This morning I awoke to glorious sunshine so I called the flying club to see if there was a C152 available for hire and as luck would have it there was! I cancelled my slot for tomorrow which hadn't been looking too good weather wise and did a route I was going to do last week. This was the one scuppered by low cloud.
So new plane for me G-FLIP a C152 aerobat which was fairly new to the school. She was in good order. Transponder was mode Alpha only though as it was reporting altitude incorrectly. There was no COM 2 as well but I had no complaints otherwise - she flew nicely enough.
From Rochester I climbed out from Runway 02 turned East and headed down to Canterbury. From there over to the Dover VOR and then north up to Manston (RIP) now sadly closed down. As an aside, I signed the petition to have Thanet District Council perform a mandatory purchase of it this week - I hope it goes somewhere and people don't give up the fight to save this precious piece of our history.
From Manston it was a straight westerly track back to Rochester. Coming back I did an intentional go around on R02 as somebody else in the circuit doing touch and gos was so far out [actually way outside the ATZ] that I ended up in front of them. Perhaps he was giving way to me and I wanted to give way to him but rather than orbit in the circuit I just gave my intention to do a go-around and let them have the slot. After that circuit to myself and an uneventful smooth full flap landing over the trees. I was expecting some bumps on final but strangely nothing. Perhaps it was so early and the thermals were still in bed. A really lovely day today.
One other thing, I was heading up to Manston and another pilot who was talking with Southend Radar asked to change frequency to Manston! The Southend ATC controller was like "You haven't heard then...its closed". The pilot was "Oh I think I read something like that a few weeks ago." I couldn't help but think did you not plan your route mate? Its on a dam Notam anyway. I mean come on... really?
Brakes Off: 0900Z: Brakes On: 10:20Z