Well, I did eventually get away for my planned flight today and I did get some brilliant video footage from my GoPros. I got the take off at Malbec, the touch and go and full stop landing at Sarlat, the last take off at Sainte-Foy-la Grande and the final landing back at Malbec. However, yet again the gremlin won and I didn’t get what I really wanted – the landing at LF2436 Saint Julien d’Eymet and the subsequent take off from there.
The reason was that although I changed the GoPro battery before I took off to head to Saint Julein from Sarlat, I hadn’t realised that the memory card was filling up quite as fast as it was and it did so and switched recording off just as I was on final there about 30 seconds before I touched down. As I hadn’t realised that the GoPro was no longer recording I also, of course, missed the take off from there which was one of the most spectacular that I’ve ever done.
The reason was that not only does Saint Julien have a one-way sloping runway, its second half rises very steeply indeed! I’ve managed to grab a couple of screen shots from the video just before it conked out to show what I mean. In the first shot below taken when turning final, the runway is in the top left of the screen with a white topped building, the hangar, on the right about half way up.
In the next shot, the runway is in the middle right of the screen, again with the white topped hangar visible. You can just about see how narrow the gap is between the trees on either side of the threshold that you have to go through before you touch down.
But neither of the two shots above give a very good impression of just how steeply the runway rises. However, you can get a much better idea from the next shot of my Savannah parked next to the hangar.
The next few shots give a general impression of the airfield. It’s neat and tidy but there isn’t a lot to see there!
My next stop after Saint Julien was Sainte-Foy-la Grande (there are, or were, a lot of saints in this area) but first came the take off. I taxied right up to the top of the hill before beginning my take off roll back down again. To say it was spectacular is an understatement. With the Savannah’s power, acceleration was incredibly rapid and because of the steepness of the down-slope, the temptation was to pull back on the stick to get airborne as soon as possible.
In lesser powered aircraft this might have caused premature lift-off with a subsequent return to earth, possibly on the nose wheel assembly, causing it to collapse. There was no danger of this with the Savannah though, which jumped into the air and clawed its way skywards, and after one of my most exciting take offs ever, I was on my way to Sainte-Foy-la-Grande.
As I mentioned previously, I didn’t get to record the landing there but I did a GoPro changeover there which allowed me to record the take off from there, the whole flight back to Malbec and my final landing. I can’t edit the videos on the laptop that I’m using in the caravan to post this but I’ll try to get access to my main computer in storage and do so as soon as possible.
After arriving back at Malbec I did as I intended and changed the positions of my Savannah and my X-Air in the hangar, as shown below.
I did this to be ready for my planned flight in my X-Air tomorrow, but at the time of typing this, I don’t think that I’ll be able to go. The reason is that I already had a painful wrist that has never completely recovered from the heavy-ish work that I did in my old house before selling it and also from when I dug the plastic out of the ground on my land here. It seems that I might have done even more damage by heaving and tugging the aircraft around today and it’s now very painful indeed. I could probably fly with it but what would be the point if every move that I make is painful? Better to wait a few days I think. It looks as though there will be some good flying days next week too 😉