Posted: Mon Jun 13, 2005 6:15 pm Post subject: Doncaster visit and fly-over parent's house
just thought I'd share this one with you.
Passed my test in November, and had been dying to take Dad flying since then. I can remember how nervous I felt when i took a friend up for the first time, ie. no instructor or examiner...not even a fellow pilot.
So, taking Dad up was becoming a trauma for a while, in the lead up to it, although I'd gained my confidence with taking non-pilots up. To think, the most precious cargo in the world would be sitting abeam me in the R22....what pressure.
But oddly enough, I didn't feel that bad on the day. I guess I'd had a lot of time to think about it. And Dad was so not-phased by the whole thing, which I think made it easier.
We arrived at Sandtoft airfield, north east from Doncaster itself. What a lovelly little airfield. Very quaint, with a lot of remnants from the wars. Most of the runways were disused, with the main one still open, and in constant use from the locals.
The tower there is very new though, and the facilities there are superb. The cafe there does fantastic sunday dinners, in true Yorkshire style, and gets very busy with non-flying locals, which is good for keeping in with the locals themselved. That said, we were told that they never get complaints from the locals anyway.
The helicopter operator there is Truelove Helicopters, who operate an R22 and an R44 there, and have exclusivity on the field. The SFH rate includes the landing fees too.
Jonathan, the owner, a very nice and friendly guy, was more than accommodating. His instructor was not around on the day, but they took the decision that he would watch me start up and hover, and if all was well, would let me go with the machine. Again, very nice of him. So no official check flight needed.
Jonathan is often in the news, as he bought an R22, set up a school, and started learning to fly, pretty much in that order. so he is about the only helicopter club owner in the country who can't yet officially fly His enthusiasm is second to none though. He also bacame a member on here on my recommendation. So, Hi Jonathan.
The machine, G-CCDE, was very well appointed, and extremely well looked after. I haven't seen an R22 in such good condition very often.
If you're in the Doncaster area, go and check them out, and mention Helitorque. It's well worth the trip. And with good things to go and see, like the Humber bridge, and the estuary, as well as a friendly over-fly if the new Doncaster Sheffiel Airport (Robin Hood) EGCN, how could you resist?
We took off from the field after a huge downpoor of rain, and flew on to my parents' place to take some photos. Then on to Doncaster Sheffield Airport, and then headed off for Cleethorpes.
This is when we started to see low cloud again, and thought we may get uderneath it, as it looked clear on the far side. But as we approached, it got very heavy, dark and low. When we turned, it didn't seem to clear, so we were almost stuck in it at about 400ft, eventually ending up at the Humber Estuary at 300ft.
Just as I was deciding to land somewhere and sit it out, it started to clear, and once out of it, it was fine.
It just goes to show how quickly the weather can close in on you....and you cant fight it...it always seems to win!
Dad wasn't phased at all with the whole thing, so all worked out well
The photos in the gallery show the whole trip, and hw bad the visibility was.
Such an excellent day out.
Check out Sandtoft some time too....well worth it.
Looks like you had a lot better weather than I did.....but it also looks like the Humber Bridge is very shy....it's even trying to hide in your photos too!!! _________________ Adam Bailey
PPL(H) - Based Headcorn/Denham/Manston/Panshanger/Shoreham/Brands Hatch
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