Airborne again, and life moves
The view from Newlands Corner, I've kept somewhat fit through walks.
On a journey to see a possible new home in the CR-V
20th March I took the CR-V
to deepest Devon, northeast of Okehampton to see an apartment for
rent. It was good, but I thought the location was just a little
too remote for my purposes.
Driving through the tightly hedged single track lanes was interesting and I was glad of the CR-V as it would have been hazardous in the MX-5.
Trouble these days is that you can't stay anywhere, and so if you drive a long distance one way, you'll have to drive that distance back to go to bed!
Flying over Guildford
From the 29th March solo
flying was once again allowed as England begins the journey out
of lockdown, and so I went to Redhill and took the Piper Warrior
for a flight.
This was my first flight since November, and also the first flight for the Warrior this year.
The grass was good for operations and so I departed from runway 18 following the strict procedure for departure which in itself is a strict departure from when I flew from this aerodrome during the 70's and 80's.
I can not understand the greater control and rigidity necessary these day compared to those much busier times where there was also a variety of different operations such as aerobatics over the field, the glider being towed, formation flying, helicopter training, and busy non radio circuit flying.
Like everything else, progress is about restricting people's freedoms more and more. Removing responsibility from adult humans, and treating them all as if they are potentially naughty children.
Once clear of the motorway
junction reporting point I was given a 'basic service' (radar),
why? there was only the Cherokee ahead of me, in an otherwise
I flew west towards Polesden Lacey, did a few steep turns and a couple of stalls... Circled the field where in 1987 my Slingsby T67A tragically spun into the ground off a loop... Flew west over the house in which I am typing this, and saw my neighbour sunbathing in her garden. It was a glorious and warm day.
Later I told her that I had
seen her sunbathing, and had taken pictures... "You
pervert!" she retorted, and then I showed her the aerial
shots. I have shared these with my neighbours.
My digital camera is nothing like as good as the medium format film cameras I once used... With the Hasselblad you'd see her much more clearly, and even read the number plates on the cars.
I headed back, turned the
volume down on box two (the .833 spec radio) to listen to the
ATIS on box one, and then momentarily forgot to turn the volume
up on box two... My one mistake.
I called Redhill and was told to report the Motorway Junction again.
Then it was straight in to complete the first of three landings to be able to take passengers in the future.
I decided to do the second one flapless but ended up too high to land where I wanted on the runway, applied some flap, touch and go, and do it right the next time. The next time was perfect, and I did a fourth and final landing full flap.
It was good to be back in the air again.
It was the Warrior's first flight this year too
Walking into Guildford; seeing old men in a boat, feeding a boiler for the phut phut steam engine
It seems I can't get much
photographic satisfaction these days. I do try, but pictures are
not as sharp and as clear as those of my medium format days are a
I suppose that in this day and age low quality is accepted... But I've seen so much better.
On another journey, looking for a new home
I was up early Saturday morning to deal with offers that have been made to purchase the Airvan... This is with Asia and Canada with me in the between.
Then, since I could not get
an answer from an agency, I decided to take the long drive down
to Devon in the Mazda to see a place I'd seen online for rent in
a perfect position for access to several airfields and the
I am glad I did as I was able to meet the landlady, and see the house. Very friendly people too, so subject to my references being accepted I should be able to move in.
Ed with a Dugong observer
My instructing career was a long and productive one that has produced many memories, and I receive updates from my students as they progress.
Back in 2006 Ed was doing
ground school at the Thai Fying Club... I walked in and was
introduced to him, they told him he should learn to fly with me,
and so he waited for the opportunity.
In Thailand Ed had to wait for six months for his medical to be approved and his Student Pilot Licence to be issued, and no training was allowed between times.
I was working in China in 2006, teaching in the DA40, and being an overstressed Assistant Chief Flight Instructor who rebelled at the stupid Part 141 Integrated Course they'd come up with.
Shattered I arrived back in Chiang Mai; the place I have found the greatest healing in this life.
It was then possible for a farang like me to teach people to fly, and so into 2007 I helped Ed to get his Thai Private Pilot's Licence.
It is no longer possible for farangs like me to teach in Thailand, it's a reserved occupation, and then there were the crashes and violations my fellow foreigners committed that lost us credibility.
Nevertheless, Ed continues
to fly in Thailand and has gone on to do great things. He did his
Multi Engine and Instrument Ratings and bought a Malibu Jetprop
which he flew to Thailand from Florida. He has since flown in
Asia with trips to Singapore, into China, to India, and all the
way to Bournemouth here in England in the Jetprop.
He still owns the Tecnam P92-JS in which he completed his PPL, and every year he donates his time and aeroplane to do a survey of Dugongs in the seas off Phuket and Krabi.
Branscombe is very close to where I hope to live
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