October 20, 2014

Excellent flying afternoon

We had 28 degrees Celsius yesterday while I was working on the roof of my new wood store and believe me, I felt it. It was a bit cooler today with a high of 25 degrees but the difference was that the fierce sun of yesterday was missing and in the late afternoon, the air was as smooth as silk. Just as well, because Wim had mentioned that his grandchildren, who are visiting, had expressed an interest in having a flight and I said that as the Red Baron is only a single-seater, it would be my pleasure to do the honours.

I arrived a bit early to get 56NE fuelled up and ready to go and Victor also dropped by in his 2CV to give me a hand. Wim flew into Galinat in the Red Baron and the rest of the family arrived by car at the agreed time of 4.30 pm. With Hurricane Gonzalo about to coast in from the Atlantic any time now (fortunately it appears that we will hardly be affected and that northern Europe will be the hardest hit), high frontal clouds were in evidence and visibility, although perfectly acceptable at an estimated 10 km or more in haze, was sadly lower than on previous days. But there was still plenty for the kids to see because the trees are still very green and the countryside still absolutely beautiful.

So off we went – first Wim’s grandson and then his granddaughter, both of whom are Dutch and spoke lovely English. For the first flight with Wim’s grandson, Wim took off first and we followed behind, before I passed beneath him and landed first, as we’d agreed I would. I was slightly concerned in case as this was the first time for both of them, that after taking off, they might not like it. But there were no problems on that score and both came down with wide grins on their faces. And then their dad, who hadn’t flown for many years. He had been hanging back a bit but I suggested that he might like a flight too, as the kids had enjoyed theirs. So away we went for another 10 minute flip around the local area followed by a third lovely smooth landing. I was pleased about that, not that there was any excuse to do otherwise on a day as smooth as today was, but it’s always nice not to scare your passengers if it’s the first time they’ve flown 😉

After they’d all left and Wim had taken off to return to his strip, I thought that with the vis as it was, it wasn’t worth bothering flying again. But I thought that with it being so smooth, it would be a shame to waste it, so I changed my mind and decided to go for a short flight around part of the route that I’d originally planned , as shown below.

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I took off, turned right past the Chateau de Losse at Thonac and flew up to Montignac and then cut back to drop down over my house. From there I could see Galinat in the distance and routed back again over Thonac for yet another perfect landing. So that made four take-offs and landings and a total of 50 minutes flying and one of the best afternoons that I’ve had for a long time 🙂