Thursday, 12 April 2012

Clucking Bell!

Last night, with all kit checked and packed, and all set for a morning's flying, I checked the NOTAMs and to my disgust found that on the first day this month when I was to be free and the weather looked favourable, Wattisham had fast jet practice from surface to 9,000' out to a radius of 5nm, which would be too close for comfort 9nm out in the panhandle.

Then I saw that it started at 9a.m., so I decided to fly early.

I was up at 5.30 this morning and at the airfield soon after 7. I flew for an hour. Visibility was not great; cloud was low and it rained. But it was just wonderful to be flying again, after a month.

A flying friend has asked me why I worried about the NOTAM, given that all the activity would have been for a few short spells, and only within the MATZ anyway. But I tend to feel that jets cover a heck of a lot of distance in very little time and I don't know how restricted pilots feel by the imaginary boundaries around airfields. Certainly, at Rougham Tornadoes bust straight through the circuit without warning, and the Red Arrows came straight through the Great Oakley circuit without calling up first, when I was taxying last year. And, because I am afraid of calling ATC, I didn't want to call them to let them know I was nearby, not least of all because when I was monitoring the radio, reception was not brilliant, so that an ordinaily tricky call could have been made a lot harder.

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