Date: 16/07/2011

Time: 17:55 - 18:15 (16:55 - 17:15 GMT) & 18:55 - 19:25 (17:55 - 18:25 GMT)

Aircraft: Ikarus C42 - G-CDHR

After Holiday Circuit Practice

I've been on holiday for over 3 weeks (New Zealand and Australia if your interested) and consequently I haven't been flying (as a pilot) for nearly 4 weeks - I NEED to go flying; not just to stay current. I have booked a couple of slots for last thing on the Saturday afternoon and intend to do some circuit practice. However, the weather is quite horrible with heavy rain and low cloud, but the forecast suggests that it MIGHT clear up in time.

Gone 4pm it is brightening up and there is even bright sunshine here in Sandhurst. The Winchester webcam looks OK too, so I decide to give it a go. But then on the motorway to the airfield I drive through some really heavy rain - not so good. At the club I meet Steve, setting up the simulator for Sophie - he asks, what am I doing there? Being optimistic was my reply. Outrageous optimism he suggested. In the clubroom I met Pete and then shortly afterwards we looked outside and it was (again) brightening up - good enough to get a plane out. I ask Pete if we should get separate planes or (as we chose) share one aircraft. We get HR out, check it over, warm it up and fuel it. By this time it is looking better and so Steve and Sophie are getting a plane out too.

I take the first stint. I take off on 26 and start a circuit - the speed downwind suggests that there is a reasonable amount of wind and taking this into account, start my final approach - however it doesn't seem to want to sink. After a bit of sideslipping, I put it down for a bit of a greaser - great. Next circuit it also doesn't want to sink. One more circuit and I start the decent even earlier.

We swap over for Pete's turn. He heads for the skies to play with the clouds. We have to circle around to gain height in the gaps. Great fun - I'm not sure I would be comfortable doing it myself, but I have complete faith in Pete's flying. We squiggle around with tight turns around the clouds. After a while they seem to have been scared off and we have a pretty clear sky. We head back down, rejoin and land. He too gets caught out with the weird conditions where it just doesn't want to go down.

I finish off with another 3 circuits.

Return to 2011 Index

Return to main Index