One of the things I liked about our first microlight flight was that we got in the air relatively quickly. The initial briefing lasted a few minutes and no more (only slightly longer than it took to sign the waiver).
Microlights are very simple machines in many respects; I felt as if I was going to be going for a ride in a lawnmower. The principle difference seemed to be that the blade was on the back of the machine and not underneath it. Did you know microlights can do wheelies? That’s how they cut the grass on the airstrip!
The main rule was to make sure absolutely everything was tied down. A loose camera or mobile phone is a very dangerous thing, it was explained to me. In the air loose things fly into the propeller and/or shred the fabric of the wing. Such things were not encouraged. Alex and I strapped our cameras down. Then we strapped ourselves down too. Sat in a flying lawnmower and wearing a helmet that looked like we were going to do some tree surgery – this was great!
Our pilots climbed in and switched the engines on. We had a five minute wait for the oil to heat up (yes, this really was a flying lawnmower, I thought) and then we were off, observed by our friend and Guest Walker, Ben. Ben was not prepared to become a Guest Flyer but we were pleased he was grounded because he took the pictures. Look! There goes Alex!
Points on this walk (copy and paste the co-ordinates into Google Earth):
- Stoke Airfield: N 51° 26.679 E 000° 37.888
- Date of Walk: 17 May 2014