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Light in the Tunnel

Under a week to the ecrime congress and now the different presentations are starting to arrive by email as requested. I have to run through them and estimate whether I think they will run to time, otherwise I need to revert to the speaker and suggest a little editing to size.

The congress itself normally runs at a blur. The agenda is so tightly packed over the two days that my biggest challenge is ensuring that it runs to time and be the end, rather like a talk-show host, I'm a little washed-out, normally falling asleep on the train between Victoria and Thanet.

Four day later and its off to Gatwick for what, with luck, will be my last CPL theory exam of nine. It could mean that I get my life back after a year of intense studying to a level I've never experienced before. I found, as I started the last course modules of aerodynamics, navigation and aircraft systems, that the urge to panic was almost overwhelming but somehow, I managed to get this far, so there's a light at the end of the tunnel now.

Today, I had to take one of my aircraft down towards Brighton for maintenance. To illustrate how bumpy it was out there, I only heard two other aircraft on the radio in three flights; the one in between being a refuelling detour to Rochester where I was the only vistor. I did think, for a moment, that I wouldn't be able to get back into our base near Herne Bay, with a fierce 90 degree crosswind and had to resort to a higher approach speed and 20 degrees of flaps to manhandle her on to the runway. The disadvantage of 20 degrees means of course that much more runway is used during the exercise. Anyway, everything is now fixed and ready for a series of jobs coming up this weekend.

I must admit, that the new Farnborough LARS service, which now extends as far as Detling is a great improvement on having to work London Information. It makes transiting the busy South of England air space much easier.

G-TRIO, the Cessna from Rochester has been in the news, after its crash at Folkestone on Saturday. It was very lucky that the pilot and passenger - or should I say 'Prisoner', escaped virtually unscathed and in fact, I saw them take-off, just before us on Saturday.

The weather wasn't great, OK for us but there were already reports of fog and low cloud to the south and it appears that the other Cessna 172 ran straight into it.

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