First flight(s) of the year

With the rubbish weather over Christmas, I’d not visited the field since before the holidays – apart from a sally up to the field to fit a newly re-crimped battery cable (recrimped courtesy of a 50p part from Halfords and me leaping up and down on the crimper – I’m loving all this simple stuff that doesn’t need CAMOs and similar clobber!)

Made up for it this weekend though, spending all day both Saturday and Sunday over at the strip where the Rhubarb crew were once again where the first to raise and last to lower the windsock.

Saturday we contemplated going across to Kemeys Commander (a new one for me), but low cloud on the hills kept us local.  Weather and instructor availability still haven’t managed to line up for my sign off so, while I fiddled about trying to get the descent profile right without getting utterly fixated on the wires,  Nick looked out the window, occasionally offering useful comments – generally on the subject of how much rudder the thing needs.

Which is a lot.  To the point I almost am convinced everyone should learn to fly first in something which really demonstrates for real all those details about adverse yaw you read about in the PPL tech exams and which have been carefully engineered out of the aircraft the odds are you actually learn on…

Something of a crosswind at the strip (as usual – it’s north/south while the prevailing wind is south-westerly) which wasn’t helping so we shoved off to the local area for me to do a few imaginary approaches aiming at fields, hilltops and beaches.  I do need to do a few circuits somewhere more ‘normal’ than Old Park to get familiar with the aircraft.  I’m being super cautious at the moment.  Nick though demonstrated neatly how with such a titch of a machine you can actually approach turning comfortably inside the wires and still have room to get set up and land neatly.

Sunday was a demonstration of how easily the weather forecast can get you!  Almost identical on paper bar a 180 swing of the wind but much worse vis and lower cloud.  Again we stayed local and Old Park appeared to be a world of its own with Swansea, a spell down the coast, fogged in.

More local flying, some sensible practice handling and some larking about!   (Quite a lot of the latter actually!

Met a few more of the based pilots and deposited a quantity of left over Christmas  sweeties as a donation to the cabin coffee supplies (though we ate quite a lot of them ourselves truth be told!).  Clive came over and flew as well and we did a couple of minor maintenance tasks of the ‘tightening cable ties and sloshing ACF around’ nature as well as giving the aircraft a good scrub.

This caused a few raised eyebrows and I suppose it is a bit of a losing battle outdoors in midwinter (hangar planning was also on the day’s agenda!) but the aircraft was looking far too sorry for herself and needed the TLC and looks lovely for it!

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