Flying with Martin

in our Vintage Cessna 170B

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Story of HW and AY

VAC Fly-ins 

Devon Strut

Model planes



31 July 2005  - Branscombe Air day and Classic car show

The weekend weather forecast was not too promising, but Sunday did look the better day.  We had thought about going to Sandown on the Isle of Wight as they had a Flyin and air display but the cost was going to be 28 per person, which we thought was just a little expensive.  So we decided to revisit Branscombe.  We had attended their air day and classic car show several times before and always had a good time, the only problem was we woke up to the nightmare of fog.  Never the less we ventured to the airfield and spent some time pinning more sheeting to the already home made cotton wing covers to improve their performance in keeping off the little birds "presents".  Having done all we could on that exercise we telephoned Branscombe to hear that their weather was fine, so after a stop off at Popham for fuel we headed West.

We encountered a little rain and quite a lot of cloud on the way down but by the time we had the Dorset coast in view the weather definitely improved, and the sun tried to shine.  We flew over the last bit of Chesil beach, Burton Bradstock, Lyme Regis with its memories of the French Lieutenants Woman.  Then onto Seaton, Beer and finally Branscombe.

Lyme Regis

There were several planes in the circuit as it was close to the declared final landing time. We had  extend our circuit a little to ensure the microlight in front of us was clear of the runway before we landed.  We taxied to the end of the line  of parked planes and placed the chocks carefully around the wheels as there was quite an incline to the field.  We also turned the tail wheel around.
Branscombe airfield

Almost immediately the airpark was opened to the public so we decided to get our chairs out and rest awhile under the wing of the plane enjoying a burger and coffee from the van close by.  Sadly not all parents realize that owners of planes do not appreciate small children swinging the ailerons or tails of planes, there efforts of "fun" can be quite dangerous for them and the pilots when they fly home.  It is lovely to see children who are really interested in planes but sadly those that are not in my humble opinion should not be "dragged" around the airfield bored and looking for fun.  I love children so my thoughts are for their enjoyment as well as those who enjoy flying.

I stand down from my soap box.

We were soon to be delighted by an excellent air display.  It included three turbulents, a collection of WW1 replica aircraft, a pair of Harvards and a pair of Mustangs. Later an interesting flight of three aircraft comprised a BA Swallow, Fox Moth and a Jungman. 

Clouds building up

Once the air park closed we decided to do a tour of the two fields of cars and look at some of the car boot stalls surrounding the field.  Having travelled two thirds of the way into the field, the heavens opened, and hail stones appeared form nowhere.  We got drowned,  rather silly since we had weatherproof coats in the plane, but there was little warning.  We sadly returned to the plane rather soggy and not managing to continue our trip around the cars.

After chatting with several other owners over their planes and exchanging flying stories we decided to start the return journey.  The weather was not looking good so after consulting the maps we decided to make a more direct journey home.  We experienced many showers on the way home and the cloud was getting lower.  In some places too low for comfort.  Fortunately Martin is very experienced and was able to read the weather and guide us through the clearer parts always keeping a look out for emergency landing spots should the weather change.  I just acted as chief spotter of other planes and navigation aids - roads, railways used and disused, airstrips, airfields, towns etc.

Plane over Henstridge

Soon we were pleased to catch sight of our home airfield and landed safely, putting the plane away, enjoyed a cup of coffee and a quick chat to fellow aviators on the mobile to ensure they had returned safely from their trips to other airfields.  John had been to Silverstone and Paul to Compton Abbas.

Home to download pictures and plan next weekends trip.