Cambrian’s social media marketing must be paying off at least at bit, because when I saw over my morning coffee-and-Facebook that they had slots free, off I trotted off book one. Just a flit at end of play to stay current was the plan and I had a choice of BLWP, KiloYankee or a back-from-the-dead (again) BOMO.
The field (and gossip) was being dominated by the presence of a Hawker 4000, N901SG , which – I was quickly filled in was owned by Sergio Garcia who’d ‘popped’ (inasmuch as one can pop in a bizjet) in to see a Swans game (his daughter having it away with one of them).
Apparently it used pretty much all of 04 and the undulation caused some comment!
Slice of celebrity over, and once everyone present had pointed out and claimed the aircraft as there to anyone who walked in, I headed out to walk around KiloYankee.
Winter has arrived all at once – evidenced by the chill in the breeze over the field, the use of 10, complete with hump, which the wind seldom favours in summertime, and the length of the walk (45 minutes from Killay…) Nevertheless the cloudbase was high and vis fantastic.
With my normal muttering of “staydownstaydownstaydown” as I rattled over the lumpy intersection I was up and climbing.
Didn’t fancy a Gower circuit so head east over the city and turned up the valley to follow the Tawe up through Pontardawe and past the sudden desolate high ground the locals call aptly “The Barren”, and on up towards the Black Mountains, the Welsh names like a set of directions. The reasons for their names even more conspicuous from the air than they must have been from, the ground.
Waun Ddreaenen (Thorny Moor), Carreg Lwyd, where the grey limestone bedrock pocks through the bare ground, Carreg Fraith with its speckled sandstone burial cairns to the more imaginative Waun Lefrith (Milk moor!), and the twin lakes Llyn y Fan Fach and Llyn y Fan Fawr.
Just to the west of Llyn y Fan Fawr is the highest point of the area and just east of it is the official source of the Tawe which I’d been vaguely following so this seemed as good a point as any to head back.
I dawdled vaguely south westerly, thinking to approach from Loughor, but just over Ammanford a red light blinked on, drawing my eye and making my heart sink.
A matching orange one higher on panel confirmed it. Alternator.
I flicked the anti-collision lights on and of to an utterly lack of response from the ammeter. Dead then. Counting the two times in BeeGee that makes three in three years – is it me?
Changing my heading to pick up a direct route to Swansea I let them know the situation on the off chance anything else went wrong or in the unlikely event the radio didn’t last the run.
Straight over the city centre and across the bay to slide in downwind from Mumbles. One ahead who I managed to spot while late downwind and a rather floaty arrival onto 10, which had the slight advantages of meaning I missed the intersection this time around!
Parking was all of a sudden at a premium and I stuck it behind a microlight who looked about to leave.
Pretty route – not been that way in a while – hope for the club’s sake there’s nothing too terribly wrong with the alternators. I’d forget in my vague attempts at troubleshooting to try the old standby of turn it all off and on again so perhaps it was just a glitch after all. Fingers crossed.