September 11, 2013

Some pics at last

A few of my friends have been interested for a while now in seeing pics of my local area, especially ones taken from the air. But it’s been difficult for me to take any up to now as getting to grips with 56NE, which I still must regard as an unfamiliar aircraft, and getting to know the local area, have taken priority over taking pics. But today I was able to divert my attention a bit to taking a few as I’m now pretty confident in the aircraft and more familiar with the local terrain.

Max And Katie came back to my place yesterday after suffering a minor mishap with some bolts shearing off on their caravan, so we went off to Brico Depot yesterday afternoon to buy some larger bolts, nuts etc to do the repair. We decided that as it wouldn’t take that long, Max ought to do a proper job that would last rather than a quick repair, so after he got cracking this afternoon, I was able to leave him to it and get a flight in in 56NE.

None of the pics are of very good quality, I’m afraid. The reason I think, is that my little Pentax Optio has now seen better days. It’s been bashed, banged, sat upon and generally knocked around and I doubt that it’s giving even the 7 Mpixels that it was only ever designed to do, let alone anything like the quality that point-and-shoot cameras are routinely capable of nowadays. So it’s obviously time for me to look for a replacement. In the meantime, I’ll just have to make do, however, and here’s a general shot I took while heading towards Fleurac.

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I took it to give people a general idea of what it’s like flying here. I don’t think it’s everyone’s cuppa tea, especially if you’re the kind of pilot who constantly worries about engine failures and forced landings, who I’m sure would find it a bit of a nightmare. I’m not one of those, but even I’ve taken some time to get used to looking down and seeing just hills and trees and remaining relaxed about things. Now here are some more. Almost immediately after taking off from Galinat, your track takes you over the beautiful Chateau Belcayre, on the bank of the River Vézère.

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Then I turned left today and headed towards the village of St Léon sur Vézère, which came up under my left wing

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The village is incredibly pretty but actually consists mainly of several rather up-market restaurants. Then I turned north to head up to the village of Fleurac. I didn’t take a shot of the village itself because it’s tiny and dominated really by the Chateau de Fleurac, as below, which has its own helipad.

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From Fleurac, it’s only a skip and a hop over to Rouffignac, which is shown in the following pic.

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I then turned onto a south-easterly heading to skirt round the southern edge of the village of Plazac, to the east of which, on the top of the hill, I live.

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I then flew over my house and although I couldn’t see Max or Katie (they saw me though), I could spot their little caravan on my front grass. I didn’t take any pics for safety reasons, as I’d descended quite a bit, and I then turned to the north-east to pass by the little village of Fanlac as shown below.

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After Fanlac, I turned onto an easterly heading for Montignac. By this time, the cloud cover had increased and the additional shade began to make the shots I took a bit dark. Here’s a general shot of Montignac.

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This was as far as I went today before turning back towards Galinat and heading for home. But before I got there I passed over the magnificent Chateau de Losse, just to the east of the village of Thonac, and Thonac itself. The following shots do neither justice, I’m afraid.

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From well before Thonac, the strip at Galinat was clearly visible and once I’d turned left over the village, I was in effect on a long final. I landed safely and shut down after a flight of only 30 minutes, but it was one that I greatly enjoyed after not having flown for over two weeks, since I refurbished 56NE’s prop. I’m now looking forward to many more of the same – and especially with a half-decent camera 😉