Raduno 2012: Day 2

Posted July 5, 2012 by stevelup
Categories: Out and About, Post PPL, Raduno 2012

This morning the weather was pretty grotty again so we walked down to the beach…

Le Touquet beach

The two chaps you see in this picture are Customs officers. Never seen them at the airport – we know why now 🙂

Eventually, we decided that the best thing to do was head to the airport and see what the weather was doing elsewhere…

Le Touquet airport

All looked good so off we went!


Mainly light scattered clouds…


And some occasional nastiness…


My weekend pad…

Nice little house...

Spooky cloud…

Cloud looks like a face!

Eventually Troyes airport appeared out of the murk…

Troyes runway

…just moments before it started pouring down with rain!

Landed at Troyes Airport

We hung around for a while at the airport – it was getting late, the restaurant was closed, and the rain was showing no intention of abating so we called a taxi and headed into town.

Gorgeous hotel room…

Nice room Nice sink
Nice shower Nice iPod dock
Nice bed Nice artwork

We went out into the medieval town for dinner


Raduno 2012: Day 1

Posted July 4, 2012 by stevelup
Categories: Out and About, Post PPL, Raduno 2012

So… The day arrives and the weather is grotty beyond belief.

After hanging around for an hour or so, blue patches started appearing overhead and the METARs at all points along our route were flyable so we decided to make a dash for it.

Leaving Oaksey Park
Shortly after takeoff

As we neared the south coast, the weather rapidly deteriorated so we diverted into Shoreham.

Just before Shoreham diversion

Safely on the ground, we had some lunch and started chatting with a Cirrus pilot who had dropped in to have his headsets refurbished. All the time, the weather was improving and a blue sky began to show itself so we decided to continue on our way.

Coast at Shoreham
Just after taking off from Shoreham

It is hard to believe that those two pictures were taken just 90 minutes apart…

Looking back towards Blighty, the nasty weather could still be seen sitting in a band.



An uneventful channel crossing was made at around 5500 feet and before long, we were over French soil

Le France

The nice weather was not to last. About twenty minutes into the journey, there was some angry looking weather off to our right…

Shower to our right

Eventually, there was no safe way through it so we turned around and headed for Le Touquet instead.


With the nasty stuff now behind us and to the left, the trip to Le Touquet was trouble free and soon enough was in sight…


We were given a straight in approach for 32…

Le Touquet runway

Dinner at Le Cercle, Le Touquet

And before long we were settled at our hotel. After a tiring day, what better to do than eat at a nice bistro? We ended up at Le Cercle and highly recommend it.

Dessert at Le Cercle
Yummy Desserts

Raduno 2012: The Plan…

Posted July 1, 2012 by stevelup
Categories: Out and About, Post PPL, Raduno 2012

First of all, apologies if you just got a heart attack. Yes, I’ve just posted to my blog after over a year of not doing so…

So what’s happened over the past year? Bits of flying here and there, but all ‘business as usual’ and none of it very exciting so I didn’t think it all needed blogging…

Which neatly brings me on to what is planned for next week – a proper adventure!

We’re – all being well – going to fly to Italy with a bunch of other Flyer forumites.

The plan of attack is:-

Wednesday 4th July
Oaksey Park to Troyes Barberey
Troyes Barbery to Cannes
Spend the night in Cannes

Thursday 5th July
Cannes to Sansepolcro arriving lunchtime ish

Friday 6th July
Spend the day in Sansepolcro

Saturday 7th July
Fly to Sassuolo for the VFR Meeting 2012

Sunday 8th July
Back to Cannes

Monday 9th July
Cannes to Troyes
Troyes to Oaksey

Fingers crossed for flyable weather…

Trip to Le Touquet

Posted May 15, 2011 by stevelup
Categories: Out and About

Hi Folks,

Yes, I know it’s been a long time since I posted anything here!

The plan was to make our first cross-channel trip as a bit of a birthday treat for myself a couple of weeks ago. A faulty battery in the aircraft coupled with thunderstorms quickly put a stop to that.

So, with a serviceable aircraft and the weather looking good, myself and Mel managed to make it on attempt number two this weekend.

As usual, I did all my planning with the fantastic SkyDemon software. If you have been living under a rock for the last 18 months and still haven’t tried this, you really must!

So, armed with PLB, life raft and life jackets, off we went. The plan was to cut just underneath the south western corner of the Gatwick CTA and coast out over Hastings.

I have to say that I found Farnborough East radio absolutely horrendous. There was some kind of beat interference on all transmissions both from controllers and other pilots – it made some of the RT almost unintelligible.

