Disappointment, but what a view!

Turned up at Brize as usual at about 1:30 pm, with my lesson scheduled for 3:30. On the way in I’d spotted 10 red Hawks parked on the airfield. Obviously the Red Arrows were using Brize as a stop-over after Fairford at the weekend.

It appeared things were running a little late, as the 11:30 slot still hadn’t returned. Chatted to Felix (another student who’s at basically the same stage as me) a little about exams and other stuff, when Asma returned with what appeared to be a new instructor. More instructors can only be good!

While Felix and Asma were chatting about their session, things got a little noisy outside. I took a look out of the window to see a group of red Hawks lined up at the holding point. This seemed too good an opportunity to miss, so I grabbed a yellow jacket and headed outside.

The Red Arrows!

The Red Arrows!

I stood about 30 feet away from all 10 Red Arrows as they lined up at the hold. Then got a ringside seat as they all taxyed onto the runway and lined up in groups of three or four, with about 100 yards between each group.

Then, as one they all accelerated down the runway and took to the air. Fantastic experience, and something not many people will get to see I’d have thought.

Felix and Asma then went up (took off at about 4pm I think) and I turned on the radio in the club to listen to the tower. Things seemed quite busy, with a couple of German small jets taking off, and a helicopter making a brief appearance.

It was when Asma and Felix returned that things started to go downhill. Like me, Felix had never flown JP (the Cherokee) before, and he and Asma were talking about how difficult it had been to change between the two aircraft. Once Asma realised that I also hadn’t flown the Cherokee, then she questioned the wisdom of me doing Stalls 2 in it, as she thought I’d spend a lot of the time re-learning the aircraft (and this could also impact on future flights when I was back in the Warriors). She said she would fly with me if I wanted to, but thought it might be counter-productive to do so.

So, we decided to call it quits for the day, and after a brief chat with Asma about getting used to using a kneeboard, and also her surprise that neither of us had done much radio work I left for home, feeling slightly disappointed that I hadn’t flown. Still, got lessons booked for Monday to Thursday of next week, as well as Saturday and Sunday, so let’s hope the current weather forecasts aren’t accurate!

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