Time: 16:55 - 17:30 (15:55 - 16:30 GMT)
Aircraft: Eurostar EV-97 - G-CERE
Time: 19:10 - 19:50 (18:10 - 18:50 GMT)
Aircraft: Ikarus C42 - G-CDMS
We have been forced to abort two previous fly-outs to Brimpton due to the awful weather. Well, if you can't get to Brimpton you can't really go anywhere. This time we decide to aim for Yatesbury to see if we have better luck there. The idea of these flyouts, that have kindly been arranged by Colin and Jac, is to give less experienced pilots a chance to fly with those who have been to that particular airfield before. This not only gives them a great deal more confidence but makes it a nice social occasion too. I have flown into Yatesbury once before, a couple of years ago.
When I get to the airfield, I find that G-RE has already been got out and fuelled (thanks guys!). I am flying the outbound leg in it with Roger White as my passenger. It has been parked nose-to-nose with the sister Eurostar G-DV (during fuelling) - ahh, how sweet.
Eventually we are all assembled with 6 aircraft and take off in turn. The route to Yatesbury is a straight line along the valley, past Bourne Park, Rivar Hill and Clench Common. Yatesbury is just inside the Lyneham Zone which would also give the newer pilots some good radio experience with asking permission to enter the zone, but they have just changed so that the zone is not active at weekends, so wasn't necessary. It turns out that Roger is an experienced pilot, but I'm not sure if he has been into Yatesbury before. As we approach and spot the airfield, I realise that I need to head further south for the downwind join which is always from the south. Overhead joins are not allowed, but this may change on the closure of Lyneham. The monument and clump of trees that mark the downwind leg are relatively easy to spot and we join at 600' QFE which appears very close to the ground as these hills are higher than the airfield. Turning base by the gallops, we find the airfield and approach to land. There is a fair amount of wind today and either a gust or some windsheer makes my landing less than elegant, but OK.
We are the second to arrive after G-VI and find a spot to park. We are met by Andy Jones who used to be an Airbourne instructor at Popham, who I had for one (dual) lesson, who now teaches here. There is also Tony Hughes and his wife who run the airfield. They treat us to a very welcome large mug of tea. We also have a look at their Thruster workshop.
Later, after the obligatory team photos, we are preparing for our way home. This time I am flying Chris White (Roger's son) home in a C-42, G-MS. The Eurostars cannot use the taxiway due to their low wing height, so they need to backtrack. I use the taxiway whilst one is backtracking. Takeoff is swift and we have to turn crosswind at the road, then turn downwind, heading for home. However, it would be a bit boring to go straight back so I swing right and go and have a look at the Alton Barnes white horse. Then we go and visit the Pewsley horse, being careful not to intrude on the Salisbury danger zone. Together we easily navigate back to Popham.
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