So long solo

So this morning started early. Breakfast. Coffee. Read the paper. Printed out the ‘spot wind’ charts. So a pretty standard morning. Then plotted out the entire route again from Gloucester to Wolverhampton, back to Worcester and then across to Wellesbourne and back to Gloucester. About 109nm. Walked the dog. Drove up to Staverton in a rather relaxed manner. Met up with James. We went through the route a couple of times and then rang the destination aerodromes, found out the current wind and active runways. Then we walked down to the helicopter with a couple of very large dumbbells. James fuelled her up. I setup the GoPro. Then James span her round into wind and then left me to it. So I got comfortable, set everything up and went through the start-up checklist. Fired her up and then waited for a break in the very busy radio traffic. Soon got going though, up to Tirely Bridge and then on to my first destination, took about forty minutes and I was soon in view of the first airfield at Wolverhampton. Due to the runway in use I took a very long circuit round it, but lined up perfectly and was soon on the ground. Sheet signed, landing fee paid and lunch eaten. Back in the air and straight off to Worcester, this was a bit of a diversion, but I had to basically make the flight longer. Soon at Worcester and then over to Wellesbourne where the approach was fairly simple and straight in. Again, got the sheet signed. Spoke to James where he told me I needed ‘exactly an hour’ of solo to complete the required ten hours. So I flew back to Gloucester and then went up and down the river for twenty minutes before flying back into Staverton. Shut down on exactly the hour flight time. So total for today was 2.6 hours, which is a bloody long time on your own in an aircraft which is about the size of a toilet cubicle and just as comfortable. Still, all done and all signed off (except the woman at Wellesbourne stamped the sheet but didn’t actually sign it, one for James to sort out). So that completes all my solo flying requirements. Now it’s on to some advanced stuff and instrument flying. Drove home. We walked to the Swan and had a bit of a celebratory meal. It was one big achievement ticked off.

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