Monday, 18 February 2013

Yakkity Yak, Yakkity Yak!

I forgot to mention that over Fram we were buzzed, ten o'clock high, by an all-silver Yak (3M, I think) with a red star on the fuselage, which turned and came past again. You can see why I thought it was a Spit at first...until it banked and I saw its wing shape, which looked oddly like a Hurricane's. We then thought the fuselage, with that wing, made it a Mustang, which would have been much more exciting than a Yak, of course, but it was still a real highlight sharing airspace with this character.

 Just found this on Google and it looks like the very one. It was seen at Duxford last year in the Flying Legends show, so there is every chance it is the one we saw.

Sunday, 17 February 2013

Took Dave Flying

Dave and I teach at the same school. He is Head of Science.
Yesterday I took a colleague and great mate, Dave, flying. And what a great day for it. Winds were very low and there were almost no gusts, so it was perfectly smooth. Low wind and doubled weight lengthened and shallowed out the take off, and range was halved, but we did three flights out to Framlingham, to Saxtead and about.

I did a check flight before taking Dave up and that circuit on its own was glorious.

click images for clarity
We hovered over some very grand houses

But my favourite shot is very much more modest, the hangar.

Altogether a superb day's flying!

Monday, 11 February 2013

my diversionary track

I have been looking at satellite images of the area around the airfield to try to work out where I flew when I couldn't pick out the mast because of low cloud and haze. I didn't want to fly straight towards the mast from Debenham in case I didn't spot it soon enough to avert disaster, so I diverted to the right and tried to pick it up on my left. This course took me north of the field, but it was tricky orientating myself.

click images to increase size

I spotted the smaller tower (the Repeater Station at Brockford) and used it as a way point, turning back on myself and trying to rotate the shadow of the former aerodrome below me, until I spotted the hangar and the runway off to my right. But it was the tower at Brockford which got me back on track.

 Quite frightening how close you can be to home before you pick up familiar references, though.

Sunday, 10 February 2013

Finally! Flew again after two months grounded by weather

It wasn't for long, but yesterday I finally got back in the air and I feel fantastic for having done so. I was really pleased by how easily the engine started and relieved to find that the ground, though sodden, was firm enough to taxi on and the main runway firm enough to land on safely.

The only real negative was the cloud base, which forced me down below a thousand feet (especially on the return leg) and much of the time from Framlingham I couldn't see the mast; in fact I couldn't even see Debenham much of the way, picking my way along 269 degrees, just trusting that I'd hit the town eventually, which I did, of course. But it is disconcerting being two and a half minutes from home, flying beneath the Wattisham panhandle, so around 800', and still not being able to see a mast which is two hundred feet taller!! But eventually it emerged and I found that I was slightly too far north of it (and alarmingly too close to the smaller mast just by the A140), which meant that I then made a very conspicuous cross wind approach; the hang gliders on the ground will have seen me for longer, and waited for me before launching.

I am so glad that I was free yesterday on the first flyable day in ages, with snow forecast for the week ahead.  

I am glad that I seized the day.