It was a typical grey rainy day in February. We had all turned up at the flying club hoping for better weather and the chance to fly. Instead we were drinking coffee, and shooting the breeze!
That was when Paul, my flying instructor, announced that he had always wanted to circumnavigate the UK in a light aircraft, but to date, he had not found anyone else who had the time, finances or was bonkers enough to want to do it as well! So it began. On that grey rainy day in February, as a low-hours PPL holder, I jumped at the chance to fly around the UK. It was agreed that if we could find a third pilot to share both the cost and flying with, then we would do our best to make it happen.
So our plan was hatched. A quick look at the UK on Sky Demon Light and we dragged a rough route around the country. It told us that in the clubs C172 we’d need about 25 hours to get the whole way around. Digby, our flying clubs most experienced pilot and instructor, advised us not to plan on more than flying 3 hours per day. This turned out to be excellent advice as averaging 3 hours flying per day was plenty, and it kept the flying enjoyable. Finding a 3rd pilot was the next challenge. Paul suggested 2 or 3 individuals that may be up for the challenge, and ultimately Simon (a flight instructor at Cranfield and ground school instructor at CATS) also jumped at the opportunity. Now all we had to do was break the news to our spouses!
Within three days of first discussing the tour, our intrepid group was formed and July/August was set as a good time to go, as we’d likely have better weather… or so went the theory! More on that summer weather later!!