Date: 28/08/2011

Time: 14:15 - 14:55 (13:15 - 13:55 GMT) & 16:05 - 16:45 (15:05 - 15:45 GMT)

Aircraft: Ikarus C42 - G-CDMS

Dunkeswell and Compton Abbas

We had hoped to go to Darley Moor today, to see Shelley and have booked two planes for all day. Unfortunately, we didn't order some decent weather - quite apart from the showers all over the country, there was high gusty winds at 90 degrees to Darleys runway - it's not going to happen. Shame after all the planning, but I guess that can be put away for another day.

The team today are Jac, Colin, Roy and me. We need another plan. There is quite a lot of low clouds scudding around and there are showers (some quite heavy) dotted around. It seems prudent to fly into the weather, so if it gets worse we can always turn back. We also need a relatively east/west runway. We decide to try for Dunkeswell (long leg) and then return via Compton Abbas. Time to draw the lines on the charts and create a PLOG using the old whiz-wheel (which I haven't used for a while). Once we have completed this and preppped the planes, it's time to get off.

Colin is flying me on the long leg to Dunkeswell and we line up behind Roy flying Jac in G-RO. It's a bit bumpy. We head south-west down towards Bossington and once we get south of the CMATZ there is a large rainshower that we avoid by flying to the north of. Then the next one we fly to the south. If fact the journey is basically flying around the rain dumps. This takes us a fair way south and over Blandford Forum where we can see the large annual Steam Fair. There is a fair rain bank as we near Dunkeswell, but we get past it and maneuver to join downwind. As we turn onto final, the rain starts - typical. We land and park on the grass.

We book-in and go into the cafe. After queering up at the counter we get told that they are only doing carvery and we have to go and get a ticket from the till - they could have told us before or at least put a notice up. I think we are all a bit miffed at this and can't be bothered to queue again so we get some crisps from the bar and get some tea. After our kingly feast and a much better chat, we start to make a move - it starts to rain, so we delay going out until it stops. After checkover and warm-up, Jac goes over the other side for her run-up checks. I do mine on the grass and line up from there, so I get off just before her - hmmm, quite a lot of crosswind. I doesn't feel so bumpy now, but it's still a game of avoiding the showers. There is one cloud that we seem to be only just gaining on, so I put the nose down a little to get past. At Compton I join overhead for the 26 microlight circuit and land behind Jac who joined downwind.

At least we can get some tea and cake here, which is most gratefully received. More of a chat and then we are on the way home. It's surprising how much the engine has cooled down. I take off behind Jac for the final leg back to Popham - the rain showers are a little less of a problem. Joining deadside I lack concentration and descend a little too low - oops! Circuit and land on 26.

Well, I still haven't get to Darley, but we probably made the best of what we could achieve in today's weather.

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