Time: 11:30 - 12:35 & 14:10 - 15:10 (GMT)
Aircraft: Ikarus C42 - G-CDHR
Sandown with Gill
A long time ago, Gill would have been referred to as my friends sister (Trevor flew 17/8/2008), but I have known her far too long for that description now. We arranged to go flying previously, but the weather was marginal, so we postponed it until today.
My booking was moved to HR, but we have plenty of time as it isn't needed back until 6pm. There is a reasonable wind from the south, so aiming for Sandown is a better idea than Bembridge, due to rotor off the ridge between the two airfields. After fuelling and checkout, we are off on runway 26. It's a bit bumpy, but not too bad. The visibility isn't too bad either. Gill is suitably brave and comfortable about the flying. I was told once that she used to go gliding - it turns out in conversation, that she actually went once. My impression that she had some pilot experience turns out to be false.
We head off over the New Forest keeping suitably low due to the airspace height restriction. Gill tells me that she is achieving two ambitions in one - apart from wanting to go flying, she also has always wanted to go to the Isle of Wight. We cross the Solent at Hurst Castle and turn towards The Needles - once again it's smoother once over sea. After a two stage turn round The Needles (and obligatory photos), we head along the south coast towards St. Catherine's. Gill has go with joystick for a while, then we come across a seaplane flying along at a low level. We put in an orbit to avoid it, but then it turns around - fortunately we are at suitable height to be clear of it. At St. Catherine's point we turn up towards Sandown and join overhead. It's a bit more bumpy here to make it a little more challenging as we land on runway 23. We park up and go to the cafe. There are three other planes from Popham already here, including two microlights from MAC.
We enjoy some tea and bacon/sausage sandwiches and sit outside in the sunshine; benefiting from our extended timeslot, so no hurry.
Eventually, we decide to set off home. After a quick checkover we take off on 23 and head off north back to the mainland. In passing, Gill asks where Osbourne House is - it turns out that she is a bit of a National Front (sorry - that should be Trust) fan. A quick turn and we head towards Cowes for a quick orbit round the grand old building. Then back down to Ryde and across the Solent to Gosport and a nice view of the Spinnaker Tower. Along the coast to Hayling Island and an orbit here to see that my parents boat (and hence my parents) had returned from holiday.
The journey home was rather uneventful, heading north to Butser Hill, and then back to Popham via Ropley, avoiding Lasham where they have a Gliding competition running. We join overhead and land on 21.
A really nice day out - certainly beats going to work!
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