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October 2011

Pure sky

Robin ready for takeoff _GE02787_blog

You probably know that I have a thing about sailing, but my first love was flying. It's just that circumstances over the years made it less accessible. Less accessible but not inaccessible.

I was at John Lewis buying a vacuum cleaner (can I get some product placement dosh here please?) and emerged to the most fantastic late afternoon cloudscape as heavy rain showers rolled across the South Buckinghamshire landscape.

What has this to do with flying? Well, Booker airfield - properly, Wycombe Air Park (EGTB to pilots) - is just around the corner and I figured it would afford an open vista. Which it did, as you can see. The clouds really were something to behold. It is unusual to have a backdrop so dark that you'd think I must have walloped a hefty filter over it. But no, this is unretouched apart from standard tidying up.

The plane taxiing for takeoff, by the way, is a Robin DR 300-180R,  a French design made by Avions Pierre Robin. This particular one, registration G-BLGH, is used as a glider "tug" by Booker Gliding Club. In other words it tows sailplanes to altitude then releases them to realise their true function.

I made several photos over a cup of tea at the airfield cafe, then headed along the ridge a little way to the outskirts of Flackwell Heath and contemplated the landscape there. Eventually I made up a panorama of that view too.