The fog tried to defeat me, but it was worth the wait

So alarm went off at 7AM, I let myself and the dogs out for a pee. I had breakfast and a coffee. I was about to get ready and I got a text from captain James saying the airfield was fogged over. He said he could probably do later this afternoon or early evening or any time tomorrow. I checked the weather and plumped for tomorrow. I went back to sleep.

Got up and fed the dogs then cracked on with work. Making reasonable progress on that, although iteration times on the stuff I’m working on our horrendous. I’m got a tricky memory problem to track down and it’s taking ages. I made a sandwich and then went for a decent run. It looked like it was going to piss down, about half hour in though the sky had cleared and the sun had come out. I texted James but he was in Birmingham. So I had a brew and did a bit more work. Then James phoned to say he could get to Staverton by about half five, so I made a quick get away and arrived five minutes before I did.

We found a helicopter with some fuel in and got it out the hanger. I cranked it up (okay I went through the check list and did it all properly). James taxied out, we got clearance and up we went. I took over when we levelled out. Today we were doing ascents and descents, which is actually more complex than it sounds. To ascend to set the attitude first with the cyclic, and go for an airspeed of about 60, then lift the collective to increase the power to about 24 inches of manifold pressure, while applying left peddle to counter the torque. Then to level off, about 50ft before, set the attitude to an air speed of about 75 knots and then reduce the power to about 21.5 inches, trim to get back to level flight. Descents are more fun. Drop the power first with the collective add right pedal to keep it straight, go down to about 15 inches of manifold pressure. Then adjust attitude to reduce airspeed for a descent of about 500ft a minute, which is again about 60 knots. At this point the whole thing is vibrating like an old washing machine as the rotor is going so slowly. So I did a few ascents and descents, plus some cruises. I then flew it back to the airport and transitioned into a hover. Then spent the next half hour doing hovering practice. It was going okay, we were pretty lucky with the lack of wind, all too soon it was over again, so I flew back to the hanger. My hover taxing is actually pretty good. We did have some lovely views, the sun was setting just over the horizon, it was a good time to be above the clouds.

Drove home and then hunted for my memory problem again with no luck. Still, good fun day.

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