Date: 4/6/2009

Time: 16:55 - 18:40

Aircraft: Ikarus C42 - G-CEAN

Crop Circle Hunting

Whilst away on a commissioning trip, up in Warrington, I had heard that there was a giant crop circle in the shape of a jellyfish that had appeared in Oxfordshire. I hadn't really thought about crop circles appearing this early in the year, so decided to go and investigate. The weather this weekend is going to be wet, so an evening flight seems like a good idea. I invited a friend and colleage Jon along - it also helps when leaving work early, given that he is a company director!

After a bit of faff, swapping cars around we get to the airfield, fuel and checkover the plane. Eventually we are off on 03 and head northwest towards the Uffington White Horse - this is one of my favourite landmarks and haven't visited it for a while. The jellyfish was reported to be near it. Jon used to fly a bit with his father, when he was alive, so I give him a go on the controls - he confidently takes the joystick and also reaches forward with his feet to the rudder pedals. He is quite surprised how responsive the little plane is. A bit unbalanced at first until he starts using his feet.

We fly over the ridge of the White Horse and double back to fly over it. Then were off westwards and soon find the jellyfish crop circle - it's really impressive. A quick turn round this and we then head towards Avebury, then east towards Manton - another large one here. We then circumnavigate Devizes (anticlockwise) and there are a number around here and also there is a couple more white horses.

Eventually it is time to head back to Popham, with a couple of steep-banked turns on the way, for entertainment. Approaching the airfield, Allan calls to advise there was a glider circling to the west, to gain height. We spot him and realise he's not going anywhere, but Popham - he is far too low. As we are overhead, he calls us to say that he is joining, so I fly to the south to orbit and keep out of his way. Once he is downwind, I join from the deadside, but as I turn base I can see the glider landed, but still on the runway. I call going around at circuit height and second time round, Allan and the pilot have shifted it just off the runway, so I land down the left hand side of the runway. Good landing and a really nice flight.

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