Sunday, 26 May 2013

Snickety - Snick - Jackpot!

What a cracking afternoons flying - in fact it's been an amazing day all round - I have officially had my cake and eaten it.

It all started inauspiciously with some uncharacteristically rubbish weather for the silver course: We've had an amazing season so far, so I've got no idea why the weather blew such a large raspberry last week.

Weekends are sacrosanct - but by pulling a long enough hound dog expression, I had a ticket to a couple of hours flying one afternoon. I needed to pick - and I picked Sunday.

Saturday arrived, with cotton wool clouds to the horizon: 750km flights on the BGA ladder.

Blast. I may have picked wrong.

Sunday dawned beautiful, clear and crisp. And by noon - it remained blue. Hmm - it might be a bit of a challenge to stay up in the blue - maybe we should have a long lunch instead? So I as I sat enjoying an impromptu family picnic in the park. There was laughter, fun, great food, great company - and frankly flying was forgotten.

As we finished off our ice-creams we returned leisurely home, and I thought - sod it, let's pop down to the airfield: It'll probably be too late to fly...

As I headed out of London at 3:30pm, I could see to the north west the unmistakable signs of VERY high fluffy clouds. Cor blimey - this might just work out!


As I turned up at the airfield at nearly 4pm, I was staggered to find some gliders available to fly. Even better, Rob was helping out, and Rob is a lucky talisman par extraordinaire; ALL of my long flights have been when Rob is on hand.


I had a quick check flight before my first attempt in the junior: Off we popped at 1000ft for a quick circuit, and blow me if there wasn't lift everywhere! In fact we needed the brakes to come down!


I stepped straight out of the K21 and into the Junior. I was duly briefed and dispatched with my ears full of PIO. But the take off was easy-peasy!


And as I climbed with a kite above the Hambledon valley the last snick, snicked and the gears of destiny  aligned exclusively for my pleasure: I would not have been surprised if angels descended from above, with a heavenly chorus keeping perfect time with my frantically beeping vario…

I had hit the jackpot.

2 hours and 25 minutes later - we touched down. I must have spent most of the those 2 hours well above 3000 ft. And every cloud I pointed to, just worked. This has never happened before!

Thanks a million to Symeon and Rob - there was some confusion about the time I needed to land by. But rather than send a surface to air missile to bring me down, they actually collected me from the runway!

It just goes to show you can never predict when you'll have your best flights - and it's always worth turning up at the airfield just to 'give it a go'.

I am going to finish this day with a cold beer.

What a brilliant day.

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