Date: 23/01/2011

Time: 13:00 - 13:25

Aircraft: Ikarus C42 - G-CDHR

Claggy Circuits

Another day when the forecast shows little hope - the cloudbase is meant to be low. But as usual these days the forecasters leave some latitude to get it wrong. I got up earlyish and it didn't look good. Colin said that they were going to go to the airfield and do some faux circuits and the boggy state of Popham meant that proper circuits were banned. I thought I would leave it a while before canceling, but around 10 I looked at the sky and could see high enough to see blue sky and con-trails - perhaps I'll give it a go.

Rode my bike to the airfield and was surprised to find the clubhouse was full - I'm told that this was because there was no point being outside (due to low cloudbase). After a bit of a chat I'm told that C and J are currently up and in the plane that I had booked - conditions were not ideal for the Eurostar they had booked). I was about to go and have a look to see where they were, when they came in and had put the aircraft away. Cloudbase still crap, so I didn't hurry and had more of a chat. Around quarter to one, I decide that I may as well give it a go. Scott asks if I wanted some ballast/company, so we prepared and popped into the control to ask if it was OK to do go-around circuits.

Didn't take too long to get the plane out and warmed-up as it hadn't got too cold, despite the air temperature being quite chilly. Once ready I lined-up on 03 and took off on the extreme left of the runway. Gosh - it's a bit more bumpy than I expected. The wind is gusty and swinging around a bit. As we pass 700' QFE it turns from poor vis to cloud, so I circuit at 700'. Coming in on final just before touching down I hit the throttle and head skywards again - unfortunately I accidentally remove both stages of flap instead of one - oh well, I build airspeed and climb away OK. Next time round I round-out higher that I wanted, but hadn't intended to land. I let it sink some more and low-hop for a bit, then climb away again. On the third time round I intend to full stop and it swings round a bit but lands OK on the extreme right of the runway to avoid the worn/muddy centreline.

We taxi back on the land alongside the taxiway to reduce wear. We swap places and Scott takes it up for a couple of circuits. He takes a slightly different course going to the south of the A303 instead of over the silos.

Not a thrilling flight, but all we could manage given the cloudbase. And another person that I have flown with.

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