Sunday, 13 June 2010

precision hedge-hopping

Dave Broom asked me today if I fancied competing when Sutton Meadows hosts the Nationals in a fortnight. I think it may be fun. He said there may be an event with precision landings, touch and go's etc, so this evening, when the air was smoother I did about ten tight circuits at no more than about 250'.....and did some leg extending at 150' on base; I love it at that height!

Earlier in the day Peter Robinson urged me to make more of the Dragonfly's thermalling capabilities and I discussed this with Nigel who is about 12 hours into training but seems to have a good grasp of matters aviation and who had some advice about thermals, which I then went on to try out North East of the airfield. It is a bit hairy pushing the bar out and doing a 60 degree banking turn with power on fear the wing will stall, but doing that I managed to get about 500' per minute climb, which I reckon is pretty good for a novice.

I wanted to get quickly above 2000' because, according to the Notam for RAF Wyton, a Hurricane of the BBMF was due through at 15.30 hrs (surface to 2000') and I wanted to be safely clear, but airborn. I listened in on 134.05 mhz VHF to all the traffic being asked to hold and most of them were at about 3,500'. Goes to show how many pilots do not check their Notams, that so many had been quite unaware it would be coming through when they asked for Matz penetration!

I wanted to be outside the 3 mile exclusion but able to get a good view - in the air. In the end, though, I heard it on the radio but didn't see it at all, so goodness knows what became of it. Consequently I didn't get the snap on the camera very kindly lent to me by Richard (the accountant whose GT450 is a capital expense!).

Congrats are due today to someone I won't name (in case he'd rather I didn't) who has finally qualified after 12 years! He has had several set-backs over the years, but when his wife threatened to put his XL on ebay, decided it was time he finished the licence off; though apparently he has passed his GFT before and timed-out having forgotten to put in his paperwork. Impossible to imagine forgetting! But I suppose not everyone is as obsessed as I am.

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