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in our Vintage Cessna 170B

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Story of HW and AY

VAC Fly-ins 

Devon Strut

Model planes



2 September 2011 - LAA Rally at Sywell


We had booked landing slots for the Friday and Sunday and intended to go on the best day, which for our aeroplane translates to the day with the lightest wind. Friday appeared to be the day and with a landing slot time of 11:39 we were airborne about 1 hour before this. The day was pleasantly calm but the visibility was not quite as good as one would hope for when heading for an area with lots of aeroplanes.

With Sywell information dialled in we headed North while listening out for that first transmission which would give the landing details at Sywell.  The first transmission overheard was somewhat confusing as it mentioned a runway, which wasn’t relevant to Sywell. We were hearing Compton Radio and it was some time before we heard any Sywell traffic. Worryingly during most of the journey we saw almost no aeroplanes in the air and the traffic on Sywell Information was very light. 

We took the normal route North crossing the M4 by junction 13 and following a track past Didcot, Buckingham and Towcester racecourse before arriving at Pitsford Reservoir. We had some reserve time that could be spent in the hold but with the traffic light and well spaced out we proceeded to join for 21R and touched down 10 minutes before our slot time. After taking on fuel and then parking in the highwing tailwheel line we headed for the hog roast and coffee. 

Later we went to see our friend Paul who was displaying his Escapade on the Reality Aircraft stand and then wandered the many lines of parked aircraft and talked with some of their owners. Although it was a good turn out many of the people we spoke with were fearful for the future for GA in this country and dreaded the level of draconian stupidity that is coming out of Europe. 

The weather remained good although the wind progressively picked up during the day giving quite a high crosswind component on departure. We flew home on the same track and was pleased to find that back at base the wind was still very light compared to Sywell. This had been a really good day out and some days later we found out that our friend Paul had won a trophy for the best part built kit aeroplane.