February - still and misty but the simulator earns its keep
September – more flying and the start of another move
The year starts with light winds. There’s only one problem – the mist!
So the simulator gets a lot of use.
Here we see Ginge helping student pilot, Ray (seated left), with a practice cross-country navigation exercise using our photo-real representation of the Essex scenery whilst dealing with realistic weather conditions.
A pair of classic microlights: our TST, ‘the Bumble-bee’ alias DF to her friends, in the background along with our friend Leigh giving his Phantom a breath of fresh air after the winter in storage.
The benefits of being in a club; after Jay finds the March winds have damaged the wing skins of his Thruster T600T, the lads give him a hand to remove the wings so he can send them back to the factory for repair.
GOTCHA! – Saxon microlights pilot, Jay, after qualifying to fly his repaired Thruster T600T. The name on the nose is his nickname as given by his colleagues once they heard he was learning to fly.
First club flyout of the year – North Weald and Rayne to Great Oakley. The team, right to left:
Richard (qualified pilot) and Ellis (solo student pilot) flying in Hoppy, Ginge and Lee (new student pilot and Ginge’s passenger for the day) flying the Bumble-bee, Jay (newly qualified pilot) and Enise (Jay’s girlfriend and passenger) flying in Dogfight Davis.
Behind are the three Thrusters.
Safely arrived and parked at Great Oakley, the team head off for a well-earned drink.
After a landing Hoppy needed full power to taxi. That can’t be right: Indeed, the port main tyre had gone flat. Here we are replacing the wheel with a spare.
Proud pilot, Lee, holding up the wheel which made his first solo even more memorable than most!
Congratulations on a good first solo, and double congratulations on successfully handling the landing incident.
The month started with more fine weather
The second stage of solo flight training – go a few miles away from the airfield and come back home.
Ellis achieves it for the first time just before the rainy weather came. As he said: “... and at the correct airfield, too!”
Very little happened of much interest last month, business as usual when the weather permitted.
August arrived, and though not a good summer it did allow us to get some social flying.
The usual suspects, Richard, Vernon and Ellis managed to fly to the Rougham Airshow. Ginge did too, but he’s behind the camera.
A week later, Vernon gritted his teeth and took his flying skills test at North Weald and passed. Just a few written exams to complete and he’ll be applying for his pilot’s licence. Vernon is the first microlight pilot to achieve this from North Weald Airfield.
More work, plenty of flying.
Hoppy seen here on final approach to land at North Weald. The control tower and the Hurricane gate guardian are in the background.
This pilot is Ellis returning from a solo sortie.
We’ve been given the opportunity to move our office to a better location on the airfield – but there’s a lot of cleaning up to do. Ginge takes a well-earned mug of tea at the start of the clean-up job. This will become the main club room.
We’ve actually been busy giving lessons and trial lessons; too busy in fact to take pictures!
Here’s one, though, of our oldest trial lesson student so far, Bruce, who was given the voucher as a 92nd birthday present. He’d had one two years earlier for his 90th. Before that it was well over thirty years since he’d last flown!