Time: 09:45 - 10:15 (08:45 - 09:15 GMT) and 11:30 - 12:10 (10:30 - 11:10 GMT)
Aircraft: Ikarus C42 - G-CFHP
Draycott Farm and Oaksey Park
Ian mailed to say he had a plane book for a morning - how could I resist, given the forecast. Up early and race to the airfield on my bike (just catch up with Ian as we peel off the A303 for Popham). I go to get G-HP out from the rear parking area. During checkover I find it has over 40l of fuel still in it - bonus! After warmup, I take it round to the club and we prepare for the flight.
We decide that I will take the first leg to Draycott farm. There is virtually no wind and we take off from 08, which I haven't used for a while. Heading north west we pass Overton, Highclere and Hungerford. The air is extremely calm and I barely have to touch the stick - hands-off flying. There is a bit of an inversion layer, giving a little haze but not bad. We find Draycott Farm fairly easily; sometimes I have trouble spotting it. I join from the deadside and circuit for runway 36. There is a bit of an undulation where the airstrip rises first then drops into a dip before rising at the end. I land just after the crest with the risk of chasing the descending land, but it's OK and a reasonable touchdown.
We sign in in the wendy house and have a small chat. There is a tea/coffee machine, but not an awful lot here. We did have half a idea of asking if we could land here on the way back (cheekily without a second landing fee), but we have no idea where the airfield managers office is.
Ian has the next leg and after a quick checkover, we take off on 18 - given there is no wind, there is no point taxiing down to 36 and we also avoid the no-fly white house. We head north west between Wroughton and Swindon. Approaching Kemble, we pick up the railway line to assist finding Oaksey and join downwind for 04. There is a tractor cutting the grass on the runway as we fly along the woods downwind - we hope the driver sees us. We go round the no fly houses and then line up final as the tractor gets out the way and land. As we park up, the tractor approaches and the driver is the airfield manager Dick Thrush who welcomes us.
In the clubhouse, we make some tea and then have a wander over to the EuroFox office (based at this airfield) - no one about. After a bit more chat, we finish our tea, but time seems to have marched on. There won't be enough time for a stop to changeover pilots on the way home, so I have the long leg. I take off on 04 and head south east. I have a slightly different route back planned to give some variety. We pass the south tip of Wooton Bassett and then head on to Marlborough. We have to avoid Lyneham as its ATZ is notamed active - presumably due to the Olympics. The ride is an awful lot bumpier now due to the thermals created now that everyting has warmed up in the bright sun. The next landmark is the bend in the Kennet and Avon canal, then past Rivar Hill gliding site and on to Whitchurch. We join for 08 and fly the short microlight circuit - a little sideslipping required due to the lack of wind. I'm afraid we are a few minutes late.
A lovely morning out and the went to work and still completed a full days labour.
Return to 2012 Index
Return to main Index