Time: 11:55 - 12:30 (GMT)
Aircraft: Eurostar EV-97 - G-CEDV
Working from home today, but I have snuck out to go flying - will make up the time later.
The airfield got vandalised a couple of weeks ago. They cut the power, damaged the clubhouses and hangars, let off fire extinguishers and nicked some stuff - Gits. When I arrived today I saw Greg in the fuel store fixing the door. After chatting with him for a while about the damage, I suddenly realise that there has been a second event - b@st@rds! It seems this time they have stolen anything of value - Snap-On toolboxes, compressors, cash from vending machines - anything they could. They damaged the club printer/copier and also had taken four fuel cans from the fuel store, although these were later found in the bushes.
Ian has arrived and just before we go to get our plane ready, we hear that George is also on his way, so we get both planes out. It's a frosty morning, but the ice on the Eurostar wings is coming off rapidly. After checkover and a bit of a warmup, I taxi G-RE round to the club to fuel it for George. In the fuel store I take one of the Jerry-cans off the shelf and I'm going to pour it into the transfer can. As soon as I tip it, I notice that it is coloured red and only a few millilitres slop into the funnel. That's not right! I went to find Greg - it turns out that the stolen cans had been put back in the shelf and it seems that they had filled them with red diesel out of the large tank on site. Phew - that was lucky - that would have screwed the engine. Not really funny.
Ian takes the first go and we have a nice bimble around the playground. There are some very high clouds and just a few of the the whispiest clouds forming at about 3000'. Once up, the air is relatively stable. When we get back, there are two other club aircraft doing the bigger GA circuit, so we follow them round and land.
After a quick stop we swap over and it's my go. Taking off from 26, we head off northwards. The clouds at 3000' are now better formed and are growing almost visibly. There is an occluded front coming in from the west and we know it will not be flyable at some point this afternoon. First I enjoy some steep banked turns, then I have a go at a few lazy eights. A couple of snap turns and inbetween whilst going west, I open the throttle to see what the indicated maximum straight and level airspeed is (about 120 mph).
Heading south down to Bullington Cross and I pull the throttle shut and choose a field for a PFL. This goes well, and I climb away from what would have been a reasonable landing. Time is getting on, so I head back to the airfield and join overhead. I had intended to do a deliberate go-around (no circuits allowed today), but the air is quite disturbed close to the deck, so I climb away a bit sooner than I intended. Landed OK on the second turn.
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