Date: 3/7/2010

Time: 13:15 - 13:45 (HP) & 14:20 - 15:35 (DV) (GMT)

Aircraft: Ikarus C42 - G-CFHP & Eurostar EV-97 - G-CEDV

Chilsfold and Swanborough Farms

It's another two plane flight with Colin, Jac and Ian again today. The plan is to go to Chilsfold Farm, Swanborough Farm, Truleigh Farm and then back to Popham. These are all farm strips with very limited facilities. We have tried to go on this trip before, but the weather wasn't obliging. Again we have a plan to mix and match pilots and aircraft. All the target airfields are PPR, so we phone for Prior Permission - Chilsfold OK, Swanborough say we can land if there is someone there and Truleigh say that they have been hay bailing, but will get the bigger bails off the runway!

Jac has just been up in Mac's gyrocopter and enjoyed that.

It's hot today so there will be plenty of thermal activity. There are also a few things to avoid such as a gliding competition at Lasham and displays at Goodwood and Washington (Sussex). We are a bit slow getting away, not helped by my late arrival. Eventually we're off with Colin flying me in the Eurostar, and Ian flying Jac in the C-42. We head down to Colemore Common and indeed it is a bit bumpy. The visibility isn't too bad. Then over Liss and east to overfly Chilsfold and then descend into a circuit. We land after Ian, park up and find the farm owner. He kindly shows us around his hangers and some interesting mods made to some of the aircraft.

The next leg is me flying Colin in the C42, Jac is flying Ian in G-DV. The taxiway is really bumpy on the way to the threshold - would probably have been better to backtrack. Past Billingshurst and Brighton and towards Lewes. We can't initially see the airfield when we get there. It runs in a different direction to what I was expecting partly due to our direction being being different and the location of the local high ground. Jac spots it before me and also sees a car arriving, so by their rules there is someone there, so we can land. It's a really wide runway and hills either end. I park up behind the Eurostar. We have a bit of a chat to the guy who has turned up to work on one of the local aircraft. Later the airfield owner turns up and another aircraft lands after a low pass.

The next leg is me flying Ian in the Eurostar and Jac in G-HP with Colin. A bit of a late decision, but once airborne I decide to divert via Beachy Head for a bit of a look. I try to brief radio call of my intentions but fail. Really beautiful views along the coast cliffs and the light houses. We then turn round and head back to the north of Brighton and to Truleigh Farm. This is directly below the ILS approach for Shoreham. When we get there, Jac is having her third attempt at landing, but the trees, wind and direction are making it impossible. If she cant get the C-42 down, then I've got no chance in the EV-97 - there wouldn't be any point anyway, as Ian isn't cleared for the Eurostar, so we'd have to just take off again. So we head back to Popham, avoiding the Lasham gliding competition again - bit of a long leg, but we have no choice.

So not entirely successful, but definitely enjoyable.

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