think they do not regard our aircraft as microlights and maybe
their noses have been put a bit out of joint because of the long distance we covered in one day
with ease - something a trike could never do.
I am also attaching a few photos to accompany the article
1. The first one is flying over the Knysna Lagoon, Southern Cape, with the Indian Ocean
in the background.
2. The next two were at East London Airport where the two Streaks were parked with
a South African Airways Boeing in the background.
3. The next one was leaving Plettenberg Bay with the sun just peeping over the
Tsitsikamma Mountains - approx. 4000 feet. You can just make out my friend's
Bushbaby in the foreground
4. The last photo is one of Jas and myself standing at a viewpoint above Plettenberg Bay.
The cloudbank in the back ground is fog which rolls in unbelievably quickly and
engulfs everything for 2 to 3 kilometres inland (as indicated in our story).
Wishing you and your family all the very best over this end of year period. Thanks for your
good wishes too. Please send my wishes too to your partner, Zaka.
Greg and Lindsay
From: ajab khan
Sent: 09 December 2002 03:50 PM
A belated thanks for being so thoughtful in sending the microlite mag.In a place like I am, its
wonderful to receive such reading material. BTW 1 did take your advice on how to enjoy the
reading ( see the att foto )!!!!! I did'nt know that SA has so much of microlite activity, especially
the trike flying. Perhaps the excellent weather and uncluttered terrain provides the incentive ?
Infact the only guys I had been exchanging e mail were Mike Blythe ,Niren Chotoki & Peter Bosh
and they all have very helpful indeed .
I have been keeping away from the star streak lately except a couple of hours flying and that too a
pick and drop by my partner from the mountains.The weather is fairly cold already in the mornings
and we are expecting snow any time now. I am planning to take a few days off and join my wife
and kids for a break & flying (this mail reaches you via a floppy sent to my wife !!)
Regarding the propeller I think most probably I '11 try the precision propeller new 4 bladed CNC
hub,1 have a new 3 bladed hub & blades and I need to get one extra blade with it,wish me luck. 1
did send an email to george ,perhaps he is busy or did'nt get it.
I certainly will look forward to your story on your trip to cape,BTW is the mag available online on
the MISASA website ? I could get a print from it.
In one of your previous mail you needed more details on the tempur foam cushions that I 'd
mentioned. Well I ordered them from www.aircraftspruce.com try searching their online catalogue
under ( composite materials p/n 01-09320)
I wonder if you could help in getting some info on the availability of machined alu hubs for the
shadow ? David Cook had referred me to Mr Dave Cormack in SA. 1 did speak to him a few
months ago, he told me that ,unfortunately the guy who made them for him died recently .But he
did mention if i remember correctly that he could send me the design & drawing which could
possibly be made here in pakistan .His tel no is 31-7821073.
MERRY CHRISTMAS & SEASONS GREETINGS
to you & Lindsay
From: ajab khan
Sent: 21 May 2003 01:18 PM
Subject: Re: Your last email
Dear Greg & Lindsay,
Thanks for your mail, You need to be much slower in trying to catch up with
my pace!! Let me get back to civilisation and my response shall improve.
Good to hear the news regarding the hubs etc. POur exisiting hubs are the
standard nylon ones with the same Hospital trolley tyres (one of Russian's
money saving tricks !!!).The brakes are standard cable operated ones. I
had to change my landing gear to a carbon fibre one made by Michel
Newman(one of davids & our mutual friend) The axle is standard again. Yes
off course it would be safe for a parcel if sent by post.1 do get such
parcels from UK for the star streak. I would appreciate a quote for the
hubs alongwith an acct no bank code etc for the transfer o f necessary
What make of tyres are you using ? I got a few pairs(made in holland )
from Fiona at the SFC in Uk which apparently look much better than the
Hospital trolley ones.
Another query, what type of brakes are you using ? I would certainly be
interested in Hydraulic disc or drum brakes provided they fit the existing
axle & standard landing gear attachment. I operate out of a concrete
airfield with long taxiying which is hell on these exisiting (moped style )
No I did 'nt hear of Jonathans conversion to star streak, I would like to
read more on that especially on his success with the prop. Whats new on The
Russian's front ,tell his wife If he could come to our so called WAR zone
and be safe ,he'd be certainly better off in SA!!
The War fever and hysteria is still simmering around in the region, especially if one watches the TV .Other than that life apparently seems to
go on as normal. As best neighbours We like to snarl at each other every
now & then, perhaps our body language!!! The hopes of lasting peace
disappear sooner than they appear. I think we both have learnt to live with
such excitement and we seem to thrive on it, ha ha ! !
I read out your mail to Zaka and he joins me in sending our best wishes to
From: "lindsay gray"
Subject: Your last email
Date: Wed, 16 Apr 2003 01:16:51 +0200
Sorry about the delay as usual. I finally managed to speak to Dave Cormack
and it seems that we may be able to source some metal rims, ie. the same
type that I am using. Could you please let me know the dimensions of what
you are presently using, or, if they are the standard rims that are fitted
to the Streak (nylon/plastic). Dave thinks that, from the conversation he
had with David Cook, you probably have the standard Streak rims.
Depending on the width, Dave will probably have to machine them down for
and then we could think of sending over the rims, the correct bearings,
tyres and tubes which we could source locally.
Do you think it would be feasible sending over a huge parcel containing the>rims, tyres and tubes without it being vandalised or stolen?
If so, please could you give me as much detail as possible of what you are
presently running, including your axil diameter, so that I can pass all
on to Dave Cormack. And also, what sort of brakes are you using? Discs or
drums? He may need to know this.
Like you, because of your weather, I too have been pretty slack on this
and have hardly done any flying. Jonathan has just completed his conversion>at the back of his Star Streak (did I mention this to you?) and I must take some pictures for you, as I promised a long time ago. He is also still
battling with his arplast propeller and it is not giving him the speed that
he really wants.
Jas and I haven't planned any trips this year. If you remember, it was this
time last year that we flew down to the Cape. Our weather is very
unpredictable at the moment so that idea has been shelved for the time
I have heard nothing further from David 'Russian' Cook. No doubt his wife put a spanner in the works with their coming out to South Africa because
was concerned about the crime rate. I must write to him and find out what
the story is. Snail mail.
How are things going with you? Has all the attention shifted from
Afghanistan and your borders onto Iraq? There are so many varied reports on
what is happening in Iraq that one doesn't really know the true facts.
I trust all is well with you, your family and Zaka.
Greg and Lindsay