Please visit the gallery for pictures of the aircraft.
G-BRDO, affectionately called 'Delta Oscar', is a 1975 Cessna 177B, fixed gear, Cardinal (construction number: 02166). She was formerly registered as N35030, before crossing the Atlantic Ocean to her new home at Durham Tees Valley Airport.
A special article, provided by Keith Patterson, of Cardinal Flyers Online, gives you an idea of what makes the Cardinal so special.
The Cardinal was introduced in 1968, intended as a replacement for the 172, and it was decided that the market wanted a 150 hp engine. A large number were built, and later modified with a slot in the stabilator. Despite this modification, the '68 model was never known as a strong performer and over the years various modifications were made, including the introduction of a fixed pitch propeller and a larger engine. you can find details on the history of the Cardinal models here.
The first thing many people notice about the 177, is the lack of the trademark struts possessed by other Cessna singles. On closer inspection, other noticeable features include the position of the wings, which are placed a lot further aft, giving a large windscreen and excellent visibility. The 177 also possesses very large doors, allowing you to sit into the aircraft rather than climb in. Overall these changes make the 177 appear a lot sleeker than other Cessna singles.
With the introduction of the European FM Immunity regulations in January 2001, 'Delta Oscar' was relegated to VFR only, whilst flying inside controlled airspace. To overcome this, during the aircraft's annual inspection, a new Garmin GNS430 Nav/Com/GPS unit was fitted, replacing an existing radio and the older Garmin GPS100. This new unit incorporates a colour moving map display and offers a whole range of new features, including the ability to fly GPS instrument approaches (when they are introduced into the UK) and is fully R-NAV compliant. Despite the full range of features provided, the GNS430 is simple to operate and provides the pilot with as much (or as little) information as needed. A PC simulator also allows the Pilot to practice using the unit at home, before using it in the air.
The aircraft is now fitted with the latest Garmin GTX330 Mode S transponder to allow the members to fly in the new 'Transponder Mandatory Zones' (TMZ) which will become commonplace in the future.
The group is run for the benefit of all members and everyone is encouraged to take an active role is ensuring the aircraft is looked after. We also run the group in a business like way with some of the members taking on extra roles to enable to group to run as smoothly as possible. All positions are agreed by the group members at our Annual General Meeting, these being Chairperson, Secretary, Treasurer and Maintenance Officer.
Everyone is the group is flexible regarding the booking of the aircraft which allows for the members to take the aircraft away for more than a few days without having to worry about the costs associated with taking a hired aircraft away. We only pay for the time that the aircraft is being flown and not whilst it is on the ground. The aircraft has been flown to a number of countries within Europe by the members who can enjoy the freedom of being an aircraft owner.
We operate a website enabling us to reduce the time needed for the paperwork side of running the group and allow us more time to enjoy the flying!
Anyone interested in joining the group can check on our vacancies page to see if there are any shares available.