Sunday 2nd July – 70km Return Flight from Padworth to Challow Paramotor Club.
Wind was from the West, between 4-9mph. I took off from Padworth at 19:50 and headed towards Challow which is just over 20miles away, I knew it would be tight on Fuel with the slight head wind, so I phoned Stephen from the air using my bluetooth comms (https://youtu.be/vPwGh9fYuDI) and he offered to mix up some extra fuel, otherwise I would have had to fly back as I didn’t have enough to do the trip. After the call to Stephen my progress slowed as the head wind increased over the ridgeway so progress was slower than expected and was using up valuable daylight time, anxiety kicks in! I arrived at Challow and landed at 21:03 (1hr 13mins), the guys gave me a burger and coffee and added an extra 3 litres of fuel to my motor. I had no time to socialise as I knew this was cutting it fine as I have to be back at my local field and on the ground by 21:50, so I only had time for a quick hello, sip of the coffee, a few bites of the burger before heading straight back (Thanks Stephen, Tony & Phil, great service and much appreciated, sorry I couldn’t stop longer, maybe next time?)
I’m airborne after only 10mins on the ground as I launched from Challow at 21:13 and I flew back home in an almost perfect straight line (as the crow flies) whilst constantly performing time vs ground speed calculations to work out if I was going to make it back in time before the end of legal daylight. I put trimmers out all the way for the last 10mins and gained an extra 4mph, now flying 44mph ground speed, downwind, I worked out I might just make it in time. Sure enough, I approached my home field and landed at 21:50 with no time to spare, right on the legal limit!
So glad to make it back, I had visions of having to land a few miles away to stay legal, fortunately I didn’t have to. I won’t do that again in a hurry and before I attempt a flight during this late in the day I will make sure I have a strobe as I felt more vulnerable than usual with the fading day light.
You can follow my track which I have uploaded to doarama – http://doarama.com/view/1459855