Dot and Jim visited Turweston Aerodrome nr. Brackley to hear a talk arranged by the Vintage Aero Club. They enjoyed a coffee in the lovely café below the tower while watching the aircraft taking off.
Then it was time to visit the headquarters of the LAA ( Light Aircraft Association) where the talk was being held.
Welcomed by Ruth and Steve all the visitors were soon enjoying some lively adventures. First we marvelled at photographs taken in the magnificent scenery in the Southern Alps by a couple on a flying holiday in New Zealand. Their experiences brought back many happy memories for Dot and Jim of their time down under dirt biking and visiting all the aircraft museums.
Then Stephen Slater amazed us with his tales from the Formula Air Races in Thailand and China. The brave pilots fly very small specially designed aircraft that looked no bigger than some model planes at high speeds around pylons. The mass starts and wing tip to wing tip flying was very exciting and Stephen was able to give everyone an insight into all the issues with these highly tuned engines.
Next Colin Hales explained how he had bought a set of plans, a load of wood from B&Q and built two aeroplanes. One he flew down to Australia and the other he is flying around the world. Unfortunately he crashed landed on a golf course in Japan and the plane is awaiting shipment back to be repaired. So more trips to the DIY store before he can resume his journey. He had taken some teddy bears along for the ride just as Dot and Jim had done in their old bus.
Then Dot was invited to tell the audience about the trip that she and Jim will be undertaking and Dot took the opportunity to introduce Percy the pigeon to the bears!
It was a very interesting event and Jim realised how much help will be available from associations and fellow pilots as they fly around the world.
Dot and Jim met up with a film crew from Lion Eyes at the LAC flying School at City Airport, Barton, Manchester to do some preliminary filming for the documentary about their flight around the world. Once again the wind was too strong for any flying but the simulator had been booked so it was all systems go and the crew got busy setting up the cameras, lights and microphones.
With Jim at the controls and Dot as the navigator they took off for a flight to Blackpool, though no fish and chips on this virtual visit, and returned to Barton. Percy the pigeon went along as well and enjoyed the experience.
Afterwards up in the Veterans Garage café Dot and Jim enjoyed lunch while the cameraman set things up for an interview. Jim was surprised to find a motorbike on display and just had to try it for size and have a twist of the throttle!
Both Dot and Jim found it a bit strange to be sitting on the settee while the director asked questions and the people in the bar listened in astonishment as they chatted about some of their experiences together and plans for their latest adventure. Thanks to all the crew members for their hard work and hopefully they have enough content to make an interesting video.
Percy has been looking forward to taking his first flight in the cockpit with Jim. However the weather has been paying games and the last three flights have been cancelled due to poor visibility, high crosswinds, rain and low cloud.
Now Percy is beginning to understand how it will be on our flight around the world and why the schedule may change. There could be even more reasons than the weather to prevent us keeping to our proposed timetable!
Hopefully Percy may get to fly soon so he can sample the joys of travelling in a small aeroplane!
Watch this space for more news of Percy’s maiden flight!
Percy admired the new crew jackets with our logo and the logo of the Alzheimer’s Society. Thanks to Cheshire Workwear of Crewe for the lovely embroidery. The crew will look smart wherever they land and be warm and dry!
This morning we visited the Memory Café at the Methodist Church in Holmes Chapel. Jim and I gave our first talk about our flight and the fund raising for the Alzheimer’s Society. Everyone made us very welcome and Jim was pleased to see cake and biscuits served with the coffee. Percy the pigeon came along and caused a sensation when he was introduced. The visitors were surprised to see him and find out that he was also flying around the world.
Thank you to all the kind people who have put their name on the plane or made a donation..
Back when Dot and Jim were touring in America they joined a group of RVers who were crewing for several balloons at the famous Balloon Fiesta held every year in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Their small UK bus was dwarfed by all the larger American RVs and when Dot had her first ever flight in a basket she was able to take some great photos as she flew overhead but also had to drink champagne without using her hands when she landed. This is a tradition but Dot was not used to drinking at 10am!
The days were long, starting at 5am to prepare the envelopes for the dawn flight and then again for the night time glows which were spectacular. It was an experience not to be missed as many of the balloons had been manufactured in Oswestry close to where they lived.
On Saturday January 19th we were invited to the Outlet Shopping Mall at Talke Pits near Stoke on Trent where we had a display about our fundraising. We met many friendly people who made some generous donations and the bucket got quite heavy. The Prize Draw to guess how far we will fly on our journey proved popular as most people were shopping and the chance to win some vouchers was not to be missed. You can also enter the draw on line so have a go yourself.
We had some help from Dave, Jill and Chris from the Community Radio station The Cat 107.9 in Crewe who came along to introduce the pigeon… but more about that later.. watch this space.
Thank youto the customers and staff at Waitrose in Sandbach who have made a wonderful donation of £366 to the Alzheimer’s Society as part of our fund raising. The photo shows Jim receiving the cheque from Natasha a member of the staff.