Date: 20/08/2013

Time: 14:30 - 15:30 (13:30 - 14:30 GMT) & 16:15 - 17:10 (15:15 - 16:10 GMT)

Aircraft: EuroFOX - G-UFOX

Sandown with Jon

We had a works dinner the other night and one of our directors expressed and interest in going flying. Jon has been up with me before in a C-42, but this was 4 years ago, but would like to try the one we have built. The weather is good, so we decide to go flying on a Tuesday afternoon.

After checkout etc. we are soon off on runway 26. A gentle climbout and we turn to the south west and head down the gap between the Boscombe CMATZ and the Southampton zone. It is mostly sunny, with a few clouds, so some thermals are to be expected, but it isn't too bad.

Soon, Jon has a go with the controls. Like last time, he confidently reaches forward for the joystick and rudder peddles and wobbles for a moment; surprised by the sensitivity of the controls. Quickly he settles down and we head down towards the New Forest - here as usual we have to drop down below 2000', so good height control required. Lovely visibility over the Solent.

Once past Hurst Castle, I retake control and we can start to climb a little and cross the Solent and turn gently past the Needles, before a U-turn back towards it - lovely. Passing Freshwater bay, we see a strange structure in a field and go and have a look - very soon it become clear that it is a photo-voltaic solar collector farm. Back to the coast and we follow it down to St Catherine's Point. Passing the hang-glider sight, I am just mentioning that I have never seen anything happening there, when I spot a paraglider on the cliff edge. I call Sandown and then we head straight towards it and join overhead for runway 23. Lovely landing.

Once parked up, we find that Carla's new cafe is open and she is no-longer in the portacabin. Unfortunately, we are a little too late for a bacon buttie, so I have to make do with a ham and cheese sandwich and tea. This time I have to climb up the tower to sign in. It is good to see the place is really quite busy, particularly as it is a Tuesday afternoon. Very pleasant.

Once suitably refreshed, we prepare to return home. Heading north, we cross back over the Solent and have a look at the Spinnaker Tower in Portsmouth. Then along the coast to Hayling Island and I point out where I used to live and where my family members live. Then back on the throttle and north to Petersfield and then back to Popham. Another overhead join and another good landing.


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