A very aeronautical weekend

I’ve been idle on the updating front recently, but most spent a pleasant day at SPLASH (Sport & Leisure Aviation Show) a few weekends ago.

Splash has come in for mixed reviews on the various flying fora around the Internet but I enjoyed it.  My original motivation was going was twofold.

When I joined the PFA recently one of my reasons was because I wanted to support the Youth and Education “bit” (Strut/Support/Whatever!) .  To this end I’d been exchanging emails with Dave Hall, and putting together a few demo bits for their interactive whiteboard.  I use these constantly for work and am a big fan.  Properly used they can be far more than death by PowerPoint.

The YES had a stand a Splash and I offered to put some time in on that and “show off” some of the IWB stuff.  There was a good level of interest, and I definitely think it’s an area with potential.

My other reason was the sudden and strange desire of a friend to take up some form of flying.  The original idea was paragliding but on seeing the paramotors all over the place this seemed to have been modified somewhat!

I wandered the show a good deal as well, though was fortunately saved from too much spending by the time consumed by attending the YES AGM.

The stands were varied and I could have spent a great deal.  In the end I came home with a book (of more which later), and a few bits and pieces.

I spent a certain amount of time gazing thoughtfully at the Reality Escapade which was opposite the YES stand.  I’d read a flight test recently which didn’t particularly stand out (mentally tagged as “another highwing taildragger kit), but in the flesh it was a rather lovely looking little machine and I found myself wandering back and around repeatedly.

Rather wistfully I found myself asking on the PFA kit builders demonstration stand how hard it really was.  Could someone who hammers her thumb regularly really build something like that?

The answer came back rather sensibly with a reminder that it was inspected regularly and you wouldn’t be allowed to build something that would fall apart!  It might take longer if you had to learn the skills as you go, but it wasn’t at all impossible.

On the train home I wavered between thoughtful ponderings, and raving about what a pretty aeroplane that Escapade was.   Something for “one day”?

In the here and now I’d arranged to fly the following day, sharing it with one of the other TOMS group.

Neither of us had a strong preference as to where to go other than being aware we were both a shade rusty so “nowhere too complicated”.

I had a landing voucher for Kemble which swayed it.

We prepared our chart as a joint effort in the cafe, between coffee and cake.   Laurie, former instructor of both of us came over to say hello and see where we were off to today.

It’s an odd and happy sort of feeling flying with either Malcolm or Andy who were both learning at the same time as me — there’s a sort of impression that we’ve been turned loose with the parents’ car!

This time, Malcolm flew the first leg while I gazed out of the window and kept an eye on the navigation, and noting the r/t.  Much easier with two sets of eyes and ears!

Kemble was reasonably busy but the FISO as calm and friendly as on previous visits in spite of us managing to make the person behind us go around on our arrival and nearly busting the noise abatement route on our departure!

I had a very posh soup and we wandered the airfield a bit to look at some of the interesting types that live there.

I flew the homewards leg and made a nice landing which I’ll feel smug about for some time.  Especially since on pretty much every previous occasion that I’ve had another PPL in the other seat I’ve smacked it down!

A nice weekend full of flying and talking about flying and thinking about flying!

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