Flying with Martin

in our Vintage Cessna 170B

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Story of HW and AY

VAC Fly-ins 

Devon Strut

Model planes



Outings in 2010
1 January Weather so cold minus 4 and snowing at home so we went by car to Popham new year flyin and then onto wish AY a happy new year.  We wished we had been braver and flown.  Ho hum...........

14 February

We had hoped to go to the VAC Valentine flyin at Old Sarum.  We went to the airfield and managed to get in the air, but the visibility was not good and low cloud bringing rain and snow showers forced us to just complete a few wide circuits before landing and giving up.  At least this time we got up in the air, although not for long.  Ho ho hum......

17 April

VAC Daffodil fly in to Fenland.  The day started off very foggy at home.  But we still set off for the airfield and visibility improved the nearer we got to our airfield. We took off at 10:15 and headed North for a fuel stop for us and the plane at Turweston.  Gosh Av Gas is getting so expensive!!  Anyway with AY full of fuel and us having a welcome cup of coffee we headed West for Fenland.

On arriving at Fenland we landed on runway 26 and were marshalled by the VAC to a safe parking spot.  On signing in we were presented with a lovely bunch of daffodils and found many "old" friends.  It seems such a long time since we had attended a fly in.  Coffee and bacon bap refreshed us and we walked the lines chatting to other aviators before finally leaving for home.

What a wonderful day, blue skies, great friends and no wind to talk about.  Fabulous.

9 May

Once again we hoped to go to one flyin and ended at another.  We started off to go to the Great Vintage Weekend flyin at Kemble.  We had a 9:48am slot.  We took off early with ten minutes extra flying time.  Viz was not too bad, we flew at about 1400 feet. A few clouds were a bit lower and we encountered some light drizzle.  But by the time we reached Junction 15 on M40, yes we fly along roads the clouds were almost on the ground.  With too much controlled airspace around we decided we did not wish to stray off course, so called up Kemble and announced our decision to abort our attempt.  Weather at Kemble was very good.  So close, but too dangerous.  Kemble suggested we may like to try again later as long as we avoided the time of their air display (2pm)

We flew back to Popham only to discover they were holding a Vintage Cessna flyin.  We were the first to land.  We took on fuel and went for a coffee to find the cafe heaving with flyers all hoping to go to Kemble or Compton Abbas.

After an hour or so we decided the cloud was not lifting fast enough and took off to fly back to the airfield, wash the plane and put her away.

23 May

Summer has arrived at last, so there was nothing better to do than to go to Sandown, Isle of Wight.  It is so long since we have been down there.  Arrived at the airfield and got the plane out, telephoned Sandown as it is now an unlicensed airfield and arrivals must be PPR.  Permission granted, we set off.  Passed Popham, Lasham, down to Butser's Hill, then with Portsmouth in sight we heard several other planes announcing their arrival.  We positioned for a left hand circuit on runway 05 and landed safely.

We went across to the cafe and signed in, paying our 10 landing fee before we set off for the beach.  It was getting very hot by now and walking was quite hard.  We were very pleased when we arrived at our favourite cafe for a coffee and sandwich. 

Eventually we decided we had to return and struggled uphill to the airfield.  On arrival at the airfield we saw the float plane we had seen circling the airfield had landed.  Wow what a sight.  We set off and had a wonderful flight home and then set to cleaning all the flies off the plane.  Summer had certainly arrived.

9 July

Is it really almost seven weeks since we flew last?  I the meantime however AY has gone through an annual, so that accounts for a few weeks.  Anyway we decided to play hookey and escape on a Friday. It was so hot so we decided not to go too far.  We trolled off past Chilbolton, along the River Bourne.  Martin always dreams of fishing there, but it is too expensive.  Past Salisbury Cathedral and onto Compton Abbas.  We have not visited there for many months.  Arriving we discovered a dear friend who still owns a share in one of the planes at the same strip where we keep AY.  We had not seen him in a while and discovered he had been quite poorly last year but gladly he seems to be fully recovered now after two back operations.  It was good to catch up with his news.

After a delightful lunch we took off and landed at Popham for some fuel before returning to the airfield.  Gosh it was very hot and cleaning the plane was a really exhausting business.

Never mind we flew and it was great

18 July

We were a little restricted for time but decided we had to go flying.  We made a local flight and landed at Popham to get fuel for us and AY and then back to airfield.  There would be other days for longer flights

24 July

Although it was rather hot we decided that maybe it might be cooler on the coast and while Sandown is still available as an airport we want to support it as much as we can.  Few pilots are using the airfield as it is now non radio and has no fuel.

Not put off we landed and headed for the sea.  Lunch at our usual cafe, bought some gooseberries on the way back at the nursery and yet again a wonderful day

8 August

Weather rather warm, and not too much fuel in the plane, so decided on a trip over White Waltham to get fuel for us and AY.  Bit of a struggle working out hw we used the new pumps at WW but eventually filled AY up and headed to Club House t sign in and get some fuel for us.  Here we met friends and had a pleasant time chating and eating.  Then we took off to Popham to attend the Auster flyin.  Wow wall to wall Austers and a few other planes.  Great attendance.  We met up with other friends and reluctantly flew home as the field emptied of planes.  We met the Antanov plane returning to Popham as it was about to join the circuit.  It does not look so big in the air!!

