On Saturday we flew up to our gliding club at Bidford-Upon-Avon for the bank holiday weekend. Yes, that's right, we flew! Paul has finally got his beloved aeroplane a TB21 back from intensive care with the maintenance engineers at Biggin Hill and it seems (tough wood) to be working properly. This last bit was whispered as I'm sure it's all just an illusion really and it's actually just a defective as ever. It's been about 18 months since it started having problems and the last 6 months it has been on the verge of having the plug pulled on it. Paul was getting more and more despondent as although the engineers could see problem they couldn't find the cause. When we were told it was fixed and we could fly it this weekend we only half believed it as we had been at that point so many time before only for the fault to reappear. This time it looks like they might have actually succeeded as the engine and turbo behaved beautifully on the short flight to and from the gliding club. I now have a happy husband.
I also have a happy dog as finally Brac's paw seems to have calloused over properly. It will be a while before the thick layer of the pad grows back over the new skin so it is still fragile but he is at least now able to go out without having a boot on. Gentle walking on grass only for a while I think until it toughens up a bit but it looks good for his show on Saturday. Assuming he doesn't find another flint to step on! This photo is him asleep on the back seat of the aircraft flying home. He is wearing ear defenders are to protect his hearing.
We didn't exactly do any gliding while we were at Bidford but we did get our glider it out of it's box before realising that those who were already launched were struggling with the failing conditions and having to land. So we gave it a clean and put it away again. Sunday was overcast all day so no thermals to make it worth launching and today was a wash out this morning. After lunch we packed up to fly back home only for the weather to break and give the most stonkinggliding conditions for ages. By now most people had also packed up and gone so there was no one to take advantage of it. As we were getting thrown around by the thermals in our powered aircraft on our return home we didn't see one glider anywhere and the visibility was fantastic. No doubt there were a lot of glider pilots sitting in their cars on their way home cursing that the good weather arrived too late. Still it was a British bank holiday so what else could we expect?
(This is Brac looking cool at the laucn point.)