Monday, 17 November 2008

You win some, you lose some: airborne after 20 days, but I lost one of my balls!

Me sitting in Cath's newly unveiled and absolutely unique blue Dragonfly

This morning I flew, for the first time in twenty days. I hope that isn't a record I break. I couldn't solo as the cloudbase was at 800' but I did get to fly some decent circuits - wearing my new suit for the first time. My height control was initially rather erratic (rusty) but improved dramatically. The inversion threw us about quite a bit for ten seconds at a time at about 200', climbing out, but above it the air was smooth. My turn-ins were accurate and my landings were good, though on one I could have gone on longer. I need to be going on my own now.

Neill has said that I can convert to the school Quantum, which kills two birds with one stone. I am likely to have something similar as my first two-seater and the machine is under-used and therefore likely to be free for me to fly while Neill is instructing someone else. I am looking forward to flying it. I flew India-Echo once before and it has a nice wing. Hopefully I can solo it next weekend -but the weather is awful these days - it is so frustrating. I have bought a 7th edn of Cosgrove and am going to concentrate on getting met and nav out of the way while I am grounded.

When I arrived this morning Ben showed me the new electronically controlled, powered retracts for the Dragonfly: superb! I want one. Realistically, though, finances being what they are, I think I will have to wait a year or two for one, second hand. In the meantime, I need to get something more within my budget and build some hours.

Neill is a true convert to the Dragonfly and above you can see him in Cath's, which will be the first production machine with automatically retracting undercarriage. Beauty!

Neill is delighted to see that Ben even designed somewhere for him to keep his sandwiches.

Unfortunately, there were only two sponges available, so I was forced to admire the work and provide Neill and Steve (also a student pilot) with useful "you've missed a bit" type encouragement.

At Overstone Manor, having lunch, I was goading Neill because I had two balls and he only had one, when Ben Ashman, that hairy, four-eyed bastard dwarf grabbed my ball and popped it straight in his mouth. Everyone fell about laughing and Stew nearly had a coronary.

A day of great larks, some of which I captured on my phone (but which need editing - anyone know of a RealPlayer editor, free online?)


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