Time: 11:00 - 11:35 (10:00 - 10:35 GMT)
Aircraft: EuroFOX - G-UFOX
White Waltham (still not France)
We arrive early at the airfield - 7:30 is quite unheard of for a non-morning person like me. We are hoping to go to Le Touquet for a day trip today, which means an early start. But the visibility is not conducive - we hang around and have a cooked breakfast whist hoping we can get to see Hannington Mast - always a good indicator of the visibility. But it is just murk. Soon it is evident we won't make our flight plan time and with the showers now forecast for the afternoon (it really is April), we decide to cancel the flight plans rather than delaying them. I guess it isn't to be this weekend. OK, let's go somewhere else - we decide on White Waltham.
My turn first - after checkout, we line up on 21 and we are off. We head off north to Hannington and then east toward the M4 - A329M junction. This is the reporting point sierra for when approaching White Waltham from this direction. I give them a call reporting my position and inbound - I am rather surprised to be asked to "pass my message". I then go through all the information that we have already given when we phoned for PPR. I am slightly irked that he made me do this, but not anyone else. Maybe I just woke him up.
On to Waltham and I join from 1300' overhead and then descend on the deadside. I think I headed for the wrong greenhouse, so got the circuit slightly wrong, but the visibility still isn't wonderful. Indeed, when we turn final, I can't actually see the runway, but fortunately during descent I noted the position of the hedgerow relative to the runway and this guides me easily into runway 11. A gust lift me a bit whilst on final, but it is a long runway, so not an issue. There's the long cross-country taxi towards the clubhouse and the visitor parking area.
We go in and sign-in. We have some tea and I avoid having a third breakfast of the day.
Ian has the left seat for the return journey. Again we are off from runway 11 and then follow the M4 west. Ian has a deviation to go and have a look at Sherfield on Loddon and we also get to see Stratfield Saye House. Back at Popham the approach to 21 is still suffering with the wildly swinging wind. He has one T+G before the final landing.
Never had rain 'til late after all that.
Was amused the see White Waltham airfield televised that evening on the "Dogs Might Fly" TV show where they have trained Dogs to fly a light aitcraft.
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