Date: 11/1/2014

Time: 14:55 - 15:35 (GMT)

Aircraft: EuroFOX - G-UFOX

White Waltham

Since the last flight, with radio problems I have learnt a bit more, refitted the transceiver and attempted to improve the groundplane bonding. It has worked fine since, however, I'm not entirely sure we have got to the bottom of the problem. The manufacturers have suggested some more detailed tests, so armed with an SWR meter, antenna analyser and a dummy load, Ian and I set about these tests. It takes quite a while. We now await their suggestions from the results. But the fault hasn't resurfaced and a flight test is in order.

We decide that White Waltham might be a nice destination, but not before we have warmed up with a cup of tea.

It's Ian's turn for the outbound leg. After checkover we start the warmup. Ian calls for a radio check before we go to get fuel - no answer. A bit of panic, but on second attempt we get given 5's so I guess it was just Colin on the radio. We fill up with fuel and then line up on 03 and take off. We head north to get past the Odiham MATZ stub and then turn east. We are further south than my normal route as Ian want's to see a friends house that is apparently in danger of flooding. I'm not used to being this close to Basingstoke. Sure enough, it does look a bit soggy and worse further on.

At reporting point sierra (junction 10 of the M4), we call Waltham and get a reply, so can't be too bad. Descending onwards, we get overhead the airfield at 1300' QFE and then descend on the deadside. The circuit is fairly busy and we circuit and Ian has a good landing on 29. We are asked if we know the parking arrangements to which we answer "yes". However, taxiing towards the clubhouse, there seem to be many aircraft parked in the route we would normally take which leaves us to wonder - we know what the parking arrangements used to be, but they may have changed. They hadn't and the visitors parking is still in front of the clubhouse and we find a path there and stop.

We go in, sign in and head to the bar/café. At the bar I ask if they do bacon bacon butties - the barman gives a conciliatory (but friendly) yes, of course we do them. Ordered (with some tea) it is a quite upmarket version served with salad - and really quite nice!

Time to go home and we book out and head back to the plane. Whilst warming up, we hear a familiar voice declare "G-JT downwind" - we decide to wait for Jac (and Colin) to land and say hello before we go. It was just pure chance that they decided to come here too. We say our goodbyes whilst they go in for tea and recommence warm-up. We find runway 29 threshold and eventually get a chance to line-up. Opening the throttle, the initial portion is fairly undulating - lifting the tailwheel, I keep the mains on the ground until up to flying speed then at the next bump, we are launched into the air.

As I had predicted, the visibility on the homebound journey wasn't so good into the low sun. But it is dead smooth and you can easily fly hands-off. Ian has his new Nexus tablet running SkyDemon on his lap as I cannot use it - with my polarised sunglasses the tablet is completely dark when in landscape mode (OK in portrait), so I have put my Samsung tab back onto the panel mount. Calling Popham, once again I get no reply - arrggh! Another call and I get a reply, so I guess it's just Colin again.

I join from the overhead, but going crosswind I hear that someone else is joining downwind - I can't see them and call to that effect. It seems they are on a very wide circuit, when I eventually see them. I slow it down, but am forced to follow them further south than I normally go, so I have to approach over the Black Wood. Just tripping over the trees, next to the A303, I sideslip it down a bit and then have a good landing - a relief after last week!




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