Time: 15:30 - 16:05 (14:30 - 15:05 GMT)
Aircraft: EuroFOX - G-UFOX
Local and Circuits
Today, we are supposed to be doing a club fly-out to Brimpton, organised by Jac. It has already been postponed once due to awful weather - it doesn't look too terrific today either. Anyway, that's not 'til 4:30pm.
When I (eventually) get to the airfield, Ian is already enjoying himself with some circuits, so I have a chat and some tea. Later when he is back down, we start a little work on the hangar floor. One thing we notice is what a nice view we get out of our hangar door.
But as time moves on, I want to get some practice, before the fly-out time. After a checkover and warm-up, I heading down to the threshold of 21. The wind is rather strange today. It seems that although the wind isn't excessively strong, it is very gusty and is swinging around all over the place. This could be interesting. First I head off to the north for a little local practice. I enjoy a series of tight turns in succession and get the gratifying kick as I cross my own wake turbulence. However I haven't got too much time so I soon head back to Popham for a few circuits. I join overhead and circuit round to 21 - yep, the wind is interesting! The wind is relatively strong so the angle of descent is good, even without sideslipping. As I approach the ground, a gust takes me back up a bit. I'm quickly on the throttle and so I turn it into a low-hop and balance it on the throttle along the runway. I put it down about 3/4 of the way down and then takeoff again. A couple more circuits and I take her back and park up.
Time: 17:05 - 17:40 (16:05 - 16:40 GMT)
Aircraft: EuroFOX - G-UFOX
We collectively have a chat over tea about the fly-out - Brimpton is out because it is fully crosswind and above aircraft limits. We discuss other options and Ian comes up with the good idea of White Waltham - that same runway direction of 21 as Popham. Some of the others blouse out - we try to encourage them but suggesting we would swap around to fly with them but we also don't want to force them into a situation that is uncomfortable for them. In the end it is Ian and I in UFOX, Jac and Kel in G-JT and Chris and his friend in G-RE.
We're off on 21 and on the way to Waltham - I am flying the outbound leg. It's still a little bumpy but not too bad and the visibility is great. The journey doesn't take too long and we head to the north of the railway line and join overhead. I haven't done this runway before and it still seems weird descending over the houses. The landing goes well and I turn off for the cross-country trek to the parking. After a chat with at the signing in desk (about the episode of Midsomer Murders that was filmed there) we go to the bar for some tea and a chat.
Before heading back I suggest that Ian could take Kel back and I would go back with Jac - as Kel wouldn't be flying either leg, it would at least give him a different plane experience. Jac kindly agrees and after checkover and warmup, we are off. We circle into the overhead and head home. At one point we have to take avoiding action for a plane coming straight towards us. It is much smoother now and lovely flying conditions.
Maybe one day we will get to have the Brimpton fly-out - but at least we had a nice flight(s) today.
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