July 19, 2014

Flights 1st June 2014

I failed to mention at the time that Wim and I flew down from Galinat to Cavarc on 1st June with a landing en route at Sarlat-Domme. It’s taken me until now what with everything that’s happened in-between and the computer upgrade problems that I’ve had to deal with to process the shots that I took at the time, but now I have done and here they are. We flew together in 56NE and although I flew the leg to Sarlat-Domme and the landings, Wim did the rest of the flying, which allowed me to take a few photographs in a fairly relaxed way. This meant that it was quite easy for a change to get the horizon horizontal in the viewfinder.

First, the shots that I took after we’d landed at Sarlat-Domme, which provide a reasonable impression of how informal things are there. And for the benefit of those UK readers, no landing fee of course 😉

The local aero club have quite a large clubhouse close to the tower, but visitors like us go down to Air Chateaux at the other end of the apron.

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Here they offer air-experience flights and there’s also a parachute club and school based in their hangar.

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Outside their hangar there’s a very pleasant area with seating and shade where you can buy coffees and cold drinks.

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Opposite Air Chateaux air-side and on the apron itself is where privately owned aircraft are parked. We parked 56NE some distance away from the apron in the opposite direction where there used to be an ULM school, but sadly although the hangar is still there, the school now seems to have disappeared.

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The parachute club uses the German registered Cessna 172 Skyhawk that is shown behind the other aircraft in the next photograph.

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Finally, I couldn’t resist taking a shot of this beautiful Beechcraft Kingair that was parked on the edge of the apron. You can also see the parachute club’s Skyhawk more clearly in it too, which was being re-fuelled at the time.

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After taking off from Domme, I handed over to Wim who was then navigating by Mk I eyeball. I mostly still need my GPS/Satnav but Wim has flown for so long in this area that he knows the towns, villages and other landmarks like the back of his hand. And so we initially headed off in the direction of Belvès, which soon came up on my side (left) of the aircraft.

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Just to the west of Belvès is its aerodrome, which has a very active Group A aircraft aero club and isn’t, apparently, that ULM friendly. Nevertheless, Régis and Wim did get permission to test-fly Régis’s Zenair there after he’d finished rebuilding it (he acquired it as a damaged airframe) so maybe they are not that ULM unfriendly. They did insist on a radio, though, so they borrowed my Vertex for the day.

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Wim then changed course to head for a fairly large and therefore almost unmissable, village named Beaumont du Périgord. Before we got there, we flew past a small village called St-Avit-Sénieur which is very pretty and has a notable, and quite large, church at its centre.

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Before arriving at Beaumont, we’d already spotted the lake just to the north of Cavarc airfield, so we headed straight for that before spotting the airfield itself soon after. I took over for the landing, which was fairly uneventful except for a large dose of sink during the latter stage of the flare which set us down with a bit of a bump. It seemed that I was not the only one to experience it, so although there was no harm done, maybe next time I approach the field from the south, I’ll add a little bit more airspeed to prevent it happening again.

I didn’t take any shots at Cavarc because I’ve already done a few and a video as well, but after handing over to Wim for the flight back to Galinat, I was able to take a pic of the TV antenna on the top of a hill between Le Bugue and St Cyprien as we flew by. That’s Le Bugue in the background.

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As well as the pics I’ve included in this post, I also did a video of the flight leg from Galinat to Sarlat-Domme, including the landing in a fairly vicious cross-wind, and the leg after taking off from Sarlat-Domme to Cavarc (OK, I admit, I forgot to press the camcorder start key…) including the landing. As soon as I’ve finished editing it, I’ll put it up here on My Trike.

The reason for flying down to Cavarc was to meet up with our friend Victor who is now close to getting his French ULM ‘brevet’. He already has his own RANS S12 and when he has done, which won’t be long now, maybe we’ll all be able to fly together as the Aquitaine ULM squadron 😀