A spontaneous lunch at Sywell Aerodrome

One of the real joys of self-employment is that, workload permitting, I can be a lot more spontaneous than I was in my old office-bound life. That means that when a day starts out seemingly run-of-the-mill, it has the potential to turn into a much more exciting one, which is a really nice thought. Just such a thing happened the other day, when I was working down at the airfield and Jonny came over to fly the Robin. I wasn’t working especially productively, so when offered the chance to sit in the back seat and fly to Sywell Aerodrome for lunch, I couldn’t refuse!


The flight to Sywell (near Northampton) took about 25 minutes, and I must say it was nice to sit back and enjoy the views while someone else did the work of flying the plane! I know Jonny from way back when we were at Oxford running a student choir together, but recently he’s learned to fly Wilhelm with Lee and is now mastering the art of flying the Robin, like me. As we flew across to Sywell, I thought about how we could never have imagined back in our Oxford days that we would one day be flying planes about the country together!


It was a somewhat windy day, though the sun was shining. Here’s the view of the control tower at Sywell as we taxied past to the apron.


As you can see, the wind had obviously put off the other pilots – we were the only ones there! This is the view from the Pilot’s Mess, where we had lunch. It’s a greasy spoon type cafe, and therefore rather cheaper than the restaurant in the Aviator Hotel next door.


After lunch we headed back to the Robin, admiring how elegant it is. I love the shape of its wings.


Captain Jonny looking cool!


And one of us for our annual photo book!


This was the view of Sywell looking back on the climb-out. It’s not a view I normally get to appreciate sitting in the pilot’s seat, so I was glad to be able to capture this pic from the back seat!


On the way home we flew over lots of amazing ridge and furrow, which I’m always fascinated by. Another intriguing thing in this photo is the small strip of rainbow just behind the wing. I could see it as we were flying along, but I’m not sure what was causing it, as it wasn’t rainy and we weren’t flying through thin cloud or anything.


The obligatory pic of all three of us in flight. It’s so great to have a four-seat aircraft for this sort of trip.


I don’t know if you can see it, but there was a strange little patch of rainbow near the ground on the horizon. There were showers in the distance, but they weren’t affecting us.


Can you spot the Vulcan bomber in this picture? This is the corner of Wellesbourne, our old airfield. Many a time I’ve waited at that holding point with a great view of the Vulcan! It’s so sad that it will probably get a housing estate built over it.


This was the view of Stratford-upon-Avon on a long final approach.


I leave you with this view of the sun setting on a good day. The sunsets here are often this lovely, and I always love the way the yellowy-orange light reflects on the hangar doors.


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