Flying with Martin

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8 April 2006 - First visit this year to Isle of Wight

We were determined to take advantage of the wind not being directly from the North and being a little lighter than it had been for many weekends.  Visits to the Isle of Wight are always good so we decided to treat ourselves and visit Sandown.

All went well and we flew West of Lasham, down past the Beacon at Butser Hill and onto Portsmouth where we called up and understood landing would be on runway 23 using a right hand circuit.  We flew over the Solent past Bembridge harbour, always a lovely site. 

Wed joined the Sandown circuit landing on the grass and taxiing to just by the stream.  

They were cutting the grass in front of the restaurant, so we stayed well clear of that activity.  We signed in at the bar and took advantage of a nice mug of coffee before heading up the hill for a short walk.

We returned to the clubhouse for bacon baps and coffee which the restaurant offer within 15 minutes to pilots or their landing fee is refunded.  Our refreshments arrived well within the 15 minutes although the peace and quiet of the room was soon shattered by a couple playing and singing jazz.  They were very good if you liked jazz and did not want to talk to your fellow aviators.  So sadly many people took up their food and braved the cold weather outside for a peaceful meal.  We were obviously not alone in our thoughts.  Very sad as the facilities are really very good without the need for loud music.
Having been refreshed we took on the return journey taking advantage of the calm air over the sea for which we were very pleased.  We flew East to Littlehampton along the coast.  As soon as we headed North we hit very thermic weather conditions and my filming went to "pot".  We flew up over Dunsfold and then onto Popham where we took on fuel and enjoyed a cup of coffee and an amazing home made ginger and nut biscuit.  We chatted to other aviators before flying back home.  The take off at Popham was a little exciting as within seconds of lifting the tailwheel we hopped into the air, the wind caught the wing and some speedy manoeuvring by Martin ensured we were safely into the air and homeward bound.  Martin declared that flight was enjoyable but perhaps a little too exciting, but good practice I reminded him.