Date: 29/3/2009

Time: 14:25 - 15:55 & 16:55 - 17:40

Aircraft: Ikarus C42 - G-CDRO

Bembridge yet again

Yeah, I know I've only just recently been here, but I do like it and it's a good route to try to impress friends for their first flight. Today, I have one of Jo's friends Sharon Lloyd with me, who seems rather excited to be going flying - it's nice to see keenness.

The weather is pretty good today, although a bit more cloud than forecast. There was some spots of rain on the drive to the airfield, but I don't expect it to be a problem. Consequently, the airfield is quite busy. Jac has had G-RO before us and after fuelling and checking the plane over, we are on our way. We take off on 26 and head off to the south west. Over the Hampshire countryside down towards the New Forest. The air is a bit lively, but not too bad - fortunately, Sharon is completely unphased by this.

We cross the Solent at Hurst Castle, then turn to go round the Needles - I still love going out past them and then doing a medium banked turn back to face them, and passing down the south side of them. Happy squealy noises from the passenger seat. We follow the coast round to St. Catherine's point, and Sharon has a go at flying the plane.

Once we get to St. Catherine's, we turn north to join overhead Bembridge at 1500' from the west as runway 12 is in use - not done this one before. Then turning north up to the harbour and drop down to 1000' on the crosswind leg. Despite being able to hear other aircraft fine, Bembridge Radio is really quiet making it difficult understand even with the volume up full. However, after turning onto the downwind leg, I am told that as the wind has shifted, they are reversing the runway direction to 30! So I turn around at the end of my current downwind leg and start a new one in the opposite direction. Final approach over the Whitecliff Bay and land on 30 - not my best landing. We then backtrack, park up and go to the clubhouse.

We are lucky that no-one has the plane in the time-slot after us, so we don't need to rush home. We have a cup of tea and a rock cake each and a leisurely chat. Eventually they close the cafe so it's time to go home. Quick checkover and a warm-up, then we cross the grass taxyway to the threshold of 30 and we're off.

We cross the Solent to Hayling Island where I point out various things, such as my Dad's boat, which I helped launch yesterday. Then up to Butser Hill and back to Popham on a route that is really familiar now.

No answer from anyone on the radio when we approach, so from the overhead I see that the signal T shows that 21 is now the active runway. A clean join and approach, but once again a landing I'm not too pleased with. Must do a bit of circuit practice soon.

Another nice flight.

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