Time: 16:50 - 17:15 (15:50 - 16:15 GMT)
Aircraft: Ikarus C42 - G-CDVI
Goodwood and Jackrells farm
Hooray - the majority of the Olympic airspace restrictions have now been lifted - just the smaller paralympics left. This opens up the possibility of flying east and to Jackrells Farm and the illusive 12 points for a J in the AlphaBet Challenge. A late afternoon flight for Ian and I today, who both need a J; we also decided that Goodwood would be a good place for tea and a bun (and I also need a G).
At the airfield I fuel and checkout the plane. It's quite windy! I query Steve (my instructor) whether it is sporting, challenging or just bumpy - sporting is the reply, but also bumpy requiring occasional full control inputs. Seeing as I had the long legs on our last flight, Ian kindly elects to to the long ones today; so he is first up for going to Goodwood. When calling Popham Radio for radio check/information we are told that there is extreme turbulence. Down to the end of 21 and we take off - it actually isn't bad at all. We head down past the familiar landmarks of Ropley, Colemore Common and Butser Hill - progress is rather slow into the strong wind. Then over the downs and eventually find the airfield. We descend deadside close to Chichester. The airfield is quite busy and we follow two other aircraft that have just taken off. One was departing and the other appears to be flying a huge circuit - we attempt to follow the correct advertised pattern. The wind allows an early landing and we are directed to park in row 3.
We sign in and go to the cafe. Sadly no bacon butties. Despite having promised myself a hot chocolate, I somehow forget this at the counter and get tea - doh! Nice cookies to go with it though. We have a chat and watch the cars buzzing around the peri-track which is now a race track.
My turn next and after a check, we're off on 21. Once up, we turn left and head east to Arundel and over the castle. Then north east - we find the disused railway that marks the path up to Jackrells. We keep to the east of this to keep away from traffic for Ford airstrip which we find easily and from that find Jackrells. Joining downwind I turn for final just before entering the Gatwick zone and avoiding local houses. There are two huge trees on final approach and I'm trying to decide if I will fit between them, but to be safe I go just over the top of them. Then as I drop below the tree line I loose the advantage of the oncoming wind, but the landing goes OK and we park next to the hangers.
We enjoy the sunshine and watch someone entertaining himself in an Escapade. He lands and we have a chat (turns out he is called Brian and a friendly chap). This is very pleasant, but I guess we ought to get off. After a check, we are backtracking on 21 and then a herd of deer run across in front of us, then down the side of the runway - more bush pilot experience! We take off and head south, keeping to the east of the railway line again, until we reach the road. Then west past Billingshurst. At Midhurst Ian decides to follow the route to Petersfield, which he ran for his leg of the Real Olympic Torch Relay. Then north west, past Colemore Common and back to Popham.
What a great way to spend the evening!
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