TAA very kindly let me take the keys for one of their Cirrus SR-22s while they took a Christmas break. For two weeks I get to pretend that I have my own plane – no booking, no sharing.
The middle of winter must be about the worst time to try to fly. You have the time (it’s Christmas, after all) but the weather is against you and even a CPL/IR can’t raise the freezing level, dispel fog or move those dratted low clouds off a VFR-only airfield.
Day 1. Fog
No flying today. But I picked up the keys and documents.
Days 2, 3 and 4. Christmas holiday
Airport closed. No flying.
Day 5. Low clouds stopped play
My father-in-law and I drove to Denham but when we got there, low clouds at about 300 feet were drifting across the airfield and I didn’t it would improve.
Day 6. It rained. No flying.
Day 7. Airborne at last
Beautiful clear skies beckoned so I drove off to Denham with high spirits. I flew to Southend to have lunch and shoot a practice approach. However, the terminal was shut so no toastie. Instead, I went to McDonalds. Such dedication! There’s nothing I won’t eat for Golf Hotel Whiskey. It was very turbulent and gusty there and back but I took a fabulous picture of the City of London with god rays shining on it.
Day 8. Away with family. No flying.
Day 9 & 10. New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. Celebrations. 48 hours from bottle to throttle.
Day 11. CAVOK but crosswinds gusting up to 25 knots. No flying.
Day 12 and 13. Work. No flying.
The next day, I flew to Rotterdam but, sadly, not in G-TAAB which had another customer.