Time: 13:15 - 14:05
Aircraft: Ikarus C42 - G-CDRO
Dodgy weather again today. The TAFs indicate even when the mist clears, there may be low cloud and possible rain. Not sure that we are going to get a flight today. Between Colin, Jac, Ian and I, we have two aircraft for the day; it doesn't seem good for our targets of Sandy, Compton or Bembridge.
Waiting for the mist to clear, we have plenty of time to leisurely get the aircraft out. Whilst hanging around, Colin shows me the inside of the Eurostar EV-97 and is the first time I have sat in one. I also had a chat to a potential new member called Barry and showed him the inside of the C-42, whilst the others have some tea.
Eventually the mist clears and we're off. We don't want to go too far (due to the weather) and decide to go West to Yatesbury so we are flying into the weather. And it's somewhere I haven't been before. I fly the outbound leg with Colin and we take off from 26. We fly in loose formation, where Ian is flying slightly behind and out to the port side. It's quite comforting being able to see them easily, rather than the uneasy feeling of "they're out here somewhere". Another aircraft comes up on out starboard side at the same height - initially they look like they are going to go behind us, but I think they saw Ian and decided to go in front. We exchange waggled wings and they pull across the front of us and head off towards the south-west.
We have to enter Lynehams zone as Yatesbury is slightly inside it. Ian gets his radio call in early and we attempt to contact them by Avebury, but are asked to wait. We are nearing the point where we would have to circle outside the zone before we finally get permission. We have to drop down to circuit height and don't get the join quite right, before finding the landmarks and turn downwind. Ian is now in front of us, so I guess he joined base leg - they seemed to be too high, so we assumed they were going around, but they made it down. I think I worried Colin by slowing it right down for separation, but I don't think he realised we were on full flap. Ended up with a slightly powered approach and a reasonable landing.
We are met by Andy Jones, one of our old instructors who now instructs from Yatesbury. He kindly made us some coffee and tea and we had a good chat. We also looked at some nice pictures of crop circles in their clubhouse.
Jac smoothly flys the return leg. Colin pilots Ian in the other plane - we don't get to see them as they are directly behind us, until we are descending deadside at Popham. We still have plenty of time, so Colin invites me up for a quick flight in Eurostar. It's quite different in some respects to the C42 - the visibility is great and you have to be careful with the low wings. In other respects, I found flying left-handed not as different as I thought it would be. Must get round to doing my conversion some time.
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