The Boys Make Calais. 

One hour flight this morning gets us to Calais. Weather in the UK was very good but as we coasted out the clouds came down and we were forced to start the crossing at 2000ft. Shortly after the clouds lifted and we were able to climb to a much more sensible altitude. 

Next stop after Calais was Chateau Thierry which was reached in a little under 2 hours.   Unfortunately Ian lost radio contact with Les and I shortly after take off. We could hear him clearly but not the other way round. Fine for us but Ian was sure that we were messing him about. 

The trip south was uneventful apart from the occasional rain shower and a bit of cloud dodging. 

Chateau T is a wonderful little grass strip and the natives are pretty friendly although for some strange reason we weren’t allowed to purchase fuel so we will need to pop into another local airfield in the morning. 

Arrival

Set off from Harringe 20 mins before the FP time. Had a big black cloud to dodge at Folkestone, so headed back to Dover before skirting the rain.

No problems at Calais, but as the first man in, the gendarmes pounced.

Background

Last year, Grant and I, together with Rupert S and Geoffrey formed the “lightweights”, cruising at 80-90mph. (Well, not Geoffrey). The Alps were absolutely stunning, but the 4,00ft cloud base prevented us from landing at any mountain airstrips. The highest airfield we used was Gap, at 1,986ft. The highest airstrip I have ever used is Casagnes (2,024ft), 3 years ago. The Loire valley tour didn’t offer us enough flying, so we decided to look at the outstanding bucket list items from last year and see whether we could tick some off. So having missed out on the altiports and as we both fly microlights, allowing us to use the altiports without a mountain rating, we thought we’d base ourselves in the Alps for a few days and land at some classic mountain airstrips. We also missed out on the Milau bridge last year, so that went onto the list. Patrick wanted to fly over Pontivy and if we got as far as Britany, why not return via the Normandy beaches?

Other commitments had forced us to leave the tour until early September, so as always, we are relying on the weather gods to look kindly upon us.

Presently, the tour comprises my QuikR (flexwing), Grant in his Eurostar (3 axis) and Les in his C42 (3 axis).