Time: 15:25 - 16:10 (14:25 - 15:10 GMT)
Aircraft: Eurostar EV-97 - G-CERE
Ian sent an e-mail round saying that he had an aircraft booked for Saturday and wanted to play with his new SkyDemon GPS unit (we all need our toys). I didn't need any more persuading and suggested that we go to Wadswick Farm Strip - he agreed.
Wadswick is a Country Store where they sell all sorts of country stuff, such as horse equipment, rider paraphernalia, feedstuff, country clothes, pet/working dog stuff and gun maintenance bits. They also have a cafe on-site. They also have an airstrip alongside - I suspect that the owner may have an interest in aviation. Having a farm strip with a cafe that is open every day is of great interest to us.
We prep the plane and decide that Ian can fly the outbound journey as I plan to visit again in the near future. We take off on runway 26. The cloudbase isn't too bad at just over 2000' and the visibility is quite good. First of all, we head towards the Middle Wallop MATZ stub to see if his GPS bleeps suitable in warning. To be honest, we don't hear it with our headphones on, but there is a visual indication. We then head north to avoid the Salisbury Plain area where they have some exercises on and a large avoid area. As we pass the danger zone a huge plume of smoke rises from it - yep, definitely a danger zone.
We decide to have a look at some crop circles on the way. I have previously plotted a few of them on my GPS (from Lucy Pringles website) which helps us spot them. There is a fairly high density of them around the Devizes area, but some have already been harvested making them harder to see, but you can still make out their outline. Some are really quite pretty. We search for Craymarsh Farm airfield on the way and eventually spot it. Then we look for the Wadswick airfield. Their website describing the windsocks mentions "A smoking chimney near the runway often provides an additional reference" sure enough we can see some smoke from a chimney right next to the runway - great. As Lyneham airspace is closed, we don't have to worry about calling them. We join downwind and Ians landing is spot-on.
We park up and go inside. The shop is quite large and full of horsey goods (and horsey people in jodhpurs). Ian signs in and I find the cafe. We have a very nice sandwich and some tea and have plenty of time for a chat.
Eventually it's time for me to fly us back to Popham. A quick checkover and we're backtracking on runway 28. As we near the threshold I spot a rather strange plane with a propeller at either end - this turns out to be a Cessna 337. We take off and then head back east and attempt more crop-circles. The Lyneham zone has prevented me seeing the Cherhill white horse, but now we can go and have a look - just below it is a fantastic alien head crop-circle. This is close to Yatesbury airfield and there are a few more around it too. We go past Avebury, Silbury Hill, Marlborough and Savanake Forest and back to Popham. A reasonable landing finishes off a lovely day.
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