March 13, 2010

90 minutes of pure fun

Watched the weather closely all week and by Thursday it looked as though Saturday would be a good day. Surprise! 😯

So I phoned Rosie on Friday and we agreed to touch base again this morning, which dawned slightly overcast with only a light wind in my neck of the woods. We decided to go for 2 o’ clock and by the time I left home it was warm and even a bit sunny. So I foolishly decided not to bother taking my fleecy jacket and gloves. I realised that this was a mistake as soon as I got out of the car at the airfield which, being closer to the coast, was still overcast and very chilly. Made a note to remember in future that if you take something, you can decide not to use it and just leave it in the car. But if you don’t take it……. 😕

Rosie was off flying and when she got back we had to fit a new battery on MZEL as the old one had died over the Winter. We eventually took off at 4.00pm and it was really great right from the start. Yes, it was chilly even though I’d added a couple of extra layers, but the flying was excellent. On almost every previous occasion that I’ve flown the AX3, conditions have been either cool and windy or hot and thermic. In either case it has been difficult to repeat training exercises in consistent conditions, as I’ve mentioned in previous postings. But today was completely different, in fact it was exactly as you might wish it to be. No nasty updrafts, cross-winds or roll-overs on approach, no excessive lift giving you an unwanted 200 foot climb on downwind, in fact nothing too nasty at all. Lovely 🙂

The result was that I was able to enjoy one and a half hours of total training pleasure. To start off with, I did a bit of general handling as I actually haven’t flown since April last year. Amazingly, I soon felt that I was ‘back in the groove’ much of which I put down to the benign weather conditions. Then we did circuits and landings (after clearing the sheep from the training strip), first with powered approaches and then with glides. And although not all of them were pretty, unlike when we had the more tricky conditions, this time my landings were more or less OK. Great 🙂

The time eventually came to return home and surprisingly, it was only then that I really began to feel the cold! It’s surprising how you can be distracted when you are concentrating and especially if you are having fun at the same time! By this time it was becoming a bit murky and lights were beginning to appear on cars and buildings below. Even so we soon found our way back and this time I just knew that my last landing of the day would be a good one. And so it was 😀

All in all, it was probably the most enjoyable and satisfying microlighting day that I’ve had. And the coldest too, but that didn’t matter one little bit 😆