“Anyone who can pick up into a 19Kt wind like that I’m quite happy with”

Bit of an odd day I guess. Woke up early but decided to milk the bed thing a bit to catch up on some very long days in the last week. Eventually had breakfast and gave JKHT a call. Managed to get a late afternoon slot. So walked Sasha, was planning on going into town but had to curtail that as I needed to bring flight forward a bit due to Shobdon closing earlier. Got there and James thought I was doing a self fly hire, I thought I’d booked for duel. He was out on an instruction flight so left me a bit knackered. Ewan a commercial pilot (not an instructor) was there so James said, ‘Just take him for the ride if you want company’. So off we went. The wind had actually picked up well beyond self fly hire levels and was up to 19Kts. James actually sent a text to Ewan and said to be very careful in the pickup as it was one hell of a cross wind. I picked up into the hover, it was somewhat challenging, but I failed to take out the fuel bay so all was good. Took off to the North. I asked Ewan if all was okay and if he was happy, he replied with, ‘Anyone who can pick up in that wind that smoothly I’m perfectly happy to fly with’. We flew to Shobdon, somewhere new but within about half hour, nice flight. Ewan is training to become an instructor so was nice for him to be in the left hand seat and see what it was like, he did point out a couple of bits about trim. He actually found it really useful for himself, having plenty of bandwidth to be able to spot some of the more obscure problems. We had a brew and cake at Shobdon and then flew back to Gloucester. So I’m all good and ‘flight ready’ again. It was good fun and great weather, even if a tad windy. Came back and did a short run, had a bath and watched the start of the new F1 season. A nice day, don’t get many of those.

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