Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Visit to Cark

Cark is a small airfield on the southern edge of the Lake District, about 40 minutes flying time from Kirkbride. It has a 500m tarmac runway and is more usually associated with parachuting activities especially at weekends.

Yesterday was such a lovely day it seemed a shame not to fly somewhere, so Mike (a local pilot who has helped me with maintaining JONL) and I decided we would head off to Cark. It was to be the first time that I had landed there and only my second visit.

We decided to route around the coast, past Sellafield and close to Barrow in Furness before turning east along the northern coast of Morecambe Bay. With a light south westerly, progress was good and the landing on runway 24 was straightforward enough. Although there was no parachuting in progress, there was someone at the parachuting centre to welcome us, provide a quick cuppa and relieve us of £15 landing fee, which we thought was a bit steep for a strip with no facilities, not even A/G! I shall never again complain about the fees at full service airports such as Carlisle!

We took a look at the enormous PAC 750 parachute jump aeroplane and marvelled that such a large craft could take off and land on a 500m runway. I guess keeping that flying is an expensive proposition and perhaps explains the disproportionate landing fee.

The return flight was a more speedy affair, more or less direct, over the Lake District mountains in just 35 minutes, with a gentle tailwind.

Friday, 1 October 2010

Keeping the elements at bay

Although JONL will usually be hangared, there will inevitably be occasions when I'm away from base and she has to live outside for a night or two. Even in the hangar it is noticeable that small birds roost in the roof, with inevitable consequences down below. Some covers were clearly called for.

Full coverage for the aircraft is both expensive and time consuming to put on, so I decided to go for a cockpit/engine cowling cover and half wing covers, which extend far enough to cover the wing lockers I also have some wing tip protectors made, in an attempt to reduce the risk of "hangar rash". Finally, I had two waterproof locker bags made, which fit exactly into the wing lockers and are amply large enough for use as a weekend bag.

Deciding on the colour was a bit tricky. On one hand it would be nice to have covers matching the colour scheme of the aircraft but I was concerned that the dark red colour might give rise to excessive heating. In the end I reasoned that the time when one mostly uses covers is during inclement weather, when solar heating is not really an issue.

I had the covers made by Vertigo covers and they've done a good job. All the covers fit into a fairly small stuff bag and the all up weight is just a couple of kg, so it is entirely practical to take the covers on land aways.

Post updated and published 01-Oct-2010