Chris Perry the club secretary made a special effort and even met us and we followed him out to their field, (I would never have found it on my own. The field is situated as part of an ultra light field. I was told to have a good look around for any ultra lights before taking off. What a great bunch of guys they made us feel very welcome and went to the trouble of organising insurance to cover for me whilst I am in the UK. Interestingly they have a few junior members aged from eleven up.
Rod Green: Around the world in 40 days. Part 3
Due to our hectic schedule we could only stay a couple of hours before we had to get to Justin's old home town Shrewsbury.
In Shrewsbury we were on a mission there to find the grave of Jeanette's Great Grandmother who is buried at a pre Norman church at a small town called Cound about 20km from Shrewsbury. First though we had to see if we could find the entrance to Justin's old club, the Shrewsbury Model Flying Club at Forton (an old WW2 aerodrome ). It wasn't hard to find using the GPS and I was soon chewing the fat with some of the members who were there. I had a couple of flys and then we were off to Cound to see if we could find St Peters church. The ipad made it easy to find and we had a look but couldn't locate the grave itself. We had more luck the next day and after spending the morning at the church, I was off to Forton for a longer visit. A few guys were there sitting in the sun. The planes varied from a glider with a 6m wing span to an "ultimate" bi-plane with a 150cc engine, there were also a range of ducted fans and the usual electric high wing trainers.
The next day we were off to London. The drive took us about 4hrs with one stop for a quick fly at a housing development with a large open space recently mowed, unfortunately I crashed my funfighter. Luckily it wasn't badly damaged and I fixed it up once we got to our hotel in central London.
The weather in London wasn't much good, very windy, cold and overcast so I was restricted to flying my heli around our room at the hotel. All the flying clubs seemed to be a fair way out of the city, but there is a new club that flys electric only planes at a park behind Wormwood Scrubs prison about 13km from our hotel. I was hoping the weather would improve enough to make a trip to see it worthwhile. The idea of renting a car to get around London isn't a good one, there is nowhere to park it takes forever to get anywhere. The cost of a cab to wormwood scrubs was going to be at least $80 for a return trip. The only other place I could find to fly was in Regents Park right in the middle of London next to the zoo.
Finally after 4 days the weather cleared and decided to give Regents Park a try. I caught a taxi from the hotel at 5.30am. It only took 20 min to cover the 8km, cost $24.00. I had to walk about half a km from the closed gates to the part of the park that contained 3 or 4 cricket ovals. As well as the lions in the zoo doing their wake up roars, there were a few joggers, the odd person walking their dog and a guy doing yoga. There was plenty of room to fly my P-51 , so I just went for it. I had 3 good flys with no issues except that my hands were going numb. I called it quits, and to head back to the hotel. Deciding to try the bus this time and 2 buses, $7.50 and 80 minutes later I was back at the hotel. It seemed like a lot of effort and expense for just 15 minutes of flight time but I felt it was worth it to be able to say that I'd had a fly in London City.
The field itself is actually a cricket ground that the club shares, the have specific days and times that they can use the field plus casual use if the cricketers aren't around. I had a few flys including going in the dead stick landing competition. You had to take off climb to about 200 ft shut down the motor and dead stick down and try to land as There were prizes for the winners. I managed a couple of more visits to Burnaby Lake before we left for Hong Kong.
We were off to Vancouver the next day so it was time to pack my planes away ready for the trip. About 9 hours flight time from London. I was looking forward to getting to Vancouver as there is a club there called the Burnaby Lake "hood 's up" flyers based only about 13km from our hotel.
Larry the club president had arranged insurance with MAAC so I was good to go. The day after we arrived in Vancouver was Father's Day and the club was holding a annual event to celebrate. They had some events including a dead stick landing competition, a bomb drop, and a limbo event. There was a good roll up of at least 30 people including some lady fliers.