James' Flying Blog
James' Flying Blog
I wanna be just like Nige blog.... (He'll kill me for saying that!!!)
Friday, 18 April 2008
Hi All; Nigel asked if I would write a Blog for the Luscombe site on my general preparation for the upcoming Tour and some of the fab flying I’ve done so far in my embryonic flying career.

For those who don’t know me through past Rallies and fly outs with Nigel, you may like to know some background. As usual, it’s all Nigel’s fault… He got me into this game and showed me a whole new world I aspired to. It was a beautiful summer evening in 2001 up at Compton Abbas during a “flying barbeque” with Wimborne Round Table. We were taking turns to fly in a ropey looking PA28 when this bloke wearing just (dodgy) sports shorts asked if anyone would like to jump in with him. I saw this lovely two seat vintage taildragger called Brug and jumped at the chance. I remember saying to myself “What happens if there’s a fire?” as this chap wasn’t wearing any shoes and I was worried about him burning his feet!

Well the first flight with Nigel did it for me. I remember saying “I want one” when I got home and Vicky, my wife rolled her eyes (as she often does when I come home with new ideas)… I think I yakked on for hours about getting an aeroplane - Anyway, I started flying lessons up at Compton Abbas the following week and eventually passed my PPL (due to an 18 month break) in 2005.

Most of you probably remember some of those low points during learning to fly – continual messed up PFL’s, the “almost impossible to learn without wanting to kill yourself” Air law exam etc. After two terrible flying lessons where we almost ended up in a woodland as the conked out C150 tried to climb out on a hot day and getting very lost on an early nav ex, I almost chucked it all in. I remember Nigel keeping me buoyed up during some of those tough times by inviting Vicky and myself up in the Cessna 195 – which certainly re-ignited the flying fire….!

When I passed my PPL, I acquired a ¼ share in G-BEYL, a very well maintained PA28-180 Archer. I really wanted a Luscombe but Vicky, me, gear and full fuel would just be ‘bending’ the weight and balance calculations that little bit too far… “Beryl” is also fantastic for touring and getting me to business appointments… So why are you on this website, and writing a Blog you may ask?

Well….. I will buy that Luscombe one day (even if the Mrs has to lose more weight!!!! – (those who know her will know that she’s beautiful and skinny and it’s me who’s the fatty)).. But we decided that we’re that passionate about vintage aircraft, flying in general and we’ve really enjoyed being “friends” of the Rally and like the “Luscombe Lot” that we should also support the tour.

Despite currently flying the archetypal spam can, Beryl is actually quite a capable and strong short(er) field machine. With 180hp up front and a finer pitch climb prop, she’ll happily fly in (and out) of a 450 metre field as long as you are careful with fuel and the wind direction is favourable. She’s also the same age as me – Born in 1974 so give it another 10 years and she’ll be as old a Luscombe was in 1984…. (scary scary thought that!).

With just 218 (as of last night) hours of experience under my belt, Nige thought it was a good idea to do some flying with me to iron out any bad habits and brush up on short field stuff and slow handling etc – all in time for the tour.

Beryl, Vicky and I have already done a fair bit of short-field and “interesting” flying – including trips to the Scillies, Isle Of Man, a wonderful two week tour around Scotland and the Outer Hebrides and a fair few farm strips – some in poor weather, so experience even in the low hours I have seems to be progressing nicely. However, so many people get complacent in their flying and I believe you never stop learning so I jumped at the chance of some one to one tuition with a seriously experienced pilot. Also, he knows my overall flying ambition (I’ll tell you one day) where very good piloting skills are needed…

With Brug on the ground (see technical thread!) and Nigel very down in the dumps, last week seemed a good time to start…..

I hope you enjoyed reading this entry and those to follow. More coming shortly as it’s Friday night and I really want to go to the pub!

James
James posted @ 19:19 - Link - comments
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