Former villager drops in for lunch

Photo: John Sheppard

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:

Photo: John Sheppard


Taxi-ing to the parking area:


Cockpit open…..


….and time to show the aeroplane off….


… 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:


Radio contact:


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.




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