Summer Time

My flying has been reduced to Private Pilot level and so I feel my skills deteriorating, especially when they are affected by outside influences - unwanted distractions.
Gone are the days when I would spend almost every day flying with different people, helping them to learn and improve their skills. There's no demand for me to do this here.
These days I am faced with the realities of aging life, and I have come under a lot of criticism much of which is based upon third hand knowledge. I've learned that even some friends have opinions that I think are contrary to fact.
I was very upset with the staff at the Guildford Halifax Bank branch. I was there helping my friend to transfer money via first Wise, and then when that didn't work, Key Currency.
Key Currency use ABN Amro bank, a Dutch company, and so when the account number came up without an account name the bank staff immediately thought I was either a scammer or a human trafficker and called the police. We were detained for over three hours! I've filed a complaint.

As an instructor I have often been told by students and other pilots I have done checks with, that they did not know what I was expecting of them.
As a check pilot I do not expect anything, I see what I see, and I never apply prejudice to anyone I fly with. In flying and in life I always aim to have a positive effect on whoever I am dealing with. Sometimes I fail in this, and when I do I am sad. We can't please all of the people all of the time.

Based on prejudism, this 'white male helping a small lady' with her financial transaction, the Halifax Bank staff called the police!
Many times I have been subject to negative actions behind my back by people who need to confirm their prejudisms; this action by the Halifax Bank made me feel very low.
This affected my flying as well! One problem being that I am flying easy to fly aeroplanes... I need to do some circuits in an Auster!


A former student of mine is visiting England and so we took a Warrior to the Island.


An Alon Aircoupe flew into Sandown for the weekend and so I was able to make comparisons.

The mechanical fuel pump is missing from the engine and instead there's an electric pump fitted. This does not match the fuel system diagram.
The fuel caps in the wing tanks are not vented in this one, and I did not find their alternative vents.
G ARHB has vents in the fuel caps which leak if the fuel levels are high and a wing is low as is the case on the slanted surface beside the Popham fuel pumps.
I've just had the seals replaced in the main gear oleo struts which also has Belleville washers rather than the original rubber doughnuts.
G ARHB sits higher on its mainwheels, I think that the existence of oleo struts is missed by some.
I note this Aircoupe has a similar problem with its windscreen with the right side adrift at the bottom. G ARHB has a blown windscreen, and the gap at the bottom of the windscreen is sealed by a rubber seal which allows for the loss of one's mobile phone overboard.
The split windscreens on the Alon have a sheet metal bottom seal which is still not enough to properly fill the gap between the perspex and fuselage deck.

At Sandown there's an excellent little museum with artifiacts and exhibits showing the history of flying and of aircraft production on the Isle of Wight.
We visited this museum and made a couple of donations to it, and then went for lunch on the airfield, pizza, and quiche with fruit juice and water.
Sandown is an active place even though the landing fee was increased to £18.00.


These Type 484 trains are recycled 1973 London Underground trains; they look new!
You can walk to Shanklin Station from Sandown Airfield and take this train to the end of Ryde Pier.
Along the route there's a connection to a live steam heritage railway.


At the end of the line you can catch a fast catamaran boat, or at the penultimate station, a Hovercraft.

Top Gun - Maverick

I went to see this fantasy movie on Friday night, it was entertaining, but somewhat predictable.

Night Stop


There was a 'Fawlty Towers' moment when I checked in at this hotel.
The first single room was not cleaned, the second one had a broken key in the lock and so I applied my engineering ability to remove it.
The second room was not cleaned either, and so the hotel clerk gave me the key to a family room with a double bed, a bunk bed (2), and a single bed.
The top left room in the above picture, with a good view of the pier and the sea.


There are good walks on the island, it's a good place to spend a few days in the sunshine.


I don't know what the rate is, but I saw it do a few flights during the morning as I went on a coastal walk.


Time to go and so we routed around Queen Victoria's Osborne House and onwards to the Needles.


Next we crossed the Solent to Portsmouth, and then along to coast passing Chichester and overhead Shoreham.
Near Littlehampton I was surprised to see two paramotors flying along the coast at the same height. You need to be vigilant they're hard to see.


I saw a Super Cub pass below the port side a few miles to the west of here.
At Beachy Head we turned north to intercept the railway back to Redhill.


The LAA Devon Strut Fly-In

I invited my former student to come to the fly-in, he has not flown for quite a long time thanks to Covid and the severe restrictions on travel imposed by his country's government.
Popham had run out of Avgas 91UL (unleaded) and so I added 7 litres of Avgas 100LL which is very bad for most light aeroplane engines not designed to have lead in their petrol.
The Aircoupe performed well in the warm weather and it was a pleasant flight.


I once had a MkIV with a 1,296cc engine. I made memory comparisons with the Miata in Canada.
The Miata's road holding was awful by comparison, but the British made, 1,600cc, MX-5 is as good though with a firmer gearbox, and steering.
The Spitfire went around corners very well, its gearbox was lighter, and so was its steering. The MX-5 is more like an MGB (which I also had once).


I wanted to show my visitor England.
It's very different to the spectacular mountain flying in British Columbia but has its own charm.

From Branscombe we flew to Compton Abbas via the Cerne Abbas Giant.
Compton had Avgas 91UL on tap, and since the ground was level I could fill the tanks, I left an inch gap; plenty of fuel to arrive back on Popham's unlevel terrain and not spill any.
We had coffee, San Pellegrino, and Victoria Sponge Cake before departing on an ancient journey over Britain's long ago past.


There's a Danger Area just north of the A303 road and so I made sure I stayed south of it.
The danger area was active with smoke on the horizon as soldiers train to fight the belligerent Russians.
Note some of the many ancient earthworks that dot the ground.


A fly past of Salisbury; getting used to the XT-3 camera which produces much clearer images than the Canon.

Of course, after flying, British style, we went to a Pub: the Mill House Pub, and had a beer and food.

On Sunday I drove up the White Waltham, it's been a while since I have been there... Not much going on, so I had tea and a couple of biscuits and drove away.
Lunch was a sausage roll and another cup of tea at the busy café at Blackbushe... Some flying there, but not as busy in the air as it was in 1976.
Finally I had tea and chocolate ice cream at Popham which was quiet except for an Ikarus or two. The café staff were already clearing up at 15:30 as there were too few customers.
I had something to drop off with the aeroplane before heading back to Guildford.


Air conditioning set.

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