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Today was forecast to be a great flying day and so I jumped at the opportunity to charter an aircraft. I phoned up yesterday and sure enough, a Cessna 152 was available. Yippie!

I scratched my head last night and decided that as my last flight was to the North East, I’d head South West today. Lee on Solent airfield looked like a safe bet and after some googling I was set on going there. After a bit of flight planning later this morning, I was good to go.

I picked up the Cessna from the maintenance hanger as she had just had her 50 hour check up. This is one of the checks that is absolutely mandatory and ensures that the aircraft is safe to fly. When I rocked up, the nose wheel was still missing, but thankfully it was soon back on the front!

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I got airborne soon enough after refuelling and headed South East to skirt around the Eastern side of Gatwick’s controlled airspace. It was quite bumpy today with a number of low clouds and thermals. This made it a fairly energetic ride!

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After clearing Gatwick’s airspace to the south, I flew West, then South between Goodwood and Shoreham aerodrome. I then flew out over the Solent before joining left base for Runway 05L at Lee on Solent. The landing was uneventful, but it was quite an interesting approach as there was a fair amount of low level wind shear. This means that the wind direction and strength changes quite a lot with a change of altitude.

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I taxied over to the chaps at Sapphire Aviation who were really helpful and tucked into some lunch whilst I reflected on the flight. I always like to look back and think about what I can improve on during the flight back.

Soon enough I was back up in the air and flying home to Biggin Hill. It was a fairly uneventful flight, but there was a lot of traffic to watch out for. This meant that the radar controllers were very busy!

As I taxied back over to the club the sun was getting low and I was very pleased with what was a very enjoyable and pleasant flight. As a bonus, that’s another 3 hours in the log book!

Mike

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