Time: 10:15 - 11:20 (09:15 - 10:20 GMT)
Aircraft: EuroFOX - G-UFOX
Lukesfield and Goodwood
The four of us (Ian, Colin, Jac and I) were planning to go to France for the weekend - unfortunately the weather wasn't co-operating and Saturday was bad, so we cancelled. However, the forecast for Sunday was OK, so we planned a one-day trip. Originally we considered circumnavigating London via Damyns Hall. But instead we decided to visit Lukesfield - a small private strip owned by Steve William's (another EuroFOX owner) who kindly invited us to visit. I contacted him and found out that he and some friends were planning to go to Goodwood (we all had a free landing vouchers from Microlight Flyer magazine) - together, we arranged that we would come to his and then all of us would go to Goodwood.
I was very glad that Steve called in the morning and told me that there is a power line that crosses the end of the runway, but it has been buried as it crosses the threshold, so not to worry about it - I can imaging my panic if I had seen it whilst on final. The runway is only 350m long, but the approaches are good (now we know about the power lines). I elect to do the outbound leg as Colin does in his.
We set off on runway 26 after Colin and head off to the south east. The weather I good and the air is calm enough for some hands-off flying. Our route takes us to the south of the Gatwick zone, past Liss, Midhurst, Petworth and Burgess Hill. Then past Uckfield and Bewl Water and then we are looking for the airfield. Like Colin ahead of us we try a call on the radio, but the only response is from Colin himself, who isn't on the ground yet. We find the airfield quite easily and the approach looks good. We pass overhead the runway to descend as we cannot go into the no-fly zone to the north west. As we are downwind I can see Colin landing and I follow round. On final approach the is a clear field except for an inconvenient tree in the middle. There is zero wind and to be honest I could have been a little closer to the threshold, but it goes OK, although I did need to use the brakes on the 350m runway. We park up next to G-JT right next to the fence, on the other side of which are turkeys, geese and other types of foul - I guess that for once that this really is a farm strip. It seems we were given the wrong radio frequency, hence the lack of response.
We are greeted by Steve and his friends (Graham and Alan). We are shown around their facilities which are very impressive. Steve's own hangar houses his EuroFOX, a Fiat 500 and a Jag. The main hangar has a couple of flexies and also Roger's new taildragger EuroFOX. Also in here they have a well appointed kitchen, a toilet and shower - you could even l;liver there! Very impressive - deeply jealous.
After some tea, cake and biscuits, we get ready to head off to Goodwood. This includes Us and Colin, Steve in his EuroFOX, a Skyranger and a Trike. The trike is going via a direct route as it is a bit slower than the rest of us, who decide to route via the south coast. Ian has this leg and and we head off down towards the south and pass between Hastings and Bexhill then turn west to follow the coastline past Eastbourne. Steve is in front of us and quite low as we pass the Beachy Head lighthouse (didn't see any jumpers). We continue on past Shoreham to Littlehampton and then head inland to join the circuit for Goodwood. We land after Colin, followed by Steve, the Skyranger and the flexy.
The old cafe on the airfield is closed for rebuilding work and they have a temporary one over the other side of the racing track. When we eventually find our way there we join the queue just before 3pm. When we then eventually get to the front of the queue, it is now just gone three and they refuse to serve us a bacon butty - apparently that finished at 3 - not impressed at all - particularly that I had looked it up on the wen which said that he cafe was open 'til 6 (it shut completely an hour later). Still we had some tea and cake and a good chat.
For some reason, I imagined that the Lukesfield to Goodwood and Goodwood to Popham legs together wouldn't be much more that my outbound journey, so suggested that Ian could fly the last leg - I was wrong, they were all about the same time. Ah well, never mind.
Another lovely day.
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