Date: 05/03/2013

Time: 12:25 - 13:20 (GMT)

Aircraft: Ikarus C42 - G-CDHR

Bembridge with Tom

More rubbish weather, but more significantly, I have been very busy with the kit plane (wiring). It's not that I want the build to get in the way of my flying, but if I spend all Saturday working, then it's not very fair on Jo to go flying on the Sunday. Anyway,the weather hasn't been so good.

I took the day off as the weather looked OK and drove to Popham. There were a few planes available (being a Tuesday) and I chose G-HR which has recently been overhauled. I checked it over, warmed it up and bought it round the front to put some fuel in it. Tom then turned up and suggested we flew together - great to have the company. I had decided to go to Bembridge - the runway was in a good direction for the wind. I have also not been there for ages, since Brittan Norman had pulled out, so I thought it would be good to check it out.

Once we are finally prepped, I take off on runway 08 - bit of a crosswind from the south. After gaining some height, I head south-east - there is the occasional bit of turbulence. Once we get to Ropley, this has cleared up and it is completely smooth - hands off flying! The visibility isn't great, but OK.

We get to Butser Hill and now we can see the coast. We head straight down Hayling Island and then over the Solent - a blind call to Bembridge gets no reply. I overfly the runway at 1500' then descend to circuit height on the crosswind leg. On base leg I think I have started my final descent too soon and put a bit of throttle in - it turns out I was wrong and end up with a bit of a side-slip to a reasonable landing and can easily get off at the taxiway half way down. We park up next to a gyro.

We walk round to the hedge at the east side of the runway and then to the "C" caravan - that is shut, so we walk to the Propeller Inn and drop our landing fee in the VGC letter box. In the pub, I have a nice "bangers and mash" lunch and some tea; Tom has a sandwich.

When we are done, we head back to the plane and give it a quick checkover. The gyro pilots also return at the same time an we have a quick chat. Tom has the homebound leg and takes off on 12 over the Whitecliff Bay cliffs. After an orbit to gain height we head back to the mainland, with a quick diversion to look at an odd shaped ship which turned out to be one with a crane attached. We fly back and everything was smooth until we got past Ropley and once again, it gets a little bit bumpy. The active runway has now changed to 21 (more appropriate) and land and put it away.

A lovely day out and I can spend the little left of it at the other airfield working on the kit wiring.

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