28/12/2016 – I managed to get one last day of flying in before the end of 2016. Luke wasn’t available so Leigh was going to check me out in the circuit, then I’d be off on my solo navigation to Carsington Water and Chatsworth. I’d done the trip before with Luke and was looking forward to another flight over this beautiful part of the country, and of course Chatsworth House is one of England’s finest country homes, well worth a visit, even if just from overhead.
Lima Bravo was out on the apron when I got there but the sun was so low in the sky that it was still parked in the shade of the hangar, and had quite a lot of ice on it. Leigh went and found some deicer and cleared the majority of it off. Though it wasn’t warm day it was clear and the direct sunlight would soon clear the rest.
We went up for one circuit and Leigh was satisfied that I was still capable of managing the aircraft, and the sun had cleared the last of the ice so I was off on my own. I’d already had the flight planned and it was a simple triangle. Track the TNT VOR at Carsington Water, then turn for Chatsworth and then home. It was still cold on the ground and you can see frost where the sun hasn’t been on the picture below.
I thought I might go a little further over Carsington Water to get an orbit over it and a proper look, but when I reached the VOR there was quite thick cloud to the west of me so I decided not to. It was quite odd that I was in clear sunny weather but just a mile or so to the west was an absolute wall of cloud. Obviously I wasn’t going to get any nearer to that!
The run up to Chatsworth saw me skirting the worse weather to the west and I was quite lucky that my flight path was fine. Certainly if the weather had been 10 miles further east I would have been turning back. As it was there was some wispy cloud right overhead Chatsworth House so I didn’t get a very good view for picture taking and was glad to head back towards Gamston.
I flew back directly over Chesterfield and managed to get a great picture of the famous twisted spire. Then it was back to a, by this time, very hazy Gamston.
You can see more pictures in the Flickr album at https://flic.kr/s/aHskTrdKgU or below
And there’s also a Youtube video sped up to 8 times normal speed.
And a CloudAhoy Debrief as well at http://www.cloudahoy.com/debrief/?key=I8PEIqJA5YRmxP0VU
I was very organised that day 🙂
If you want to know more, the podcast, as always, contains an expanded version of the above.