This weekend seemed to go OK. Woke up on Saturday, went for a little bit of a drive along the M25 (always the highlight of anyone’s day) and then got into the cockpit of a helicopter for the first time in 11 and a half months. And since the weather was considerably better than my last attempt, I actually got to fly.
And it must be said, flying in England is very different to flying in Norn Iron. For one thing, the areas of airspace that you’re not allowed to fly through at any time in Norn Iron are military firing ranges that are rarely used, so you’ll not get in too much trouble if your map reading isn’t up to scratch; over here, the nearest bit of such airspace may be a little bit more serious. At home, the nearest major airfield is Belfast City, which may house up to ten flights an hour; here it’s Heathrow which may house ten flights in as many minutes. At home, military aviation consists of helicopters that are now few and far between; here there are occasional fast movers and not so occasional “Royal Flights” trying to park next door. At home, there are maybe five active airfields and a dozen closed ones, over here there are hundreds of both – so getting lost is a bit more likely.
Oh, and because Norn Iron is small and none of it is at all far from the sea, it’s all fairly much of a muchness when it comes to air behaviour. Over here, not so much. I got to experience thermals for the first time – that was fun.
But it’s nice hot be back in the hot seat, and over here I have a lot more to explore. Hurrah!
In other news, we went to watch the marathon, but didn’t actually see any of the people we know who were running it. So that’s not really the blog post with photos that I was planning…