Skip to main content
A Change of View

For want of anything more exciting, other than completing my tax return, I’ve just flown over to Lydd for a coffee and to load up on fuel. Pretty grey and miserable over there but the landing fee is now only £8.00 and the new runway 21 /30 is smooth enough to play billiards on.

Small and rather bossy co-pilot aged nine.

On the way back, the weather opened-up into one of those spectacular North Kent winter days; dark glasses required. This small area where I live on the Isle of Thanet enjoys different weather to the rest of Britain at times, perhaps something to do with it being a peninsula, with sea on both sides?

I’ve just filled-up my first logbook, which in General Aviation terms, gives me a relatively respectable five hundred hours of experience on over a dozen aircraft types. Mind you, there’s always something new to learn and flying, while appearing mundane, always has its little surprises if you err on the side of complacency.

My first piece for Pilot Magazine appears on January 16th and now I'm looking for another experience and aircraft to review. Lydd Air have kindly offered me a co-pilot seat on one of their Trislanders, perhaps on the newspaper-run to Jersey. A one O'clock in the morning departure sounds great but may require an intravenous supply of black coffee.

As far as I can see, the world is on vacation this week but I worry that someone I know will have been caught up in the disaster in the Indian Ocean. Lots of people in the IT industry will have headed in that direction for Christmas and I hope that all returned home safely.


Popular posts from this blog

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…

Merlins over Thanet

Marooned, temporarily at Manston this afternoon are the Merlins over Malta team on the way to the Mediterranean for a display to mark the historic Second World War defence of the island.

Charlie Brown

Unfortunately, the weather over Thanet is appalling this afternoon and the Spitfire and Hurricane can’t get airborne again until it clears, so the celebrity Battle of Britain aircraft pilots, Charlie Brown, Clive Denny and their team-mates are contemplating an evening among the fleshpots of Margate.

Clive Denny (Hurricane) & Charlie Brown (Spitfire) Pilots

I’m rather hoping the weather it will clear through though as they have to get to Jersey before dusk if possible and I have to take some photos of the Spitfire and Hurricane for Pilot Magazine and I’ve always wanted a chance to get in either aircraft!

An Interview with Charlie Brown

They just got off, squadron scramble or what? They were ready and gone in ten minutes towards the nearest patch of blue sky!

An interview with the legendary S…
Median Saleh

I mentioned in the last post, the 1981 expedition that took in Median Saleh, the ruined Nabatean city in Saudi Arabia

A temple carved from the rock from Petra's sister city.

By coincidence, one of the most important train stations on the Hejaz railway sat next to the ruins and when Lawrence of Arabia blew the line in 1917, the trains were trapped there and are still there today, gathering dust and with "Krupp" on the engine casings.

One of the trains, sitting where T.E. Lawrence left themwith Dr Paul Garnett as the passenger

Below, you can see one of the fortified train stations that Lawrence attacked along the Hejaz railway between Damascus and Medina.

More photos Medain Saleh can be found on THIS Site - Apparently you can catch a tourist bus these days, rather different from risking life and limb to cross an unfriendly Saudi Arabia twenty years ago!