Date: 22/9/2007

Time: 16:30 - 18:05

Aircraft: Ikarus C42 - G-CDHR

Uffington and Alton Barnes Horses

Click pictures for better image.

OK, all my lessons and tests to get my license have been done. Today I collar John, the chief flying instructor (back from his holiday) to fill in my license application form, which has to be done by him. Actually he is only in on a fun flight with his partner, but I persuade him to do it, by agreeing to give him a lift home. He also does Stephs aswell.

BUT - until I actually get my license approved and that important bit of paper in my hand, I am still technically a student. I want to do a flight that extends beyond the "playground", so Steve agrees to sign me out for a cross country. I have already planned out my route and done the framework of the PLOG, which I need to flesh-out with the corrected headings with the wind information. My plan is to visit the Uffington Horse (oldest hillside white horse in the country) and the Alton Barnes horse).

Eventually, I'm on my way flying northish; once I was passed Hungerford and the M4 I'm into an area where I haven't been before. So far it has all gone completely to the plan, past Lambourne and any moment now, the Uffington Castle should appear. . . . . There it is, right where it should be! I fly over to top of the hill to the east of the horse and then fly round the front. I try to take a few photos, which feels a bit odd - the camera only really works in the right hand and you have to have confidence to let go of the joystick and I guess I get a bit nervous looking through the viewfinder rather than looking out for other aircraft.

I resist the temptation to hang around long and head on towards the Alton Barnes horse, past Marlborough. I get to where it should be just over the other side of the hill. I decide to go round the hill, rather than over it and hey presto - there it is. A couple more hasty photos.

The route home should be easier, because as I go past Clench Common and a route I have done before. I realise that I am going too far to the south, so presumably the southerly wind has dropped and less compensation (than the plan) is needed. Easily correct this and I'm back on plan past Whitchurch and a reasonable join and a good landing (which Steve comments on).

Feels like my first proper flight. It shows how good planning makes the journey so much easier and relaxed. I really enjoyed it.

Can't wait for my license to come.

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