Skip to main content
Don't Look Down

I flew in a Microlight for the first time today. Having decided it was too windy to take my larger aircraft up I recklessly decided to accept the offer of a circuit from a passing Microlight pilot who had dropped-in for a coffee on the way to the national microlight 'fly-in' at Popham.

A Microlight is of course a hybrid, somewhere between a bumble bee and a hang glider or a motorcycle with a sail. I sat in the back seat although it was rather more of a pillion passenger with a seatbelt, as this machine buzzed along the grass for a few feet before leaping into the air at an astonishing rate of climb, swept up and away by the strong crosswind over the runway.

There was a strong temptation to grip the the sides of the aircraft as if I was on a roller-coaster ride but I decided this was quiet pointless so tried hard to enjoy the very bumpy experience which reminded me a little of my first parachute jump.



I think I prefer my aircraft to be a little more substantial but I'm sure microlights are great fun, if a little slow. Rather like the original spirit of aviation bought up to date with fibre-glass and nylon.

Ten out of ten for buttock-clenching terror and the landing, in a small gale is decidedly different and was more like a controlled crash. As I said to the pilot, any landing you walk away from is a good one.

If you want to defeat a fear of flying, this is definitely the place one shouldn't start. But if you like base-jumping and bungee-jumping, then this is for you.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Mainframe to Mobile

Not one of us has a clue what the world will look like in five years’ time, yet we are all preparing for that future – As  computing power has become embedded in everything from our cars and our telephones to our financial markets, technological complexity has eclipsed our ability to comprehend it’s bigger picture impact on the shape of tomorrow.

Our intuition has been formed by a set of experiences and ideas about how things worked during a time when changes were incremental and somewhat predictable. In March 1953. there were only 53 kilobytes of high-speed RAM on the entire planet.

Today, more than 80 per cent of the value of FTSE 500* firms is ‘now dark matter’: the intangible secret recipe of success; the physical stuff companies own and their wages bill accounts for less than 20 per cent: a reversal of the pattern that once prevailed in the 1970s. Very soon, Everything at scale in this world will be managed by algorithms and data and there’s a need for effective platforms for ma…
A Christmas Tale

It’s pitch blackness in places along the sea wall this evening and I'm momentarily startled by a small dog with orange flashing yuletide antlers along the way. I’m the only person crazy enough to be running and I know the route well enough to negotiate it in the dark, part of my Christmas exercise regime and a good way of relieving stress.

Why stress you might ask. After all, it is Christmas Day.

True but I’ve just spent over two hours assembling the giant Playmobil ‘Pony Farm’ set when most other fathers should be asleep in front of the television.



I was warned that the Playmobil ‘Pirate Ship’ had driven some fathers to drink or suicide and now I understand why. If your eyesight isn’t perfect or if you’ve had a few drinks with your Christmas lunch then it’s a challenge best left until Boxing day but not an option if you happen to have a nine year old daughter who wants it ready to take horses by tea time.

Perhaps I should stick to technology but then, the instruc…

An Ockham of Gatwick

The 13th century theologian and philosopher, William of Ockham, who once lived in his small Surrey village, not so very far from what is today, the wide concrete expanse of Gatwick airport is a frequently referenced source of intellectual reason. His contribution to modern culture was Ockham’s Razor, which cautions us when problem solving, that “The explanation requiring the fewest assumptions is most likely to be correct;” sound advice which constantly proves to be true.

A week further-on since Britain’s second busiest airport was bought to a complete standstill by two or perhaps two hundred different drone sightings, it is perhaps time to revisit William of Ockham’s maxim, rather than be led astray by an increasingly bizarre narrative, one which has led Surrey police up several blind alleys with little or nothing in the way of measurable results.

 Exploring the possibilities with a little help in reasoning from our medieval friar, we appear to have a choice of two different account…