Time: 14:50 - 15:15 (GMT)
Aircraft: EuroFOX - G-UFOX
Unfortunately, I ran out of time on Wednesday when I was servicing Colin's Eurostar's engine, so I finished it off this morning - we only had the carb balancing and engine tests to complete, but it seems to get dark so quick now that the nights are drawing in. Once complete, we have some tea and then Colin goes for a test flight. Ian and I finish our lunch and then get G-UFOX out (and replace the carb heat flap lever that I broke the other day).
With half the day gone, the day being shorter and rain coming in from the south, we can't be very ambitious for today's flight. We elect to just go for a quick local flight and go to Chilbolton to swap pilots. It's Ian's turn for the outbound journey - once we are ready and warmed up, he takes off from runway 21. The cloudbase is relatively low and he tries climbing up through the gaps. However the gaps seem to diminish, so we come back down again. We can also see various rainfalls around and also an impressive rainbow. We then head south for a downwind join for Chilbolton - we encounter some light rain just before we turn downwind for one of Ian's usual high quality landings.
Part of me thinks that we should just pay our landing fee, swap over and take-off again, but Chilbolton is a friendly place and we have a bit of a chat. We are amused to watch and Avid (forefather of our EuroFOX) coming in to land and having to put a burst of power on to clear the powerlines.
We don't stay too long and after a quick checkover and warm, I am lining up on 24. Climbing out, I turn back north towards Popham. There is still lots of cloud around and we follow a shadow at a safe distance, but the speed differential is noticeable, so I track to the west to avoid him and a large cloud that he is going round. Once past, I can climb for a bit of fun.
I do a clearing turn followed by a couple of steep banked turns to the left and then right. Further climbing followed by a little dive which I plan to turn into some lazy eights - I do half of one, but there are calls from many other aircraft reporting to be in the vicinity so I blouse out - I guess that would be a lazy four? I haven't done eights in the EuroFOX before, so perhaps I had better leave it for another day when I am on my own.
The clouds still look like they are approaching, so I decide to call it a day and head back to the airfield, join and have a reasonable landing.
Short, but fun.
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