13 May 2017: The Northern Meet

As you can no doubt recall, May saw our VPAC “Northern Meet” at the delightful and friendly grass aerodrome at Breighton/. and I can report that those who flew or drove in certainly enjoyed their day and, whilst the numbers were a little disappointing, we had a thoroughly enjoyable time and, other than catching up with our VPAC chums, were kept entertained by the commercial wing-walking flights of another U.S. Classic, the Stearman. At Breighton the weather throughout the day was fine, with a fairly high overcast and, other than there being the tiniest bit of very light rain, the only other thing of note was the breeze that blew straight across the runway at about 12 kts for the whole day. Having said that no-one remarked that they had experienced any particular problems although anyone flying any distance in a north or south direction would have certainly had their flight times considerably extended during the into-wind sector. In this context, the effort of Nigel Hitchman and his mate attending in NIgel’s J3 Cub all the way from Hinton-in-the Hedges down in Northants was particularly of note since I reckon that their trip home would have been done at a ground-speed of about 40 kts! Well done guys and it was great to see you.¬†

The other factor of the day’s weather was some rain and low cloud that persisted longer than was¬†forecast over the high ground of the Derbyshire Peak District and the Pennines and with this is mind Mike Mothershaw’s effort in getting to Breighton in his Vag was also noteworthy. Mike’s flight from his base of Woodvale to the north of Liverpool was initially towards the north east to cross the hills, but low cloud and rain blocked his path so he then flew south and through the Manchester/Liverpool low-level corridor before turning east again towards the southern part of the Peak District. However, rain and low cloud once again blocked his path so he ended up diverting and landing at Tatenhill where he was welcomed by fellow VPACer Vic Holliday and where they were holding a fly-in. Not deterred, Mike then waited a while and, whilst many of us would have cut our losses and headed home again, he then launched towards Breighton where he landed in the early afternoon. Another sterling effort and well done Mike.

So, overall, a thoroughly enjoyable day but with attendance somewhat limited by the weather in other parts of the country and the breeze. Our own David Sharp and Cliff Whitwell together with the other folks at Breighton were excellent hosts who made it very clear the the VPAC would always be welcome there so thank you all. As ever, after the list of attendees below some low-quality pics follow and expect them on the Club’s website in full quality before too long.