Friday, 16 April 2010

friggin' ash - grrrrr

Wednesday, 14 April 2010

Strip flying

Now that the ground is drying out, I'm reacquainting myself with the joy of strip flying. More often than not they offer a friendly welcome, a lack of formlities and little if any cost. As an added bonus, many strips offer a bit more of a challenge than most airfields. There's no-one there to talk about wind, the surfaces can vary, random bits of four-legged wildlife can come out to play when you're on approach, and accuracy is essential if the strip is at all marginal. In short, many strips make you think and fly. Chavenage above isn't particularly short and doesn't have a tricky approach, but it's a great strip and with a hedge and some sloping ground at the start of 26 there's enough there for a gentle reintroduction to the art of stripping.

Monday, 12 April 2010

Aero's over for this year

The organisers deserve to be sipping champagne tonight. The show that took place every other year has been successfully transformed into an annual event. Yes, there were a few people who moaned about a lack of visitors (only really evident on Thursday) and the organisers had to do a little creative planning to ensure that the show looked full when some exhibitors were cutting back on space (no big stand from Cessna, Cirrus only exhibited outside etc.), but given that aviation is suffering under the weight of a major recession it was pretty bloody impressive.

There are three main areas, the A halls, B halls and the static. The As tend to be full of the traditional manufacturers while the Bs are full of the lighter end of General Aviation. The big boys didn't have a lot to show, and there were all sorts of funky aeroplanes in the Bs - including a microlight with an inflatable wing and several electric powerplants.

To sum up: Tecnam had a particularly impressive stand, Cessna didn't. Electric power is coming, but isn't here yet. The two-seat wonder machines continue to impress, and to get more expensive.

See you there next year.
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Sunday, 11 April 2010

Flying at last

The strip's dry, the weather's good and a start pack is helping with the alternator issues until I get chance to get the new one fitted.

I'm happy to say that the C182's wings still remember how to fly and Mr Garmin still knows how to navigate. I popped over to North Weald for a meeting and then picked up strip owner Nigel after he had taken his RV-8 to Chavenage for his Permit renewal.

It's bloody good to be flying again, and if I wasn't heading for Holland this weekend I'd be heading for the skies again.