Hangar Flying

Last weekend was one of those where I came away feeling as if I’d done a lot more flying than I really had.  Lots of time spent with coffee and friends in the airfield cafe, wittering on about flying and aeroplanes and consoling one another over the weather!

The weather was always going to be hit and miss, but I went out anyway since a friend, Nick, (AKA Air Scorp from the Chickenwings Forum) was visiting from far Greece, and I’d promised him a looksee, and the possibility of a flight.  (I never promise actual flights — Welsh weather is far too unreliable!)

As it happened we didn’t get airborne that day, but as a would-be pilot Nick was happy to mooch around the field and hangars and join the “hangar flying” with the usual suspects at the airfield. 

Weather-wise, Sunday looked likely to be better, and although TOMS was still away having a new starter fitted, I’d managed to book one of the Cambrian club Tomahawks for a brief afternoon bimble.

The weather was still a bit gloomy and hazy, but we were greeted on arrival by a contingent of Yaks in a formation takeoff (is there a collective noun for a group of Yaks I wonder?). 

VIew from inside thatYak formation

View from inside that formation, posted by Nick on UKGA

The air cadets were also rolling their motorgliders out and we figured if it was good enough for them it was good enough for us.

We were down for SierraBravo today, but there was obviously something of a starter-plague about since the engine took forever to catch, and only obliged (for Derek) when we gave up and started to untie HotelUniform instead.  Meanwhile on the other side of the field a small group were failing to start an Arrow. 

The usual ‘carrier launch’ takeoff from the steeply sloping 10 and we were up and heading for the city.  I turned about the university and marina mainly so I could position myself to fly around the Gower peninsula in an anti-clockwise direction (better view from the passenger righthand seat that way!)

Nick had a fly and made a lovely balanced job of the turns as we wandered along following the curves of the coast.  He flies a Tecnam (P92?) normally.  Nick talked about GA in Greece, and how much better we had it here, which was a rare and novel experience!  We get so used to bewailing the state of British GA and hearing all about how much better is in America, South Africa, wherever, that we forget how much freedom we really do have.  Nick told me that over there they needed flight plans for every flight from circuit bashing upwards, and VFR “prefered” routes being more or less mandatory.  I looked at the vast expanse of empty airspace across most of Wales with new eyes.  We are lucky buggers really…

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