Friday 14th May 1971
Hmmn, weather forecast from the met office looks pretty promising for tomorrow, little or no cloud, excellent visibility. slight tail wind. Must remember to book in to clear customs on return journey.
Sister's daughter Camilla was duly deposited with me at 6.30pm. Claudia looks fairly well considering she has had a rather close call after falling overboard whilst crewing on a friends yacht somewhere just off Falmouth two weeks ago
Saturday 15th May 1971. Day Trip to Le Touquet
Set alarm for 4.30, as usual it went off 10 minutes early. Must get clock checked. Camilla took some waking up, but by the time l returned from dog walk she was wide awake and attempting to cook breakfast. After feeding the burnt bacon & incinerated sausages to Dog, l suggested a flask of tea might be worth taking with us as it would be a good couple of hours until we arrived in france for lunch.
Departed the house by 8.30 arriving at airfield by 9. Whizzed up the stairs of the control tower, followed by C, checked weather forecast, which was good, then filed the old flight plan, destination Le Touquet, France clearing customs outbound at Gatwick.
Drove across to the hanger & with the help of George pulled the chipmunk out, then, closely followed by C, walked slowly around the aircraft checking for any faults on the fuselage.
10.00am pre-take off checks, warm up the engine, taxi to holding point. Slight hold up as learner practicing circuits & bumps in a Cessna 150 takes a while to clear the area. Quick check of dials then open the throttle right out and we are off, tail wheel lifts of the ground, MPH increases, take off, turn right, climb to 3000 feet.
C seems to be enjoying herself, asking if she can have a go? Like riding a horse, l said, left stick left boot and you go left, right stick/ boot and you turn to the right, keep the wings level & back pressure on the stick. Good girl.
Call up gatwick tower, start approach, can hear radio clearly, can also hear C singing some ghastly pop song, call in for instructions, no reply from the tower. Echo Yankee final approach................ thats us, nothing, then coming in from another pilot, 'turn your flippin' radio on mate, I'm the guy in the 747 behind you!'. Quick check in cockpit, 'C flipp that switch UP on your right', hiss the radio kicks back into life, messages pass to & fro between us & the tower, land at 11.15am, taxi to park.
11.25 sling back hood, air turn blue, outcome a promise of no more singing down the headset by one youthful person! Quick check of aircraft then both put on life jackets as crossing the English Channel.
11.30 cleared for take off and head south for the coast and the sea.
1pm sat upstairs in the airport restaurant eating shrimps and drinking coffee.
Tell C of the story about a couple of English aristocratic ladies who would come here to lunch en route to Monaco. C was fascinated when l told her where they hid the cash. The thought of using bloomers as a wallet caused half the shrimp to leap out of the serving bowl.
Depart Le Touguet at 4, after filing flight plan,
5.30pm land back at airfield, clear customs, return EY to hanger. Head for home.
Sunday 16th May 1971
Woke at 3, damn jackdaw stuck in chimney.