Free Chocolate at Henstridge Airfield [EGHS]
Today was the day for a trip to Henstridge Airfield [EGHS]. App all set for testing on the iPad and iPhone. A beautiful winter’s day with the golden autumnal colours caught in the sunshine. At last! PPR to the airfield, runway 25. Quite a lot of noise abatement issues, so the route was planned for a long final. We headed off to Henstridge, just to the west of Compton Abbas. It was on one of the trips to the latter that we decided that an app to help with the circuit would be a good idea. How can you lose an airfield in the circuit?!
Looking at the airfield before we left on Google it seemed so easy to find! Squeezing through the Southampton and Middle Wallop corridor, all was going well. Familiar territory! Arriving at Blandford Forum good visibility meant that we could work out where Henstridge was. Only problem was we just couldn’t make out the actual runway! Never mind – we called up Henstridge Airfield Radio only to be told that the runway was now 07 RH circuit. We still couldn’t make out the runway. The 6 villages that needed avoiding just seemed to be getting closer and closer! Sudden inspiration, relax, use the app and do an overhead join. Right hand circuits with a low wing aircraft conspire to hide the runway, and I knew that there were wind turbines and fences to negotiate! Anyway.. The app gave the bearings, and the circuit sorted itself out. It was the first time we had used it in the air and, totally unintentionally, became a valuable piece of kit. Everyone was very welcoming, great sausages and a very pleasant gentlemen did the rounds with some free chocolate too!
We had a beautiful flight home over the Isle of Wight with the low winter sun casting long shadows and glistening on the Solent. Nothing is ever straightforward though, and just over Midhurst, we were plunged into sudden low cloud / mist. Luckily we soon got through it. IMC is a valuable rating! Checked out the app on the approach to Fairoaks and all was working well. Now all we need are a few more beautiful days to do more testing like we did at Henstridge Airfield. Fantastic excuse to fly!