Time: 09:45 - 10:20 (08:45 - 09:20 GMT)
Aircraft: Ikarus C42 - G-CFHP
Thorney Island Fly-In
This weekend is the Thorney Island Fly-In again - I enjoyed both days last year (despite the adversity). This year, we have a plane booked for Saturday. We get the Invite e-mail and also the pilots instructions which include RULE 1: "Under no circumstances are you allowed to have an incident or accident while you visit us" - sounds like a good idea to me! Fortunately we have asked for permission early as we find out that over 400 people have applied, where previous years have only been 50 - 90 aircraft. So it could be quite busy!
We have also been asked to bring a cake - there will obviously be more mouths to feed. I haven't made a cake for years, but I'll have a crack at it. I got Jo's great cake recipe and baked the cake the night before. She keeps an eye on me to make sure I don't make a complete hash of it. It's a Victoria sponge with jam and cream filling, a mascapone based topping and coated in white chocolate shavings. We are supposed to give it an aviation theme - I did consider a cocoa powder dusting in the shape of a plane, but decided this will probably look crap, so I elect to a plane shape made out of chocolate flake.
I'm not quite as early to the airfield as I would have liked - bit of a cock-up setting my alarm. We get the plane ready. Today I'm flying with Roy and Colin and Jac are in another aircraft. We choose for me to fly the outbound leg (by flip of a coin) and soon we are taking off on 03. The visibility is really weird - it looks a bit hazy but strangely we can also see a long way. Perhaps it is low mist that make looking downish hazy, but distance is above the mist? Who knows? Poor Roy has to navigate with the cake tin on his lap - I'm afraid there is nowhere else to put it. However, navigation is easy - we can easily spot Butser Hill and soon can see Thorney and Hayling Islands. The air is calm giving easy hands-off flying. As we are near Butser, we are listening to the SafetyCom frequency and hear Colin making his joining call - it sounds quite busy with numerous planes joining. But it's not too daunting, just we will need to keep focussed and a good lookout. However, when we actually get there it is calmer, with there is only one other plane joining so we get it easy. From the overhead, we descend to the west of the island over the water and then across to the other side for the downwind leg to the east. We have been asked to land short and park on the east-west runway. An easy landing on 01 and a tiny backtrack to the parking - we park next to G-DV that Darcy has flown in earlier.
A people carrier comes by and kindly takes us to the main event area by the hangar. Roy kindly pays the landing donation and with Colin and Jac, I queue up for tea. Here I give my cake to go with Colin's muffins and the other cakes available. I can't resist trying my own creation which amazingly is edible! We have a nose around the hangar and then a walk down to the beachfront. Here we can see a group of seals on the sand flats. I get a kind person to take a picture of us (and we reciprocate). We then head back to the hangar and I really fancy something from the wonderful smelling barbecue, but sadly, we are out of time and have to get the plane back for the next person on their way down to Thorney.
We catch a lift back to the plane, and after a quick check we are soon lining up on 01 and Roy takes off and we continue northwards. We take the same direct route back (via Buster Hill), due to the time constraints and land on 03 with minutes to spare.
I understand that someone broke Rule 1 after we left.
Big thanks to Daryl and all the others for organising this event. Not only is it the only opportunity to visit Thorney, but a great social event. I wish we had more time, so that we could have taken a local up for a quick flight. Sadly, the weather wasn't good enough to run the event on Sunday which makes the £2400.05 raised for charity all the more impressive for being raised in a single day - well done.
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