28 August

Each late bank holiday Saturday Henstridge hold a Vintage aircraft fly in and classic car day.  We try to support the event and meet many friends.  They do an excellent barbacue of burgers and sausages and much of the profits go the the Air Ambulance stationed there.  Planes came from many areas.  We enjoyed looking at both planes and cars and chatting to their owners. After lunch the public were invited to look at the planes and the airfield was closed to movements, except for the model aircraft display.  The high point of the day was when the BBM Lancaster came over and performed some great circuits, banking for photographs.  Wonderful.  Great day

12 September

We love going to the Flyins organised by the Devon Strut and sadly this year we have not managed to attend too many.  So we were delighted to be able to get to Watchford Farm.  The sun was out and after a short stop off at Popham to take on fuel we headed off West.  We listened all the way down to the safety com radio which was being used that day at Watchford Farm, and were pleased to hear many pilots announcing their intention to land.  We were going to have a great day.  We joined overhead and descended deadside, joining the rather busy circuit and landed on runway 31.  Following the marshall we parked.  Not long after, our very good friends Maurice and Janice arrived and we spent some time catching up on news.  The boys headed off to talk planes while us girls enjoyed a chat.  Lunch was very good and all too soon it was time to head off home.  What a great day.

19 September

We had in our diary that there was a VAC flyin at Turweston on 19 September.  It was not until the evening before when looking up Notams we discovered that there was an air display taking place.  This was most unusual for a VAC flyin.  So a quick phone call told us that in fact it was a Wings and Wheels Classic Day.  We were in for a treat.  We left home early and travelled to the airfield.  Took off early and flew North.  The viz was quite good but we flew through some light rain around Oxford area.  Dislike light rain as it stays on the windscreen, so was very pleased when we got through and found dry, bright weather.  Turweston radio was quite busy, we joined the circuit and landed on the grass runway, we taxiied following the marshalls.  Quite a lot of planes had already landed and they were still coming.  Pinky the fuel tanker came towards us and we took on fuel.  Being a VAC member our landing fee was reduced. 

We then took in all the other attractions for us to enjoy.  As well as many aeroplanes there were classic cars, motorbikes, tractors, American jeeps, a motorised pushbike, stationary steam engines and many stalls selling all sorts of wares.  There was even a hover craft for sale. People seem to have come from far and wide by all sorts of methods of transport and were all having a great time.

Many of the exhibitors paraded round the exhibition ring to the delight of the crowd, including a white hearse with a sign "his and Hearse" visible in the back window together with a "vacancies" sign.  A Booker Jungmaster and a Walter Extra gave an excellent air display.  An Islander offered short trips around the airfield.  Then at around 4pm a Spitfire and Hurricane from the BBMF arrived and gave a wonderful display over the airfield, they were en route between two venues but stayed long enough to please the crowds. Great sight.

We took off and headed South for an exciting landing at our airfield.  Cleaned the plane and headed home after a long but very enjoyable day.

17 October

The day was just too good to miss.  We headed off to the airfield and got airborne quite early.  There were no fly ins that we fancied going to and since the viz was extraordinary we decided to fly.  We flew past Popham, Lasham and then down past Butser Hill and on to Portsmouth.  Then East along the coast to Littlehampton, up the River Arun, past Arundel castle and up to Cranleigh to go over our friend Paul's house.  He was working on his plane, it showed up very "yellow" outside his house.  Hopefully he will be flying it next year.  Then on the Guildford where Martin wanted some aerial photographs of the new building next to where he works.  Job done we flew along the Hogs Back, up past Lasham again keeping a special look out for gliders.  We then headed for Popham to take on fuel and have lunch.  Excellent sausage baguettes if you are there over the weekend.  Met another friend called Paul with whom we had lunch and then headed back home.  Almost two hours in the air, and still we had to wash off the flies from the plane.  Wonderful day.

13 November

A reasonable day with a light Westerly wind and very good visibility.  Departed the airfield heading South along the River Test past Chilbolton and then West passing South of Salisbury, North of Shaftesbury, South of Henstridge and Sherborne. Further West passing North of Crewkerne, North of Chard before landing on runway 23 at Dunkeswell.

Took on fuel, parked up and paddled across a saturated airfield to pay the fees and have lunch.

After lunch we took off and headed North West passing North of Tiverton and across Exmoor arriving at the coast just West of Lynton/Lynmouth.  Then East along the coast to Minehead and inland passing South of Bridgwater, North of Weston Zoyland and Glastonbury. Then along the Northern edge of Salisbury Plain passing Westbury, Keevil and Pewsey before landing back on runway 11.