Time: 11:45 - 12:30 & 14:10 - 15:00 (GMT)
Aircraft: EuroFOX - G-UFOX
It has got to that time of year when you have to take any opportunity to go flying. Today we are lucky - the clouds look OK, but I'm not so sure about the visibility. We have chosen to go to Kemble - it has a hard runway that is relatively into wind, although there isn't actually that much wind. I take off from runway 08 and head north west - yes, the viz isn't too good. There is a defined inversion layer and quite claggy. I climb up to 4000' above inversion layer where it is much clearer and completely smooth. But I can still easily see the ground below, so navigation isn't a problem and legal.
Approaching Kemble, their radio is very busy. I get a call in, but I'm told to wait - in mean time Jac gets her call in and gets a response - I eventually get a reply on the third go and am instructed to report overhead. When I get into the overhead, there has been an extreme trail of RT with no breaks. This continues and I end up having to do an orbit before getting a chance to get my call in. Mind you, I don't think the radio operator helped himself by asking for position reports such as asking me if I was crosswind at the point when I had just become crosswind and the same for final. It was an clean landing, and I was easily off the runway at the intersection. I was told to park on North Apron next to G-JT.
We were concerned that the cafe would be just as busy as the circuit so we elected to order our food first before going to sign in and pay the landing fee. We have some tea and I have the traditional bacon bap, where C + J have some nice looking ham egg and chips. A little later, Mike Breeze turns up with his passenger (we knew he was coming) and we have a nice chat.
When it is time to go back, we don our high viz jackets (again) and wander back to the North Apron. We checkover, warmup and then join the departure queue. I take off from intersection and then deviate south to avoid Kemble village, followed by Colin. I believe that it is even more claggy now as I climb up though the murk. Once I get above the inversion layer it is much better, but not enough to hang around for the others. I find it so smooth that I start doing a few manoeuvres for entertainment such as some tight turns etc. Colin and Jac's route is further to the east.
As I am approaching Popham and I see another aircraft to my left approaching at same height. As we converge I can see that it is G-JT and when we get to the deadside we are almost together. I get the descending call in first and start going down. Colin continues over and makes his call (including saying he is visual). I go into a dive for a rapid descent, to keep myself clear of them (and it's fun too). I join the microlight circuit for 08 and I choose to land long to reduce wear to the soggy taxiway; I take this as an opportunity to try landing with only first stage flap applied - haven't done this too much, so it is interesting.
Once I am back to the hangar, I give her a clean then finish the airframe service we nearly completed last week. As always it takes longer that I would have liked and once again it is dark when I'm done. I didn't even get a chance to fly my quadcopters that I had bought along.
Ah well, another lovely flight!
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