At last, but not exactly in the way I’d have liked them to. I couldn’t phone until this morning to see if Headcorn would be opening today and even if it was going to, I would have to schedule a departure for around mid-day if I was going to make the Channel crossing today.
In the event I got the news that it would be opening today and that I would be permitted to fly in non-radio subject to making telephone contact beforehand and providing an ETA. So I immediately sprang into action to get things moving and meet my mid-day deadline.
But it soon became clear that I had much too much to do to get away as I would have had to replace 24ZN’s battery that was out being charged, remove its covers and fold them ready for packing, remove the heavy tie-downs from the animal field and replace them in the barn (itself a gruelling job just for one person), fly the aircraft out to Headcorn, return and pick my car up, drive back to Headcorn and load 24ZN up, file the necessary paperwork and take off. And all within 2-3 hours, well nigh an impossibility.
And finally there was yet another twist. When I did phone Headcorn to inform them of my impending take off they told them that I couldn’t fly in until further notice. The reason was that there had been a serious traffic accident close to the airfield and the air ambulance was on the ground within its perimeter and no movements would be allowed until it had left.
So that ensured that it would be absolutely impossible for me to leave today despite it being a perfect day for it as if I had gone ahead there was no way that I’d be able to make Abbeville before sunset. How did I know that it was perfect? Because at around the middle of the afternoon I eventually took off in 24ZN from the field in which it had been parked for the past week or so and flew it into Headcorn ready for a departure early tomorrow morning.
Here’s a shot that I took of it on the parking there.
A departure tomorrow morning is not my preferred choice, far from it actually. The winds are forecast to swing from the north to the south-east meaning that I’ll have a headwind component that could be quite strong from time to time. But my main concern is that the wind in the Channel is forecast to pick up markedly from today and what should be a 20 minute crossing could take 30 minutes or even a bit longer. However, that’s for the morning. Now I’m off to bed to get a good night’s sleep.