Monday, 8 November 2010

Volcanic Ash Pictures

Bit late.....but here's some pictures of the week of the volcanic ash back in April/May 2010.

Ian Gregg and myself got clearance right through the middle of the Belfast control zone early evening. Unheard of to get this clearance at this time of day as the jets are usually ferrying commuters back to Belfast City Airport.

Great conditions, and all the jets were lined up with nowhere to go!

Regards, Victor

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Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Dancing in the clouds with Erica

Hi there,

Every now and again you meet someone who is so taken aback with their first flight in a Microlight (real Microlights not the 3-Axis closed-cockpit imposters!) that you remember what its all about yourself!

You see, us old cynical flying instructors after a while look at flying as another form of transport. We think about how much petrol the aircraft is drinking, when our permit (MOT) is up, how fast the aircraft is flying at today, and how many more hours we need to fly on that particular day before we can go home. What I'm saying can easily become like any other paid work.

So when Erica and the other first timers came for their first lesson on Saturday - it really did start off like any other day at work. Low cloud threatened the day, but lifted around 11am leaving clear skies, with lots of broken low cloud at around 1000ft. Winds were far lighter than forecast, so glorious conditions. As the morning turned to afternoon the cloudbase lifted to around 2000ft with light cumulus clouds rising to around 4000ft. That's when Erica arrived....

I can honestly say that i have never heard someone say 'Wow!' & 'Amazing' so much in the space of 40 minutes. Soon after take-off we headed above the clouds, and after a few minutes we were at 4000ft, dancing around the clouds in an open-cockpit microlight with nothing holding you in other than a seat belt. The sun was out so made it feel a lot warmer than it was. The air above the clouds was as smooth as silk, not a ripple of turbulence. An amazing,fabulous & glorious waste of 40 minutes of our lives that we wont get back. But what the hell, we can always remember it!

Why is it that when you need a video camera you never have one to hand? Ah well, there's always the next time. So thanks Erica for reminding a cynical old fool what flying Microlights is all about ;-)

And no thanks for the BBC Northern Ireland weather forecasters for the hash they made of Sunday. Torrential rain forecast on Sunday all day (on Friday evening), with it turning out as good as Saturday....arrrrrrrrrrrrggggggggggggggghhhhhhhhh

So sorry to everyone we put off on for Sunday, there's always another day, even in the winter!

Regards, Victor