There’re ups and downs to being based at a coastal airfield. Ups are the wonderful views, ease of finding your way home and the usually smooth air over the sea itself. The downs are the weird little microclimates that develop.
First week of my holiday from work and I’d an aeroplane booked to go and try out the gadget of the moment and had enlisted a lookout (and photographer) to take some snaps.
The rough plan was to pottle down to Haverfordwest for a coffee with a detour or two for the purposes of gadget-prodding. (And a fuel top up since Swansea was without again!)
The weather to the west looked clear and was forecast overcast with perhaps the odd shower and for once I was flying midweek and it was wonderfully peaceful!
We routed around Pembrey, talking to the range and did the bits I wanted to do before changing to Haverfordwest. Almost at once – before I’d called them – them called us.
“G-BGKY” are you on frequency?”
I confirmed that I was.
“Message from operator – They want you to RTB due to incoming fog at Swansea, they think they’re about to get wiped out.
Great. I craned over my shoulder back towards the Gower, hard to tell from here.
I turned back and re-contacted the range, this time to ask for a transit to save a bit of time, which they were happy to accomodate.
Once we were closer it became apparent that the concerns had been justified. Fog filled the bay’s of south Gower, though Loughor and Swansea bay itself were clear to east and west of the field! The fog was steadily creeping up and inland from Three Cliffs onwards, and I glanced at my watch, estimating time to getting back on the ground.
In the absence of much other traffic I slid in downwind and before long was taxying in.
Stragely the fog never did come to much – dispersing away again before the airport closed. But too late for us!
The GPS track was interesting!