Every infantry man in a combat zone loves to hear a Chinook. Wop, wop, wop, you can hear the characteristic sound, you know what it is but you can’t see it. The twin rotor helicopter is coming in at 160 mph with 10 tons of stores and ammunition or re-enforcements. Once it lands, it will be there for 60 seconds, there will be no departure delays, no last calls for passengers, no check in queues. What isn’t taken off or loaded within the time is left where it is. [Read more…] about Chinook
José Ascaso had been riding his chestnut mare most of the day and was beginning to feel tired. Together, they had made good progress deep into the Pyrenean valley alongside Rio Ara. His plan was to spend the night in Broto, a small mountain town, and ride on into Ordesa Gorge the next day. The valley had become steep and narrow with the mountains rising to 6000 feet on both sides. He hoped to spot the Lammergeier, it is known to fly in the gorge. It is a large vulture with a wingspan of almost 3 metres and weighing up to 7 Kg. It feeds on bone after the other vultures have taken the flesh of dead animals. [Read more…] about Exclusive – Chandler’s Ford man found in Pyrenees
In the age of steam every boy wanted to be an engine driver. In my boyhood this desire became a fighter pilot and in modern times it might be an astronaut or a pop star. The nearest I got to being a fighter pilot was to sit in the cockpit of a spitfire and press the firing button. Then came the jet age and we aspired to becoming test pilots.
Then, seventy years later, I was to be a test pilot. A group of us had bought a new glider, a top of the range Duo Discus XLT with a 20 M wingspan. [Read more…] about Maiden Flight
Our gliding flights in the Pyrenees were going well. A friendly rivalry arose with the two pilots of another glider and we were determined to outdo one another.
Today was my turn as pilot in command of our 2 seater, Whisky Bravo. The tug plane took us from Santa Cilia airfield on the Spanish side of the Pyrenees towards the local hill where there was some rising air. [Read more…] about Forced Landing
Back in April I wrote an article about my fund-raising for Sport Relief. I did a triathlon over 3 weekends. I raised £277 in total helped by my colleagues at Toynbee School who sponsored me.
I work in the visually impaired unit at Toynbee School in Chandler’s Ford supporting children in class, however I have recently begun a new venture in my work life. [Read more…] about Triathlon; Gliding; Picture Framing
Heroes are rare by their nature. The best ones do not know that they are heroes, they have to be recognised by you. Anyone proclaiming himself a hero has excluded himself from the class.
The glider is a Duo Discus, 2 seater and near the top of the range in terms of performance.
I travelled down alone but came back together with my co-pilot and the glider in its trailer. [Read more…] about Gliding Holiday Costs
A clear blue sky with not a cloud is sight suggested a difficult day of soaring. Thermals are usually under clouds and if there are no clouds, are there any thermals and where are they?
Thermals are large bubbles of warmer air which rise from the ground. If you have ever watched a lava lamp you have an idea of how they work. Unlike a lava lamp you cannot see the bubble. [Read more…] about Soaring The Pyrenees
After a six-hour drive through France and Northern Spain beneath low cloud and many showers of rain, I passed Pamplona and the weather changed. The cloud broke up and the sun shone from a blue sky. The weather improved over the next 50 miles to Santa Cilia.
Met with my colleagues who sadly had not been able to fly as the wind was blowing at 27 knots [Read more…] about Sharing The Sky With The Vultures
Holiday – No Holiday? That is the question.
All set to go gliding in the Pyrenees from a small airfield called Santa Cilia. We stay in the village in a typical stone Pyrenean house run by a wonderful lady called Toya. She looks after all the glider pilots and many pilgrims who are walking the trail to Santiago de Compostella. [Read more…] about Holiday – No Holiday?
Had a short walk by the Itchen today. Joined it behind the Travelodge on Twyford Road and walked downstream to Withymead Lock where a fallen tree blocks the path and the path itself disappears beneath the water.
Upstream as far as a railway bridge near Highbridge Road. [Read more…] about Short Walk By Itchen