Time: 10:00 - 11:00 (09:00 - 10:00 GMT) & 15:55 - 16:35 (14:55 - 15:35 GMT)
Aircraft: Eurostar EV-97 - G-CERE
Bolt Head (Weston Zoyland and Farway Common)
I think I am seeing a pattern occurring here. Once again, the visibility is crap. The usual team of four of us have an all day flight planned for today. The plan was to go to Weston Zoyland, Bolt Head (near Salcombe) and Farway Common, but with the visibility it was try for Weston Zoyland - if possible then assess whether to go on. Possible diversion to Dunkeswell and also Dunkeswell as a possible alternative to Farway if we do get to Bolt Head.
We prep the planes and wait for the cloudbase to rise. Eventually we decide to give it a go, I am flying Jac in RE and Colin and Ian are in DV. They get off first - DV seems to warm up quicker than ours (and also seems a little faster). Once up, it's fairly grim. We end up trying to fly around the hills due to the limited cloudbase and suffering the general poor vis. However, once we get to Zoyland it opens up a bit and we land and have some tea and biscuits. Strange place where you have to land on a grass strip alongside the hard runway and then park on the hard - the other way round to normal. This is due to the poor state of repair of the tarmac with plenty of grass/weeds ridges across it.
After a bit of a chat with the locals it looks a bit better in the direction we are flying, so we decide to give Bolt Head a go, but will call if we have to blouse-out should it prove bad once we are up. However it isn't too bad so we press on, with Jac at the helm. It's nice to be flying where there is some actual terrain with hills and it is really pretty down here. As the south coast looms closer, we can make out where we believe Bolt Head is. It is really weird - there are some smoke trails around that appear to indicate the wind is coming from completely different directions. The airfield pops-up right where we expected it and although the others are in front, they seem to go for a jolly, so we actually land first. Jac spots a nice looking building on the side of the hill, whilst we are on final approach.
We book-in in the little shed and then find the guy to runs the airfield around the corner fixing his plane. It seems that despite their caravan site, they have no facilities for tea or food. He tells us that there is a National Front (sorry, that should be National Trust) place down the path towards Salcombe at Sharp Tor. We have to cross the runway and climb over the barbed-wire fence to get to the path and then follow the signs - however the signs to Sharp Tor suddenly disappear.
We try to guess our way and eventually we find a A-frame sign for the NT place Overbecks next to a sign to Sharp Tor. We follow this path, but it does only go to the tip of Sharp Tor, but is quite pretty and get get a team photo. We head back along the path and find Overbecks just a little way down from the sign we had seen before. It's actually the building that Jac had seen on final! We blag our way in to use the cafe without paying an entrance fee. The supervisor on the food counter doesn't really seem on-the-ball.
Getting back to the airfield is much more direct (and quicker) as we can see the mast next to it.
We contact Terry at Farway Common and are told to land on whichever runway doesn't have sheep on it. Once again, DV warms up quicker than us and they fly around a bit whilst waiting for us. We make our way north with DV following just behind and cross the Exmouth estuary. It seems a long time 'til we eventually spot Farway - the sheep are now on 36, so I join and land on 28. Terry is there to meet us and lowers the electric fence so we can enter his garden. We are kindly invited into his house for tea and a chat.
Eventually we have to make our excuses as it is time to head back. With virtually no wind we take off on 10 to avoid the taxiing. Jac takes a similar route to what I had planned and the visibility is much better than the outbound.
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