Time: 17:50 - 18:15 (16:50 - 17:15 GMT)
Aircraft: Ikarus C42 - G-CFHP
It's the Microlight Trade Fair on at Popham this weekend. We don't normally book aircraft for this weekend; not just because the airfield is exceptionally busy, but also the planes are needed for running trial flights by Airbourne. We therefore plan to fly on the Friday night, but sadly the weather isn't great with poor visibility and low cloudbase. However, it isn't hopeless and given that I haven't flown for a few weeks, I nip out of work early and head to the airfield.
It's not a day for going far, so we want to go somewhere local, where we won't get lost with the poor visibility. Ian and I plan to go to Brimpton, but not only have they become relatively expensive, but are also not answering their phone. I suggest going to Chilbolton, that has re-opened.
After fuel and checkout, Ian takes off from 03 and does a few circuits, before heading off south west into the gloom. The clouds stop us getting much above 1500'. Familiarity allows us to find Chilbolton relatively easily. Ian joins downwind and lands on 06. We taxi to the caravan, park and go in to sign in.
Whilst we are having a chat, a chap who was battling with the hawthorn hedge came over for chat. It seems that he is one of the new trustees and they have signed a new 10 year for use of the airfield. That really IS good news, especially as it was supposed to have be closed. They are going to build up the airfield and put some more hangers up etc. Might be a place to keep the EuroFox, so Ian takes his details.
My turn for the return leg. I take off on 06 and we then head south in search of Barton (something - sorry, can't remember at the moment) airfield. However, we can't find it, so we head back north. The clouds still hold us down and this height allows us to safely/legally go under the edge of the Southampton airspace. Then we spot it in a completely different place to where I thought it was - a mental airfield with two strips between the woods and a cranked runway. After an orbit, we continue back to Popham. This is still not very busy and with the cloud, I join base and land on 03.
Really glad to have been up.
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