Sunday, 7 February 2010

Fog Swap

Dave Broom got in some flying and landed before the fog dropped in on the field, as did the pilot of a Gemini; another pilot, however, was less lucky. As Lizzie and I arrived at Sutton Meadows Saturday morning and watched the fog come in over the fields, we could hear the growl of an aeroplane above. Dave joined us looking up and then we heard it turn away, never having shown itself.

I later heard that the lost pilot was Baz, a student of Dave's I met three weeks ago, who is building solo hours in his own Blade. Realising he couldn't see the airfield, though he knew he was directly over it, he calmly called for help and Dave vectored him to Mitchell's Farm. He turned on to the heading and flew a course in almost zero visibility until he picked out a road and followed it to the strip he had been given. It was a remarkable bit of level-headed flying, in my opinion, especially for a student.

Baz told me all about it when he got back to Sutton in the afternoon, though how he had made it back (without his aircraft) did not become clear until the evening, at the club dinner, when I was delighted to find myself sitting next to William and Sarah Furness; William had been the stranded Gemini pilot I'd met in the morning. He had made it home in his own car......driven to him at Sutton by Baz!

The Furnesses (William's dad), it turns out, own Mitchell's Farm. Last night Will's and Baz's aeroplanes spent the night at each other's airfields, in each other's hangar berths.

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