Sunday, April 14, 2013

A Little Trivia

I really didn't think I would get away with today's job, a 100th birthday message for Aston Martin at the World FIA Endurance Championship at Silverstone this morning.

Spring might have been in the air and the long winter very suddenly over but the wind-speeds were horrendous, showing 45 knots above Silverstone's circuit as I had a cursory look at the track for the first time, on the way into Turweston airfield, nearby.

Normally, Silverstone is as easy to get to as any top-secret military establishment, with its own helicopter air traffic control and a large "Keep-out" sign aimed at the unauthorised and curious. Being invited in to fly there before this morning's race, was a huge honour and I pulled-out all the stops to try and make it happen.

By 11:15, the wind was howling and it was raining. The parachute display had been cancelled and the conditions were so far over my normal operating limits, I very much doubted there was any chance at all of picking-up a banner in the vicious turbulence and then flying it successfully to the track a few miles away without shredding it or worse.

As it was, I was lucky, very lucky indeed. I  hit the line just above the ground first time, with no mishaps, other than forgetting to turn on my video camera on the approach to pick-up the banner, so intensely was I concentrating on trying to keep stable close to the ground..

So a good result for all and here's the short video for all the motor racing fans among my readers.. You will see from the end of the video that the cross-wind was equally nasty after I drop the banner and come into land.

Returning back home just after 1pm, the wind here in Thanet was blowing 30 knots, which made life quite interesting trying to put my small aircraft back on the ground.

At least spring has sprung at last!

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