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Black Isle Fly-Drive
Sun 28th Jul 2013
organised by Highland Scotland

Car Count : 8
[ show pre-run info ]

Hi-5s do Microlighting

Black Isle Fly Drive

The day started off a bit strange with myself heading off to the airfield with the fuel for the plane and no sign of Frankie to head the convoy round the Black Isle.  Frankie had gone off on a silver-smithing weekend so Doug was left in charge of the convoy and it got to the airfield much earlier than the previous year (Frankie)!

The weather gods were not looking down with golden smiles when I arrived at the field and my co-pilots were all set to call it a day.  We had 8 cars listed for the event but the weather and sickness took their toll and we were down to 6, then Stuart arrived from Grampian and we were back to 7 plus yours truly in a BMW!! 

The cloud base was almost on the ground, some people call it fog, but there were small patches of lighter gray showing so we decided to go and visit Antonia and Martin, who own the airfield, for some coffee and see what transpired.  It was time well spent and we came back out into conditions which whilst not exactly the best were at least flyable.  The planes were rapidly pulled out of the hangar and people started to get suited up.  As there weren’t large numbers this year we decided on 20 minute flights and to avoid confusion we flew in a circular route towards North Kessock then along by Avoch, due North over the Black Isle to the Cromarty firth and back to Culbokie.  We had the same three planes as last year with Jimmy and myself flying the flexwing Quik GT450s and Steve in his fixed wing Skyranger. 

We each managed to make three flights and there were a group of people back on the ground with huge smiles, as Doug put it “wider than a Mk3 grill”!  So after some pretty good flying we retired back to Antonia’s where she had prepared some hot chicken broth and sandwiches for our fairly late lunch.  The food was excellent with several comments that the broth was a meal in itself! 

When we came back out from lunch the weather was still a bit unsettled and most of the gang, already having had their flight, decided to call it a day.  Steve also decided to call it quits but Jimmy and I were up for another flight.  Doug and Stuart were also keen to reach for the skies again so we suited up and took off for our afternoon flight leaving Muriel to keep warm on the ground.  As we reached cruising altitude the weather looked fairly reasonable so we decided that we would head out towards Dornoch and see how we got on.  The weather gods had decided to ease up on us a bit and we managed to get over to Dornoch in about 35 minutes flying time.  We landed gently on the huge grass runway at Dornoch and taxied into the parking area where there were already a couple of other planes on the ground.  We managed to spend another half hour blethering to the pilots then suited back up for the return to Culbokie.  Another 35 minute flight and we were back on the ground and about to put the planes away when Frankie appeared back from her trip to Ullapool and asked if we’d taken some pictures of the planes and cars together, as we’d forgotten to do this last year.  Of course, we’d forgotten to do it again this year!  Luckily we still had two cars and one plane outside the hangar so we managed to get at least one good picture of a much depleted group. 

Jimmy then departed along with Doug, Muriel and Stuart.  The weather had actually improved so Frankie and I decided that we would squeeze in one final flight.  We took off and headed back towards Inverness and within a few minutes we had caught up with the cars heading along the Munlochy straight.  A low level pass just to wave goodbye seemed like a great way to end another great Hi-5s day out!

A huge thank you to Jimmy and Steve for their time and piloting skills and to Antonia and Martin for hosting our refreshments and lunch on the day.  (Postscript – sadly Martin passed away earlier this month. A good friend will be sadly missed).

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Your Comments
28th Jul 2013 19:36 :: Douglas & Muriel
Despite the weather omens this morning, Brian\'s optimism paid off, the weather cleared! Wide smiles,even wider than a Mk3 grill showed how much the event was appreciated. Many thanks to the three flying machine drivers and to all the Hi5\'ers for a great day out.

29th Jul 2013 01:27 :: stuboy
Echoing Douglas's comment, a thoroughly excellent day's flying despite the early weather, many thanks to all 3 pilots & great company , big cheesy grins all round !!!!..

29th Jul 2013 18:58 :: Lorraine
Thank you Brian and fellow pilots for a great day out. For a first trip out with the HI5's it was a great and memorable day. Am looking forward to the Thurso run... bring it on !

29th Jul 2013 20:58 :: Gregor & Jean
Fabulous experience. We both had a wonderful time. It was a great privilege to be flown by 3 great pilots. As usual great company & a good laugh.

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