Flying with Martin

in our Vintage Cessna 170B

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Story of HW and AY

VAC Fly-ins 

Devon Strut

Model planes



27 May 2005 Biannual successfully completed and then a super flight to Wellesbourne Mountford
Initially we flew to Popham landing on Runway 08

Martin flew for an hour with an instructor to complete his biannual.  He demonstrated how he would land in a field in an emergency and generally persuaded the instructor he was a competent pilot.  Once this flight was completed successfully we celebrated with lunch.  Our good friend Paul had arrived to observe the flight and we all decided then to fly to Wellesbourne Mountford.  Martin and I had not visited that airfield before, so were keen to do so.

The temperature was rising but visibility still very good as we took off on Runway 21 from Popham.  The wind direction had changed since we arrived.  We flew up and over Newbury and leaving the Didcot Power Station to our left.  Smoke billowing from the six towers

Didcot Power Station

We passed Oxford and Silverstone, home of Formula One motor racing.  Then  Turweston airfield and passed Banbury.

We saw Gaydon airfield, home of the Heritage Motor Centre, what a massive airfield that used to be.  Very sad. We landed on Runway 18 at Wellesbourne Mountford and taxied around to the Control Tower

Wellesbourne Mountford
Gosh it was still very warm, so a refreshing drink was ordered while we waited to Paul to land in his Bulldog
Paul arrives at Wellesbourne

We strolled around the airfield viewing many interesting aeroplanes and what appeared to be bespoke home made hangers.  We all decided the Avro Vulcan was the most exciting.  It apparently can have it's engines started and can be taxied around the airfield.  Sadly not that day.  It was such a lovely evening.

The Tower closed at 17:30, so when we were ready to take off we alerted any possible Wellesbourne Mountford traffic on the radio of our intentions.  Watching and listening carefully for other traffic we taxied to the threshold of Runway 18 and then took off.  Just South of Banbury we went passed the ex US Airforce base at Upper Heyford.  This once famous airfield is totally covered in unsold new Rover cars

Cars on Gaydon airfield

The homeward flight was very smooth and visibility good until we got to Didcot when we saw some mist developing in the valleys. We looked around for signs of smoke to give us some idea of wind direction and speed before we circled the airfield to check the runway was clear and available for us to land safely.

Both planes were washed, coffee and stories of the day shared before we drove home very weary, but delighted to have had such a wonderful day.  We drove home and just as we left the A31 we saw a huge orange sun just setting.