Once clear of the CTA, we climbed to 5200 and before too long, we were over the channel. The weather instantly changed from an overcast drizzle to clear blue skies. We were soon past the last bit of CAS so climbed to 6200 feet for the rest of the crossing. Before we knew it, we were at the FIR boundary so contacted Lille.

This – to me – seemed almost entirely pointless as just five minutes later it was time to begin our descent and contact Le Touquet tower!

It seemed to take an eternity to descend back to circuit height, and we were given a surprising ‘join downwind left hand for 32’ – this contradicted the airfield plate, and the advice I’d received from other seasoned travellers. I asked him to repeat just to be on the safe side, then joined as instructed.

The landing was a bit interesting to say the least. I still find it a bit difficult controlling the taildragger on hard surfaces – I had better get some more practice in… Anyway after snaking down the runway for an eternity (including missing the first intersection), we finally taxied to the apron and shut down.

Not sure what to make of Le Touquet itself. Everything was vastly overpriced – typical tourist town… That ghastly swimming pool complex on the beach just needs blowing up – it’s astonishingly hideous!

The airport was really nice though and there are some frankly stunning properties nestling in the tree lined lanes near the airport. Some of them were breathtaking – I dread to think the value of them, but they must be multiple millions.

We walked both ways between town and the airport – it’s a gentle 25 minute stroll which anyone should be able to manage.

I can heartily recommend the ‘Scoop’ restaurant – it’s on the main road on the way between the airport and town. Very good food at reasonable prices.

On the return trip, visibility crossing the channel was seriously nasty – there was no visible horizon at all. We followed the same route as the outbound journey and it took about 25 minutes longer due to the wind.

For anyone who hasn’t done the cross channel trip yet and is apprehensive about it, I’d say just get on with it and do it. It’s no different to flying in the UK apart from a few bits of extra paperwork. I really do not understand why some clubs enforce a mandatory ‘cross channel checkout flight’ with an instructor. It’s hard to believe this policy is anything other than a money-making scheme.

Where next? Well Cherbourg is the obvious choice, but I’ve been given quite a few other interesting suggestions too…

Clouds and rain over Blighty…

.. gave way to clear blue skies over the channel …

One of many large vessels seen

Land ahoy!

It was a beautiful day in Le Touquet

Downwind for 32 LH, this is the view over the right wing

Just a bit of fun – here’s the approach in time-lapse 🙂

A windy beach!

The next day, Bravo Oscar was found where we’d left her…

‘Orrible weather on the way back 😦

Coasting in over Hastings

My house!

One of the many new schools in Swindon

Third Day!

Posted April 4, 2011 by stevelup
Categories: Vegas

Today was a fantastic day. Probably the best day’s flying I have ever had.

I’m utterly knackered after logging 4:50 in some pretty turbulent weather.

Flew over the Hoover Dam, Grand Canyon, Wilmslow Crater

Landed at Sedona, took the crew car into town (free if you buy 10 gallons of fuel) and had lunch, then flew back to Henderson.

Today was a day of personal records. Longest flight, highest flight (12000ft AMSL), and by far most expensive flight :shock:

I got my complex signoff, and the flight review.

Unlike previous days, I managed to take loads of photos. I’ll post some below. The rest can all be found here.

I need to log one more hour with an instructor tomorrow in order to meet the insurance requirements to solo the Arrow, then I’ll be heading back home.

I think I’ll need to sleep for a week to recover from this!

Second day of flying

Posted April 2, 2011 by stevelup
Categories: Vegas

The plan for today was to do some circuits and radio work. The problem was the wind which was in the high 20’s gusting to the high 30’s.

Oh, and it was a crosswind too! 1.3 hours logged of probably the most tiring circuits I’ve ever done.

I think the radio stuff is now coming together, I just need to get used to saying both less and more.

Less in the sense that you hardly say anything at all at a towered airport – no calling final, no advising you’re leaving the frequency and so on.

More in the sense that when you’re not at a towered airport, you make constant updates telling people of your position and intention. The language is very informal too.

We did five circuits at Jean (0L7) and three at Henderson before calling it a day. It doesn’t sound like a lot but it was!

The workload at Henderson was high – we used both runways, and did two right hand circuits and one left hand one. You have to be careful in the circuit there as well – if you extend too far, you end up in Class B airspace.

When we returned, we spotted a fantastic looking aircraft sat in a hangar so stopped off on the way back to the terminal building for a nosey:-

Breakfast #2 at KHND

Posted April 2, 2011 by stevelup
Categories: Uncategorized