Thursday, 24 June 2010


Off to AeroExpo to get the stand ready. It'll be interesting to see how the event feels. It's looking like a hot weekend, but apparently there's a football match on Sunday that may reduce the numbers.

If you're at the event drop by and say hello, we'll have cold (soft) drinks in the fridge.

Wednesday, 23 June 2010

Longest day and CAVOK

The weather was stunning, there was plenty of fresh avgas in the tanks and to cap it all it was the longest day of the year - it was pretty hard to do anything other than go flying.

I've always wanted to fly to Lundy (a small island off the North Devon coast) and after a few emails arranged to meet Ian Quinn there. He'd be going via Dunkeswell to pick up some avgas on the way, and would be on the ground before I arrived. I've heard all sorts of stories about Lundy's runway. In fact it's not actually a runway, but part of a farmer's field. The information describes it as 400m of rough grass with rabbit holes and rocks and despite the C182 being a tough aeroplane, she's not as tough as Ian's taildragging C180. With Ian on the ground I hoped to get any information about any particularly nasty rough bits - and being from New Zealand he'd also be able to scare off any loitering ex-girlfriends/sheep.

The flight to Lundy in the early evening air was stunning and silky smooth. The almost unlimited visibility meant that Lundy was in sight while we had 25 mins of flying time left. Ian called to let me know that all was well and after a bit of a recce of the strip I landed on what actually turned out to be some half-decent grass.

The walk to the pub took in the old lighthouse and it was obvious that we'd have to return for a day or so in order to fully appreciate the island, a fact driven home as we ordered non-alcoholic drinks at the bar.

We landed back at our strip four hours after taking off - in that time we'd flown to Lundy and back, discovered a new place had a decent meal and enjoyed some great company.

Good stuff this aviation.

Tuesday, 22 June 2010

Something about feet?

I've often wondered about this foot-like maze. It's about ten minutes flying time from the strip and thanks to Salisbury Plain blocking my way south I often fly over or near it when heading down towards the south coast.

A bit of research suggests that it is Conholt Park, a 2,500 acre estate in Wiltshire. It belonged to Paul van Vlissingen, a Dutch businessman who died in 2006 - Mr van Vlissingen had an 'interesting' life, and left an interesting will, at least according to an article in the DM.

I still have no idea of the motivation behind the shape of the maze…

Monday, 21 June 2010

The dog didn't fix my DME

Following the incident with the dog there's a nice, new, shiny, expensive CI-105-6 installed under the aircraft. The DME still doesn't work, although it has been showing signs of trying. I am now hoping that the problem is a simple wiring fault, with perhaps some of the circuit going to earth where it shouldn't. The wiring in question is under a shelf which houses the ELT and stormscope and will require the battery box to be removed for access - a task to be done during the annual I think.

So the dog didn't fix my DME, but she did make me spend roughly £200 on a new aerial.

Sunday, 20 June 2010

Back to nature

Thanks to IQ for the pics

I dropped in to see a friend today. He's recently moved his aeroplane to a new strip and got permission for me to fly in. Although the field is quite wide, the strip is quite narrow - it's shared with livestock who are segregated from the metal birds by electric fences. Getting in and out of the strip by car or on foot involves a fair bit of taking down and putting up of electric fences and opening and closing farm gates.

My friend was there with his camera which pretty much guarantees a dodgy arrival and landing; I didn't disappoint.

I flew back in later to collect my wallet which I had managed to leave behind, and I'm not happy to say that my second landing was worse than my first. Hmmm...