Date: 01/01/2010

Time: 13:40 - 14:05

Aircraft: Eurostar EV-97 - G-CEDV

Brimpton on New Years Day

Once again, the weather has been crap, with several flights canceled. The forecast for today looked good and Colin, Jac, Ian and I had planned to go to Westonzoyland. Come the day, it is sunny with a cloudless sky and a 5 knot northerly wind - lovely. However what isn't so lovely, it that it's really cold and all the planes are covered in ice. Colin and Jac are deicing the Eurostar, so I try helping - this seems to be going OK; the plane is turned into the sun and by gentle rubbing with tissue paper, the ice is coming off. I decide to go and help Ian with the C-42 in the rear parking. This isn't going quite as well - it is not possible to catch as much sun and any rubbing must avoid the stitching of the wings.

At about 1 o'clock it is obvious that we aren't going to get to our target airfield. The Eurostar is deiced, and although the C-42 is coming along, it is taking too long. Colin proposes that he and I fly up to Brimpton and back in the EV-97 and then Jac can fly Ian up afterwards (Ian hasn't been cleared on the Eurostar, so Jac would have to fly both legs). If the C-42 does de-ice, they could follow us up.

There is the New Years Day fly-in at Popham and apart from the Microlight Trade Fair, I don't think I have ever seen it so busy. We have to queue a bit to depart, with Colin at the helm. We head off north and around Hannington, I have a quick go on the joystick as I am not greatly experienced with this aircraft. Colin then takes us to the north of the airfield to join by the recommended downwind join on 07. Someone else calls final on a straight-in (lazy) approach - we search for him and eventually spot them much further south than they should be. Colin elects for a go-around and lands the second time round. We have a chat and the obligatory cup of tea.

My turn for the return trip. I still haven't worked out what to do with my kneeboard where it doesn't get in the way of the joystick - I put it on the luggage shelf. Run-up checks, taxi and line-up - I'm a bit apprehensive/excited - my inexperience with the EV-97 puts a certain mount of (not unwelcome) challenge to flying. Remembering to put some right rudder in, I open up the throttle and take off OK. Climbing out, we turn downwind and then south towards Hannington Mast. The visibility is difficult into the low sun. We turn due south at the mast which should take us straight to the airfield and all to quickly I spot the golf course and realise we have made better progress than I thought. A quick call and we join overhead. It is VERY busy and someone else calls descending deadside before me. I follow then round slowly, seeing that they have gone very wide and too far north. They fly a huge circuit and I'm then forced to follow them to the south of Mitcheldever Station. A nervous approach over the woods and the landing isn't too bad. I'm happy with that.

Jacs turn to take Ian up. They gave up deicing the C-42. I pay my Spitfire Flying Club fees and we have some lunch. We have a look at some of the visiting aircraft including a De Havilland Dragon and a couple of Yaks, who do a bit of a fly-past when departing. At 3:30, Pete and Rob finally get a C-42 deiced and go for a quick trip - more to get it ready for tomorrow than anything else.

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