Time: 12:15 - 13:25 (11:15 - 12:25 GMT) & 15:05 - 15:55 (14:05 - 14:55 GMT)
Aircraft: EuroFOX - G-UFOX
I'm on my own today. But also I have one of John Greenaway's radio controlled quadcopters to deliver. He asked me to set it up for him, which I have done, using my transmitter, but I now need to characterise it to his transmitter. However, I am delayed leaving home, hit a hold-up on the motorway and then had to park in the middle of the field as there is an event going on today. All of which mean that I am later than I had intended. When I get to the aircraft parking area, John is in his Nord aircraft and they are about to start-up. I get to talk to him and Tim and they are going to Sandown - I suggest that maybe I could follow them over (once I have prepped my plane). John says great and that he would buy me lunch.
So I get our plane checked and readied and I'm just about to start, when suddenly Colin jumps in front. He says they are going to Old Sarum (they have a landing voucher), but I tell them I'm going to Sandown and persuade them to come too. After warm-up, I taxi round to the front - it is quite busy due to the Motorcycle Mega-Meet and Vintage Aircraft Fly-In on today, so I decide that it is probably best not to get in the way, so I take off (on runway 26) as Colin and Jac can't be far behind. As I climb out I can see them near the fuelling pumps. I decide to hang around and wait. I head down to the south tip of the Black Woods and spot a rather unusual building, the other side of the M3 that look a bit like a Grecian temple - most bizarre. Then back to the airfield and I circle in the overhead quite high. When they eventually take off, I am quite surprised to see them head to the south west, rather than the more direct route. I guess we should have discussed it. Maybe they have decided to go to Old Sarum after all? But I have a big height advantage and easily catch them up and arrive along side them - they spot me and wave. It seems they had just chosen to go to the west of the Southampton Zone, which is the route I would normally take. I manage a few pictures over the New Forest. I am following them as we cross the Solent and we don't round the Needles like I often do, but go straight over. But when we reach the south coast, Jac heads back north. I wasn't expecting this and lose them, so I return to Freshwater Bay and go along the coast and over to Sandown and land. I park alongside them.
We go in to CJ's cafe, book-in and pay the landing. John not only buys me lunch, but very kindly buys us all lunch (which was very nice). Good lunch and a good chat.
Eventually, John and Tim leave and some time later it is our turn. Whilst we are warming the engines, I hear a voice on the radio that sounds like Steve (my instructor) - the callsign G-MS adds further evidence that it is him. It seems that Colin and Jac have also made that association and delay pulling off until he is down. Once he parks up, C+J wave as they leave - I open the door and ask "who let him out of the circuit?". He says that he notices that we are leaving as soon as he gets here - I state it is only because I would have to buy him tea if I stayed. I fly in loose formation with Colin and we do a few more photos. Back to Popham for an overhead join and I'm forced to do the GA circuit for 26 due to other traffic.
Another lovely day.
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