Date: 19/4/2009

Time: 15:30 - 16:45

Aircraft: Ikarus C42 - G-CDVI

Sandy on a Sunday

Our group of 4 are going to Sandy today. I have wanted to go here for a while, as one of my customers flys here and his brother runs it - also Jac knows his (brothers) partner.

I am with Jac, who flies the outbound leg in G-CDRO. It's a little bit lumpy and the visibility is a bit hazy, but OK. We hit one big hole, where the plane just drops - quite exciting. Past Brimpton and Whittles and then we see the huge mast by the M40 junction 5 - a useful landmark for skirting around the Benson zone. Then north past Alyesbury and just clearing its northwest tip, we turn to the northeast past Leighton Buzzard (otherwise known as lost and buggered) and over Woburn Abbey - don't want to have an engine failure over the lions pen of the safari park! Eventually we get to our destination through the (inactive) Shuttleworh/Old Warden zone and overfly the active airstrip. We descend in the circuit and land on the 365m runway 35.

Nice leisurely cup of tea and the obligatory bacon sandwiches.

I fly the home leg with Ian in G-CDVI. It's still a bit hazy. This is my first go at flying in a loose formation - it's not as easy as it might first seem. The plane you are following (Colin in RO) will be being affected by the thermals and you are not necessarily being affected by the same, so you end up chasing heights. I start hanging behind to the left hand side (like Ian did on way to Yatesbury), so they are to my right. Ian takes some good air-to-air pictures. After a while, I move over to the other side - behind and to the right. It's then easier for me (in the left seat) to keep an eye on the other aircraft and Jac said she found it better as she could keep an eye on me.

Once we get near Overton, we put in some turns to give some separation before joining. On the first go, it's a bit gusty and I bounce on landing, so throttle down for a go-around - better on the second attempt.

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