Yesterday I flew to Bentwaters (former RAF, then USAAF base). I was there in about twenty minutes and then seemed to take ages to get back because of the headwind...and I worried that the hang glider people would lock up and go home, knowing all the time that I had left my keys on my cabinet in the hangar! Needn't have worried, though.
One of the pleasures of the day was meeting Sergei, a Russian software engineer who lives in Scotland and who had come down to do a two day winch launch conversion course; he is used to hang gliding off hills. He is a weightshift pilot and used to have a Quantum, which seems to have been in the same batch as mine and Steve Prouse's.
This morning I thought I'd get in a dawn flight before getting on with today's job of plumbing the bathroom. I was there by 5.45 and ready to fly at 6.20.....but had to hang about another two hours before the visibility looked promising. But I hit a bank of cloud at 700' and the visibility to the East was non existent, what with sun, haze and cloud, so I dropped back in and then waited another half hour, and then did two short hops before calling it a day. With no wind to speak of, that cloud was going nowhere.
But it was a good experiment in early morning starts. While I was hanging about I mused about the advantages of flying from Mendlesham rather than Great Oakley:
1 A fair and affordable rent (£30 cheaper)
2 No restriction on dawn take-offs.
3 Only one aeroplane in front of mine.
4 Only half an hour from home.
5 A runway just outside the hangar, so no long, time and fuel-wasting taxies.
6 The hang glider people are very friendly and there is no snobbery; good atmosphere.
7 Mendlesham Mandy...a speaking weather station!
plus, the doors have been greased so that they are not a hassle now either.
Advantages of G.O. : Doug, Sam and John (I miss Craig too, but he isn't there now either), a door which opens with a button and choice of runways.
On the whole I think I am now a lot better off.