Friday, May 19, 2006

Deep depression in Southern England

And the weather is bad too. I was supposed to go for my dummy skills test flight today but strong winds, low cloud and rain put paid to that. This is all caused by an unusually strong depression for the time of year. Here is the weather map for today.

It seems as though this poor weather is going to hang around for some time.

Yesterday the new Airbus 380 landed at Heathrow for the first time. There was a strong crosswind as it touched down.

Here is a picture of the impressively large and new A380 with the old and rather small 747 in the background.

Here is another A380 and a 747 that may have taken a wrong turning ?

I went to Guildford with my wife last Monday. Whilst she was looking around the shops, I wandered off to Guildford Castle and took a couple of photos so here they are.

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Wednesday, May 10, 2006

My wife is back home, thunderstorms in the vicinity

No, the two are not connected. My wife returned home last week and she has got a really deep tan. She also had her hair braided with the result that she no longer looks as if she was brought up in an English climate. Next week she is due to have her hair cut so it will be back to normal soon (and that is how I prefer it).

Last Wednesday I was just able to get into the circuit for my lesson but the cloud base was 1000ft and the crosswinds were difficult again. However I did massively improve my landing technique with just a need to hold-off for longer as the only area left for improvement.

Today I was due to practice for the skills test but the weather forecast did not look encouraging. Cloud and rain were due to build up in the afternoon and my lesson was booked for 3pm. When I arrived at the clubhouse they were just writing up the thunderstorm warnings on the briefing board. Christian, my instructor said that the visibility was poor and so circuits were the only option. I checked over the aircraft and it was warm and sunny. The winds were light and variable and not at 90 degrees to the runway for a change. When I got into the cockpit I was actually just in a shirt without my usual two extra layers to keep warm. The air vents were opened to provide plenty of fresh air in the warm and muggy conditions. An hour of circuits followed having taken off from runway 07. I seem to have got the circuits completely sorted now. Maybe the additional visual feedback of shadows when landing in sunshine were helping.
Luckily the storms stayed away and it was great flying in sunny conditions once more. My next outing is in 10 days when I will do a dummy run of the skills test starting with a visual navigation exercise from Blackbushe to Devizes. It would be great if I could get my PPL in time for the all too short British summer.

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