February 25, 2007

Sand Racing at Margate

Over the beach at Margate today for the Quad bike races.

Given the heavy rain until noon, we didn't expect it to happen but the blue sky started to break through just in time for us to join a Boeing 747 doing practise circuits at Manston, the Jumbo going one way and us the other way, with a 1000 feet of separation over the Thanet beaches.
In fact, we were supposed to be on the same detail on Saturday but strong crosswinds made it impossible to pick up the banner for Terence Painter Properties, the sponsor and after several attempts, we had to concede victory to February weather; the first time in twelve months that the conditions have beaten us. It does happen and clients don't often realise that if conditions aren't right, picking-up their banner in strong winds and turbulence can be very awkward, if the aircraft won't stay exactly on line in the vital last seconds.
Recently we had one helpful onlooker trying to call me on her mobile phone. Afterwards, she commented that she thought we might have a "hands-free" facility, "Like in the car" and could carry on a conversation during the approach attempt. The reality in a light aircraft diving towards a small target on the ground at 100mph is rather different as I'm sure you can imagine.

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