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What a beautiful place the sky is

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  • What a beautiful place the sky is

    It was a strange sort of day, but exactly to forecast. Just to the south of home was a layer of cloud and the edge stayed the same up at about 10 degrees while overhead and to the north a beautiful blue sky, the sort of thing you can spend half the winter praying for. Our airfield is to the north so as soon as I had the chance I hastily grabbed my gear and headed off.

    I was not the only one, a couple of lads were readying their X Air Falcon and the cars in car park suggested that others had beaten us to it. The kettle was already singing as I entered the clubhouse and the wood burner was doing its stuff well enough that I shrugged my jacket.
    Tea consumed I opened the hangar and the pod of our TST gleamed in the bright light as I swung the doors open. It really felt good to be alive and fortunate to be where I was.

    Aircraft readied, and suited up I went to fit the radio, damn! In my eagerness to be away Iíd left behind the adapted interface for the new radio that I wanted to play with. Oh well not the first time Iíd been non radio and it wasnít a weekend. So I just stuck the headset on to keep my ears warm and the cable end in my pocket. I had to sit there for a while as the guys that had been away returned and the Falcon was on its way back. So I waited a while, all my own fault, a classic case of rushing to sit and wait, such is life.

    The circuit cleared and I taxied out and lined up, now the breeze was almost nil. I opened the throttle, by heck she felt eager. Long before the bump in the runway she was off, I checked forward but the speed was there almost instantly and I released her to the sky. I know that to some of those with huge engines 800 FPM doesnít sound great but at 50kts it gives a darn good angle of climb. A part orbit to gain height past the village and I pass over the strip at nearly 400í . The air is as smooth as silk I ease back the throttle to avoid busting Stanstedís airspace at 2000í. I become aware of a sharp chill on the edge of one cheek, check the ball and it is slightly off centre, itís been awhile since I have flown by myself, a touch on the rudder and ahh thatís better.

    Now clear of bandit country where the traffic from the other airfield nearby seems to gather I can look around. The southern cloud is still there but edged to the west with red and gold, London is invisible in mist and murk and a darkness creeps across the fields as the sun sinks lower. As I round Chelmsford the ground has darkened and only the taller buildings glow in the light. Turning north the countryside is all under the influence of the cloud bank and the estuaries to the east are the colour of pewter. The darkened fields normally so familiar look strange but the golden light still illuminates the countryside far ahead. Then I notice something really odd the trails of smoke from a goodly number of fires look a bit weird. Partly something that Iíve seen before the trails are pinned to the ground and stream away miles downwind as if forced down by a very powerful wind. In the shadowed areas the smoke trails behave properly and stream away in nice parallel lines as smoke trails should. In the sunlit areas ahead though the smoke seems to weave about like a sack of snakes. That combined with the golden blush on the smoke as they seem to writhe over the red/gold fields is quite compelling. All too soon Iím approaching bandit country again and my head needs to move around like a fighter pilotís. One bandit passes ahead by about two miles and I stay as high as I can to keep out of their way, but this time the space is nice and empty.

    I descend to the circuit after a good scan around, but I have the place to myself and as I turn downwind the low sun breaks free of the cloud. That is going to be straight down the runway so Iíd better stay sharp. On base I have a good look to make sure nobody is coming the other way and turn final. Yup as I thought the brilliant golden orb is straight ahead but I remember a trick taught me by a very experienced taildragger pilot. He was allowing me to land his aircraft and I asked what do you do when the nose blocks the view? I was told to look out of the side as far ahead as you can watch the runway edge to keep straight and you can see well enough to judge your height. Iíve found this useful many times before and this time I was blessed with a beaut of landing which rounded off the whole experience very nicely.

  • #2
    Nice. Well done Ginge. I missed these posts whilst the Forum was down. I just got set up again on the Forum today. I have not flown my Quantum in a Month. Looking forward to getting back up there agai soon now after reading your flight report.

    Kindest regards,


    PILOTS are just PLANE people with a special AIR about them


    • #3
      Thanks Damien, I hope that you are soon up and enjoying yourself again, I look forward to hearing about it.


      • #4
        Lovely prose Ginge.


        • #5
          Thanks Dave, this time of year often when it's good it is very, very good. I'm just hoping for many more like it