Sunday was forecast to be a lovely day so I was up early at Rochester Airport to take a friend up for a birthday flight. I was intending to go round a lap of Kent (anti-clockwise) but the visibility wasn't up to much looking SW to Lydd [from Bewl Water] so I came back and went along the Thanet Coast for a bit. A nice pleasant morning was had by us both. I'm pleased my friend enjoyed his first trip in a small aeroplane. Brakes Off: 07:50Z Brakes On: 09:00Z Total: 1:10
This Sunday the weather wasn't great but I had time to nip down to the coast before returning back to Rochester. I was in G-FLIP the C152 aerobat which is part of the Skytrek fleet. Weather as I said wasn't great and it felt considerably chillier than late owing to the North Easterly wind. Airport was rather quiet as well. I believe there was a fly out by the resident PAFRA (Pilots and Friends of Rochester Airport) club.
With the wind direction, this meant departure and return on Runway 02. I took a few clips here en-route with my Garmin Virb Elite camera. It didn't have a mount so I just waved it about for a bit while doing my lookouts.
A good morning trip. Brakes Off: 08:05Z Brakes On:09:25Z Total 1:20
While doing my checks on a C-152 the other day I took a few photos of some of the areas I was inspecting. Incidentally, I always conclude my checks with a wide circular walk around the whole aircraft to look at its 'seating'. Is it sitting right? Something an ex RAF Canberra pilot taught me to do. He also insisted I wipe the dipstick before measuring the oil level. This is because oil can 'creep' up the dipstick and give an incorrect reading. He was a wise and very experienced pilot and although I only flew with him once (in a PA18 Supercub) I can remember his instructions as if they were 5 minutes ago!
Sunday June 8, 2014 - A beautiful morning and I was up at Rochester Airport early. It was absolutely perfect. Everything seemed still, just the birds singing and not a cloud in the sky. I took G-BMCN out which had a working transponder (mode Charlie) and also had two radios (COM1, COM2). This is always convenient because it reduces the amount of time you are 'off air' as you can get the next radio station tuned in on standby and then quickly flick over when you need. My chariot last week didn't have this (G-FLIP).
I took off from Runway 20 went down to Bewl Reservoir, turned left over to Rye and then off to Manston before heading back to Rochester. It was really relaxing just taking it all in. There was hardly anybody else in the air at that time so even the radio was quiet. I did catch a few lucky souls off to Le Touquet and also Guernsey. The whole trip was total bliss - really so quiet and tranquil. One thing which I didn't expect was I couldn't contact Farnborough Radar on 123.225. There was no answer which told me the LARS service wasn't available. I called up London Information after trying 3 times and got a basic service from them instead. I have to say the controller was rather polite and I received a very friendly service. I noted when I got past Lydd they put me on to them and not Southend which I was expecting.
I took a few snaps on the way which I've put here below. As I drove home and reflected on my mornings trip I felt incredibly grateful for the opportunity I have to do this. Prior to 10-October-2010 [my very first lesson] I would never have imagined I could be doing this. In fact half way through my lessons I would have given anything to have time-warped into the future to these moments. Brakes Off 08:40 Brakes On: 10:10 Total 1:30