Flying with Martin

in our Vintage Cessna 170B

Contact us on or




Story of HW and AY

VAC Fly-ins 

Devon Strut

Model planes



25 November 2007  - A peaceful flight to Dunkeswell - or so we thought
Sunday started off bright and dry with a clear sky and light winds so decided it was worth trying to fly. Got to to the airfield around 10:00 and after a speedy uncover and DI were airborne before 10:30. The wind at the airfield was slightly higher than at home but was essentially an acceptably light north westerly. We trundled west past Salisbury, Compton Abbas, Henstridge, Yeovil, Crewkerne, Chard and then onto Dunkeswell. The further west we had travelled the higher the wind became and the more it veered to the north. On reaching Dunkeswell it was a very brisk northerly but no matter as they have a runway (35) which was almost into wind and landed quite softly on the tarmac after a bit of a float

Landing on Runway 35

On the ground it was more tricky as taxiing crosswind on tarmac required quite a lot of braking to stop weather cocking but we made it to the pumps and took on fuel. We then taxiied onto the grass and we noticed the aeroplane would not easily turn left to line up to park so turned it completely around to the right and went for a lunch. Since the cafe was not really interested in our custom unless we wanted the full carvery, which did look very tempting we decided it may not a good idea to stay for too long and settled for coffee only. We were informed that the forecast was for strengthening and gusty winds from the North. If this weather came through our home airfield as well and before our return then we may have trouble landing

Control Tower and Club House

Back in the aeroplane we tried to taxi along another runway to reach the start of 35 but the crosswind component from our right required constant left braking to stop weather cocking and the brake offered little resistance. We started off in the desired direction and then the tailwheel would break out of lock and the plane wanted to groundloop very quickly to the right!!
There was nothing for it but Jan had to get out in the cold and walk the length of the runway steering via the back end. At the runway intersection she got back in and the plane was still difficult to steer via the brake pedals.  So we took off from the intersection and headed for home listening to the weather on Popham radio.
We arrived back at the airfield and thankfully the wind was still a light north westerly. Martin decided to arrive on the ground as slowly as possible and right at the start of the runway allowing time to open up the motor if he couldn't keep it straight on landing. To this end did a full flap approach and touched down straight and slow. The wet grass being hugely draggy slowed us down to taxi speed very quickly and without the need to brake.
Oh well at least the aeroplane is back safely and we did fly, albeit somewhat stressfully