Flying P2 with Mike gave me an opportunity that
I didn't have when flying solo - that of being able to look around and
take a few photographs. When alone up there, Mike in particular had impressed
on me the need to keep my head turning to ensure separation from other
traffic. Photography was normally a lower priority than staying safe!
Here we are, having collected parachutes and the
very last club aircraft left - a long-serving trainer, the Slingsby T 21,
"Sedburgh" in the RAF, and sometimes referred to as "the barge", but very
robust. Hardly a prime choice for a cross country, being slow for anything
more than local training - imagine the drag caused by trying to push that
thick wing section through the air!
|You can see what a cracking September day it
was, by the group between the wing and the strut, who are enjoying a picnic.
Note that my head is considerably higher - not, mind you, bigger, - than
Mike's. It was caused by the the parachute being literally the last
choice left in the loft. This proved to be crucial a couple of hours later.
Take-off - a heavy load for the tug - was from the Eastern (left)
end of the Nympsfield site, seen below.
We appear to have asked for a 2,000 ft tow from the
field (700 ft above sea level), and pulled off rather early into lift,
no doubt to the relief of the tug driver. Once Mike had centred the T21
in that lift, a good climb was taken to 4,000 ft a s l, over Stroud. We
then set off over Cirencester, the Cerney Cotswold Water Park, and
||The Bristol Gliding Club used to fly at a former
RAF site, Lulsgate, now Bristol International Airport. When the club had
to move to make way for airliners, it nearly chose Roundway, a soarable
hill outside Devizes, Wiltshire, but instead chose the splendid ridge you
see here, and added the words "& Gloucestershire" to its title. The
field has since been extended, and is owned by the club, having been purchased
with a mortgage. Stroud would be out of sight, left.
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