Saturday, 5 June 2010

shorts and t-shirt at a thousand feet

Easily the nicest day of flying I have ever had. A first for me - for the last half hour of flying today I didn't suit up; I just wore shorts and t-shirt and even at a thousand feet the air was warm - gloriously liberating feeling.

Yesterday I arranged to go to Sackville today to see Neill, but when I rang for PPR today he told me that a storm was due through, so we held fire. And when I texted later it seemed that it was still imminent, so we postponed. Later in the afternoon, the haze and bank of rain was very evident and I was really pleased I didn't risk it - in fact, the heavens opened on my drive home, but even in my last half hour of flying I did get a few drops on me and landed quickly and de-rigged before the wind got up. Good call.

However, before all that the air was very smooth indeed and I did some really great manoeuvring, including a pass down the runway at 20' with wheels up, so no room for getting the throttle settings wrong. That felt superb; I now have complete confidence in the undercarriage - but do recommend spraying it before flight with a lubricant.

Before flying, and indeed for much of the day (where does the time go?) I tinkered around - mainly sticking velcro to my keel and fitting the radio rig and routing the extension cable behind the seat cushion. It works very well, though you will see from the photos that its position is likely to provoke some ribbing.

Airbox Aware+

An important job today was distributing Aware+ units to the various club members who joined me in a deal I arranged through Airbox so that we each saved about £40. I won't use mine until I have found a way to secure it on my lap. It looks like a really decent piece of kit. I spent my saving on getting the quarter mil charts card for southern England on the assurance of the very helpful Lauren that they would throw in Northern England too! Personally I prefer quarter mil, but Baz tells me that the clutter of detail can, so a friend of his tells him, become rather tiresome. We will see, but for now I like the detail for picking my way.

Where the time goes

On reflection, I know where the time goes. Every task is punctuated with short, very pleasant conversations with an array of different people who wander over and admire G-CFKK: the man there on a trial flight; or the man who came a week early just to make sure of the way; or the recent joiner or low-hours student waiting for his hour with Dave Garrison; or the couple Mary Robinson introduced me to - she is a bit nervous of flying and he (who predicted he has 5 years left in him!) has just spent £70grand on his plane! And with everyone I am evangelical about flying, generally, and about the Dragonfly in particular. It is rumoured that I might sell it and it is clear I won't have any difficulty doing so when I do, judging from the interest, but after today, I can't imagine ever wanting to let it go.

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