Monday, 11 April 2011

Doing the Dome

We always have lots of people to fly on a Saturday afternoon, the only time when City airport allows small planes into its airspace, so I'd been waiting years for my chance to fly up to the Dome and back with Ian. One afternoon in September last year, I was in luck. It was a sunny day, but windy - not too windy for Ian to fly, but too windy for his student who was booked for a lesson. His loss was my gain, and we jumped in for spontaneous flight as far into central London as is possible in a microlight. There are no guaruntees - City airport will only let you in if they are 100% happy that it is safe to do so, but we were in luck.

Flying up river past City airport, you can see Greenwich over to the left, and Canary Wharf on the right. You could almost wave at the office workers, had there been any sitting by a window on a Saturday afternoon. Ahead is central London, and all its landmarks twinkling in the late afternoon sun.

Ian doesn't get to enjoy the views quite as much as I do - he is continually scanning the sky and the ground, making sure he knows where he could land in this built up area in the unlikely event of an engine failure (Greenwich park, I wonder? That would give the picknickers something to write home about. City airport is more likely, is the sensible reply)

I would give my right arm to carry up river passed the City and the Houses of Parliament, which I can see in the distance, but for now will have to be satisfied with an exhilarating couple of spins around the Dome before heading back up the estuary to Essex.

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