Mini flight reports:
Mothers' Day flight to Goodwood
This section features miniature accounts of some of the flights I do.
30th March 2003
This year, Mother's Day was looming and I still hadn't had any ideas what I could do or buy for mum as a treat. To make matters worse the synoptic charts showed that this Sunday was going to be a reasonable flying day, and after a winter of poor weather any pilot would regret wasting a good'un. And then the obvious solution came to me - why not take her flying?
This was probably not the most original idea in the world, as I discovered when I went up to the tower at Redhill to find out what runway distance was available today. Fred the controller said: "Ah - yet another pilot who couldn't think of anything for mother's day?" Still, at least Redhill had finally dried up the last few patches of soft ground and returned to full runway distances, so I could find out what G-BSEP is like to fly with three people and a full fuel load.
Right: Engine running, and mum safely strapped into the front passenger seat, with dad in the back with his camera.
This was the first time I'd flown G-BSEP with more than two people on board, so I was interested to see what her performance would be like. Take-off was fine with the full length of runway 08L available, although it would be fair to say that the subsequent climb was, well... "gradual". We managed about 500 feet per minute, which is not too bad considering we were only 100 pounds below maximum weight in a forty-year-old aeroplane!
We headed due west to Guildford, then turned south to track down towards Goodwood (left). The visibility was worse as we went south, and I abandoned my original idea to fly around the Isle of Wight because it would have been a bit of a waste of time in these conditions. So we headed straight for Goodwood for a cup of tea and cream cakes, then took off and flew along the south coast to Beachy Head and back to Redhill.