One year on…

But, Mousie, thou art no thy lane, In proving foresight may be vain;  The best-laid schemes o’ mice an ‘men Gang aft agley, An’lea’e us nought but grief an’ pain, For promis’d joy! –  “To A Mouse, On Turning Her Up In Her Nest With The Plough”, Robert Burns, 1785

…and most of my best laid schemes have came to fruition.

It was interesting, however, to see what happened to this blog whilst I took a break from posting. Incidentally, taking a year off wasn’t intentional. Big Bad (remember him?) reared his ugly head again and I began to get behind. I had loaded myself up with a comprehensive plan to study the Embraer 195 prior to my course in October. Before I knew it, a couple of months had passed and I hadn’t found the time to post. I didn’t have as much enthusiasm either, so I took a break.

Anyway, I had expected blog traffic to dwindle away to nothing, but the opposite happened; traffic increased. I noticed that the ML7 posts were frequently referred to. Might I have unwittingly created a resource? That would be great if true. It’s always good to feel useful to others. Now that the fuss of changing types has completely melted away, I’ve gone part time and given up being a Training Captain (by the three mice of blind, how stressful was that job), maybe I can make a useful contribution to the world of tools and the Great British Tradition of 50 Something Men Pottering About in Sheds!

So, I retrained from the Bombardier Dash 8 Q400 to the Embraer 175/195. It took a month in ground school, three weeks in the simulator and three weeks Line Training. October to early December. Some pictures:

Faro, June 2016…

The Pilots’ Lounge…

We have this cool device…

This damage was caused by a now ex seagull…

…this is what those blades should look like…

I’ve been reasonably busy in MLW even though I’ve not posted anything about it. Here’s a preview of some upcoming posts:

Large hand drill refurbishment…

Triton Router and table…

Triton Circular Saw and Workcentre 2000…

MLW tour…


There’s also a “retrograde” on the ML7.

Lots to show you. Hope you can join me!

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Ejets

…This is why I tell you, all the things you pray and ask for, have faith that you have received them, and you will have them…

In the autumn, I’ll be transferring onto a different type of aircraft, the Embraer Ejet series. An Ejet isn’t a Scottish idiot, it’s a family of airliners that includes the E170, E175, E190 and E195. Our company has E175s and E195s.

This will be only my fourth airliner in over 20 years. Here’s the first one…


That’s a British Aerospace Jetstream 41, of British Airways Express. This aircraft, which I’ve actually flown, belonged to Manx Airlines, which was then a franchise operator of BA. I started as a First Officer on that in May 1994; becoming a Captain in December 1996. In January 1999, I changed to this…


That’s an Embraer 145, and again, I’ve got this very one in my logbook. It was the same company, but had morphed into British Regional Airlines operating as BA Connect. That was a nice aeroplane; a pocket rocket. In 2009, after Flybe bought BA Connect, I changed onto this paddle steamer…

A Bombardier Dash 8 Q400. I actually flew this very one on the 10th of May to Inverness and Dublin. All joking apart, this is the aircraft I’ve got the most respect for. It’s solid, powerful and comfortable. I’ve been in a Hurricane Force 12 landing (December the 18th, Aberdeen) and it’s been fine. I’ve been inside a thunderstorm (by accident, let me assure you..) and it held together. I’ve had it covered in ice. I’ve taken it out of Chios, 35 degrees, max weight, 1500 metre runway with a mountain at the end. I’ve flown it on one engine after a prop malfunction. Smooth as a bairn’s bum.

But it’s quite difficult to fly. And we spend all our time in bad weather and short runways. Stressful. A young man’s game that. I want something easy to fly now and I want out of training, so I’m going back to jets; this one…


Nice, isn’t it?