Les Clark, a Sulgrave resident for over twenty years before leaving in the 1990s, flew into Hinton-in-the-Hedges to have lunch with old friends and former villagers Martin Sirot-Smith and John Sheppard. Les’ retirement ambitions had been to gain his pilot’s licence and to build his own aeroplane and this event was a demonstration of his success in both ventures.
The aeroplane is a Van’s RV9A with a WAM 120 diesel engine, which took him nine and a half years to build in his garage at Broom near Alcester. Les became a qualified pilot in 2003 and the aeroplane’s maiden flight was on the 5th May 2010. He had flown in from his home aerodrome of Bidford-on-Avon and the touchdown was near perfect:
Taxi-ing to the parking area:
….and time to show the aeroplane off….
…..to admiring friends!
The essential accessories for hands on navigation:
After a suitably non-alcoholic lunch in a nearby pub it’s time to prepare for take off:
Wind speed and direction are estimated in order to calculate the required homeward heading:
Pre-flight control checks:
A final wave whilst taxi-ing out:
The short and rapid take-off almost caught the waiting photographs by surprise:
….and so to the 25 minute flight home:
Clearly Les’ transport options have widened considerably since this ride to the Star in 1977!
As a young 70 year old, Les looks forward to many more years of trips in his excellent little aeroplane.