It was about time I used my pilots license to actually travel somewhere! I’ve spent so much time flying locally, practicing procedures and techniques, that I was beginning to forget what the purpose of this all was. I chose to fly to Old Buckenham Aerodrome in Norfolk, since it was only about 1 hour away.
On the day of this flight (22/5/2016), there was a pressure trough moving in from the west, followed by an occluded front and I wasn’t totally sure I’d get away without encountering weather to be honest. As it turned out, it was a thoroughly enjoyable flight, with no difficulties at all. I’d planned the route, knowing that there was the possibility that I’d pick up a shower, and so had radio navigation aids set up for each leg.
I routed Biggin – Swanley – QE2 Bridge – Chelsmford – Witham – Earls Colne – Bury St Edmunds – Snetterton Heath – Old Buckenham.
The scenery wasn’t much to look at en route – mostly fields – but this contrasted starkly with my usual local flying around Kent, Surrey and East Sussex, where forced landing sites aren’t always in abundance. Every cloud….
On arrival at Old Buckenham I was told the circuit was busy, but when I got there, there were only a couple doing touch and gos. The radio operator was on his game, giving good information about the position of other traffic. This was helpful. I got a warm welcome on landing, and we laughed about the fact that the online PPR (prior permission required) system hadn’t specified whether I should have declared local or Zulu as my arrival time. I’d submitted my arrival time in Zulu, but it turns out they used local time, so I was actually an hour overdue…not that anyone had noticed. Apparently, no one had ever asked the question before.
I had a Sunday roast being prepared for me back at home, and it was that more than than the moving trough/frontal system, that really determined my need to get back in the cockpit for the return leg fairly sharpish. After a short chat with a local aviation photographer, I was preparing India Zulu for departure.
Please feel free to comment either here on my YouTube channel. Don’t forget, you can see the track of this and other flights here. Choose the 11.49 flight on 22/05/2016. You can change the options to get a map style of your liking.
Thanks for reading/watching.
Video: Biggin Hill to Old Buckenham