Date: 15/3/2009

Time: 15:35 - 16:45 & 17:20 - 18:10

Aircraft: Ikarus C42 - G-CDMS

Bembridge again

Lovely weather today - very thin high cloud leaving plenty of sunshine. Looks like one of the best days this year, so of course everyone seems to be out (don't blame them!). I decide to go to Bembridge again as it is a nice airfield, but this time taking the route to the west of the Southampton zone, and across to the Needles and round the Isle of Wight.

I'm in G-MS today, but because it is busy, it isn't parked in front of the club - when a space becomes free I move it round to fuel and prep it. I meet up with Ian who has just been up in G-MS - he hasn't got anything to rush off to, so he agrees to come with me (and kindly fuels it).

It seems that the brakes on G-MS are rather cr@p, so the run-up checks have to be done rather gingerly. Eventually we are off on 26 and climb out to 1500' and keep at this relatively low height whilst going past Southampton airspace to make double sure we don't infringe. Initially my GPS isn't logging, so I reset it. It's a little bumpy at this height, but not too bad. There are a lot of people about so gives us good practice at looking out for other aircraft. We pass over the New Forest (where the M27 is doing an impression of a car park) and cross the Solent at Hurst Castle, then turn to go round the Needles - it seems a lot more stable once we are over the water. We follow the coast round to St. Catherine's point, then round past Sandown.

We join overhead Bembridge at 1500' and drop down to 1000' on the crosswind leg. The circuit seems really huge and slow compared to the microlight circuit at Popham. Final approach is from the sea over the Whitecliff Bay cliffs and land on 30 - a short backtrack and we park up and have some tea and biscuits.

When it is time to leave, it is a lot less busy than it used to be. After backtrack (carefully due to poor brakes) and we are off on 30 again. Over the Solent to Hayling Island and in through Chichester Harbour entrance - I point out the sailing club and my fathers house. Then back on the throttle and up to Petersfield and back to Popham. The air is absolutely calm now and hands-off flying is easy. We join for 26 and land.

A nice flight.

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