Time: 14:30 - 15:30 (13:30 - 14:30 GMT) & 17:45 - 18:50 (16:45 - 17:50 GMT)
Aircraft: EuroFOX - G-UFOX
I fancied an ice cream today - I then decided where better to have an ice cream than on the beach. So with no other plan (and no passenger), I decided to fly to Sandown on the Isle of Wight.
I head off to the west of the Southampton zone, with my listening squawk set on the transponder, which is mandatory at the moment. I am routing more east than I normally do and near Romsey I stop to have a look at a large house that I have spotted. Then I head over the New Forest to have another look at Beaulieu House. I then followed the Beaulieu River and crossed the Solent to Newtown Creek, to then follow the coastline anticlockwise round the Isle. In this direction I am correctly travelling with the land line feature (the coast) on my left and down at what seems like a very low 1000' - so I am somewhat surprised to see three separate aircraft pass way under me in the opposite direction at (I guess) no more than 100'. At St. Catherine's I had to climb to get over the hill to join the circuit for runway 23 at Sandown and a nice crosswind landing.
After paying my landing fee, I make my way out and start the walk to find the beach - Google Maps is taking an absolute age to download the map, but I can remember the way to go through Lake (a place called Lake rather than an actual lake) and it takes about 30 minutes to get to the clifftop and down to shore level. I buy my ice cream and wander down the prom towards Sandown - the sun is shining and it is warm and all is good. When I get to the town, I have a walk through the arcades and onto the pier. Here I tempted by a freshly cooked hot doughnut which I eat at the end.
My route back to the airfield is a little more direct and fortunately have Google Maps working to help me. A quick checkover and soon I'm taxiing down the other end to take off on runway 23. After the lengthy noise-abatement south I can eventually turn back north. Over the Solent and past Southsea to Hayling Island for a turn round my brothers house and then onwards north. I have a nosey look at Uppark house and a quick look for steam trains at the Watercress line (didn't see any) before returning to Popham. Four good circuits and a final landing completes the day.
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