Monday, 13 July 2009

CAVOK to marginal VFR in just 30 minutes

Went to St Mary's in the Scilly Isles this morning. Thanks to a stiff headwind the C182 averaged a groundspeed of 90kt. That same wind made the arrival somewhat sporting, but I got lucky and it all came together in the last inch or so.

The trip back provided a challenge or two, here's a quick rundown.
12.00 Top picture. I checked the oil, added a quart, did a quick running check, got in, started, did the power checks and called for taxi.
12.21 Middle picture. For a change the headwind didn't turn through 180 degrees so I enjoyed a 145kt+ ground speed. It didn't take too long before I could see Land's End. Super helpful ATC were giving me a running commentary on the CB activity.
12.30 Bottom picture. The plan was to avoid the CB activity (obviously), so I routed up the coast towards Newquay. I was over the sea, but either the cloudbase was dropping or the sea was rising. Either way it wasn't the most pleasant of flights. As I got towards Perranporth the weather improved a bit so I landed to pick up some fuel. As I taxied to the pumps the worst of the weather caught up and drenched me, and the airfield. Time for a coffee and a spot of lunch. They're a friendly bunch at Perranporth and the food was good.

I'd had enough of the low-level stuff for one day, so after leaving Perranporth, when I flew into more rain somewhere short of Bodmin, I asked Newquay approach if I could upgrade to a Traffic service, climbed to 4,500' and sat on instruments for half-an-hour. It was good practice and much safer than grubbing my way over Cornwall and Devon. The weather significantly improved somewhere north of Yeovilton which made for a pleasant end to the day's flying.

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