Date: 23/05/2012

Time: 18:45 - 19:30 (17:45 - 18:30 GMT)

Aircraft: Ikarus C42 - G-CFHP

Evening Practice

The weather has changed and at last, I get an opportunity for some evening flying. In fact the glorious sunshine makes me worried it may be a bit thermally bumpy up there. I slip out of work a little early and zip to the airfield on my bike. Surprisingly few people at the airfield and my plane is still round the back, so I have to get it out. After checkout it warms up really quickly and I bring it round the front to put some fuel in.

No real plan for today. Just want to have a bit of practice, a bit of a bimble and also have a desire to do some side-slipping practice. I take off on 03 and head north. My suspicion that the visibility would be crap was correct, but happily I was wrong about the thermal turbulence - it's actually quite smooth.

Once past Overton, I do some clearing turns and then some steep-banked turns - always good fun. Then I head west where the sun makes the viz seem even worse. I then pull a PFL on myself and find a reasonable field to land in, alongside the A34. It's a bit rippley but dry and free from standing crop, which most of the fields are around this time of year. Landing would have been OK and I climb away.

Next, I try some stalling, though I am finding it difficult to get it into a full nose-dip stall; it just keeps going into a safe mushing descent. I have to really yank on the stick.

Given the poor visibility, I decide to head back to Popham for some circuit practice. I join overhead and circuit for 03 - tight left base along 08 and then a slipping turn onto final and a big side-slip down to the threshold and straighten up for a greaser landing - fantastic. I hit the throttle and climb away for another circuit. I follow this with two more of the same. On the next go round, I decide to finish for the day, so another big side-slip then a low hop along the runway. However, I realise that there is a downslope and no wind, so I finish about half way down and land the thing.

I was pleased with every landing tonight - great!

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