Saturday, 17 July 2010

'kin windy

The weather for yesterday's flight to the top of the southern chart could be described as bloody windy. On the way up I climbed to FL60 to take advantage of the tailwind and the smoother air. At one point I had a groundspeed of over 160kt, not bad for a 1977 C182 at low power. The flight, brakes-off to brakes-on, took exactly an hour, and that included a fair bit of faffing for Fairford.

There was no way I was climbing high for the return, so I stayed low to minimise the headwind and put up with the turbulence. By comparison, brakes-off to brakes-on took 1hr 40min.

I was very happy to land.

Thursday, 15 July 2010

Wild, wet and windy

I'm heading up north tomorrow, and if the TAFs are to be believed it's going to be a bit of a bumpy ride. The route has just got a bit more complicated thanks to RIAT at Fairford, but with a bit of luck a call to Brize might at least take the edges off of any restricted airspace diversions.

Just have to hope that the rain clears through as forecast...

My inbox is suffering

With Farnborough and Oshkosh taking place in the next two weeks my inbox is groaning under the weight of hundreds of incoming press releases.

Those related to Farnborough are interesting for their almost uniform lack of interest. Typically they'll either refer to some kind of military system or to some upcoming corporate deal between two suppliers you've never heard of providing services you'll never need. Sometimes it's a press release just telling you that someone has decided to exhibit at Farnborough - hold that front page.

Oshkosh releases are a bit different, there's less about killing people and more about, err cars, music and film. For example there's an auction for an SR-71 being held during the event except that it's a unique Ford Mustang instead of the world's greatest aeroplane and there will be a couple of film debuts and some bands.

On a more serious note, I haven't heard about any significant GA announcements at Farnborough, but there are some rumours about Oshkosh... which if they're true will mean a couple of new aeroplanes from some established names...

Tuesday, 13 July 2010

Rain, what's that?

I popped into Compton Abbas for some fuel and a cup of tea last night. I tuned in when turning at the western end of Salisbury Plain to hear - nothing - Compton were obviously very quiet (I was pretty sure that the radio was working) and then, within the space of just a few minutes, Compton got very busy with lots of arrivals for an evening fly-in.

When the time came to leave it was raining - I haven't seen that around here for a few weeks. It was only a short shower which in general is a good thing, hot dry days means that the grass on the strip doesn't grow much.

Not sure what the army/navy/air force were up to on Salisbury Plain but it was bloody busy with rotary traffic - a couple of Lynx aircraft (Navy I think) looked like they were in a hold at a couple of thousand feet above the strip.

Monday, 12 July 2010

Evening light

It's not often that we go to a fly-in party, but Saturday saw us landing at a private strip for a fly-in BBQ. There were about 25 other aircraft there ranging from a classic single-seater to a turbine helicopter. It was a great evening in an idyllic setting - and to cap it all the flight home was another one of those silky smooth evening flights with the setting sun bathing everything in golden light - we spotted Radcliffe Camera on the way back