An age ago I’d promised my brother I’d take some interested friends of his flying and all checked out this seemed a good a weekend as any. With the odd shower forecast I perused the weather carefully – getting caught out a second time would be embarassing at best, but the temp and dewpoint were a good healthy distance apart and the wind not forecast above ten knots.
Indeed for once it was almost down the strip on our arrival, laden with fuel to fill Rhubarb to the brim before jamming the fuel can, oil can and my bag variously in the pocket and passenger seat.
I felt a tiny bit guilty abandoning the lads to hangar building while I fled west to fly all day, but probably not enough!
The showers were nowhere to be seen, only the slight lumpiness below the cumulus as I arrived over Pembrokeshire hinting at the end of the stable weather we’d enjoyed for days an days.
21 was in use and it’d been a while if ever since I’ve used that one – there’s a healthy dose of sink over the trees on short final and I came over them a shade fast and floated somewhat. Well, relatively speaking. The X’Air being what it is, I still made the first turnoff!
I settled the landing – no discount for little ‘uns sadly, but on the up side they didn’t mind how much I flew having arrived so it all balances out.
First passenger of the day was full of eight-year old enthusiasm and declared the whole affair “awesome”. I was also treated to a running commentary of everything he could see out of the window, and once I’d explained how to read the altimeter and ASI a running commentary on our altitude and speed too. We found the village where he lives, briefly trailed the ferry up the Haven, then headed back to the field where he very dutifully remembered both my instructions about keeping schtum while I was landing, and the job I’d given him of remembering our take-off time.
His mum was next up and a bit more anxious about the whole affair so we kept that one short, just a run down to the coast and back, with the gentlest turns I could muster and apologies for the mild thermals which seemed Pembrokeshire-centric today – there’d been none east of Templeton…
My brother himself couldn’t make it, but after a refuel, my cousin Lauren is always an enthusiastic passenger and I was far less restrained with the rate of turn!
We went north for a change on this one, skirting the Preselis and resisting the urge to dive bomb Llys y Fran. Lauren had a fly and took us of towards Fishguard and down the coast before it was time to head back.
Since we’d taken off the wind had swung a full 180 and the runway in use was now 03 which was a bit odd, but it’s a nicer ‘end’ anyway – no trees, and while it was a bit cross-windy it was more or less presentable.
Quick turn around again, hugs to assorted family members then a gathering up of cans and bags and back aboard for the hour back to Old Park, dodging the showers, between which the vis was cracking and arriving in time to practise another crosswind landing before the rain set in (in time to soak us putting the poor girl under her covers!)
4:10 hours flying. That’d have emptied the bank balance once…
Microlights, as two out of three of the days passengers observed, are indeed: Awesome 😉