Saturday, 6 August 2011

Best Nav-X so far!

Glorious flying today, in bumpy and gusty conditions. I flew with Craig and Sam (plus his son, Harrison) to Sandy in Bedfordshire (70 miles). This was easily the most ambitious navigation exercise I have ever done. I had my GPS with me for navigating the narrow corridor between Duxford and Cambridge and between Stansted and Sandy...but the first 50 miles (statute) I flew by dead reckoning....and feel bloody good for it, too!

I had radio problems, so had to do my calls blind, and it is very un-nerving not knowing if you are being heard, and if you are, not hearing there was no way I was going through any controlled airspace. It also added to the complications of landing, which were spiced up further by a lake on finals and a line of trees just before the threshold! Apparently everyone held their breaths as I dumped about 300' over the lake and then flared quite abruptly as soon as I was past the trees...because I wanted to touch-down early, as it is a short runway with a road at the end. An exciting landing, especially with a strong cross-wind component!

Sam and Craig's aircraft landed ahead of me...but then they had flown GPS all the way. We spent a very enjoyable day with the folk at Sandy, who garlanded all pilots. There was a BBQ and bar. I did not part-take of either; the latter because I was flying back. Sam and son were camping, so Sam could allow himself a little indulgence.

Myself, Craig and Sam.

I took off just ahead of Craig this evening and we flew back in only an hour, with the wind at our backs.

What a fantastic day!
One and a half hours out, one hour back, 140 statute miles flown.

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