The usual haunts…

I haven’t been into Pembrey in a long time, it seems almost silly to bother from Swansea, even though I’m fond of the place.  So when there was a Flyer Forum trip there last Saturday, I straight away decided to go.  Someone else had TOMS booked, so plan A was the train and pushbike, but that was quickly replaced by an offer of a lift in Waveflyer’s very plush 182.

Since it was so close, we planned a quick turnaround, on the apron, and sorting out the landings later. 

TOMS had not yet departed, so I sat on the wing and watched Osprey Formation practice their twirlybatics, while I waited.

Soon enough Waveflyer arrived, and parked up beside WhiskeyLima, making me smile to myself — ‘WL is a slightly elderly C172 tricked out in the shiny, curvy paintscheme of a brand new 182, parked next to the real thing, she was fooling no one 😉

Pembrey local areaWe took off quickly and flew the short hop to Pembrey with me grinning around at this familiar patch of sky.

On arrival at Pembrey we could hear aircraft being directed hither and thither to park all over the place — I don’t think Pembrey had seen so many aeroplanes in years!

The cafe certainly hadn’t and was struggling to cope with the numbers.

Nevertheless, once the majority of the forumites had rearranged the tables to sit together as a mob, the wait for food was soon swallowed by conversation and introductions.

Leaving PembreyAn enjoyable afternoon, then back into the air for the short flight home.  Gower was looking particularly pretty in the hazy sunshine, prompting Waveflyer to voice my own usual line at being able to do this — “Aren’t we lucky.”

Too right!

The following day, TOMS was mine, and I’d initially planned another forumish trip, UKGA at Leicester this time.  The weather, while clear, was gusty and forecast changeable though, and the hours before the oil filter change were getting close.

I prefer to make a habit of only carrying one potential worry at a time, when flying, and hour-plus-weather made two.  I therefore decided that Haverfordwest and a family lunch was the fallback plan.  Closer to home if the weather turned, and familiar runways to offset the challenging wind.

I untied the aeroplane and jammed the cover under the heavy tiedowns, before straightening to gaze at the tossing windsock.  They were using 28, but the wind was a sharp northwesterly.

I ran through the checks and listened out on the radio.  320 at 17 gusting 22.  Interesting.

Oh well, I was probably due some more crosswind practise anyway.  Not for the first time, I was glad of having learnt back at Pembrey.  One runway meant that crosswind landing became less of a black art and more of a routine exercise!

I updated my mum with an ETA and taxied out.  Osprey were up and about again, though only a two-ship today. 

Oakwood and BluestoneLast time I went to Haverfordwest I’d dawdled terribly on the way, but I kept it more or less direct today, apart from a brief detour to look at the new holiday village next to Oakwood park.  From the air it doesn’t look as big as I thought it was.

Haverfordwest were very prompt on the radio today, though the wind was, if anything, stronger across 27 and needed a certain amount of concentration.  I floated on, longer than I’d have liked, but there’s plenty of space.

I met up with my mum, and to my surprise my brother and his wife as well.  Uncharacteristically, the cafe had already officially finished serving hot food, and a rather literal-minded young member of staff baulked at serving us the remaining sausages clearly still visible on display.  Rather dismayed, we defected to the cafe at the department store down the road.

There was very little activity at the airfield in any case.  Although the sun was shining, perhaps the wind had deterred some.

Time had ticked on with the detour for food, so I didn’t hang about on arrival back at the airfield. 

PendineWith the wind behind me the trip home was considerably faster.  (I would be inclined to say it “flew by” if that wasn’t an outrageous pun” and I was back at Swansea in 20 minutes.

I then proceeded to make a muddle of the circuit, lack of forethought allowing the crosswind to blow me into a stupidly wide downwind position as a result of which I was forever on base!

Got it sorted out on final for a reasonably presentable crosswind landing.

I tied the aircraft down and shivered my way back indoors.  Roll on those balmy summer days!

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