Time: 14:30 - 15:20 & 16:10 - 17:10
Aircraft: Eurostar EV-97 - G-CERE
Goodwood (with Jo)
Originally, Jo wasn't going to come home this weekend, but then her friend who was going to visit her dipped-out, so she came home. I asked if she wanted to come flying with me and was rather surprised when she said yes! The weather was improving as the low cloud drifted west, leaving a nice day behind it. However there were potential strong wind gusts forecast and in the wrong direction for Bembridge, so I decided to give Goodwood a go - haven't been there before. I also had another little plan - the new A1 Peppercorn steam locomotive "Tornado" was visiting the Watercress Line and I wanted to fly past, to see if I could see it.
When we got to the airfield, I was also surprised to find the aircraft still at it's tie-down (along with it's brother) - I thought on one of the rare nice days (crap weather recently) it would be in use all day. I inspected, fuelled and prepped it and then installed Jo - It's not as easy to get into the Eurostar, as it is the C-42. After the safety checks, we're off on 03 and then depart to the south-west - Jo is excited but not scared.
On getting to Ropley, we follow the Watercress Line towards Alton to see if we can see Tornado. Hmmm - we see a few trains and one of them I think is it, but it's too difficult to tell. We then track back to Ropley and then resume our journey. Down to the south of Petersfield and then Midhurst, then due south to Goodwood. I've made the radio call and they are (as expected) on 06 - they have 3 (6) runways, but getting into the overhead they are clearly (helpfully) marked. Join the circuit and round to a landing that I'm really pleased with.
Getting Jo out of the plane was equally fun - she couldn't see how to get off the wing so I gave her a fireman's lift and spinned her round a bit for good measure - I'm sure it would have given anyone watching a laugh. Went into the aerocafe for the hot-chocolate that I had promised her, which was really nice. Sat outside in the sun, whilst cars raced round the perimeter road race track. Soon it was time to make tracks ourselves, so we make our way back to the plane. Jo has an equally difficult time getting back in, including splitting her trousers!
Using my new radio skills, after a quick word with Goodwood Information, we are off in runway 06. During climbout, I turn left on crosswind and something weird happens - the right wing suddenly drops, it feels like 60 degrees but in reality was probably only 30 (quickly corrected). I guess we hit some odd thermal or turbulence leftbehind (possibly helicopter). This even momentarily concerns me, let alone Jo. It appears to be isolated, so we depart to the south towards Pagham Harbour. We then head east along the coast. I spot someone doing aerobatics over the north of Chichester Harbour, towards Emsworth, but Jo is convinced she has seen dolphins below us. We do an orbit for a better look, keeping well clear the aeros pilot, but in the process he breaks off and follows us round in a slightly larger orbit - we trade waggled wings. Sadly no dolphins.
We then go over Hayling Island and see my fathers and brothers houses and them climb away to the north up to Butser Hill and then north east. At the Watercress Line we have another go at looking for Tornado, then head back to Popham for a good join and landing.
It was a real treat to fly with Jo today. However, I know it's not her bag and won't be repeating for a while, but she did enjoy it (and more than she thought she would).
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