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Images from a microlight

Yesterday I finally cashed in my voucher for a microlight flight from East Fortune with East of Scotland Microlights. This was a generous birthday present from son Sandy, who runs Experience Ecosse which issued the voucher. Sandy is also training to pilot one, and last Sunday he was listed at number 31 in the Scotland on Sunday Hot 100 eligible men. I was hoping to see him fly.

It had taken us a while to sort out a date, partly diary problems but also weather constraints (too much crosswind is a showstopper). It was well worth the wait. The visibility was great, a dusting of snow on the Pentlands and with Gordon Douglas at the controls I had never a moment's nervousness. He even let me do some simple turns and a bit of descent toward the airfield, although from the back seat it's hard to see where you're going.

I have a satisfying souvenir in the shape of some decent photographs (I had my new Lumix G1 round my neck) of the Bass Rock, Tantallon Castle, Gosford House and North Berwick Harbour. Another time I'd try for an even faster shutter speed: the helmet visor meant I couldn't use the viewfinder and it was too bright to change settings, but I'm trying to put perfectionism aside and just enjoy them as they are. After a quick lunch, there was time to watch Sandy doing take-offs and landings (Gordon in the back seat). This put both him and the microlight in a new perspective: the image was suddenly of a flimsy contraption, heavier than air yet impossibly vulnerable in flight. As he disappeared into the wide blue yonder, I turned away to drive home, lump in throat, suddenly reminded of what enormous strides he has taken in recent years.

Here's a selection of what I saw: Sandy flying past the airfield, then Queen Margaret University (which I took for husband Keir who is Vice-chair of its Court), then Gosford House and (my favourite) the sands of Gosford Bay. Things look refreshingly different from up there!






This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on February 12, 2009 8:17 AM.

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