March 14, 2010

Feeling a little sheepish

Before doing a few practice landings yesterday in MZEL, we had to chase the sheep off as usual with a low pass. Then the idea was to land and taxi around a bit in their general direction to make sure that they got the message and kept over to the side of the field away from the runway. Sheep being a flock animal like to stick together in a group if there’s any danger about so with the main flock away over to the left of the runway, even the ones over to the right get the message and rush over to join their mates.

Except yesterday one porky little baa-lamb decided to be a bit different and give us both a shock. She was the one who was farthest away from us over to the right of the field and when she noticed that all of her friends had left her behind, her little legs were a blur as she raced across to catch up with them. She was about thirty or forty yards in front of us, racing from our right to left when suddenly just as she reached the runway, she turned sharp left and came racing straight towards us and the spinning prop. Apart from the fact that she was going to hurtle into the prop, if she had done she would then have ended up in our laps and my heart literally came into my mouth as I just couldn’t believe it. Then in the last fraction of a second just as she was about to hit the prop, she dodged to her right and ran down the left side of the aircraft just missing the wing struts. Then she promptly turned again and ran off to join the rest of the flock.

Believe you me, it was a real brown trousers moment let alone a bit of an eye opener because I’ve always been used to sheep running the other way and I never expected that they could ever be any kind of a threat. Now I know different I’ll be a bit more careful clearing them off in future 😯