Date: 5/7/2009

Time: 14:25 - 15:40 & 16:35 - 17:30

Aircraft: Ikarus C42 - G-CDVI

Sandown with Stewart

Our test engineer Stewart, is my victim today. Unfortunately it's a bit windy and gusty today. Even Steve, my instructor describes it a quite 'sporting'. Should I continue with my plan to go to Sandown? Well Stewart seems fairly relaxed about the idea, and used to fly gliders, so knows what its like. Lets go up and see what it's like; if it's OK, we can go to the Isle of Wight and assess the situation there.

After fuelling up and checking the plane out, we are eventually on out way. Yes - it is indeed quite lively, requiring the plane to be flown, rather than just pointed in the right direction. I fly the narrow channel between Middle Wallop and Southampton zone and it's a little challenging, by manageable. Then over the New Forest, towards the west point of IOW and once over Hurst Castle, suddenly it all settles down! True, we are able to climb a bit higher now, but the clouds have nearly disappeared and the air is vastly smoother.

We round the needles and it's fun to see some orphan lonely clouds that are lower than us. Stewart flies down to St. Catherine's point, but we have to avoid some idiot who seems to be repetitively doing low passes over the lighthouse. Then after a quick call, we are going north to join the circuit for Sandown. As we get lower to circuit height, it does get a bit more interesting, but the landing goes well. We have some tea/coffee and I have a doughnut.

Quick checkover, and we're off again northwards, by a slightly different route to usual, to the west of Ryde, over to Gosport and along the Southsea coast to Hayling. Nice views of the Spinnaker Tower and Portsmouth and Southsea. On the way we do a couple of steep banked turns (after clearing checks). Then north to Petersfield and up to Ropley - here we deviate east towards Alton and nearly get to Stewart's house, just turning before the Odiham MATZ starts. The back to Popham where it isn't as lively as before and a reasonable landing.

I enjoyed today. Also, have now completed over 100 solo hours.

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