Having been thwarted in my attempt to fly to the Bourne Bacon Butty event (turned up to find people landing on the disused because the crosswind had become so bad on the other two runways and thought it a bit rash to take off into that…) I’d only managed to scrounge up a quick fly round Gower in the past few weeks.
Caernarfon and the LAA North Wales Strut Fly-in was the excuse this time. I’ve never had much luck with Caernarfon — weather having stopped all previous attempts. Today, with broken cloud at 2500′ and a brisk breeze seemed more doable. I bumped into one of the UKGAers Bryan on the apron — one of those odd face-to-name moments!
I uncovered and untied TOMS and collapsed the pushbike and manhandled it into the back with relatively little difficulty.
Checks okay, but then came the but.
We’ve been having intermittent starting problems for a while now, and I’ve been one of the luckier ones, avoiding the worse of it but today it was my turn to get bitten.
The prop thwapped over willingly enough but there was not firing happening. I tried a couple of the more obvious things — waiting a while for things to cool, flooded start procedure, peering under the cowling for anything conspicuous I might have missed on the walkaround, but no joy. After some head scratching I enlisted Derek from the Cambrian club who’d been having starting issues with one of there Tomahawks and who offered a jump. Still nothing, so Bryan kindly offered one of the empty seats in his AA5 Tiger for the run up to Caernarfon.
I jumped at this way out of a sulky return home!
Fretting about the latest tech problem aside (our poor aircraft seems to have reached A Certain Age), it was quite pleasant to be a passenger for a while, I gazed out of the window, snapped piccys, and was quite content.
The cloud stayed high enough, just about, though the extremely large hills were very conspicuous, as was the massively tall mast just south of Caernarfon itself.
There wasn’t a vast amount of traffic but even so we managed to get behind someone on a lloonnggg slooowww backtrack and had to go around from the first attempt. Caernarfon’s runway layout does tend to lead to this, and they have a procedure for backtracking aircraft which didn’t quite work this time.
Still we had another look round the hills and beach on a second circuit. It really is a lovely spot.
On the ground there were some nice aircraft, a packed and shiny new cafe and a decent dinner to be had. We didn’t go in the museum, I mentally added that for another day.
Nice spot, very welcoming, lots to see — not much more you could ask for from a GA field really!