Date: 5/6/2010

Time: 14:15 - 15:30 & 16:45 - 17:30 (GMT)

Aircraft: Ikarus C42 - G-CDRO

Bembridge with Paul

Paul is a friend who is a keen photographer wanted to try a flight to see if he could get some nice photos from the air. A day was booked.

On getting to the airfield, we find the plane is already available early. The final time slot is also free, so we have it for the rest of the day - which means we don't have to rush. We fuel and checkout the aircraft. There is a rather bent Cessna 152 near the clubhouse that has suffered from a rather tragic landing, ending up on it's roof - Pete manages to time it perfectly to say "it's better than your normal landings, Dave" just as Paul is coming out the clubhouse door - he's such a wit.

We take off on 08 and I think this must be the heaviest I have ever had this aircraft - I carefully lift it off the deck and the climb rate is sedate - not the lively performance I'm used to. I'm sure it's the size of Paul's camera lenses and not just all the pies I have been eating! We head off to the south-west and unfortunately the visibility is rather poor - not what you want for taking photos. We keep relatively low for a better view of the ground.

Over the New Forest we do an orbit to locate a good pub that Paul knows. Once we get to Hurst Castle we can climb a bit to cross the Solent. We head past the Needles and head out to sea, so that we can then turn to face them head-on. Along the coast to St. Catherine's it is really smooth and stable allowing hands-off flying. We then head north around Sandown zone and join Bembridge circuit from the west and land on 12 - first time I have landed in this direction and I underestimate the lack of wind and need to sideslip it down.

After tea, cake and a checkover we're off again climbing gently and out over Whitecliffe Bay. We gain some height an cross the Solent with a flexwing, to have a look at Portsmouth and Southsea, then head east to Hayling Island to buzz my brothers house. Then north to Butser Hill and back to Popham, with a small detour along the Watercress Line at Ropley.

Shame about the visibility, but otherwise a nice flight .

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