That’s an ‘open day’ in English, and that’s what was going on today down at the Aéroclub de Castillonnès at Cavarc. So we all decided to go. Victor, Madeleine and Sophie said they’d go by car but if possible, Wim and I wanted to fly in, of course. However, the weather has been a bit unstable for the last couple of days so there was no guarantee that we’d be able to make it, but despite a forecast for occasional light showers and even the possibility of a passing thunderstorm, we decided to give it a go.
The plan was for Wim to fly into Galinat in the Red Baron at midday and for us both to go in 56NE, but I could see that although Galinat was clear, there was a heavy shower over Plazac at that time. So it was several minutes later that Wim came into view and landed.
I’d planned the flight to Cavarc via Beaumont and as we approached the latter we had both been keeping an eye on a very active storm cell a few miles off to our right. We’d passed Belvès airfield off to our left a few minutes before and when we saw lightening jumping from the storm cloud to the ground, we both decided that as we couldn’t see exactly how big the cell was in the direction that we wanted to fly, it would be a good idea to make a precautionary landing at Belvès and wait for a few minutes on the ground to see what happened. So that’s what we did, switching the engine off some 30 minutes after leaving Galinat.
The edge of the cell didn’t actually touch us at Belvès but we could see that it was dark looking and very vicious. After 20 minutes on the ground, we decided that it was safe to take off again and continue our journey but even though the edge of the cell had passed through several minutes previously, we were surprised by just how much we were thrown about during the climb out. 20 minutes later and we were at Cavarc to find the airfield bathed in glorious sunshine. We were told that the storm had passed through there, though. Here’s a shot of 56NE parked up next to the hangar and a locally registered Sky Ranger
Victor told the Club what had happened and they were kind enough to have delayed things a bit to wait for us to arrive. Here’s a shot of the group under the trees for the splendid meal laid on by the Club for just 10€ a head.
The flight line shown in the pic consists of a beautiful Colibri biplane, a Rans Coyote, a very pretty little Jodel and a 1941-built G registered Taylorcraft owned by Gordon, a Geordie lad who has retired down here much the same as me. I took loads of shots of all of them, together with a Sky Leader that had been flown in from Monpazat by the French Rotax and Sky Ranger/Leader distributor but for some unexplained reason, none of them were saved by my camera to the memory card! I am so disappointed because a unique opportunity has now been lost to photograph some unique and lovely aircraft, especially the Taylorcraft, Jodel and Colibri, all together in the same place 🙁
There was a terrific turnout of people supporting the Club and the final two shots are of the group just after they’d eaten and my great bunch of friends, Sophie, Madeleine, Wim and Victor, all smiling in unison 😀
That’s Gordon on the far left of the last shot, partially hidden by the tree. He told us that he flies from a small airfield further south down near Fumel, and its owner was also there. He said he’d have no objection to us flying in, so that’s on the to-do list for when I get back from England in a week or so’s time. That’s something to look forward to.