November 24, 2019

Time to make a decision?

I’m looking ahead at the longer range weather forecast and I not seeing anything to encourage me. As a consequence I’m coming to the conclusion that I’m probably asking for the impossible – or at least a very rare event – namely two consecutive days of weather suitable for a long, non-stop flight from the south of England, across the Channel and down practically the whole length of France, at a time of year when the days are becoming progressively shorter and the weather increasingly unstable.

If so, there can only be one logical conclusion. It’s possibly time to think about throwing in my hand, at least for this year. I’ve been waiting for a weather opportunity since late September and yes, I’ve missed a couple, but here I am with December looming and I’m effectively no closer now than I was six or eight weeks ago. And in addition, there are things I need to address and deal with back home in Plazac.

So should I be thinking about packing my car up and heading back south? I think it’s something that I need to seriously consider. 24ZN is now outside but is secure and covered and sealed as far as possible against the weather. Nothing more can be done as far as that is concerned but it’s irrelevant anyway as it’ll have to stay where it is if I’m just going to be sitting waiting for an opportunity to fly it out which is unlikely to materialise.

My mind is almost made up. It looks as though I’ll need to make arrangements to head off back to France with the idea of returning to the UK again, probably around February when the weather has improved and there are likely to be more opportunities to do the flight. It’s a tough one, but I’ll post what I eventually decide.

In the meantime I thought I’d upload a very short video of my take off in 24ZN on my way to Headcorn a few days ago after it reopened after the visit by the air ambulance.

The video is very short because the recorder switched off for what I think is a weird reason. At exactly the same time, as far as I can estimate, as the recorder did so, 24ZN’s engine faltered. I thought that I was about to be on the receiving end of an EFATO but to my relief it picked up again. It was only afterwards that I found that the camcorder seems to have switched off at the same moment.

Quite close to the take off location there is a microwave tower of the type that I believe is used as part of our national defence network. These towers sport what look similar to satellite dishes that transmit highly focused microwave beams around the country and I wonder if the faltering in the electronics of both 24ZN’s engine and the video recorder was caused by flying through such a beam. I guess I’ll never know for sure.