Time: 17:10 - 18:10
Aircraft: Ikarus C42 - G-CDMS
Weather wasn't looking too good today. Bit windy and gusty and rain shower due right when my flight is booked. I guess I shouldn't complain as I have been quite lucky this year - only one flight canceled so far this year (I think) and that was last week. I leave it as late as I can to call the airfield - I'm told that it's a bit gusty, but the cloudbase is OK.
Sadly, by the time I get there, the sky has dropped. Whilst I'm fuelling up, it starts to rain, so I go inside to wait for it to stop. After a chat, some hot chocolate and some biscuits, the rain has finally stopped and I finish prepping the plane. I have been told by Melvin that there is a funeral do in the main clubhouse and that they are doing a flypast and dropping the ashes around 6:45 and they request that everyone keep out of their way - OK fair enough.
Ten past 6 and I'm finally taking off. Climbing up, there are some scattered low clouds at about 2000' to 2700' and then a gap up to broken clouds at 6000' (we'll try to get them fixed!). I fly up in the gap, which is great fun looking down on the lower clouds. I try some steep banked turns and also experiment trying rapid application of the ailerons - fun. Then down towards Andover I start a PFL, but the cloudbase is really low here, so I blouse out to find somewhere safer - well it is just a practice! Up near Hannington I find a largeish break in the clouds and have another go - this goes OK. Then a climb-out and try some stall practice - I still keep finding myself entering a mushing stall dropping at 700'/min still in an upright attitude. Bit more practice and not being so gentle, I get it to stall properly and recover from these easily.
I head back down toward Popham and am waiting for the ashes dump to finish. When they're done, unfortunately there is an inconvenient huge lump of cloud above the airfield. I have a look to see if I can go around it or under it. Roy calls that he is joining downwind which look like a very sensible option, so I do the same at 700' as the cloudbase is at 800'. Nice landing, but due to the cloud, I decide not to do circuits like I originally planned.
However - I did enjoy the flight.
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